Monday, May 29, 2006

The following is an excerpt from “Silent September” by Joyce Landorf Heatherley. My initial reaction upon reading it was, I could have written this myself.

Pain has scraped away
the last visible traces of hope
off the edges of my soul.

So begins my personal journey of pain, in the early months of 1982. It continues with,

Naively I always think that pain can do nothing more to me. Yet I am always wrong.

There is a certain amount of head knowledge within me that says someday the Lord, in His mercy, will step in and stop this hideous round of pain, which is attacking on a never-ending basis. Isn’t that what a loving heavenly Father would do? Yet here, in my heart, I cannot see, hear, touch or feel God; and the silence of my life is deadly. God seems to be doing nothing – nothing at all.

Continually I rationalize that after pain has robbed, raped, and smashed the courage and hope out of me, it will have spent its fury – like the last gusts of wind from a retreating thunderstorm. Often I fantasize that since pain has devoured so much of me already, my dues into the I’ve-suffered-enough-account have been paid in full, and there will be no need for further payment. Or, I think, at least pain will lessen the force of its rage and give me some respite from its devastation.

But, it seems I tend to underestimate the enormous penetrating power of pain. I minimize the tenacity of its excruciating grip. Somehow I hold tightly to the crumb of hope which says maybe, just maybe, I’ll be mysteriously and miraculously given the grace and strength of God to go on, in spite of these crushing encounters.

Yet, with each new day pain swoops down like a huge demolition crane, swinging and smashing its steel and concrete ball of destruction against the flimsy walls of my battered body and soul. I’m left shattered, broken, without a shred of hope.

I am no novice in walking the paths of pain. And I am no stranger to climbing the mountains of grief suffering. But this – this I do not understand, for suddenly I am aware that I don’t hear the music anymore.

I’m a nightingale with broken wings. I’m a nightingale without a song. Oh yes, it’s true that I’m a born “night-singer” – one who can sing the sweetest songs of God, even in the darkest dead of night. But now, I don’t hear the music of God or His angels; and I am frightened… alone… and hurting unbearably.

Someone told me today that they see a light at the end of my tunnel of pain. Someone else said that I should rejoice in my “tunnel experience” for tunnels are the only way to get through the mountains to one’s destination. And often, along our journey in life, tunnels provide lessons and opportunities for growth. But, as another friend pointed out, there is a light at the end of my tunnel; however, it happens to be the headlight of a train which is coming straight at me, 100 miles an hour! The only lesson I’m learning here is that I’m going to be flattened like a pancake by this growing “opportunity.” My soul panics at the scenario.

My life is consumed by my search for medical solutions, for emotional enlightenment, and for theological explanations. But answers seem in very short supply. How many more mornings will I wake up hearing David’s words, “This is the day the Lord hath made…” and then feel the icy grip of pain’s reality remind me just what kind of a day it will be?

I am also angry! And not just for me, but for millions of others. This is unfair. It’ s unjust. It’s undeserved!

Is it conceivable that God stands passively by my bed of pain and says, “Of course I can heal you, Joyce, but I wont”? If this is true, then I am going to have a difficult time loving, trusting or accepting this heavenly Father. It seems there is a theory that says God can heal me, but because I am doing something which blocks His will from being accomplished, He won’t. This crushes all hope within me and God begins to sound remarkably like some earthly fathers I’ve observed. Fathers who could say “I love you,” but won’t. Fathers who could affirm and encourage their children, but won’t. This comparison between a heavenly Father and an earthy one becomes increasingly disturbing to me.

Or, does God sit on the edge of my bed when I am writhing in the highest level of pain – just before insanity – when I am crying out to be rescued and, at that fragile moment in time, calmly say, “My child, I want everybody well, including you, but Joyce, you’re doing it all wrong. You need to read the instruction manual. You need to claim the right formula. You need only to follow the ten easy steps to healing”?

On the other hand, would the God I love and serve be chastising me by allowing this pain? Is He teaching me a lesson? What kind of father punishes his child when the child is not disobedient? What kind of father goes on teaching a painful lesson long after the child has learned it?

