By hearing or by seeing

Today is better than yesterday. I didn’t want to get up yesterday, and face another day without Jenna. It seemed easier just to sleep in. When I did get up, I walked around with a dull ache gripping my insides all day – Jenna is gone.

I knew from the beginning that the hardest part of the journey would be a few months into the thing, when other people’s lives pick up their normal routines again while mine is  changed forever. It takes a while for the reality of things to sink in too. Some days it still seems so unbelievable that Jenna won’t be coming back to us. We will go where she is, but it seems so long to wait.

Hubby has encouraged me to look up and rejoice that Jenna is with Jesus, and I do. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” he reminded me. Jenna is with Jesus and I will find her, not in the past, but in the present by looking to Jesus. It is all true, but as hubby himself concedes, there is a fine balance between living in the past and keeping memories alive. I am still trying to find that balance.

A friend wrote a song for hubby and I and sang it at church on Sunday. I will post the lyrics on my blog when I get them from her. It is called “Dancing in the light”, and talks about how sorrow lasts for a night but joy comes in the morning. We can lay our sorrows at the feet of Jesus and dance with joy – and I have had moments where this has been true. I danced spontaneously to the song in church on Sunday whilst my friend sang. It was a precious moment and once again, when I am in the presence of the Lord like that, I only know his peace.

It is the day to day wrestling with my soulish emotions and my very real and to-be-expected grief that is difficult. This is no easy road and I would be fooling myself if I thought it was.  Days like yesterday throw me into the arms of my Jesus though and I asked him yesterday to come and help me to grieve healthily, and to walk this path with me. 

I have done so much bible study on ‘the wilderness’ experience and ‘darkness’ and the place of suffering in our christian walk prior to all of this. (Some of the studies are in my blog archives.) I have the whole thing down in my head and I could preach sermons on it. I am sure that it has formed a bedrock of scriptural understanding in me, without which I would have been left floundering right now. It is easy though, to have an arm’s length understanding of a scriptural principle, and much harder to actually walk out that thing in real life. I know God is full of mercy. I know he knows what he is doing. I know that the plans he has for me are plans for good and not for evil, to give me a hope and an expected end full of his glory.  Yet it is hard to see beyond my own struggles at times.

I told the Lord last night that I feel a bit like Job, who said: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye seeth thee.”  My previous understanding of trails and suffering was a hearing-of-the-ear understanding. Now, however, I need to see Him in the midst of everything, and I believe I will. I believe I will come out of this with a far greater understanding, no, a knowing of his faithfulness and his presence that is with us even when we make our beds in hell. (Ps 139)


25 responses to “By hearing or by seeing

  1. Continued prayers for His peace….

  2. Thinking of you Sumi (((hugs)))

  3. Oh, Sumi. I get it. I truly do. Please know I’m continuing to pray for peace and comfort for you and your family.

    Many many hugs, friend.

  4. ecclesiastes 3:1-8

    For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
    a time to be born, and a time to die;
    a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
    a time to kill, and a time to heal;
    a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    a time to seek, and a time to lose;
    a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
    a time to tear, and a time to sew;
    a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    a time to love, and a time to hate;
    a time for war, and a time for peace.

    I am praying for you.

  5. greg and linda

    i applaud the authenticity of your journey. lean into the pain, rejoice in suffering and continue to dance. after 13+ years of walking this road we dance more than we used to, but we still find ourselves looking for the living…

    you are such a rich blessing in your sorrow and we are blessed to read your heart.

    if you ever need anything…

    your cyber friends,

    greg and linda

  6. I understand.


  7. Sumi,
    Again today you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Our Bible study had our last lesson from “Stepping Up” Psalms of Ascent (Beth Moore) and I have been thinking about some of the things she mentioned. She read from Psalms 84. Verses 5-7 were especially good. She said “Baca” is weeping and the valley represents “deep.”
    Deep tears. She went on to say that God’s grace is given on demand. Beth mentioned something I have thought so many times…”Lord, I could never handle that if something like this came my way.” She said God’s grace is given on demand. There will be a fresh anointing. For the next step there is the next strength. Strength to strength. If He calls on us to go through a valley of weeping, He’ll give us the strength. Continue to recall His promises that you know to be true.
    Our “blank” to fill in for our viewer guide on #4 was this:
    3. See Psalm 84:1-7. Take the next step with the next strength.
    I pray that you can feel the intercessory prayers going up to our Father for you. I know Jenna is one of those mentioned in Heb. 12 cheering you on.
    Love you and bless you today with a peace that passeth understanding.

  8. Praying for you Sumi and many hugs. As I was reading your post, I realized how much easier it is to learn about the ‘darkness’ than it is to live it. While my problems with the house are not nearly as difficult you losing a beloved daughter, I’m finding that we all have our own times of darkness when we struggle to give it over to the Lord so he can get us through it. You are doing a great job Sumi and we are all so proud of you.

  9. Thinking of you. (((Sumi))) You are still always in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. donnamichelle

    Hi Sumi.

    I know that your life has changed forever and to you it looks like everyone else has gone back to normal…

    But I feel that all of us that have come to know you… that you have shared this journey with… have had our lives changed forever too. Perhaps, we are a bit better than “normal” because of you.

    Maybe normal is shooing your kids off to bed so that you can have some quiet time… and better than normal is being reminded that our time with them is precious and we shouldn’t take it for granted so you read them an extra story instead.

    Maybe normal is thinking that if there is so much pain and sadness in the world there can’t possibly be a God… and better than normal is seeing that even through unimaginable hurt there is reason to believe and have faith.

