Raise your hand if you have ever felt like running away.
For months after Rebekah’s accident, we considered selling the house and moving. I would mention it to people and was always met with the same sympathetic nod and “you know you can’t run away from grief”.
I know I am not alone! Stress, frustration, hurtful people, guilt, regret, and painful memories all make us want to bolt. We are not necessarily looking to relocate, but to find a relief, even temporary, from the discomfort that is overwhelming us.
One day recently Brett and I entertained the idea for several hours. We discussed where we would go and what we would do when we got there. The kids and I are too deeply rooted here which removes fleeing as an option. Rebekah’s death has shown us who our true friends are and how deeply we are loved. I do not wish to run away from blessings!
What we needed was a reprieve. A day to rest and enjoy being a family. The following weekend we packed the van full of sand toys, snacks, and changes of clothes and headed for the lake.
The weather was perfect-sunny, but not too hot and the waves were crashing onto the shore at just the right speed for Caleb and Micah to jump into them. I sat on an old blanket with Joel at my feet scooping sand into his bucket and watched my boys laughing and playing. Water sprayed their faces and sand stuck to their skin. They shivered in the breeze and ran back for warm towels.
They were happy and my heart sang.
I tried to show Joshua how to build a sand castle. Mine was pathetic looking and was quickly washed away. We rebuilt and decided that it would be wise to build a wall to protect our castle from the destructive waves. We worked quickly and with great purpose. Joshua is a busy little guy and this was right up his alley.
Finally, our amateur sandcastle was safe behind sturdy walls. I watched as the waves rolled up the side of the walls and then receded, unable to touch our castle.
Lines of Bible verses tumbled through my mind.
‘Thou hast been a shelter for me and a tower from the enemy”
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust”
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe”
We spent the rest of the day walking along the shore line and throwing rocks into the water. Caleb found a hiding place on a boulder and sat by himself for awhile. I think he enjoyed our get away as much as I did.
In the end, we did run away and found that it was exactly what we needed. We played, talked, relaxed, and enjoyed being together. It was wonderful.
The above verses still linger in my heart. Maybe I needed to run away in order to hear God’s voice? My mind is a busy place, constantly accusing me, forever altering the truth. My heart is broken and crying out for protection. These verses calm me. I am not alone.
In the beginning, I accused God, blamed Him for taking my daughter and breaking my heart. I felt abandoned and betrayed. How could I possibly believe these verses when He didn’t save my daughter? He didn’t keep her safe!
Do you know what God did when I yelled at Him? He took me in His arms and poured love into me. He continues to protect me from the evil that accuses me and the guilt that threatens to destroy me. The hurt that suffocates me to the point I doubt I can breathe lessens when I cry out for help. As if that isn’t enough, He sends people to love and encourage me daily.
Lastly, He sends me to the shores of Lake Michigan to teach me a lesson.
Family, Fun, and Forgetting my Hairbrush is another post about us getting away as a family during our grief. I am beginning to understand how important this is for our healing.