I don’t know where to turn for help anymore. The darkness is too deep, and the God-silence is too great. I am isolated, lonely, untouchable. Worst of all, because I can’t hear the music of God anymore, I feel like an abandoned orphan. Maybe someday someone will come along and rescue me, adopt me, and hold me in their arms of love until the pain subsides. But who? I’ve sung and written the music of God for thousands of others. Won’t anyone now sing for me? Won’t anyone bind up what pain has broken and help me hear the music once more?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Another miscarriage

My puzzle has been knocked off the table again. Not only that, but many of the pieces have been thrown away. I'm not going to be able to put it back together again.

I'm tired of contributing to the nursery in heaven!!!!

That makes TWO babies in heaven, and ZERO babies here on earth with me.

I'm sorry but I'm just a LITTLE angry about this!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

10 things I love about my husband

1. His ability to relax and have fun without neglecting responsibility
2. His tenderness and sensitivity towards me
3. His dry sense of humor and his ability to be more silly than anyone would guess
4. His passion for what really matters
5. His desire to take care of things - our house, yard, possessions, personal appearance, etc
6. His love for others and his ability to encourage those who come into contact with him
7. His love of books and his never-ending desire to learn new things (including physical things like learning the piano)
8. His amazing love for me - the intensity of which has surprised us both
9. His friendship, which is mine forever
10. His smile, which can still make my heart skip a beat

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mothers Day

(Copied from the Hannah's Prayer message boards)

Dear Mommy, heaven is great. I can do all kinds of things I couldn't do on earth... and I am healthy and strong and happy.

I sit with Jesus in the afternoons and he tells me stories. Sometimes he tells me about you. Funny stories about when you were a little girl. Sometimes he tells me how much you love me, how much you wanted me to live with you on earth. Other times he takes me swimming or plays with me.

I love to get tickled. I laugh so loud you can hear me all over heaven. I love to worship. I sing and dance and paint. Jesus says my art is so beautiful. He says I got my talents from you and Daddy.

I'm not sad, but I miss you. I miss hearing your heartbeat. I know who you are. You are my mommy and I love you. Happy Mother's Day. I have to go now, time to have lunch with my friends. If you listen, maybe you can hear me laughing.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Jigsaw Puzzle

I'm stealing the following analogy from a book I'm reading, although I've rephrased it in my own words.

Grief is like being forced to put together a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. It takes lots of time, endless energy and patience, concentration, and lots of help. Most of the time it is very frustrating, and it's the last thing you want to be doing with your time. Sometimes there may be rewarding moments, when you can start to see some of the big picture. The majority of the time, though, it's simply too overwhelming, and you wouldn't be working on it except for the fact that you are forced to. You want to walk away from it, but you can't. You don't have a choice. The puzzle is your life, and you cannot ignore it and let it stay in shambles.

There are many times where you feel like you are beginning to place pieces together that fit and are perhaps even making some progress, but then it is as if someone comes and knocks your puzzle onto the floor, and all the pieces come apart and are scattered (some may even become forever lost underneath furniture). This happens not only once, but sometimes weekly, sometimes daily. Imagine having to pick up the pieces of this gigantic puzzle and start all over, again and again and again. Sometimes you're just too tired to work on it, but if you don't pick up the pieces, you have a mess on your floor.

After this happens so many times, you may begin to identify certain pieces that fit together quicker than you did at first, so putting the puzzle back together may not be quite as labor intensive as it was originally. Perhaps even some of the pieces stick together after they fall off the table and you don't have to redo that part of the puzzle.

But not for me. For me, the entire puzzle is sent flying into the air, and I'm left to start over from scratch, each time. Again. There is no worse feeling, nothing else that sends me into despair quite like this.

O God, have mercy. Remember me!

Friday, May 05, 2006


How long, O Lord, HOW LONG?

Remember me!

Remember me, that I may remember You.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Please don't make me sing this song

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars, we hung our harps,
For there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"

How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?