How do you write eloquent words when your eyes are swollen and your face is all blotchy and you're afraid to let yourself think to long, or to hard, or to deep, because if you do, you just might throw up?
How do you keep standing, and how do you get into to bed at night knowing that he's never, ever, ever going to lie next to you again?
When does the numbness go away and reality sink in that he's really really gone?
How do you walk past the pictures in the hallway, the ones that hold his smile, the ones that remind you of the way that he loved you with his life?
How do you put one foot in front of the other when your feet simply won't move, when you can't even muster up the strength of the tiniest mustard seed?
When the loss is so deep, there's no way to fake it; no possible way; and you're just one giant mess curled up in the fetal position on the floor in your living room and you're not sure how you are ever going to uncurl.
What do you say when a friend tells you over the phone that those three men in uniforms showed up at her door and she knew immediately, and she wept violently, and then she had to walk back in the door and look into the eyes of her three precious treasures and smile until she had flown across The States to verify the body?
How do you explain to a child that their Daddy is gone, but that their Jesus is still on His throne?
How do you remember the dailies like brushing your teeth and remembering to eat, when you can hardly remember how to breath because the pain's so swift it literally knocks the wind right out of you?
I tossed and turned all night long. The Cowboy and I, we kept reaching for each other in the dark. If I could only feel his skin for a brief moment it was assurance enough that we were given yet another moment to be together.
Death does that you know. It makes you hold on that much tighter to what was never really yours to begin with.
We've been through loss, the Cowboy and I. We know the drill. We know those moments that seem to just keep coming, the ones where you're trying your absolute hardest to be strong in your absolute greatest weakness. It's not possible really, but you still spend time trying to convince yourself that it is.
But why her spouse Lord? You make us One in marriage, and then you have the audacity to tear us in half and still promise that we're going to be okay?
You and I both know that sometimes Your ways make very little sense to my human brain.
I can't see what you see Lord, and I feel angry.
I trust You, but it doesn't mean I hate this loss any less.
Sin and it's consequences still stink.
all is still grace.
It seems quite the contradiction if you ask me.
You didn't have to give us anything, but you gave us everything anyway.
And so with my eyes all swollen and my face all blotchy I will thank you Lord.
Thank you for their marriage.
Thank you for their passionate love for You and for one another.
Thank you for the way they see this world through Your eyes, the way they long for others to know Your Son the way that they do.
Thank you that freedom is not free, and that David Gray was willing to give it all for his country and his Savior.
Thank you that You too understand loss.
Thank you that Your greatest loss has been our greatest gain.
Thank you that such great loss brings new perspective and quiet reminders of what really matters in this broken place.
Lord I pray for my precious friend.
I pray that your Spirit will intercede for her when she's at a loss for words. (Romans 8:26)
I pray your peace that passes all understanding, the kind that makes no sense to this world but perfect sense to a perfect God. (Philippians 4:6-7)
I pray that you would be her "granite strength and her safe-harbor" as she moves forward without her man. (Psalm 62)
May she remember that you LORD are always the safest place to be. (Psalm 62)
May she never forget that YOU WILL meet all her needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:9)
Never ever cease to comfort her precious heart Lord? Please? (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Be the flawless husband that she needs now more than ever? "For her Maker is her husband, the LORD of hosts is His Name; and the Holy One of Israel is her Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called." Isaiah 54:5
And when she feels like she can no longer stand,
"Strengthen her weak hands and make firm her feeble knees.
Say to her anxious heart, 'Be strong, fear not! Behold, Your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you!" (Isaiah 35)
May she believe You when You say,
"I've picked you. I haven't dropped you.
Don't panic. I'm with you.
There's no need to fear for I'm your God.
I'll give you strength.
I'll help you.
I'll hold you steady,
keep a firm grip on you."
And finally Lord, Help us to trust in you even when we don't understand. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
May we never forget,
"That when the righteous cry for help,
THE LORD HEARS and delivers us out of all our troubles.
The Lord IS NEAR to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."
David Gray was killed this past Wednesday by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. He and his precious family have sat around the farm table and shared their hearts and their love for their sweet Savior with our little family. A year ago this August, he and his wife, Heather, renewed their wedding vows out in our farm fields.
I don't understand God's ways,
And yet He is the same loving God today, that He was yesterday.
I will praise Him (through my tears) for that.