    Maybe normal is thinking that you can go to church later, read the Bible some other time, come to know Him when you are old or sick… and better than normal is realizing that today is all you have and to know Him and love Him should be the first item on your “to do” list.

    How could anyone that reads your posts not come away a better person? Someone who wants that to believe that much stronger, love that much more, pray that much harder?

    I know my life has changed forever. I am better than normal because you have shown me the way.

    I have never wanted to know Him and love Him more.

    I pray that He will see your faith and love the way I do and let His light shine upon you and help you through the darkness.

    With Love and

  11. DM, that was very well put and also describes how I feel. It made me want to cry. I feel that way about Sumi, too. Showing the way to be a “better than normal” Christian.

    I love you, Sumi.

  12. “I believe I will come out of this with a far greater understanding, no, a knowing of his faithfulness and his presence that is with us even when we make our beds in hell. (Ps 139)”….
    Sumi, I believe this with you. The Word that you have learnt and taught is now becoming part of who you are, it is beginning to dwell richly in you and your husband in all wisdom.
    May God’s grace continue to cover you in this painful part of the journey. May God give you moments of Divine respite that feels like the Balm of Gilead has just been lavished.

  13. Oh DM…what an encouragement your words are to me…thank you. ❤

    I never got back to you about posting Jenna’s picture on your site, btw. I’m totally OK with that. 🙂

  14. Thinking of you often and praying…

  15. Debra Malinis

    Hello Sumi,
    I have been waking up around 3:30am every morning this week and I have felt the Holy Spirit wanted me to intercede for you. You and Jenna are in my thoughts daily! I love you and wanted you to know I am standing with you and am available any time day or night if you want to talk about your little girly girl!


  16. Oh Sumi, saying “my prayers are with you” seems so small, but yet when I think of what the Savior hears when we call on His name it’s bigger than we can imagine.
    I pray God just holds you so close to Him that you don’t want to be anywhere else but near Him.
    My heart is just heavy with grief for you, but I am so thankful you know Jesus and that you taught what you know and WHO you know to your sweet Jenna. That alone gives much hope and eases the grief a bit. To know that she is with her King because you held nothing back from her. Glory to God Sumi!!! Glory to God!

  17. Your words are like listening to my own heart speak. I am so sorry you are on this road, but I am so thankful for Jenna’s life! If there is anything I can do or say or listen to, know I am here. God’s grace will indeed be sufficient for you, sweet friend. And He will use Jenna’s life and legacy in more ways than you can dream now. In time, I believe He will fill you arms again. For now, seek Him with all you have and all you are and find rest in His embrace.

  18. Dear Yumi
    I sit reading with tears in my eyes and a pain in my heart. I too lost my adored 3.5 year old girl 15 months ago in an accident. I miss her beyond words and our lives are forever changed but I do breathe just a little easier than I did a year ago. If you ever want to talk, I’m only an email away.
    Love Sheye

  19. Sumi, you are continually in my thoughts and prayer. I remember my FIL talking about this when my husbands brother died (16 years old). The hardest part for him was when everyone got back to their normal lives. They sat there still feeling the wounds of their loss fresh as if it happened that day.

    It’s going to take a lot of time…..I have been reading and some days are more difficult to read then others. But through it all….the gift of God’s grace shines through your words.

    Take time….time out for you…time out for the boys….and if you don’t feel like throwing something away….hold on to it a little longer until you are truly ready. It took my IL’s years to clean out Chris’s room. His room sat for almost 10 years….it was left the way he left the day he went out. Write down those memories you are afraid of loosing. Cherish each moment… a gift from God. Our days of waiting to join our loved ones is a lifetime for us….for Jenna it may seem as if she never left you. The waiting is difficult.

    I wish I could say the right words to ease your pain…I wish I could do so much more for you……all I can do is offer to keep you and your family in our prayers. Daily lifting you up and asking for the provision of strength and that one day God will replace your sorrow with joy unspeakable.

    What a reunion there will be in heaven……I think of all the things Jenna is going to want to show. I envision her grasping you by the hand and dragging you all over heaven. All the people she will want you to meet….God will wipe away your tears. I think of her being there with the saints in heaven and sitting on our Lords lap……That is where my mind goes when I think of Jenna being absent from the body and present with the Lord……

    Continuing to keep you uplifted in our prayers…..(((Sumi, Richard and boys)))

  20. Sumi, you came to my thoughts today. Pray you’re cuddling in His palm with Jenna. (((((((HUGS))))))))

  21. Hi Sumi,
    You are listed on my favorite blogs and every time I see your name and check your blog you are in my prayers.
    I know life is hard right now, but I do pray that each day is a tiny bit easier. Just wanted you to know I love ya and I’m thinking about you.

  22. Sumi,
    There are no words. Allie and I were up late just last night talking about how hard it is when everyone else seems to forget. I tried to tell her that it does hurt but we have to have grace towards them. They are just people, after all. The pain is still so raw and I still miss my Emma every single day, but I can honestly say that I am so glad I do. I think the worst day would be the day I wake up and don’t think about her. You know my story of the butterfly and just today God sent three butterflies across my path. I can look for the butterflies and still feel my pain. I don’t have to choose. Neither do you. I love you, friend.

  23. Sumi,
    I wanted to tell you about a website that brought me comfort. It is I bought the one of the little girl jumping out of her wheelchair.

  24. Thanks Sumi… I will go add it tonight. 🙂

    Much love (((HUGS)))

  25. Done. It’s not very fancy but it comes from the heart.
    Here’s the link if you want to see where I put it.

    Love you!

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