Have you ever experienced a life changing event. One where you knew that from that point on you would never be the same? For my husband and I that day came 25 years ago today. After 9 months of awaiting the birth of our baby boy he suddenly and without explanation became still. We gave birth to our beautiful, precious son Abram Charles on November 4th, 1991. On that day we began a path through sorrow that was greater than we could have imagined. Our hearts ached with a pain that to this day can come back as fresh as the day it began. Our little boy, with his beautiful head of dark hair and soft little cheeks, would never come home with us to nurture and love and raise as we had dreamed he would. After his death I struggled to face each new day. There was a constant weight on my chest that made it hard to simply take a breath. Although I began to grow in my relationship with the Lord in a deeper way than I had ever known was possible, I still wondered if I would ever feel joy again.
A few weeks after Abram’s death while I was spending time with my sister I asked her how long she thought the pain in my chest would last. She answered me with a random question. She asked, ‘What time of the day is most difficult to get through?’ It for sure was the evenings when my husband Charlie was at his youth ministry meetings. It was wintertime and the days were depressingly short and the evenings would seem to drag on endlessly. She invited me to her home during those times so that Emily and I could just hang out. We began going regularly and while Emily would play with her 4 older cousins Kathy and I would make something. Anything! It might be a sewing project, a random craft or something in the kitchen.
Slowly, as the weeks passed and we connected over what might have seemed like simple little craft projects, the weight on my chest began to lift and I began to be able to breathe again. I can remember the day when I first had a feeling of joy flicker in my heart again, it had become such a foreign feeling that I actually felt guilty about feeling it!
I will forever be thankful to my sister for sharing her daily life and love of creating with me at a time when I could not do those things for myself.
How can we help others who are hurting by simply sharing our lives with them? I need to remind myself that as I go about living, doing the things each day that come naturally to me, that it is all a gift. The art of living, creating, moving through each day is a gift from God and by simply sharing our lives with one another and connecting with one another we can help one another. Just as my sister simply shared her life with me through her everyday activities God used her as one of the ways that helped me walk through darkness until I could feel joy again.