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:

I unfold my life
and seek to share
in a mix
of vulnerability
and truth
of faith
before an
Audience of One.
Yes.  An audience of the one that heals.  The one that grants undeserved grace and mercy.  The one who redeems.
Thank you, Abby, for providing such authentic words today.

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…

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