Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Peace will come like water falling from the sky. I look forward to the day when it happens. I am currently going through the peaks and troughs of life. Up and down in the deep, deep valleys, and then I go up again, when I am at the top of the mountain, i am then feeling alive and well, and full of hope for a future.
I remember a year ago very clearly. It is not so much that I am reminded of fluttering time, but that I remember how I was. A year later, I can without a doubt say that I am stronger. A year ago, at this time it was 8.5 months after the passing of my precious son, approaching the 9th month mark rapidly. I don’t know why the 9th month mark was so significant. Perhaps, because he was with me for 9 months, and then he was gone from me for 9 months. At the time it was hard to imagine how time moved forward because it literally felt like time stood still. My world came crashing down, to a complete halt. Neither moving forward, neither moving backwards. Frozen into time. Forever. In my heart. Never to be forgotten. I just felt stuck. Trapped in this big jar with a lid on top and I couldn’t get out. Not really. Not until someone would open the lid, and let me out, and lead me to the cross where our hope begins. I am not sure how I managed to survive those early months of grief. Zombie-like state. Crashing. Drowning. Suffocating. Panicking. Not able to do anything. Just completely frozen in my trapped broken body, which led to depression, suicidal thoughts, eventually coming out of that, and then going through a mini burn out early June last year. I had to turn my focus away from self and put my focus onto God. Eventually God’s soft whisper rocked my heart. He told me to pick up my broken heart. ‘Hannah, I am with you. Go forth in peace, I will carry you, even when you feel like I am not here. I am with you always. I will not forsake you.’
Hope came like butterflies released in the sky. It came quietly through the cracks of my broken walls, and it softened my heart. The rough edges eventually smoothing down to smoother edges. But still, I think the wound of grief will always be there. It will never leave. Though I don’t let grief rule my life anymore. It is still a part of me. Sebastian is never far from my thoughts. However, now I don’t break down crying. I have a life to live. I have a legacy to leave behind for my son, for my girls. I have a book to get edited and published, so that I can help others know that there is hope. I learned: You just have to give it time. You just have to give your broken heart to God and he will restore you.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Last year this time, my walk with God was completely different to how it is now. Last year I was bitter. Angry. I hated myself for not being able to keep my son safe. I was furious with God that he could not keep my little boy safe from death. I remember at the beginning of September 2014 how i fervently prayed to God, to give my son the best father/dad possible. Only it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen! For a long time I was consumed with guilt for praying that prayer. I remember how broken I was. How I sat in my room on the floor in a fetal position screaming and raging against God, asking him to take the pain away. Never fully relaxing in his presence. I didn’t know how to relax. I remember coming to a breaking point. Reaching burn out. Though it wasn’t a full burn-out – thank God. It could have been much worse, I had a mini-burn out. A wake up call. And yet I couldn’t get out of this feeling of being trapped (no matter how hard I tried), discouraged and lacking motivation in my life. An empty shell of my former self. Broken. Lost. Confused. A failure. I didn’t know how to unburden myself at the cross. I didn’t know how to make myself vulnerable – so that healing could take place.
It was not until some 6 months later when God and I made a commitment with each other again. When I decided that I would read the bible every day. I am now half way through reading the entire bible in a year, and oh boy what a blessing it has been! It has made me become closer to God, it has made me crave for more of him, more personal time with him, and now I spend more time in the word then I have ever done in my entire Christian walk. Praise the Lord for this miracle in my life. I can see the change. I mean don’t get me wrong – I still feel broken half the time, but I feel lighter. Because each time I sit at the foot of the cross, a layer of onion is pealed, and a layer of the bad is being nailed to the cross, and I feel freer, and I feel happier, because I know I can overcome this. Anything is possible if we have God by our side. I can overcome this grief.
My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word.
I rarely wear my mask of grief these days. I don’t put up a facade and pretend that I am very strong, because the reality is I am not that strong. I may look strong. But my strength does not come from me. It comes from God. The HOLY SPIRIT that lives within me. That has made HIS DWELLING in my heart, in my very broken soul. And so with this strength I am able to move forward with life in a much more peaceful manner. Peace comes, and unfolds multiple times. My hope is in the cross. Not in worldly goods.
My hope is that everyone who is going through the wilderness will make a choice of clinging onto God and not letting go of that hope that only you can find in the cross. In fact I pray that you will allow yourself to be vulnerable and allow your mask to be set down, so that God the healer of all healers will be able to mend your broken heart, till peace transcends on your heart and mind, and you feel that you are able to move forward again.
The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in him and he helps me.
The Lord is indeed my strength, and he has indeed helped me come thus far. Time has not stood still. I am not that broken mama that I was a year ago. I can remember my child with fondness, and not break down in complete tears, or in complete defeat. The enemy will not defeat me.
The enemy will not come to steal my joy! I will not let him. I know that without a doubt that when my son died that dark early morning in late September- that it was a spiritual attack . I remember the day so well. It was raining. The enemy thought if he takes my son away, that I will stop believing in God. That I will stop clinging onto my faith. But PRAISE THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! I did not stop believing. I kept believing. I kept clinging onto him, although it seemed a bit haywire, my hope was still in God, my savior, and I clung onto that hope. After all, did I not see during my pregnancy how God moved mountains in my life? So, I was not going to let the enemy steal my faith, when that is all that I had left to cling onto.
In the last half year I noticed that my darkness is slowly starting to lift as I immerse myself into the word of God, and as I start to trust him whole heartedly with my entire soul. God gave me peace. God freed me from grief. Jesus died, so that I may live. Jesus died, so that I may nail my grief, pain, loss, wounded spirit and so much more on the cross. I was not forsaken. I was taken into the shelter of his sacred tent and I was looked after. God’s perfect will be done, and only God could fill that hole up in my heart. Psalm 27.5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
I used to think food could fill up a hole in my heart, and that I could fill the hole in my heart but only God can fill that empty void inside of me, and all I had to do was let him in through the cracks in my broken walls and let his love seep into my heart, so that I can be renewed in his strength. So that he can bind up my wounds, and my broken heart will be eventually healed. Psalm 147.3 He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. I know that I am not fully there yet. I know that I still have a Sebastian shaped hole in my heart. An Elouise shaped hole in my heart. A Micheline shaped hole in my heart, but because of the cross, I can be renewed in strength, and I can unburden myself, and I can feel free, and I can live life to the best of my abilities.
I am still learning, still learning all about God’s strength within me. Still learning to lean onto God, and not on my own strength, and I am learning to accept. I also know that God is preparing me for a ministry, and I feel in my heart, that one day I will help others along their journey, whether they lost children or were abused. I will eventually help others and bring hope where there seems to be no hope. Our hope is in Christ. Allow peace to come softly into your hearts, allow your hearts to be renewed. Make your dwelling place in the LORD and his PERFECT WILL, will be done in your life! Surrender yourself to HIS will for your life! Accept it, for HE KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR US!! Allow yourself to show your vulnerability, allow yourself to be broken, because in that moment of weakness, all the pus in your life will come out, and you can be healed slowly but surely.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, He has given me a new song to sing. Oh the joy of those who trust in the Lord.