The Day After….
Today was the day that I awoke for the very first time without Chad.
Job 3:25 says, “What I feared has come upon me, what I dreaded has happened.”
Mind you, it is now Tuesday morning. I had gotten up at 5 a.m. on Sunday, ran 18 miles in extreme heat, experienced the most traumatic day of my life, traveled back to Michigan, wandered around my brother’s house in total shock until the time came to awake my kids early Monday morning and tell them about Chad, traveled back to Midland, spent the rest of Monday greeting friends and family who were beginning to arrive or who knew that we had now arrived home and came to bring food, condolences, hugs, etc . . . and finally, in the late hours of Monday night I took a sleeping pill and snuggled up with my three babies in my arms.
I didn’t want to wake up – ever! I knew. I knew the horror, the heartache, and the fear that awaited me with the mere opening of my eyes. I knew it would be there. The doctors could give me sleeping pills. I longed for what they gave me – a short reprieve from the pain. But on the other side I knew what waited to great me.
Does some of what I just said furrow your brow? “Did she just say ‘fear’?” Yes, my friends. I did say fear. That doesn’t mean I lacked faith. It means that I was being faced with the greatest battle of my life. For the first time in over 12 years I was no longer covered, protected, led by the authority of a husband. For the first time in my adult life I was the covering. For the first time in my life I felt exposed . . . completely and totally at the mercy of a terrible world. The threats of which were about to put our life on lock-down . . . in the midst of the worst tragedy of our lives, our lives now became pawns to the horrible, twisted people of this world. That is a story for this next Saturday – you won’t want to miss it!
Fear is real, my friends! But God is bigger! He is not offended by our fear – no, not our loving God. He is not offended by it, my friends! He is faithful in it! Praise God that He is faithful to hold our hands and lead us through every storm and every valley we could possibly face!
And now, very early Tuesday morning – I awoke. I will never forget the horror that gripped me. I needed to cry . . . no, I needed to weep. There were three kids in my bed; my kids’ beds were all filled with family members. We had at least three couches at the time, all filled with bodies of sleeping family members. There were people on the floor both upstairs and down. There was not ONE place in our home that I could go to be alone and weep.
So, not knowing where else to go I went and sat in Chad’s car out in the driveway. All alone, in an old red car in the cold October air, I crawled in to the only place that I could be held by the silence and therefore feel free to release the anguish that now welled up inside, and I wept. Deep, abandoned sobs. It was the first of a year of daily weeping. I eventually grew to know when it was about to hit before it actually spilled out. But today, for the first time, I wept.
All alone in that old red car, I wept.