Thursday, September 22, 2016

Her Journal Will Never Be Read

After experiencing several deaths in my life and watching friends lose loved ones, I noticed a common theme among mourners—the regret that there wasn’t more time to say or do one last thing with the deceased. As I grew older, I became more purposeful in my living, stopping to hug my kids good-bye or telling them I loved them, even when they were in a hurry or thought I was being melodramatic.

In fact, that was the case the last time I saw my daughter Lindsay alive—the morning I left for Nashville. She rushed through the house to leave so she wouldn’t be late for work. I yelled after her, “No, you don’t. Come here.” She laughed as I gave her a hug, told her I loved her, and to be safe. She would be off to Kentucky before I returned from Nashville. She gave me the assurance I wanted and sprinted away, the kitchen door slamming behind her moments later.

About six years ago I decided to start two journals—one for Lindsay and one for my son Josh. My intention was to write in them periodically, recording personal thoughts, Bible verses, poetry, quotes, basically whatever struck my fancy that was meaningful to me and hopefully, would be to them. One day I’d be gone, and they’d want one last thing from me—a tangible reminder of my love, and I knew I could do that through my words.

Sadly, I didn’t write in the journals as much as I’d planned. Often, months would go by before I’d “find the time” to sit down and write. While in Florida last month to help my mom through cancer treatments, I made the time to reflect back over Josh and Lindsay’s childhoods and write in both journals.

Now Lindsay’s journal sits here, untouched, except by me, and she’ll never read the words I wrote to her. Her death changed the whole scheme of things. Our pastor used the phrase “death out of time” at her funeral. I wholeheartedly agree. There’s something really wrong about it.

The clichĂ© that parents aren’t supposed to bury their children rings true. It’s certainly not something I ever imagined myself doing. Now I’m acutely aware of the club I belong to as I look at my friends and count the number who’ve also lost children. It is unnatural, but at the same time, God has a purpose for our suffering, even when we don’t know what it is or we rail against it.

Oh, how I long to know what that purpose is.

Meanwhile, as I trudge through this valley, becoming more worn and tattered by this earthly life, I can only put my hope and trust in God that one day all things will be made new and there will be no more suffering, no more tears (Revelation 21:4-5). I look forward to the reunion in heaven with my loved ones!

I echo the words of the Apostle John when he said in Revelation 22:20, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Please come.

How many I pray for you today? Leave a comment or email me confidential requests. I’d love to join you in prayer. And while you’re at it, if you have a verse of encouragement, I could use it right about now.

Looking above,
Laura

 ©Laura Hodges Poole

15 comments:

  1. Oh, Laura! My heart pours out to you.

    "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

    "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want." My favorite Roman Catholic Responsorial Psalm, from Psalms 23:1. This verse, this Psalm has helped me through so many trials and sorrows. When in profound sadness, it drags me up from the dung hill.

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    1. Thank you so much, Dave. I appreciate your sharing these two verses. God bless you.

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  2. I sent you a pm. May you feel God's loving arms around you today and every day.

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  3. One verse that gives me comfort is "Jesus wept." He wept even though he knew he would raise Lazarus from the dead. He wept, showing us that he cares when we hurt.

    While I agree that parents should never have to bury their children...I would add, neither should grandparents have to bury their grandchildren. And yet, we sometimes have to. Still, I am going to trust him. Not because of what he does, or doesn't do...but because of who he is. And somehow it is in pain that I see him the clearest. Sad with you, Laura.

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    1. I agree, Anne, on all points. Thanks for your comforting words. God bless you and your family.

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  4. Laura, my heart goes out to you. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you, but I know that the Lord understands. He will hold you, comfort you, and be there for you. He knows what it is to suffer the death of a child.
    ♡ This post shows me that there will be beauty from these ashes.
    Hugs and prayers.

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    1. Thank you, Amber. Your words are comforting. God bless.

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  5. I continue to pray for you! We want the answers to many things we will never know until we reach heaven. It is hard to leave them with God, but He hold us no matter what. When my dad was taken by lightning at age 65, the verse that kept coming back to me was Isaiah 57:1: "The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil." Granted, 65 is a long, good life, however, we had to learn to trust God with the unexpected timing. May God give you all you need to comfort you.

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    1. Thanks for the prayers and encouragement, Norma. I agree that any unexpected death is hard, no matter the age. God bless you.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss.
    My daughter was suicidal during high school and through all my tears and all my prayers, I braced myself that it was possible that she would some day not be with us. God answered my prayers - praise You, God - and my daughter has become a young lady with so much more to give this world than I would ever have imagined. And what I can't imagine now is life without her.
    All we can ever do is put our faith and our trust in the one true God. He knows what He's doing, and as you already know, this side of heaven, we will probably never understand why He does what He does. In the meantime, may He grant you His peace.

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    1. I'm glad your daughter got her problems sorted out. I lost my sister to suicide 11 years ago, so I know that difficult path, as well. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. God bless.

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  7. So sorry. Thanks for sharing your heart.

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  8. I have a journal like that for each of my boys...I've often wondered what they would think when they read it one day, never have I paused to consider them NOT reading it. My heart aches for you.

    I pray as you read through her journal you can find joy and peace in reflecting on the love you shared.

    I echo your words, "Come, Lord Jesus, Come."
    I'm so ready.

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