Here in the Midwestern United States we are tentatively entering spring after a rather “bleak” winter. No real snowstorms here to speak of…. just day after day of cloudy skies and gray-toned landscapes.
The past six months of my life have felt bleak as well.
My mother recently reminded me that when my children were young and I was in the thick of being pulled in so many directions by very immediate and pressing needs, I told her that this was only a season… that it would pass.
Now (so suddenly!) I find myself surrounded by grown children. All but one of my boys tower over me (and I’m not short!).
In the past five years since I was forced to flee my abusive marriage with my children, it has felt like this season of grief and heartache would never, never end.
Then this past October one of my sons almost died after being hit by a train in a suicide attempt. (Thankfully, oh so thankfully, he is recovering ~ please see my addendum below)
On that October 9, the path I was walking which was already so difficult suddenly felt like I had stepped off of a cliff.
Perhaps you have faced a situation like that ~ one which left you feeling like the wind had been knocked out of you. Not only had the rug been pulled out from under you, but the whole floor was gone, and you were in free-fall.
I have been carried during this overwhelmingly difficult season of my life by the prayers of friends and by those who have come alongside me and my family offering support in a myriad of practical ways.
The most helpful and empathetic of my friends have been those who understand that not everything can be “fixed”… that there are some griefs which can only be carried.
A friend who will bear witness to one’s overwhelming situation ~ who will descend into the darkness with you and stay by your side; that is a true friend indeed.
I do not know what our future holds, but am learning to walk in this season, holding out hope for spring.
Psalm 16:5 in the Passion Bible speaks to my soul:
I leave my destiny and its timing in Your hands.
Surely “spring” will arrive for us ~ for my family, but I do know that this “winter” season has allowed me to experience God’s faithfulness in new ways.
I leave my destiny and its timing in Your hands.
The seasons will change, and I am so thankful.
Thankful that they change, but even more thankful that God doesn’t change and He is God with us , in the midst of the dark, rocky places.
Are you in a season of “bleak midwinter”? I pray that you will be aware of God’s presence *with you*.
It’s good to be back here in this space… I’m praying that my words are an encouragement, sweet friends.
*** ADDENDUM: Just to clarify, for those who might be concerned. My son is doing much better now, 6 months post-accident. He is on the road to making a full recovery. Also, please know that I only posted this after many discussions with my son and with his full permission (and encouragement). He decided to speak publicly about his suicide attempt on his social media outlets a few months ago and has been happy with this decision and the ongoing support and discussions that his public honesty has fostered. In choosing to share here, it is not as much my desire to focus on my son, but to instead focus on the faithfulness of the Lord in all of our lives through this process, and to thank those who have so faithfully, and in a myriad of ways, walked with us during this incredibly challenging time. We are truly blessed.
I’m so very sorry to hear of your son’s attempted suicide. This is certainly heartbreaking. Continuing to pray for you.
Thank you Kay. I really appreciate your prayerful concern.
Praying for your son, for you & all the family.
Thank you Gloria.
Keeping you close Jein prayer Susan.
Thanks so much, Jessica.
Susan, I have appreciated the encouraging scripture verse sketches you have posted on Fscebook. What an amazing story you have been living behind the verses! I am so glad thst you have felt God holding on to you through your dark Winter. “I will fesr no evil, for You are with me,” is only understood when it is experienced. Blessings for you and your family. I will be praying for you.
Fay, thanks so much for the encouragement. I agree, I’ve really only begun to grasp the “You are with me” as I’ve walked through overwhelming times. God is good. Truly, and in the midst of the “hard.”
Susan you have shared hard truths in a very transparent way. You are so good at putting things into words as well as pictures. You are always in our hearts, thoughts, and especially in our prayers. Mark n Carol
Mark, thank you. I really don’t know what my whole family would have done without you and Carol. Your willingness to faithfully walk alongside and pray for us has kept us afloat more times than I can recount.
(((((((Hugs)))))))) love you sister
Thanks, friend! 🙂
I wish we could learn of God’s faithfulness and sustaining power in a way other than by walking through difficulty and suffering. But there really is no other way! You glorify Him with your transparency and belief in His goodness even though the road has been dark and bumpy!
Vicky, yes~ too bad there’s no shortcut to learning of God’s faithfulness, but you are correct. Thanks for taking the time to comment here and encourage. 🙂
Susan, Thank you for your transparency. I am blessed to know of you and the light you share! Hugs from a neighbor!
Milagro, thanks so much.
Susan I love your heart and the way you phrased this post. I would love to purchase a print of the Psalm 16:5 painting you made. Thank you for sharing and being a blessing.
Erin, thanks so much for the encouraging comment on my blog.
I hope to have prints of the Ps 16:5 available within the next week. I’ll post on FB when they’re available. If you’d like, you can sign up to be on my email list on the sidebar of my blog. I send subscribers occasional updates about blog posts, new items posted in my shop and sales too.
Again, thanks. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.
I am so sorry to hear of such a horrible, trying time for your family. May God continue to touch your hearts and minds with His love and peace. You are a shining example of following Christ with true faith. I know you and your family will help many others, and already do!
Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your family. He walks with you❤️?
Thank you Lena