Today is the Solemnity of the Feast of the Annunciation. This is when the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Mother with a message from God announcing that His Son, Our Lord Jesus, would be born through her womb. Mary accepted this and answered with her whole heart...Be it done unto me as you will it Lord. She said yes not knowing anything other than she loved God enough to take on this special task and He would see her through. As I sat by Courtney's graveside yesterday evening, I kept thinking of this incredible event in salvation history. Mary said yes two thousand years ago, trusting completely in God's plan. I said yes twenty-two years ago when God blessed Jerry and I with our daughter. Like Mary, we had no idea how the story would end but trusted that God would get us to where we needed to be. Well, that may be stretching it a bit. Actually...that's stretching it a lot. Think a taffy pull on speed. We had no clue, but we loved her and we made the decision to fight for her and for our family to remain intact. We made mistakes. Many, Many mistakes along the way. Our faith wavered and we cried out to God time and time and time again begging Him for relief or healing or whatever we needed in that moment. He gave us what we needed each time, until he didn't. I take that back...sort of. He didn't not give us what we needed. He gave us the strength to survive what He needed to happen next. It's been twelve weeks (12/27/14) since my sweet daughter Courtney Elizabeth breathed her last this side of heaven. I have spent the last six weeks in a "silence" of sorts, trying to figure this whole grief thing out. I miss my girl deeply, every single moment. My whole day for twenty-two years was consumed with her care. This took a toll on my marriage, my son, my body and my heart but I did the best I could. I am not a saint. I am not a super strong person or anything like that. I am simply a mother who found myself facing a situation that I felt completely unprepared for when Courtney's seizures began. Jerry and I had no clue how to proceed but we knew we had to try our best to help our kid. So for better of for worse, we did what we could. Each day a choice had to be made to make the best of whatever came our way or to give in to the fear and anxiety that hovered just above the surface of daily life. Some days we chose fear but thankfully most days we chose hope. Then God called her home and my whole world fell apart. There was no goal for my day. No therapy to get to, no doctors appointments, no formula to make or meds to give. I didn't know what to do. It scared the hell out of me. I went form a very regimented day to one filled with nothing but laundry folding and occasional dishwashing. Nobody needed me like Courtney needed me. I hated every moment of it and it sent me into a downward spiral.
Have I mentioned how much I need to be needed?
Yeah...it's a thing with me.
Then Lent began and I entered the desert. This time of electronic silence forced me to fill my day with purposeful activities without distractions. I had to think about what I needed instead of what others needed from me. That is much harder than it sounds. It also made me sit still, taking the time to examine all the BIG feelings that grief brings to the surface. I am still working through all those BIG feelings. I am still figuring out how to handle the waves of tears that sneak up on me at the most inopportune moments, usually in public and when I least wish for them to come. I am still trying to figure out how to handle the deep sadness that penetrates my heart and leaves me numb to the world around me. I am also still trying to figure out what God needs me to do next. I don't feel quite as lost as I once was. The fog is slowly lifting. I talk to my Courtney every day and I know so many others do as well. She is working hard to make life a little easier for so many. I think in some ways, her real work is just beginning now that she is free and spending an eternity in the presence of the ONE Healer, Counselor and Lord God. Where to go from here? Enter my little grave side chat with Miss Courtney. She helped me figure out my next little step in life. On this feast day, I have decided to say yes once more, like the Blessed Mother did so long ago. I say yes to the next phase of my life as wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend even though I do not have any idea where that path will lead me. I chose to trust in God's plan...no matter what. I know, I know. Look what happened the last time Mare... Yep, I get it. This is crazy talk BUT it is what is necessary to move forward. It's what Courtney would want for us. God never fails. He will make a way for me and my family as we move forward without our Courtney here with us. I trust that God will reveal His plan as the weight of my grief lessens. I know that with each day that passes, God is able to overcome my fear and anxiety that one day I will forget her face or the sound of her voice. God is able. He never fails. He just asks for my trust and my yes. So today I say YES...no matter what...YES!
God is Able by Hillsong United God is Able He will never fail He is almighty God Greater than all we seek Greater than all we ask He has done great things Lifted up, He defeated the grave raised to life, our God is able In His name, we overcome For the Lord, our God is able God is with us God is on our side He will make a way Far above all we know Far above all we hope He has done great things Lifted up, He defeated the grave Raised to life, our God is able In His name, we overcome For the Lord, our God is able God is with us He will go before He will never leave us He will never leave us God is for us He has open arms He will never fail us He will never fail us Lifted up, He defeated the grave raised to life, our God is able In His name, we overcome For the Lord, our God is able Lifted up, He defeated the grave raised to life, our God is able In His name, we overcome For the Lord, our God is able For the Lord, our God is able For the Lord, our God is able