Friday, September 28, 2012

In the midst of suffering.

I have been wanting to blog for some time now, but am having a hard time finding the words.

Today, my two year old daughter, instinctively, before the rest of us was aware, realized that it was Friday.  Today of all days, Daddy should be here.  Alea (the early riser like her father) started before 7:00 am, fussing and crying, asking why Daddy wasn't here because she misses him and she wants him... The day felt harder and harder to bear, like a heavy weight resting on my body, so that I would sit down and think, "Surely, I'm going to be crushed."  Finally I realized the simplest thing.  It's Friday.  This is the first week we've been back to "routine", and we always woke up on Friday morning knowing today is Daddy day :)  It was Lynn's day off and our day to be a family as much as possible.  We pushed away the financial stresses, the week's ups and downs, comings and goings, our beloved ministry :), to love each other.  Friday's were very special, and Alea remembered.

It's amazing how the simple things can effect a family in a time of loss.  It was just a day of the week.  And yet it left Alea kicking and screaming a lot of the day, Roya refusing to rest and acting out in her "passive-aggressive" way that says, "I'm hurting inside."  And me - knowing that without the tender love of a special friend, I may not have made it through the day.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  What do I do with this day?

All these "firsts" feel like a foreign land... like my life becomes a dark and strange place where "normal" no longer exists.  My normal is wiped out, gone.  And I am left trying to create a new normal for the "left behinds".

Roya says to me, "I want to die.  I wish I could die Mom.  I wish you could die and Alea could die and I could die."  This isn't actually as morbid as it may sound.  But in her mind, if Daddy's in heaven with Jesus, why can't we go too?  Can't we go with him?  I tell her I feel the same way.  I wish I could go to heaven, too.  It doesn't feel good being left behind.

As soon as the three of us sat down for supper tonight, I knew it was coming.  It was all over Alea's face. Just before we bowed our heads in prayer, Alea yells, "Why isn't Daddy to sit in the chair!!!!"  She didn't get the words out quite right, but communicated well enough how aware she was of our empty chair.  What an adjustment.

Every day is different.  Every "first" is difficult.  And every breath feels intentional.  And yet, I feel the sweetness of Jesus' presence at all times.  "Even the darkness, it is not darkness to You" (Elizabeth Rhyno quoting Psalm 139).  I am foolish enough to revel in God's goodness even when I think I could die from pain and grief.  Oh, how I miss my husband!!!!  How I wish for more of him!  It wasn't enough time to live the lifetime with him I intended to.  So what now, God?

Whether I want to go forward or not, lead me in the way everlasting!!!

Thank you to all my friends and family.  I feel your prayers.  And I need them desperately.


  1. Thank you for bravely sharing your journey. We are praying for you and your girls.

  2. You and the girls were on my mind today more than normal...I now understand why. I was praying for the Lords strength, comfort & patience for you, Roya & Alea throughout the day.
    Love you dear sister,

  3. beautiful. continuing to pray for you Natasha and all of these firsts. for roya, alea, and the way everlasting that is to come. love and blessings.

  4. Like Amanda, you were heavy on my mind today. I will continue to pray for you and your sweet girls that you will be each be able to strengthen and comfort each other through His love.

  5. Natasha, many tears are shed as I read your blog. My heart breaks for you and your girls. I experienced the loss of a husband leaving, but he did so willingly. I asked God why so many times during that season. I can't imagine how much it hurts not only knowing your pain, but watching your girls. You are an incredibly strong woman. Thank you for being willing to share your heart in such a time as this. I asked God during my season to hold me heart because I was afraid it would break. I will pray that God holds yours as well. I can honestly say He was faithful in doing so. Praying for you and your girls.

  6. Blessings to you Natasha as you and your girls have to walk through this day by day, step by step... What you shared here is beautiful. Keep sharing ;o)

  7. Like several others, I thought of you often today. Praying for the peace and comfort of the Lord to hold you all and guide you through this uncharted territory. Thank you for sharing your heart with us Natasha.

