Sunday, May 27, 2012
The "thing" club...............
I'm sitting in the top of a castle in the parlor of our suite, with the windows wide open and the pines whispering to me as I allow myself to just sit and reflect; peace and quiet. We haven't had much of that in the last seven weeks. This gift our friends gave us is another example of God's provisions for us....even in the pain. Tom and I have just been amazed by God and how He has supported us on this fork in the road we were forced to take seven weeks ago today when Ryan went to be with Jesus. This is not a fork we would have chosen, but we see God's hand in it over and over. I'm so grateful that we cannot see what is ahead because we would often choose a different path; a painless path. However, I come back, once again, to His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This fork in the road is not to harm me...but to give me hope and a future.
I was talking with one of Ryan's friends last week and we both agreed that we have this "thing" that is present in our lives now that we didn't invite and it probably will never go away. It has this presence that can cause you to weep and tear up at any moment. You don't see it coming and then, BAM! you are in tears. A perfect example was my trip to REI today. Tom and I had some time to kill before heading to Glen Eyrie so we decided to stop in at REI. This was a favorite place of Ryan's but it didn't even enter my mind that this might be an emotional visit. I found some new hiking shoes and was looking for a sales clerk to ask about the discount. I was about to approach one when she looked at me and said, "Are you Ryan's mom?" I said, "Yes!" She re-introduced herself and reminded me she had gone to college with Ryan last semester. She and a group of others had spoken at his wake. We stood and talked for a while and then she told me she was working on getting the school to agree to plant a memorial tree at the downtown campus in Ryan's memory. I just looked at her and said, "Man, you only knew him for a few short months and you were so impacted by him....imagine what it was like to know him for 20 years!" And then the tears started. She felt so bad but I simply stated that, "This is my new life. This is what happens. Tears come out of nowhere and then I will be fine in short order." I wasn't embarrassed by the tears. They have become a part of me. We hugged and finished our conversation and as I was walking away I heard my name. I turned around and there was my teacher from when I took a Sociology class at Pikes Peak over a year ago. Her son had graduated with Ryan and she and I had formed a friendship during my classes with her. I'm sure you can guess what happened. We both stood there talking for a good 15 minutes and tears were part of that conversation. But during that conversation I was able to speak of God's hope and provisions and feel His strength, even in the tears.
The entry of this "thing" is not something that I asked for, it is not something that I really would choose; but it is here to stay. I know there are many out there who have a similar "thing". It could be a broken marriage, a chronic illness in the family, a permanent injury, a death, a victim of abuse, etc. For those of us who are now part of "The Thing Club", we have to make some choices. I've always told my kids that we cannot always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond. I now have to live that out big time. When God says that His plans are ".....to give me hope and a future," then I have to have faith that this "thing" will not ruin me but give me hope and a future. I also have to take action to move in that direction. I have to "Ask and it will be given to me, seek and I will find; knock and the door will be opened to me." Matthew 7:7 I have to be taking action.
From day one of this journey I have been asking God to make it worth the pain. I have been asking him to show me the good that will come out of bringing my son home with Him. I have been trusting God to do what I ask in my pain; He has. I truly believe because I have been taking action since day one He has allowed me to skip over depression and anger in the grief cycle. I've never experienced grief at this level but it sure feels like I bypassed the really dark side of it; thank you Jesus. His Word was made for this very thing; to bring hope and a future. Why in heavens name would I want to choose anything else?
So today Tom and I will hike up to the Punch Bowls that Ryan hiked and we will probably shed some tears; but that is o.k. It is a part of my new life of feeling, loving deeply and trusting God with all the "things" of life.