To elaborate…

I said on Sunday that I was going to write and update. šŸ™‚ I didn’t, and a friend reminded me tonight that she had been waiting to see what I was going to say. She got the verbal update but I might as well write down what I would have written on Sunday, had there been the time.

I woke up really early on Sunday morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I knew the Lord was drawing me to go and spend some time with him so I went outside to the trampoline with my bible and my journal. I started reading from Lamentations 3…you know…that well-known scripture that says:

This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.

It is a verse I always quote to friends who are going through a tough time. I always thought it was a very encouraging verse (and it is). But for me, on Sunday, I felt as hopeless as they come and could not see the mercy of God in my situation. Despite what the verse said, I felt consumed.

All I could see before me was a life without my precious little Jenna, a life filled with pain and longing and unfulfilled dreams and wishes. But it wasn’t only having Jenna here with us and having a little girly-girl to spice up our lives that was an unfulfilled dream. I could handle being without Jenna if I knew her death counted for something in my life. I want so much of God, I want to be consumed by him. Yet all I could see was the same old patterns, the same old Sumi, with no evidence of any lasting change in my life yet. It was beyond discouraging…I felt utterly hopeless.

To lose Jenna, and not grow from it, is my biggest fear and would be a greater tragedy than her leaving us all-too-soon.

As i thought about how lonely this road of grief is, I was reminded of a teaching my pastor gave not too long ago on ‘The Principle of Aloneness’. He mentioned the scripture in Isaiah 51:2:

Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

Abraham had to leave everything he held dear and follow God completely. He had to embrace an aloneness, a set-apartness that he couldn’t find in the midst of his family, his culture, or his friends in Ur. But because heĀ went out on a limb with God likeĀ that, he was blessed, and God was able to add things to his life and his character he never would have received otherwise. I was encouraged that in this alone-place God will comfort (the hebrew word there means to sigh or breathe over) and cause my wilderness to become the garden of the Lord, a place of joy and singing.

Further on in the same chapter, it is written that: He hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over… Some of you may have read the post I made on ‘the deep’ about a year ago. It is one of my favorite posts ever and still speaks truth to me today.

The word ‘deep’ is described in Strongā€™s ConcordanceĀ as an abyss or subterranean water supply, but it comes from a root word that means to agitate greatly, cause an uproar, destroy, put in commotion, disturb, consume, crush, discomfort.

It is a paradox, but God is able to use this very place where I am so crushed, so discomforted, where my soul is in such an agitated uproar, as a means of bringing his salvation to me. It can become the very thing that helps me to cross over from this place I have been stuck in so long, to the deliverance that waits on the other side. As I cry out to Him and pour out my heart to him and seek his face in the middle of this horrific mess, he meets me, like he did on Sunday morning.Ā  And in meeting him like that I am one step closer, going from (a little bit of) strength to (a little bit more) strength, and from glory to glory.

My hope is that my ‘depths’ might even become a way for others to pass over…that as I come through this I will be able to minister to others who are facing ‘depths’ of their own and show them the way across.

Sooo…God gave me new hope on Sunday.Ā  I could put my chin up because he told me I was going to make itĀ in theĀ long term. A day will come when Jenna’s death won’t just seem like a tragic, horrible waste. It will bring forth his glory, and I will live to see it. Ā 

My mother’s day was much better than I had expected. The days preceding it were actually much worse. People rallied around me and loved on me and most of all Jesus had ministered to me and given me my hope back. Isn’t he faithful?


18 responses to “To elaborate…

  1. I’m glad that you had this time and that the Lord gave you this message and reassurance. He is certainly using you to reach out to others.

  2. Geez!! Maybe since you know you best, you know the difference, but from the outside looking in – growth is extremely evident. Maybe what’s been locked away in that precious heart of yours has just now found a path to the outside world around you.

    I see change anyway – not just change, but growth. You may not be in the place you desire, but you’re definitely on the road there!

  3. “Crushed for fragrance”…His aroma…It’s spilling out…(((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))

  4. Sumi, I want to thank you for sharing this. I am going through some tough things right now and they are nowhere near as tough as losing a child but my world is being turned upside down. Reading this post has given me new perspective and I know that for me learning the meaning of “deep” has really changed me forever. When you said-

    “The word ā€˜deepā€™ is described in Strongā€™s Concordance as an abyss or subterranean water supply, but it comes from a root word that means to agitate greatly, cause an uproar, destroy, put in commotion, disturb, consume, crush, discomfort.”

    it made me realise that I will go from glory to glory even though I may feel very alone at times.
    So once again thank you for sharing and helping me to get through this life changing moment in my life.
    Michelle Bingham

  5. Jenna’s death will never be in vain or for naught. You are teaching all of us here how to grow in the Lord and that it CAN be done, even through losing a child. Your words inspire me and lift me up and I realize that I have no excuse to not get up and praise the Lord everyday for His blessings. Sometimes I just “forget” or get too busy. I need to stop doing that and spend some quality time with our Maker.
    Thank you, sweet Sumi.

  6. I am so thankful that you were given this time with the Lord. Time to reflect on His Word and grow in Him. You have reminded me that spending time with Him is very important. I tend to let the business & busyness of everyday bog me down.
    God is using Jenna’s life and death to reach out to so many! Thank you, dear friend, for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration to me.

