In which I scare my son out of his mind and I try to come to terms with my own words, or The End.

. . . continued from A really bad day of vacation (Part I) That just doesn’t end (Part II) . . .

I looked in the rearview mirror and saw my son’s eyes in the dimness of the dome light in the back of the SUV. The sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach returned, I felt nauseous and like all the oxygen had left the air in my lungs. I had seen those eyes before.

“What does it all mean, Mommy? What does it all mean?”

“What does what mean, sweetheart?”

“All the bad things. Everything that went wrong today. Oh, Mommy, what does it all mean?”

“I don’t know that it means anything. I was just making a joke, honey.”

“Mommy, my tummy feels sick like it did the night Tiggy died. Like something really bad is going to happen. Mommy, something really bad is going to happen.”

“Bear, that night you knew Tiggy was hurt really bad. You saw something horrible and you knew he might not live. That’s why your tummy felt sick then. Right now you are just worried and your tummy remembers that night so it is feeling the same way. It doesn’t mean anything bad is going to happen.”

“Mommy, I’m so scared.”

“You know something? Nothing bad actually happened today. We were blessed with one good thing after another all day. It was only frustrating because our plans didn’t go the way we wanted.”

“But what about the car? And not being able to pick us up?”

“Can you imagine what would have happened to us if the idler arm had come off while we were driving on all those windy roads? If we suddenly couldn’t steer? We would have lost control and maybe had a really bad accident. Sweetie, that happening when it did might have saved our lives. And we were helped so much by strangers, we can’t really say the frustrating part was really ‘bad.'”

“And your purse?”

“It wasn’t stolen. It was stressful for a few minutes, but nothing bad happened. And honey, for all we know, God had that little boy pick up my purse to keep us at the park.”

“What do you mean?”

“That tree hadn’t been on the road for long or someone else would have moved it. What if we were held up just long enough so it wouldn’t fall on us?”

“Really, Mommy?”

“I don’t know, but it could be.”

And the fear left his eyes as he recounted an episode of Paws and Tales where Papa Bear and his young friend endure multiple set backs that lead to them being in the right place at the right time. He was happy, chattery and went to bed without a single complaint about his tummy or how he wanted me to sleep with him.

I went to bed in a somewhat more somber mood.

My little boy trusts me. I make a careless joke at the end of a stressful day and he becomes sick with fear. I tell him God is looking over us and he rejoices. The words I speak into his life are powerful and I am not sure I am equipped for that level of responsibility.

I don’t have all the answers.

I’m not even sure how I feel about what I told him.

I’ve always had a sort of uneasy relationship with the idea of divine intervention. It isn’t really what the Bible says so much as all the problems we so faithfully commit to the Lord with the assurance that “the Lord will find a way” though they are hardly problems at all. At least not when you think about the problems a mother on the other side of the world must be facing when she decides to sell her daughter into slavery.

And there is that one moment in our story where God withheld His protective hand. Where our prayers went unanswered. Where we, for a moment, felt lost.

But mostly I think it is because in my daily walk, my life gets so cluttered with all the things I’ve thrown in my path that I lose sight of the destination. I let my eyes fall from the promise and start to behave as if this right here is all I have.

My stomach gets tied up in knots and I wonder what it all means because I forget that the worst that can happen is death and after that comes the prize.

__________________________

This post is entered in the Lessons from the Road (Trips) link up over at I Live in an Antbed.


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Gail
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“The words I speak into his life are powerful and I am not sure I am equipped for that level of responsibility.”

These words pierced my heart. I, too, have a little boy who trust me and everything I say. What an amazing responsibility! Thank you for reminding me how important my words are!

Sisterlisa
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Dana… ((hugs)) Your days like this may seem incredibly painful for you and your family, but what I’m seeing is an incredible journey of faith and trust to which I am so ultimately inspired by. These days may seem to be tragic reminders to you and your children, but they are really moments in which you are speaking faith into the lives of your little ones and perhaps, just perhaps..through all this and your insightful words that declare trust in the Divine, that you are preparing your little ones to be great people of faith one day. I pray that… Read more »
Holly
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Dana. So much truth. (())

Virginia
Guest
I don’t know you and have only recently started reading your blog, but I so appreciate your candidness and how real you are! It is inspiring and refreshing, even as difficult as it is for you to be going through, as you share your walk- ups and downs- with Jesus. We all have joys and hardships, different as they may be, and we all need to remind ourselves of your last statement more often… My stomach gets tied up in knots and I wonder what it all means because I forget that the worst that can happen is death and… Read more »
Kathy
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Dana, I am so touched by your blog. Truly. No words for how much. I often don’t comment because I cannot even articulate how much so.

