Going home

It is very early in the morning as I finish my devotional and bible study. I go to that beautiful field of wildflowers, undulating slowly in the soft breeze, to the willow tree draping the crystalline brook, where I meet with Him. I rest my head on His lap and look up at the lacy curtain of green above me, and begin to tell Him all my fears and troubles. There is so much about these past five months since my beloved left that I don’t even remember other than the darkness, despair, and desire to be free of the unrelenting pain of the greatest earthly loss. I am so very sorry for all the mistakes I made and I ask Him to forgive me and help me set my life aright. He strokes my hair away from my forehead lovingly, as Scott used to do, and tells me I am forgiven. It is hard to accept, for forgiving oneself is much more difficult than being forgiven. There is someone else across the water. I know it is my Scotty Darlin’ but he is so changed! The smile is the same, though—bright, kind, loving. He beckons me to stand up and walk; walk back to our world that He had to leave behind for a better one. Rising up feels impossible; my body is like lead and my feet as if embedded in hardened cement. However, I feel the strength and power beginning to flow through me and the heaviness begins to fall away. I turn back toward the world and life as I am, just now, beginning to know it, and start to walk. I don’t want to go this direction, but I know I must. The salty tears stain my cheeks and fall to water the petals of the daisies and Baby Blue Eyes as I reach out and brush my hands against their softness in passing. I walk slowly, sorely tempted to look back, but I recall Lot’s wife, and keep my eyes riveted on the call before me. I sense their cheering me on behind me; approving of the direction I am taking and feeling certain that I am on the right path.

It is hard to press on knowing that there are those on earth who cannot understand this journey I have been forced to take, but I must take it anyway. One realizes when all is stripped away of your appearance and reputation, that it was worth very little in the end. The applause or disapproval of man cannot deter you from following the path God has demanded that you walk. There are still times when I yearn to take the easy way out; to leave things as they are, continue to wallow in the grief and self-pity, and indulge the self and flesh. It would be easier to let others carry my load while I lounge on the sidelines in an easy chair, but that is no longer an option. I look ahead with some trepidation, as I attempt to return to where it all began, toting the Puget Sound wind chimes that my old high school girl friends gave me to remind me of where it all began with my Scotty Darlin’ and I, 37 years ago. I know that there we will be surrounded by brothers, sisters, daughters and grand babies, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and old friends galore. But I always recall how—though we were an integral part of the communities we lived in with the Coast Guard—we always noticed that after we had gone the place where we had belonged would close up the space we had occupied. Visiting was still wonderful with old friends, but we no longer belonged there. My prayer is that this will be the place where my three littlest girls and I will belong and find our peace and the strength to carry on as a family without my beloved husband, and their Dad. Still, with every glimpse of his picture or note I find he had written, I cry hard and wish I did not have to live without him. On a scrap of paper I find in the briefcase of (un)important papers, I find his words, “In light of my past experiences, present circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do? Ephesians 5:15”. Oh Scott, I miss your quiet wisdom and strength! Your love! The missing you so terribly never goes away; I hope it never does. I hope that there, where we met, fell in love, married, and began our life together, I will find you close to me…to us… forever and for always.

3 thoughts on “Going home

  1. You simply must publish your journal. It will bring much comfort to others who are experiencing similar situations. Your road that you are travelling back to your new ‘place’ in life will mean so much to your readers. I love you, Janie! You’re headed in the right direction; you are getting there!

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    1. Actually Myra; it looks like that is what God intended as it was picked up by Thomas Nelson Publishing. May it get into the hands of all who need words for their grief!

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  2. bethejb

    Hi Janie,
    I pray I am not intruding into your life; I understand your life journey has taken you to a difficult place. I just want you to know there are others, such as me, who are covering you in prayer during this sad season. I am acquainted with someone in your family and was so saddened to hear of your husband’s death last November. Although you do not know me, I just wanted to say that I am so very sorry for your loss and I think of you and pray for you often. I can not imagine the heartache and grief you are experiencing. The loss of your best friend and soul mate has to be the most difficult pain to endure. I am following your “Missing Scott” chronicles and my heart just hurts for you as you navigate path you never chose but must follow. Clearly, it is a difficult and arduous journey. But you are making it, one day at a time. You have to know this…you are a strong woman, Janie. The vulnerability and raw emotion that it takes to capture your deepest, personal feelings in your writings actually shows your deep love for Scott, and your strength and personal faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Not many people could, or would be so open to identifying and expressing their personal pain. Through this heartache, I believe God has given you a beautiful gift, although wrapped in personal pain. I believe the documentation of your journey through this sad and unthinkable grief will ultimately be a beautiful blessing to others. As I grow older, I realize that we will all find ourselves walking this lonely road one day, whether it be the death of our spouse, a child or parent, or other loved one. I dread the day that I lose my husband…I hope I go first…or that Jesus returns soon and we don’t have to experience that loss. No, I have never experienced the loss of my husband as you have, I cannot begin to understand what all you are experiencing, yet I appreciate you sharing your personal journey through a dark valley. My deepest grief thus far in life was the death of my father who passed away when I was only 38. I am now 59 and my heart still hurts and longs to see him one more time. To run to him for advice on how to navigate life, and how to recover from the places where I have messed up. How to find God’s will and be the woman he designed me to be. My daddy was a Pastor…and to me I guess he was my “Jesus, with skin on.” I ran to him for encouragement and prayer when my life as a young wife and mama was not so pretty. After long talks and praying for me, he’d always say “you’ve got to get with Jesus on this.” And, I thought I did, but in reality, I didn’t. I depended on my daddy, not God. It’s been a long 21 years without my father. I miss him terribly. But I’ve come to realize (as God made me so keenly aware) my daddy was my father, but not my Heavenly Father. God surely got my attention on that! However, through my grief and all these years later, I’ve been on a journey to know and follow God, not just know about him. I sure have a long way to go. From here to eternity, really. I have come to understand that not knowing how to deal with death, with grief, with so many raw emotions can be so overwhelming. I think your life story and faith in Christ will ultimately help people navigate through a terrible season of grief. So, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for trusting God and your desire to share this journey with the world…those you know and even those you do not, like me. Your writings are heartfelt and beautiful, yet gripping… and a reminder that come what may, God will never leave us or forsake us. Even when we don’t understand. He will walk through life with us. We can be honest and real, and that is a very good thing. By our faith as followers of Jesus, the world can see a glimpse of the love and mercy found in Jesus. Even when we walk through the valleys of life. Even when we don’t always “get it right” in the eyes of others, and even when we have a meltdown or come-apart. The emotions of grief are wild and unexpected. Most of us don’t know what to do with them. We put on a forced smile…a church face, and we pretend we’ve got it all together. But we don’t. In the quiet and in the shadows of our loneliness, we fall apart, we cry and scream…in the dark places where no one can hear us. Eventually, we accept the new reality of life and blindly move forward into an unwanted, new normal. But the hurt is still there and most likely was never expressed as it should have been because we believed we had to hold it all together. The fact that you show the not so pretty emotions, yet find comfort in pouring it all out to God…that is what points others back to God…our Comforter, Healer and good, good Father. I think that is ultimately where we find true healing. So thank you Janie, for sharing your story. May God continue to bless you, hold you in His hand and comfort your heart as you walk this road of life. Lifting you up in prayer and trusting your heart will find healing, joy and peace once again, in the arms of Jesus, the love of your family and friends, and the beautiful, precious memories of your life with your wonderful Scott. I’d like to close with this promise from God, as I am certain you know….Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” With kindest regards and continued prayers, a family friend.

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