Can I tell you how good it is to finally be sitting at my computer and writing? This has been a long three months of no blogging because of a virus that overtook our just30days.org website. Although, I think it was a break I needed. But now we’re back! And if you haven’t noticed, we changed the name to WeAreColemans.com (you can read more about why here).
So over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to think of a good “first” comeback blog to write about. I think I was pressuring myself to have some amazing epiphany that would knock you off your feet and change your life forever. Ha! But I have come to realize that I will never blog again if I wait for the perfect thing to say. And I do have so much to share with you about what God has brought me through over these last few months. How He has comforted me in my times of sorrow. How He has loved me through my grieving. But for now, I want to share with you how we’ve been doing, especially because today marks six months without Bennett.
It is hard to believe that six months have gone by. Even when days seem to creep by in my grief, overall the months have gone quickly. It really feels like it was just yesterday when I was holding his sweet little body for the last time, wishing I had one more day with him. Or even one more hour.
I would be lying if I told you the last six months have been easy. They have been harder than the four months we fought the cancer. There are days I feel like I’m the only one suffering. Days I can hardly concentrate on anything. Days that I am a tangled ball of emotions. Honestly, grief erases all normalcy of the life I once knew. What was once so important to us, is now not a big deal at all. We have truly been changed forever. But even though there is tragedy in our background, we are confident in the days ahead. And we are confident because we are allowing ourselves to grieve. And we are allowing the Lord to heal us.
But grief is not that pretty. It makes you tired, forgetful, heartbroken, hurt, disorganized, lonely, incomplete, weak and so much more. And that’s just me! Ben could list an entirely different set of emotions for him because we all grieve so differently. But the important part is that we are grieving…and not ignoring it, not stuffing it down, not pretending it’s easy. Someone shared with me that it’s like the children’s book, Going on a Bear Hunt….You can’t go over it. You can’t go under it. You’ve got to go through it. Well, we are going through it!
I have to say the biggest lesson so far through grieving the loss of Bennett these last six months is that I can’t do it without God’s Word.
It is the very thing that reminds me over and over again that I’m not alone…
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
It is the very thing that shows me God’s love and mercy when my heart is broken…
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
It is the very thing that proves I can praise Him in this suffering….
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
It is the very thing that reminds me that His plan is perfect…
As for God, His way is perfect; The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in Him. (Psalm 18:30)
And the only thing that brings me strength…
God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle, he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.” (Psalm 18:32-36 NLT)
I heard someone say that they read God’s Word until they have peace for their day. That’s what I’m learning to do in my grief because I know that God promises to walk with us through the valley. And trust me, none of us can avoid the valleys of life.
So six months of my valley and I still miss Bennett so much that it hurts. And not a day goes by where the kids don’t talk about him or we share a memory with him in it. A few weeks ago we went on a Disney Cruise and Reide said, “I wish Bennett were here. He would love being on the boat.”
And just today I was remembering the morning Bennett passed away and Ben was telling the other kids that we would have to learn a new normal with the four of us. And Davis replied, “But daddy, we were better than normal with Bennett.”
Those sweet words still ring in my ear, but the voice of God is also teaching me that the best normal is still to come when He makes all things new and we join Bennett in heaven. But until then, we are trusting God’s new plan for our family. And part of that plan is this blog! We have been encouraged over and over to keep writing, to keep sharing, to keep revealing our hearts. So we are! And we continue to be encouraged by all of your stories of how you’ve been inspired through our journey and we love that so many still think to pray for us…we need it more now than ever! So be sure and sign up to receive our blog posts by email (you can do that to the right where it says Stay Updated). It’s the easiest way to stay connected!
I leave you with this last thought… Today could’ve been miserable. It could’ve been depressing. It could’ve been filled with anger. But it wasn’t. Even after six months without my baby, I can find joy. And I found comfort in God’s Word today. So if there is something tonight that you are suffering through, I encourage you to do the same. Open His Word, and read it until you have peace.