A friend of mine lost her 18-year-old son this week in a freak car accident with a deer. My friend is a mom who delights in her children and her pride in her graduating senior was evident. I cannot imagine the shock, pain, and heartache of such a sudden loss. My heart is breaking and my eyes are leaking just thinking of it. My mind cannot comprehend such a horrible thing.
I have heard that God doesn’t give you anything you cannot handle. I would disagree with that statement. I have had a time or two in my life where I could not handle what came my way. The trauma was too great, the burden too heavy. In those days breathing took every bit of energy I had. Every ounce of strength left me, and I was weak, scared, angry, wounded, and so very exhausted from the effort to get out of bed and walk out the nightmare in which I found myself. I did not ‘handle’ anything. I could not. In those moments tears were prayers. And probably more heartfelt than any ‘words’ of prayer I had ever uttered. They were beyond words…they were broken pieces of my crushed heart that rolled down my cheeks and pooled onto my pillow at night. There was nothing to say. Nothing to do. Just trying to survive one more day…one more hour…one more minute.
It was in this place that I surrendered my faith. I gave it up. I couldn’t see the future, I only knew that my Christian checklist did nothing for me. All that could be, was shaken. I was drowning as I was gasping for breath. Everything I thought I knew about God was ripped from underneath me. When that happened, all that was left was Grace…an island in the midst of the storm. No words can describe what it is like to be beached there, washed up upon the shore clinging to the sand. Grateful to have found a place to rest. It was Grace that sustained me. Carried me. Gave me the ability to get up each morning. I had nothing. Grace was everything. Is everything still.
I don’t know if you have had one of those times in your life, but I can tell you it is the hardest place to be. These kinds of shocking things come along and change us forever. Trauma takes many forms and affects us each in different ways. Mostly, it is where you have to rely on Grace, because you cannot handle it in any way, shape or form on your own. My friend lost her son. Her family has been altered. Her life changed forever. The grief is overpowering, yet Grace will carry her…all of them. Like an island for a castaway, it will be there for her to crawl upon and rest while floating in a sea of uncertainty. I feel sure this is more than she can handle…but Grace can.
Father God, Be with my friends. Lift their hearts. Surround them with your peace. Rescue them with your grace. I pray for sweet memories. I pray for support and encouragement in the days and months ahead. Holy Spirit comfort them. Sustain them. Give them strength to walk through the days. Empower them to grasp the depth, and height of your love. To rest in it. To know that you will never leave them or forsake them…even when it feels like you have. Pour hope into them. A spark that will become a flame. Minister to them through their tears. Help them to receive the love of friends who grieve with them. Give them peace that passes understanding in such times as these. Help them to find the solid rock in the midst of all the shaking. I pray their roots would dig deep into the soil of you. That you would hover over them, covering them in this time of weakness and frailty when hearts are tender and torn. Pour out your healing balm into those hearts. Yours is the kingdom, and the power forever. Amen.