Saying Goodbye to Bryant, Joy for the Journey

Some thoughts on the road of healing after the loss of my 14 year old son by suicide

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Wife... Mother... Lover of Jesus... Freedom Writer!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Horses on the horizon

For some time now my life has been like a rollercoaster ride, complete with high inclines and difficult and unexpected jerks and drops. I've tried to live well but my recent past has been, well ...wild.

I came to know Jesus in the 7th grade when I was 12 years old. My elementary school had a Friday morning Bible study before school called Morning Watch. My mom taught at the high school down the street and she dropped my sister and me off to school early every day. I looked forward to Friday mornings and Morning Watch. I remember the day the invitation was given to know Jesus as Savior and I remember saying yes to Jesus. I remember feeling changed in that moment, knowing that something was different about me and I wrote about it that night in my journal.

For as far back as I can recall, we regularly went to church. But that was the extent of it. I've heard it often said that "going to church makes you a Christian as much as sitting in a garage makes you a car." Looking back I say that during my growing up years I was "churched," but not discipled. When I was about 14 or 15, a youth leader at a vacation Bible school gave me a Bible. That was my first Bible and I was very happy to receive it. I read it some as I loved to read but I didn't really know how to study or make The Word mine.

During my teen and young adult years I was master of my own fate and found myself walking a sort of tightrope, doing the best I could. My faith was a safety net beneath my willfullness. I would go about my business, doing things that I knew were against God's stated will for me ( I don't have to give examples do I? ), at the same time hoping and praying for God's protection ( in my sin). I didn't have much Bible knowledge but I knew when I was doing wrong. God's Holy Spirit (and my conscience) would caution me about my wrong doing but most of the time I would ignore the warnings. I would back myself into my little sin corner and then cry out "Oh God! What do You want from me?"

So I did my own thing ( as a Christian) and prayed this desperate prayer for 18 years until one day when I was 30 years old. By this time I'd had a child, gotten married, had another child ( in that order) and my young marriage was on really shaky ground. My husband was also churched, but not discipled; neither of us had a clue what we were doing on this here road of life. I have a large history of divorce in my family line and it seemed I too might be headed in that direction. In desperation one day, I began to call out to God as I never had before. I had come to the end of my proverbial tightrope.

It was during this time that I decided to attend a prayer meeting at my church. This was a new thing for me. I'd never been part of a group that would pray out loud and I was a bit unsure about it. As I waited that day for the meeting to start I remember seeing Robert waiting in the group with us. Robert was a mentally handicapped man who attended our church. Someone tried to send him away (thinking that he was there looking for a ride home) and told him that we were about to have a prayer meeting. I think he surprised us all when he responded, " I came to pray." The praying started. First one and then another. And then Robert. As Robert prayed, everything within me began to shake. His prayer was pure and honest. He praised God for being God. He mentioned how people made fun of him and how it was OK because he knew the perfect One who loved him perfectly. When Robert finished praying I was completely undone. And then I heard God speak to me as never before and I got the answer to my 18 year prayer. God said to me clearly and plainly, " Sharmayn, I want your whole heart."

That night I read in my Bible this passage:

One... who was an expert in the law of Moses asked Jesus this question to test Him: "Teacher which command in the law is the most important? "
Jesus answered , " Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first, Love your neighbor as yourself."
Matthew 22: 36-39

It was then that things for me really changed. I didn't just have fire insurance (protection from going to hell) anymore. Jesus was more than just my Savior, He became my Lord as I said yes to giving Him my whole heart.

After that revelation I wanted to walk closely with God. I started to consult Him in everything, and not only to consult but to obey. My faith was no longer a safety net but a safe haven. Things didn't instantly become perfect for me but I began to devour the Word of God and to grow and to be more conformed to Christ's image.

There have been times since then when I got sidetracked. The busy-ness of life, obligations, responsibilites, and distractions have been all too real to me. (I read somewhere that BUSY is an acronym for Being Under Satan's Yoke). These things may have bought my ticket to the rollercoaster.

It's been 134 days since my life changed forever. ( I started counting the days after my son's death in response to Psalm 90: 12. "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.") Since Bryant's death I've had to face the rollercoaster of my life. I've been forced to do spiritual inventory and make necessary adjustments. My tragedy has made me a kinder, gentler Sharmayn. I want to be wise. I want to be fully God's and I want Him to be fully mine as I continually get rid of anything that competes with Him for my heart. As I was frantically riding the rollercoaster of life, my son died. And it's time to get off.

I have a new vision for my life these days. I see myself in a lovely carriage strolling about town (with God's banner over me). Everyday I have the choice to ride the crazy coaster or take a stroll with The Father. Everyday is a new beginning, a new opportunity to do things His way, to face any challenge with the confidence that "if God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).

I see horses on the horizon. My King and His chariot await me. I'm going to enjoy the ride. :)


Blogger MugwumpMom said...

What an incredible post Sharmayne. You tell your story with such grace and wisdom. It's truly an honour to hear it. It speaks to me, as it reminds me so much of me...I too gave Him heart, only to feel like I've taken it back along with the cares of this world. Thank you for the eye opener..I needed this.

16 August, 2006 17:10  

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