A while ago, a comment was made by a sweet soul that caught my attention. I can’t tell you her exact verbiage but something prompted me to visit her (Her artistry with words? Her ability to be “real” in the face of pain? Her hope-filling spirit that is so uplifting?) blog, “Fan the Flame” and I was awestruck by her openness to be real about living with the grief of a lost mother.
Her sweet little family and she are in the process of moving to Hungary to serve high school youth through an organization called Student Venture.
I love how she describes her blog, too…She says:
It has become something I dread. The time when plans are forming for Thanksgiving and I am far away from home and mama who poured her heart into this holiday is in heaven and all seems wrong and nothing right. And all I can do is cry.
It is not as it should be and yet it is. Little else would have to happen to bring tears to my eyes during this holiday which has on its heels many others and the missing is acute and the grief stirred. And all I can do is cry.
Friend by friend is plucked away as plans for home and family coming home close the welcome door. I am loved, this I know. So much is circumstantial, but these truths remain rational and all I can do is cry.
The un-belonging. The sorrow. The tears that run down my cheeks and the many that stay as a hard hot lump in my throat and ache in my heart. I am at a loss for the next step and all I can do is cry.
And so I cry…and ache…and hurt…
And then it comes.
Like the hymn my lips as little and full sang:
“Man of Sorrows! What a name
For the Son of God who came…”
and then I hear the prophet speaking to Him…
“He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…
…Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows…
… The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:3-5 (NKJV)
“Oh Lord Jesus, You know all about these tears and aching, aching heart. You knew sorrow with all of the flesh of man and all of the love of God. Not only do You number the hairs on my head but the tears of my grief. I give You these tears. I thank You that not a one is lost to You. I thank You that in this pain I see You and You see me and we commune more deeply as I walk this valley of tears.”
The tears have not gone away but they are His now. And He is growing me into His image through their cleansing mist. I am learning to receive the balm of love He offers and to feel the sorrows of others as He did. My grieving tears are connecting me with His heart and not isolating me in my own. All is happening NOT in spite of these tears but BECAUSE of them.
And I hear His voice, “Beloved, Become the legacy. Open your home. Be the one who loves and invites others who have nowhere to go. Who never had love poured into Thanksgiving Day or any day. Whose families have rejected them or who are carried too far away by the circumstances and calling of their lives to be touched by home.”
And I say Yes to Him. And puddles of ache remain but joy springs up and I grow up and bear new life watered by the tears that are the only things I have to offer.
Want to read the “end story” of how that Thanksgiving turned out for Abby? Read her post entitled “Sweet!… And I Don’t Mean The Pie!” Proof positive yet again that our God works for the good in all things for those who love Him…
Just absolutely beautiful, Abby. Thank you for blessing me with this this morning…and thank you, Natalie, for featuring her!
thank you Theresa:-)
Beautiful as always, Abby!
Thank you Judy…you are so encouraging!
That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing her words with us!
Thank you…nice to meet you:-)
I hear the tenderness in your words, Abby. It’s amazing how we minister to young people today through college ministry and I see how hearts are hard. But your soft-hearted testimony encourages others to let those walls down and just grieve. And I love how you mention, “the balm of his love” that is my favorite part-just knowing how good that balm feels. Thank you for your transparency!
thank you for being such a dear friend in ministry with me…I am so thankful we met through Global Women’s network…I appreciate your transparency too!
As it comes to be the time where my grandmother died a year ago, it seems that at moments, all I can do, too, is cry. So, I have hope reading your words and I wait for peace and His balm that covers me in love.
You are so dear…yes, Jen, hope and how He does something in us…brings new life we wouldn’t have had without the loss or walking in grief–it is a Divine mystery and miracle…praying for you in this!
So beautiful to see how God uses our tears, for His glory and His purposes. And that in the midst of tears, He can give joy.
Thank you Cherry, you are a blessing always!
There is just something so beautiful about your writing and your heart Abby. The way you expressed this…I could feel your pain and yet could glimpse hope. <3
Henri Nouwen has helped me to write like this…you know:) and thank you for your sweet words…yes, hope, always hope!
yes…always glimpse the hope with your words…Jesus. I’m in the season of all I can do is cry but I am learning to let them fall on the altar as offerings…because sometimes that is all I have and i KNOW He receives them with joy.
that He redeems all of our tears and sorrows and I can’t wait to see the other side…the beautiful story that He is writing that we just get a glimpse of and that one day…we will all be reunited with Him…you and your sweet mama and oh what a day that will be!
amen…some times it really is a necessary escape to take such full looks at that Day to come…it rallies us for all of this stuff and pain that can rip us up here…I am praying for you friend:-)
I too have tasted the tears,the post resonated with me. Thank you for pointing to the Man of Sorrows for he knows pain and loss. He holds all our tears in a bottle and one day will wipe them all away for good. Thanks for the post!
Thank you Christina. Really nice to ‘meet’ you…and yes, the tenderest of Saviours we have…Praise Him!