Monday, September 17, 2007

The life everlasting

I apologize in advance if this is a rambling post. My thoughts about the events of the past week are still a bit jumbled.

I’m still having trouble putting into words the emotions we’ve all experienced this week since my brother’s twenty-year-old son Joby was killed in a terrible accident last Sunday. Disbelief is a big one. Last week we were all in shock, and there’s something good about that. You just keep doing the next thing, even when that thing is saying goodbye when there’s a closed casket, and you think somehow it’s all a big mistake and he’s going to come walking through the door any minute. Knowing Joby, he might have tried to pull a prank like that.

But no.

This week the finality is setting in. I used to wonder why people would say that someone is “gone.” Why don’t they just say the person died? But now, as I’m experiencing what it’s like to lose someone close, someone young, someone so full of promise and joy and hope, I understand why “gone” is such a good word to describe this feeling of missing someone who isn’t here any longer. Never mind that he’s in a better place. Down here on earth, “gone” is a sad, lonely word that pretty much sums up what we are feeling right now.

I wish there were a way around the valley of the shadow of death, but apparently there’s not. We were meant to walk through it. And while we’re walking, life keeps on going on. Kids go back to school, there are meals to be made. Laundry’s still waiting for me.

It’s made me think long and hard about what I believe about God. I know He is loving and kind and has our best interest in mind. I know He is ultimately sovereign. I know this place is not our home. I know these things. I want to be willing to trust Him as I watch helplessly while my brother aches. I want to trust that He knows what He is doing when I see Joby’s brother Josh, and Josh's new wife, trying to figure out what life is going to be like now. But sometimes, like the father who came to Jesus, I find myself saying, “Help me overcome my unbelief!”

Through all this, I have to keep coming back to what I know of the simplicity and beauty and depth of God’s love and care. I cling to the truth found in passages I've known for a lifetime, and feel their familiar, comforting words wash over me:

Psalm 23: Thou art with me.
Psalm 121: I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
The Lord’s Prayer: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And this, affirming everything I know and believe, The Apostles’ Creed. Right now I'm especially thankful for the last line. I believe in the life everlasting.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Your prayers and words of comfort and concern have meant so much, and I believe they are what have been holding our family up during this difficult time. I am so thankful for each of you.


Terri said...

I understand the loss you are feeling. Two years ago I lost my baby brother on Thanksgiving day and I spent some time working through those same kinds of feelings. You all are in our prayers.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

You and your family have been HEAVY on my heart this past week and please know that I'm daily...continuing to lift you to our Father!

There is a song that helps us find comfort in knowing that we are NEVER alone.....when we are a Christian, we cannot be separated from God...because he's part of me!!!!

I pray that the lyric's to this song...provide comfort....for when we feel as though we are along....we aren't...for God is with us!

Never Alone~

Barlow Girls

I waited for you today
But you didn’t show
I needed you today
So where did you go?

You told me to call
Said you’d be there
And though I haven’t seen you
Are you still here?

I cried out with no reply
And I can’t feel you by my side
So I’ll hold tight to what I know
You’re here and I’m never alone

And though I cannot see you
And I can’t explain why
Such a deep reassurance
You’ve placed in my life.
We cannot separate
“cause you’re part of me.”
And though you’re invisible
I’ll trust the unseen.

Lisa said...

I thought of you often this week, and the Apostles Creed is one of my favorite prayers.

Someone once gave me these words of advice "Time may not heal all wounds, but time allows you to move forward."

Things will return to normal again for you and your family, it will just be a new normal, which will include wonderful memories of Joby.

Anonymous said...

I think I remember that Joby married just a month ago. As a mom of a daughter in her twenties who married last year, I cannot imagine the pain she feels...I cannot imagine. I will pray, even as a stranger, that Jesus will show her the promise of tomorrow and a future. He has big plans for that precious girl.
angela conklin
a friend thru your entries in NC

Beck said...

You've been in my thoughts and prayers often over the past few days. I'm so sorry that your family is going through this - it's a terrible, terrible loss.

Susanne said...

Sometimes that's all we can do is say those beautiful words and hang on to them with all we've got.

Prayers and love to you Katherine. May you feel God carrying you as you pass through this valley.

Jen said...

I have never met you...though I feel I know you so well. I have prayed for you and your family all week...wondering how you were doing how your kids were coping....I knew however God had his arms wrapped tightly around each of you...I knew of this because you are such a believer in him even in hard times. My prayer tonight is you sleep good...a whole night sleep as I know your family is so tired.....I pray in time peace will become of this. I pray he gives each of you the strength to keep going and to give others this strength. I believe in you dear friend.....amen.

Cori said...

You and your family remain in my prayers during this time of trial. I wish there was more those of us that only live in the blogosphere could do to ease your pain.

Kate said...

The glory you bring to God with these words.


Liza on Maui said...

I came here from a link in Rocks in My dryer. I explored a little bit and found this post when I clicked home. May the song below "minister" to your sad hearts, even for a little moment:

Kim said...

I will continue to pray. Is it hard to think someone you love is gone. May the Lord carry you through this.

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

I always find comfort in these words - especially when something like this happens and I truly do not understand:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." -Prov 3:5-6

Mommy-fied said...

There is no storm too dark God cannot calm it,
There is no sorrow to deep He cannot soothe it.
If He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders,
I know dear sister that He will carry you... He will carry you.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Here's another familiar passage..."Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have recieved from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I do feel your pain, my brother's 8 y.o. son was killed in a tragic accident two weeks ago. How can one be so numb, yet so raw at once? May God's grace, love and peace be with you and your family.

(Wandered here from Shannon @ Rocks.) Lynette

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Katherine, I have prayed for you and your sister and your family this entire week. The loss you are experiencing is unimaginable to me and I sit in tears grieving for you all.

Your walk of faith continues to be a testimony to His goodness in all things. Thank you for sharing so honestly what is on your heart.

Carolina Mama said...

It was Beth Moore who said that in our hour of crisis we rely on what we know of Him. You are a shining example of this to us all. Thank you as always for sharing and being so authentic about your life and walk with Him. God Bless your family at this time.

Anonymous said...


I've been praying for you much over this past week. Praying for God's comfort. Praying for God's words for you as you try to comfort others.

There are some days, some weeks, some months, when my heart is heavy and all I can cry out is: "COME LORD JESUS COME."

Chris in Canada

Anonymous said...

I had been too busy to do much blog reading last week and just saw your news today. I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate to the feelings of disbelief, as a good friend's husband went to be with the Lord last week also. He was only 44. I will be lifting your whole family to our Great God in prayer this week.

Julie said...

I remember when, as a young girl, our family lost a close loved one and my Mom telling me to stop crying. That I was only grieving for myself because my cousing was in a much better place.

I understood what she was trying to tell me but I needed to grieve for this lost loved one. I couldn't just act like he had never exsisted and been part of our family. I needed to cry and question and be mad for a while.

Yes, Joby is in a better place. Your family will miss him desperately. It will take a long time for the pain to lesson.

God understands all of this and he will be standing by you through all the doubts and questions. He truly does understand.

I will continue to pray for you and your family during this extremely difficult time.((Hugs))

Stubborn Hope said...

I have been reading your blog for a couple of months but I've never commented before. But, this post brought tears to my eyes because I know exactly how you feel. I wrote a little about my struggle in my blog entitled "on faith".
Thank you for being authentic. It's refreshing. Most Christians I know aren't and it can be very discouraging. Thank you.