God Speaks Through The Storm, Part 12
If you’ve missed any part of this series, click on any post directly below.
Part Two-My Storms in a nutshell
Part Four-More Depression
Part Five-Even More Depression
Part Six-Guest Post, Dan Blanchard
Part Seven-The Last Depression Post
Part Eight-Death of a Child
Part Nine-Death of a Child
Part Ten-Guest Post, Holly Good
Part Eleven-Death of a Child
Part Twelve-Death of a Child
Part Thirteen, Death of a Child
Part Fourteen, Death of a Child
Part Fifteen, Death of a Child
Part Sixteen, Conclusion
“Am I so hard to teach that the Lord has to allow me
to get so banged up just to get my attention?”
~David B. Biebel, Daddy to Jonathan, Deceased at age 3
So much of the first few months after Noah’s death are cloudy now. It is as if the profound grief erased entire months from my memory. But one particularly difficult day remains forever etched in my soul. It was maybe a month after Noah died, give or take. I was working at my husband’s office every day until noon. Just something part time to get me out of the house and keep me sane.
After work, I would usually come home, collapse on the couch and sleep—hoping to make the time go more quickly. Or, if I couldn’t sleep, I would literally stare at the clock and watch the minutes tick away until Jon got home six hours later.
On this day, I remember the drive home being more painful than usual. The drive was always painful. It was one of my worst times of my day. But this day, the distance of the 25-minute car ride was more than I could bear.
I missed having my baby in the car seat behind me. I missed looking in the rearview mirror to see the top of his little fuzzy head. I resented the fact that I had to go back to work, when all I wanted to do was stay home and take care of Noah. I was angry that no one understood how I was feeling.
I turned the music in my car as loudly as I could possibly stand it. But nothing would lessen the excruciating pain of this Mommy who missed her baby. The music was blaring, but the silence was deafening.
My one bright spot, however dim, was that I knew when I got home I would be greeted by sympathy cards waiting for me in the mailbox. Daily since Noah’s death, my friends and family had continued to send cards with words of encouragement and comfort. Every single day I received something in the mail from someone who loved me.
Oh, how I needed one of those cards that day.
When I arrived home, I drove up to the mailbox and retrieved the mail before entering my driveway. I carried the pile of mail into my house and proceeded to the kitchen counter, where I began thumbing through the stack, expecting to receive the much-needed boost to get me over this hump of my long, painful day.
To my deep disappointment, there were no cards in the mail that day. Instead, what “greeted” me that particularly difficult day, was
a copy of Noah’s death certificate and the obituary bill.
I took the entire pile of mail and, with all the strength I could muster, whipped it across the kitchen. I watched through bitter tears as the papers floated down and landed haphazardly all over my kitchen floor.
I screamed in frustration to no one—to everyone,
“I don’t want to be this person anymore! I hate being the person whose child is dead! I hate my life!”
after which, I collapsed into a ball on my kitchen floor and wept.
At that moment, and many others just like it throughout that first year, I wanted to run away and hide. I didn’t know where I’d go, but I wanted to be freed from the nightmare. The pain was too great. The weight too heavy. The journey too long. I wanted out!
Friend, if you are in a Major Storm right now, and today is a particularly difficult day for you, I am so sorry. I weep for you as I write this, because I know the pain you are feeling. Some days you will just want to escape this horror, but you will feel like you’ve been trapped. And just when you think things can’t get any worse…they will.
I’ll be the first one to agree with you that it really isn’t fair.
And as much as God created you for fellowship, there will be days when people can’t or don’t comfort you. Sometimes people are just not tuned into God. Sometimes they aren’t tuned into you. And other times, people want to help. They want to be there for you and make it all go away, but they sincerely don’t know what to say or do to help you.
So, my encouragement today is two-fold:
1. If you are weathering the Storm of your life, there is a place you can run and hide. It is safely in the arms of God. On those days when you have no one to turn to, you can turn to God. When no one who reaches out to you, reach up to your Heavenly Father. His Word promises that He will hide, shelter and protect you. So when you need a place to curl up and cover your eyes until the storm passes, bury your head safely under the shadow of His wings.