  7. How uplifting and inspiring! I’m so happy for you, Sumi. Hold tightly to this knowledge in the days and weeks to come. :o)


  8. Many prayers were coming to you and your family from Austin, Texas on Mother’s Day…and they continue…
    our hearts are with you.

  9. Sumi, I love reading your blog because you put into words so eloquently the things that I think about too. I feel a little less alone knowing I’m not the only one who thinks about these things…especially the despair that can overwhelm when it looks like all has been for nothing. The best way I can honor and remember my Nicholas and Olivia is to live well because of the things their deaths have taught me. May you continue to know God as the source of all comfort…

  10. Hi Sumi,

    You commented on my blog a short while ago and I finally had some time to read your blog (or some of it at least). I’m the fellow South African that you found through the Fahmerā€™s blog.

    I will be adding this praise to my prayer list as well as just adding you in general. I have a contact e-mail on my profile page now.

    One thing I can say is itā€™s only been 3 mths (in 2 days). God is not bound by time. Allow yourself to grieve before God and he will do the changing you long for. This is meant as an encouragement šŸ˜‰

    Lovingly your sister in Christ

  11. Sumi,
    You do not know me, but I am also journeying through the long, dark tunnel of grief. It has been wonderful to read your thoughts as you are making your way through this maze. I would not have had the courage to put so much on “paper” in the early months of my loss… mainly because I do not trust how I am feeling from one day to the next. Like you, one day I could say, “I really am doing fine”, and other times I feel like my world is desperatly falling apart. This Mother’s Day was equally as difficult for me… my 20 year old son, 2 years ago, on Mother’s Day, decided to leave college and drive 12 hours home to “surprise” me…. Instead, I was surprised by the State Trooper who came to my door to tell me there had been an accident in NY and my son didn’t make it. That is where my life changed forever and my journey began. It has been difficult, impossible, gut wrenching and my heart feels like it’s hemorrhaging. But it has been a place that God has met me with His incredible love, sustaining power, and gentle spirit that continues to woo me deeper into Himself. I was told that the 3 month mark was a mile-stone. I didn’t understand it until I got there, but I found myself in the same desperate place that you spoke about a few comments ago. I think it’s where your shock begins to officially wear off and you realize that “your son didn’t make it”…. means…. he’ll NEVER come home. I kept thinking, okay, it’s been long enough, you can come home now. But now I understand the “forever” attached to death. I have NEVER been much of a reader. I would have a book that I really wanted to read sit on my nightstand for 2 years before I would give up and put it back on the bookshelf. Since my sons death I read about a book a month. It’s my escape. I am intentional about what I pick up…. I want it to help to heal my broken heart, but I wanted you to know that the time you are spending on the computer, reading, etc., is how we heal. Give yourself time to recover, and if that means time in front of the computer, so be it. I have learned to love Jenna through your “mother’s heart” and she was very blessed to have you as her mother…. and you still are…. she’s just waiting for you in that place where we all ache to be. So Happy Mother’s Day Jenna’s mom, and you are privledged to continue the work of loving your sons!

  12. Deb, I just wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss. I wish I could give all grieving mothers a big hug and make everything better.

    Sumi, I still think of you everyday, and visit your blog daily to see if you have updated. Call me a “blog-stalker” if you will, LOL.

  13. I guess I am a “blog-stalker” too, But I always feel grateful for your thoughts. It is a priviledge to pray for you. You and Rachel were on my mind so much on Mother’s day. Because of you and her, I appreciate my children more and leave fewer things undone and unsaid when it comes to them and our family. May God bless and comfort you and your family today!

    A “friend” praying for you in MD

  14. Pingback: Monday morning meanderings. Vol.45 « the view from the juniper tree

  15. Hi Sumi,

    I’ll admit that it has been hard for me the past few month’s to click over to your blog.

    I think the greatest fear I have in life is that God has only planned that I share my children’s lives for a short time.

    It is hard to read your words and not be soaked with grief for you and your family. I want to find words to encourage you, to help share your burden and help you find joy. Yet I feel that I have nothing to give.

    I have kept you close in my prayers, and my cell group at church also prays for your family. It is good to read that God is meeting you and holding you in the palm of His hand as you live through these days and weeks and months.

    I’ll keep on praying and reading silently. {{{hugs}}}

  16. I think of you often, Sumi. Thank you for sharing your words. {hugs}

  17. tessofthebellgrades

    I don’t believe Jennas death will ever have been for nought. That little girl has touched hearts all over the globe. (I can’t look at a waving elephant or dancing bear or any kind of cute animated smilie with out thinking about your sweet girl)

    You are a remarkable woman. Growth is happening. Like the seed deep in the dark of the earth, just because the shoots haven’t reached the sun yet doesn’t mean they aren’t on their way.
    It must seem like only yesterday and forever all at once. I can’t even begin to imagine, but I certainly feel because you say it all so eloquently, so raw and honestly. My hugs, heart and prayers, for all of you.

  18. Hi Sumi,
    I can only imagine there must be a fresh outpouring of grief for you today with the news of the death of Maria Sue Chapman. I immediately thought of you..and Jenna..when I heard and tears just flowed when I heard her dad sing “Cinderella”..I posted it on my blog if you want to listen..May His peace and comfort be yours today…

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