  8. My dear, sweet Natasha,
    I have not been able to escape this verse the past week, and have been praying it over you...
    "I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13)
    It is your 'foolishness' that makes you beautiful to your Father and King, that endears His heart toward yours, that carries you with His gentle hands. It is your "foolishness" that is ministering to all of us even though we want to be ministering to you. You have always been amazing, but this is ten-fold. Thank you for sharing your heart with those who love you so dearly. It helps us know how to pray for you and the girls, and allows us to "journey" with you- a privilege that we do not take lightly. I am praying the "what now, God?" with you...God has always known that this would be your journey. He has plans. Your steps of faith despite your pain are bringing glory. One step at a time...
    Years ago, I remember sitting beside your bed when you were having a hard day physically and were so weak and in pain (sorry if this is getting too much for a public blog...) I was so anxious to help you. I remember running to the student center to get you food...whatever I could do! And I felt so honored to be your friend in those times of need. This time is especially hard for me because I feel like I can't do anything for you. I wish I could carry some of your pain. So I'll keep asking the Father to. And continue asking that He reveal His goodness to you in the land of the living. I love that you are taking comfort in the knowledge that this is not darkness to Him.
    Love always,

    1. Thank you, Ang. I remember that well :)

    2. You have spoken as a true friend of Natasha's......two beautiful souls, may God continue to bless her with friends like you.

  9. Natasha,
    I have tears running down my face right now as I'm reading this. I have been in pain for you over these last few weeks and have spent much time in prayer for you and your little girls. I pray for strength in the struggles of raising little people on your own, for strength in the grief you're going through. I pray for people in your life to be what you need them to be, when you need it. I pray for comfort and to feel His love in this immense pain.
    I can't imagine what you're feeling and it's hard to know what to say, but my heart is aching for you and I know that God will use this for His glory and His work.
    Take care of yourself and your babies,
    Annie MacGregor (Tiffany Woodard's sister)

  10. Natasha,

    There must be so much to convey to the girls. It sounds like God is allowing for peace beyond understanding through the explanations and the ways you're offering it to them --explanations that can be applicable in so many ways beyond the initial intent. Just like we saw when visiting, you continue to console others with your words. It truly took our breath away to see you giving of yourself (with even as simple a thing as your presence, but most often taking time to really spend time with each individual). Whether it's the initial intent or not, it's all been a prime example of you continuing a legacy of "hugely impacting a disproportionate number of people." Thank you for sharing, and I hope you continue, whenever able. God is still working in and through you.

    Love to you and the girls! <3


  11. Thank you all for your encouraging words.

    1. You are in my thoughts & prayers so much. I find it so hard not being closer to you. I just can't imagine the grief that you & the girls are going through. The girls are so little & it must be so frustrating to them as to where did daddy go? They are grieving just as little ones would. I kept having pictures of this come in my mind & I have been praying for their little hearts & yours too. Specifically,for you as you mother these 2 precious girls through a very difficult time. Just let the emotions pour out in every way that is the best advice I can give, don't let society's "shutting down" way of dealing with things affect you at all. Cry, scream, kick & write whatever it takes just let it out. It is far worse to stuff & hold it in. So wear black & grieve as long as it takes. God loves you soooo much & He will carry you through this journey in your life.

      Love & Hugs,
      Anne MacGregor

  12. Natasha - I must be honest in telling you I have been selfishly grieving your loss because I don't know what I would do in your situation, what I would tell our kids, what I would do without my best friend, heart feels broken for you and I can't help but question God in all this. I am telling you this because I can't stop thinking of you and the girls: in the morning when I wake up I think of you and pray for you and the girls. When Andy helps me with the kids I think of u & the girls. When I go to bed at night I think of you and I wake up at night crying for you, praying for you. My bible study prays for you. Another church down the street from ours prays for you. And we will not stop. I have so much love for you, sister-in-Christ. I know God is with you. I just want you to know you are prayed for, even by those who do not know you.

    -Candace Henne

  13. Natasha, I have lived in fear the past six years of going through just what you are going through now, and my heart breaks for you. Although Barry has been doing well, the fear is always there and I admire your faith and your strength. I must say , it shames me, my own lack of strength. I think of you and those sweet girls , and pray for you often.