His picture- his face, his eyes, it gets me every time. I don’t keep pictures up of him around the house for that reason. Then I open the blog and POP! There it is- fresh heartache and a re-opened wound with salt poured on it. Such a beautiful face, a beautiful soul, I want to grab him right out of the screen and hold him forever. Never let go. Yet I sit here with empty arms and a tear stained face.
A New Year. I tried to ignore and dull myself to that fact as much as I did Christmas and Thanksgiving. It was too much. I went through the motions (barely) and just willed myself to get through it. My kids are probably starting to think Mommy lives in bed. I have been better some days than others. Yet the days I am not in bed I am simply existing, too exhausted and depressed to do much more than make a peanut butter sandwich and turn on their favorite shows. The thought of taking them ice skating or to a movie or Catch Air or some kind of outing- well you might as well ask me to dig a hole to China.
You see- I have been fighting depression for many many years. I have managed to stay somewhat on top of it, well at least to the point where I don’t spend days in bed. Too often. Yet it is one of the major struggles in my life. I have tried more medications and therapists than I care to admit. I wish more than anything people understood better; I feel even as I am typing this that I am going to be judged. I feel like people will look at me as weak. Even people very close to me still think that I should just snap out of it and pull myself up by my own bootstraps. It is incredibly hurtful. It is an illness.
I didn’t decide to blog today to write about depression. That is just a side note I didn’t really plan on adding. Yet as always my blogging is simply a steam of consciousness, not a book or a paper or anything close. I simply write it, quickly skim it for missed or misspelled words and bam! publish. I do not worry about grammar (as you may have noticed…)
So the New Year. It is simply a date on a calendar, people make a big deal out of it, I have never honestly understood why. Yes it is a symbolic date to “start over” “make resolutions” “be a better person”…but there is no reason that can’t be February 1 or July 15 or September 3. Am I right? Yes it is a chance to have parties and celebrate with friends and family. I haven’t done that since before I had kids. Now I see all of the pictures on Facebook of people having parties and merrymaking and I cry. Hard. Every year.
Wow, you must be thinking, I am so crazy for baring my soul like this. As I have said from the very beginning, I don’t care any more. When you experience loss that strips everything away from you the last thing you worry about it blogging about depression and loneliness. I have nothing else to lose. There is nothing in the world more valuable than your child. If I lose people’s respect because I am telling thousands of people my deepest innermost feelings…that is really insignificant. If they can’t love me for who I am then what is the point?
Here’s what I am working on…so intently…truly believing with my heart and soul that that the God of the universe loves me more than everyone on earth ever could…that he knows my every innermost thoughts and feelings and will NEVER EVER fail me. It’s called faith. It’s remembering that no matter how lonely and heartbroken and raw and hopeless I feel he is right there next to me. Faith is HARD. We live in a world of the tangible- friends that can sit across from us at the table and reassure us. We can’t see God. We can’t call him on the phone. We have to open our hearts and minds completely to his presence and allow him to work in our lives. We have to be completely open, transparent, and humble. It goes against our every grain to let a being we cannot see take control of our lives.
That is what it comes down to for me…I lost the control I thought I had on January 16. I thought my life was MY life. I thought is was MY life that I could kind of fit God in where I wanted him…in a corner here or a corner there.
I could not have been more wrong. There is nothing about our lives that is in our control.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[a]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
I cannot base my happiness on anything in this world. Not even my children. I lost an incredible young man almost a year ago- a pure-hearted, kind, giving, compassionate, intelligent, funny, sweet human being who I thought was my whole world. He showed me constantly how much he cared about me and my feelings. He was, as I thought so many times, almost too good to be true.
I don’t have him anymore. What I have had, is God whispering in my ear for nearly a year “… surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b.
That is my “New Years” resolution. To have faith and trust that God will NEVER leave me. That I am not in control and never have been; I have been given the greatest gift ever given; Jesus.
I am reminded once again of the Heidelberg catechism Q1 that I quoted on TV a few days after Lucas’ passing. It holds true just as much that day as now- and just as much to you as to me. No matter your creed or denomination, each sentence comes straight from the Bible.
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,1 but belong—body and soul, in life and in death2—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4 and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5 He also watches over me in such a way6 that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven;7 in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life9 and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.10