Warning: Side effects of reading this blog may include: tears, sobs, and the resulting head ache. Please proceed with caution. Do not read if NOT taking MAOIs. Heh. Just kidding… kind of.
I had a bad dream last night. I woke up this morning with that feeling like I will never be happy again. Do you ever have those lingering feelings from a vivid dream that last far longer than you think they should?
In my dream, Isaac was dead. I can't remember what happened or how long he had been gone, but I missed him terribly. There was just a feeling of aching for him; wanting him so badly that I could taste it. My dream just consisted of different scenes of normal life situations and that aching pain.
Randall, Asher and I were in a crowded room, sitting on bleachers. I suppose there was a game going on or something. But I looked across the room and there he was. I knew Isaac was gone and that I'd never see him again, but in my aching I imagined him there. I saw him and our eyes met and he smiled reassuringly at me from across the room. I put my hand on Randalls knee and asked him if he saw Isaac across the room. He did. Asher saw him, too.
There was this creeping hope inside that maybe I could live life imagining Isaac in it. A few more everyday situations crossed the screen in my mind where I'd see Isaac and know he wasn't really there, but found hope in that I could still imagine him. It was a short dream without much content, it just left a vivid and lasting feeling of despair.
But it was only a dream.
Last year, I studied the book of Genesis in depth in a local Bible study. When I started reading the story of Abraham and Isaac, it seemed like I was getting a message from many different sources. Something we talked about in church, in youth, and then in my Bible study all seemed to ask me, would I be willing to surrender every part of my life to God. This is a question that Christians ask themselves a lot. But at this time in my life, the question got really personal. In my Bible study, the question was asked metaphorically, "Are you willing to give your Isaac to God." Metaphorically, this meant, "Is there something in your life you are holding tight to that you're unwilling to surrender to God?" For many women in my group it was their addiction to food or laziness or the grudge they were holding that they just couldn't surrender yet. For me, I've always struggled with those metaphorical "Isaacs", but at this point in my life, the question seemed literal. How would my faith be tested if God demanded the life of my son, Isaac?
My natural response to God was, "Don't you dare! Don't you even think about taking one of my kids from me. I don't know if my faith can handle it."
In my short life, I've seen too many mothers lose their sons. I've seen mothers forced to watch their sons suffer from incurable diseases. I've seen mothers have to cut their sons off for the safety of their own family. I've seen sons reject their mothers. I've seen mothers bury their sons.
In each of these situations, these women have had great love and respect for their heavenly Father. With grace, they endure the unspeakable hurt, turning their faces ever closer to the God who comforts. Their knees are worn from constant prayer.
Maybe I should look like them because I am a mother. I have not lost anything so precious to me as a son. But I have a son (two of them!). They are sweet. They are kind. They are fun. They are here and in the flesh. I can kiss them and hug them and hold them. They teach me about God. They teach me about love and the beautiful world around me. Maybe I should be on my knees in constant prayer for them before I lose them! My face should be turned ever closer to my Father because I am a mother who has been blessed beyond my wildest dreams with my two boys.
For you who have lost or are losing your sons: Thank you. I have watched you. I have learned how faith can be tested and grow in spite of unspeakable pain. I can only imagine and dream about the real aching you feel constantly. And my heart aches for you. My eyes leak for you. My chest heaves for you. My body sobs for you. But thank you for showing me that faith in God can withstand the ultimate sacrifice for he endured that same pain. And that God loves us still and comforts us and gives us what we need to not only survive but thrive in life after "death." I am on my knees in prayer for you, too, today and many days.