Monday, September 19, 2011

The Lord Is My Portion

This past week, I was enjoying lunch with three friends, all of whom have children who are grown and either away at college or out in the world living their lives. M’s youngest just left for college two weeks ago and she is having a hard time adjusting to daily life without the kids. Though they phone each other regularly, M is still missing her girls a lot. J, whose boys are a little older, comforted M by telling her that soon, she will learn to appreciate the new freedom she has now that the girls are away at school. L, whose four children are grown and out on their own for some time now chimed in expressing his longing for his kids who are scattered all over the world. They stay connected with texts, emails, and skype but it’s not the same as being together. It was at this point that I had to excuse myself.

I admit that, for a moment, a jealous part of me wanted to remind them all of how blessed they are that their children were only a phone call or email away.  It’s been 13-1/2 years since I’ve seen my Bryan or heard his voice. He never made it to college or met the girl of his dreams and I sometimes wonder what kind of man he would have been. Yet just because my son is dead and I will never see or hear or talk to him again in my lifetime, that doesn’t make their longing for their children any less valid or real. So I excused myself from the conversation and buried my sadness for the rest of the afternoon.
That night I was still feeling empty. My arms ached to hold my child and I was helpless in the knowledge that nothing else would satisfy my need, my loneliness. Confused and hurting, I cried out to God. How could God leave me with this hole in my life and my heart? He let me rant and carry on until I was exhausted and then tenderly but firmly reminded me of His Word, “You are my portion, O Lord… …I shall not want. (Psalm 119:57a; Psalm 23:1b) In those few words, God spoke a mountain of understanding and wisdom to me. I was feeling hurt, empty, abandoned and lacking because my maternal instinct and human logic insisted that only Bryan could satisfy my need, fill my emptiness and make me whole. As reasonable as that sounds, it’s not true. Only God can fill all the empty spaces of my life. Only God can satisfy my need and make me whole. My sadness and momentary jealousy came because I was looking for something else, someone else, to satisfy my need.
That’s not to dismiss the love I have for my son. There will come a day when I will hold my son in my arms again. Out of all the loved ones waiting for me in heaven, Bryan will be the first one in line, after Jesus of course, to welcome me home. But here and now, on this earth, only the Lord can fill the empty spaces of my life, satisfy my every need and make me whole. When I began to look to Jesus to fill the hole and relieve my empty, aching arms, his peace and a joy that defies all human understanding overflowed within me. My tears of pain and loneliness turned into songs of joy and a sense of fulfillment. The Lord has always been, is now, and always will be ALL I need. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

About the pictures:
North Park (September 2011)

1 comment:

Audrey said...

I appreciate your heart aching for your son...as all of us must learn sometime in our lives...just having faith doesn't stop us from going through sad and difficult times. Thank you for reminding me that God can fill any voids in my heart with all that He is and all that He does through us. Also, thanks for laying open both your heart and your soul to share this message with everyone who reads this blog!