You have created a soft place to land for your children; their thoughts, fears and questions. You are an amazing example to us all. Thank you for sharing. Truly.

How hard it is sometimes to hope in the unseen. But oh how our heart whispers it’s truth.

Love to you friend.

Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight
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oh my – this is so deeply impacting. How my words affect those little ones – and myself. How often I look at the rotten side of irritations instead of focusing on how perhaps God was putting me in the right place at the right time. And yet…as you say…bad things happen. People I love suffer. People I don’t even know suffer a thousand time more acutely. Pain and loss is here, intermingled with the tender care and provision. And maybe there are no easy answers, no pat replies. Thanks for writing, for speaking, for sharing what God is doing… Read more »
Heather
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I dont know you, and vice versa, but I wish I could just proverbially drop in on your porch and give you a big hug. I too, lost my son, although he was an infant, and your darling Tiggy was a toddler…and the words you write are such an honest and painful portrayal of the way life completely alters when you go through the death of a child. Please know today, and for many days past, I have prayed for you, and for your family as you walk this “shadowed path” of learning to live without the child you loved.… Read more »
I Live in an Antbed
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Precious, precious faith–what a glorious gift you gave your sweet child: to look for His Faithfulness in all things. I have a tiny little Link-Up on Friday’s where I encourage people to share testimony of how He has shown Himself Faithful in their lives. “We will testify of His Faithfulness to the next generation.” Would you possibly consider linking up? If not, that’s okay. I just know this would be such a powerful blessing. Thank you for your words.
http://iliveinanantbed.blogspot.com/2011/07/lessons-from-road-trips-link-up.html

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[…] Dana also has me pondering about how I can/should view the circumstances of life with her post,  The End . […]

Allison
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I didn’t intend to hit send yet. Just wanted to share a powerful article that came to mind when reading your precious entry: http://www.nancyguthrie.com/articles/articles_ct05.php It helped me as God was rebuilding my theology after much was torn down. Perhaps it’s semantics but while death is the last bad thing anyone can inflict, I would say that there are many things worse than death for a believer. Grief is just one of those things on the list. A dear friend has closely watched our first year of grief since our dd’s death. Her conclusion: the actual death is not the hardest… Read more »
Sherry
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Yes, this was worth waiting for. I am praising God for His generous gift of wisdom and words of trust and faith that streamed from you to calm the nerves of a young child who needed to hear. Isn’t it the truth…. when you look at the amazement of strangers when you needed kindness the most and when you look at the tree that fell and the timing of you losing your purse, God’s providential care over you and your family is overwhelmingly AWESOME! I pondered that word before using it, as it’s so over used for things that really… Read more »
Dana
Guest

Thank you, Allison. Nancy has a lot of wonderful resources. She’s the host of the GriefShare videos, too, so I’ve read a lot of her things.

Dana
Guest

Thank you, Sherry. And I like those pictures of Jesus laughing. That isn’t the way we normally think of Him, but there is so much talk of joy in the Bible, I think there must be laughter there, too. 🙂

mary
Guest
Dana, this really touched me tonight. Our dear friend has passed away, after a VERY difficult illness and her memorial was this afternoon. The minister said a lot of odd things about how she had been spared suffering because her illness was so ‘quick’ at three months total. He must not have visited her. She suffered and suffered until I didn’t think she could possibly suffer any more. When she was still able to speak, I said I felt this was so unfair, how much pain she had to endure. She patted my hand and whispered, “You take the bitter… Read more »
mary
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P.S.
What you said to your mom made me think of what my oldest daughter told me in all seriousness one day.
“Mom, you know that saying about ‘if you don’t succeed, try, try again’? ”
“Yup.”
“Well, I think it should actually say… ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try once more and then you should just STOP’…”
HAHAHA!

I sort of agree. 😀

Praying for you all, always.

MarshaMarshaMarsha
Guest

after that comes the prize.

it is there, in front of us, and it won’t be long…

love you, friend. thank you for sharing your journey. you minister to my heart. keep being faithful and looking to the Lord.

Sheri
Guest

Hugs. Thinking of you and ever more in admiration that you continue to share your journey. Much love to you all.

Dana
Guest

I’m so sorry, Mary. I am so glad she had that to look forward to and KNEW she had that to look forward to. I think it can be easy to forget in suffering.

And that is funny about your daughter. I tend to not know when to throw in the towel which can be as bad as giving up too soon.

Tammy
Guest

It’s easy to forget how much power our words can have. With young children, I find myself being careful about what I say around them. There are times when I forget, and my kids let me know. They start questioning, or repeat what I say at the most awkward of times. Our children soak up everything we say. And as their parents, what we say holds the most weight.