It’s been 15 years since our sweet Elijah Praise made his debut here on earth. The loss of a child is never something a parent gets over but rather we carry them with us. Every year our kids become more inquisitive about their siblings. This morning they immediately bombarded me with questions about Eli’s short but purposeful life. What was even a bigger blessing was the deep questions of Heaven that was intertwined.
In a society where grief and pain is quickly swept under the rug, we forget that there are treasures and growth in areas we long to avoid. When we don’t allow ourselves to enter into these sacred spaces of hardship we rob ourselves of amazing encounters of love that can change our view on life and love.
I’ve recently hit a major case of writers block. Frustrated that maybe I had nothing relevant, I put down my computer and figured my time had passed. Oh the lies we so willingly believe when the enemy wants to silence our purpose and hinder us from fulfilling our destiny.
Last night the Lord re-ignited my flame and reminded me just why He gave me the ability to write, to reveal His goodness in our brokenness.
I long for the day when those in grief can honor their loved ones with great support rather than speculation, if taking too long to walk the road of the great sadness.
Friends, we don’t need to let go of our loved ones because they go before us. Yes, they are waiting for us in the great cloud of witnesses, praying and cheering us on as we run our races. It’s in these areas of pain and loss that we can invite in the goodness of G-d into these battle wounds to show us new depths of healing that our minds cannot comprehend.
He is closest to the broken-hearted.
Today, my heart is tender as I ache to hold my son in my arms. I long to be able to stroke his young man face and see his old soul grey-blue eyes. I miss saying and hearing his name every day. I look back into the backseat of our vehicles and wonder what it’d be like having my older kids among our family.
I can say this knowing full-well, I will see them in Heaven. I can also say transparently that I miss the fact that today I’m not planning a birthday party for a room full of teenage boys about to prepare a trough of pizza, pop, and ice cream with all of the hormones flying.
I have found that my kids miss him too. I’ve often wondered how they could since they never met him. I felt the Lord put on my heart my love for Jesus. Even though I’ve never met him in person, I know and love Him. He is my family, just like our families here on Earth. Our souls were created for connection and eternity, G-d designed us in this way.
My kids don’t fear death. They talk of Heaven with great anticipation and are filled with compassion for those who are suffering and grieving. This is a gift that never could have accepted if we hadn’t shared our precious pearls of grief and pain.
I know it sounds crazy that what I thought for years was a punishment, I now see there was a great masterpiece that was being created.
It was Aurora and Elijah’s deaths that set us on a course to seek out G-d and find out truly who He is. He has generously and continuously revealed Himself in the most incredible ways.
His glory is in our story and I am forever grateful that He has allowed me to be Elijah Praise’s mother. I’m thankful for all the children He has given to reveal His heart of a Father and His love for every single person that He has created with great purpose and intention, no matter how long or brief their life is.
For those of us who walk these paths of grief, do not pity us. For there are treasures upon this winding path that are priceless. Our eyes are shifted to Heaven.
No, love never dies. It’s eternal. This life isn’t the end, rather it’s preparing us for destination that never ends, where there with be no more sickness, pain, or sorrow. We are Heaven-bound. My kids just got there before I did. Until that day that I join them, I believe they would want me to share all the love I had for them with everyone else.
Mommy loves you, Elijah. With streams of tears down my face I can honestly say, you changed our world for the better. We love you always.
When I finally make it home….