2. If you have a loved-one who is weathering a Major Storm, whether it be a death, a sickness, a failing marriage, a wayward child, a job loss, or a bout of depression…please reach out to them today and just let them know you love them, that you care for them and that you are praying for them. A phone call, a card, a bouquet of flowers, an e-mail—simple. Ask God to let you be His hands, His feet and His voice to that hurting person. Don’t worry…He’ll tell you exactly what to say.
I don’t know about you, but on days like the one I described here, I am helpless to even find my bible, much less find something in it meaninful to pray. That is the reason I’ve written these prayers for you. Full of God’s truth, straight from His word, and all you have to do is speak it from your heart. Pray this prayer for shelter while the storm is beating down on you or on someone you love.
Lord, hide me…
I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord, my Strength. You are my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. (Psalm 18:1-4)
For in the day of trouble You will hide me in Your shelter; in the secret place of Your tent will You hide me; You will set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)
You are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. (Psalm 3:3)
Show the wonder of Your great love…keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 17:7-8)
Be merciful and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms pass. (Psalm 57:1)
Cover me with Your feathers, and under Your wings will I find refuge. Your faithfulness is my shield and my rampart. (Psalm 91:4)
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. (Psalm 119:114)
Keep and protect me, O God, for in You have I found refuge, and in You do I put my trust and hide myself. (Psalm 16:1).
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary. I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; let me find refuge and trust in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalm 61:1-4)
In Jesus’ Name I pray…amen.
I don’t know about you, but all these sad posts make me look forward to Fitness Fridays more than ever! Meet me back here when we’ll take a breather and talk about nutritious meals for the entire family. Mmmmmm….
Oh Sandy, you are so precious. I want to give you a hug. I’m so glad that you know the Lord because I don’t know how you would get through this without Him.
I think that often people don’t know what to say to a mother who has lost her baby. So, they stay away or say something stupid. I love that you shared what helped you; simple cards, emails, etc. Who better to give advice in this area than you? And I’m sure it takes a long time to get to the place where it’s not intense every single day. I’m sure you still have days. But God is good.
You are so brave to share as you have. I think these publishers are nuts if they don’t publish your book. I would gladly write a review or do anything to help you.
You are so right. We went through some pretty hard years. Some folk asked what they could do, others just listened to God and did for us. Some said they were praying for God to intervene and comfort us, others were Gods hands and feet and held us and waited [and waited and waited] with us. Some withdrew others pulled in no matter how awkward or messy things got.
Thankyou for your open and vulnerable heart, allowing us to see a child totally relying on her Papa. Transparency is such a huge gift of encouragement.
Hiz …… Sandy Dehoogh
Sandy, those scriptures and your prayer were a blessing for me today. To wake up and read your post, scriptures, and mostly your prayer. I have found myself in a little storm and it is so hard to pray and I feel I have no words..and when someone steps in and prays for you, it is moving and reminds me that God uses people and he is still at work in people that yield to him and listen to his voice. Thank you.
Sandy,I just reread the whole series and so much of what you wrote hit home. My storms have not been the same but a lot of the feelings have, your insights have helped so much. thank-you
You site was highly recommended on the “When I am Weak Blog.” Thank you for this recent series of articles. I look forward to reading them over the next week or so. God bless
To watch your heart pour out in ways that I couldn’t even imagine doing is breath taking!
The scriptures and prayer were beautiful.
Also, it was great to know what we should do for someone who has had a major loss. This is sometimes “untouched” territory. So to hear it from someone who’s experienced it is very helpful!
Thanks again for opening your heart to us.
Wow, just popped over from Peter’s blog. God has allowed much in your life to advance His kingdom in a way no one would ask for, but he certainly knew you and with what He could entrust you.
Thank you for sharing. Will definitely pass this along.
On everyone of your posts in this series, it felt like I was holding my breath while reading your words about what you had been through…and then slowly exhaling at the conclusion of each one as you point others to the One who is the only true shelter in the storms.
Thank you for the reminders that we should be always mindful of what we can do to comfort others who may not ask for help directly, but are in such need for someone to just be there.
Sandy, your honesty and openness are so touching. What you went through was pain beyond comprehension, yet you show the hope that awaits others in such situations – the Lord, our refuge, reaching out to tuck us beneath his wings.
Thanks for sharing those beautiful, strengthening verses too, and for the advice to encourage others who are suffering from depression with touches of human kindness.