We went to Great Wolf Lodge Sunday and Monday with my family- Mom, Dad, sister, brother-in law, cousins. What excruciating joy. The trip was given to us by a kind friend who won it in a raffle. It was something we had thought about doing but then – Boom! It appeared on our doorstep.
We needed that fun time with the kids. This has been every bit as difficult for them, or at least some version of the process, though they show it in different ways. For one daughter her grief has displayed itself every day in anxiety, frustration, irritability, just not being able to cope.
The same way I feel many days. I just don’t (usually) lay down on the floor and kick and scream. Or refuse to put my shoes on. Or go and hide in a closet.
So they needed this. It was a blessing, one of a bajillion we have received.
It was hard for us, Rich and I. So terribly painful. Yet with glimpses of joy. To be on a family vacation, without our whole family. It kind of cemented it in us that we are an earthly family of 6. In my heart I will always have 5 children but 5 children did not check into great wolf lodge.
As I went down slides and tubed through the lazy river I would feel my heart start to ache, so much aching, and I would just pray “God get me through this.”
We are both so broken, Rich and I.
After a couple of hours we went back the room and cried together. He said, “I just feel so dead inside.”
That feels so, so true. Yet I don’t want to say I feel dead, I want to feel alive but wounded and crushed and bleeding.
I feel like if I am dead inside God is not there. I know he is there. He knows how excruciating it was for me to take my kids to Great wolf lodge and from somewhere deep inside I found the strength to do it. Even though every teenaged boy I saw there brought tears to my eyes. Every single one I asked myself “why can’t mine be here.”
I kept picturing Lucas the way he looked at Kalahari, another water park last year so muscular and tall with his wet blonde curls. Every year for the past few years we went there because there was a ton of fun older kid stuff. He would spend nearly the entire time on the flowrider where you could surf. He was so dang good at it.
Difficulty and suffering are going to be part of me. Part of my being. I know I will never completely heal from this loss- how can I? How can my heart be completely whole after the loss of this beautiful amazing boy, who loved God and was compassionate and good and kind. He was smart and wise and knowledgeable. He had the golden touch at pretty much everything he did. He was my comforter, my right hand man. He was a piece of me. I will never be the same.
I am not the only one who has lost and has to learn to deal with excruciating pain. Pain is life and life is pain. Yet the darkness will not overcome. When Jesus was telling his disciples about his death, he was trying to explain it to them without really coming out and saying it. They were confused. They thought he was talking in riddles. They could not comprehend their master who they loved would be taken from them. Jesus said:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
He has overcome the world. Even then before his death he knew what the end result would be. He would be our Savior. No matter what trials and tribulations, not matter the pain and sorrow we have peace in God. He will be the calm in our storm. If we truly embrace him and trust him, cling to him with everything we have. Everything.
He has overcome the world.