Monday, April 8, 2013


I am sitting here, at the kitchen table of my grandmother's busy farmhouse, the epicentre of my childhood play days... It's quieter now, Grammie's resting.  The girls are off playing with their cousins.  Gracie, the golden retriever, now very far in years, snores loudly sprawled out on the kitchen floor.  This place holds so many memories, both from my childhood and with Lynn.  I used to laugh at him here, so out of place among the farmers :) So unaccustomed to Island leisure. At Christmas gatherings, it was especially funny when Grammie called him John.  Two of my other cousins have married John's, and Grammie would always forget and called Lynn "John", too.  He would always tease her, Now which John do you mean, Grammie?

My cousins and I used to run free, building forts in the hay bales, climbing trees, naming calves, chasing piglets...  I often wonder how we got away with it.  We were left to our own devices for hours upon hours!  We got into all kinds of mischief, were never really checked on, and came home when we were hungry.  Oh what a glorious childhood it was!

Being here has a surreal feel to it.  Back in my roots, in my earliest days, days long before Lynn... I can almost close my eyes, go back in time, and wonder if the last 20 years actually happened?  Is any of it real?  It has moved out of reality and into a snapshot, a framed photo I can hang up on my wall or put up on the mantle, but cannot re-enter...

I have felt very distraught since my last bog post...  I hate the tone of how it sounded, at least to my own inner ears.  I avoided personal details for personal reasons, and the outcome seems cold and judgmental to me.  I hope that's not the impression you got, but if so, please forgive me.  I do think there is validity to discussing how we can progress as a society.. I am still an Erskine after all!  Progress we must!  But I would be hugely missing the point if I were to plant myself in the discussion of social issues.  Society is as broken as people are broken.  People are broken everywhere.  I do not expect society to ever reach a place of perfection.  Yet, I long for perfection in Christ...

What am I doing?  Where am I going?  Nothing feels right.  Nothing tastes right.  Nowhere seems like home.  No path makes sense to me.  I'm back at the beginning.  Everything else is being stripped away... My house is selling.  If all goes well, I will be completely moved out in less than a month.  I left about a month ago, anticipating this sale, staying away for my realtor to access it easily in all the hubbub of selling activity... But I thought when it happened that I'd have some semblance of a plan, some hint of where this path before me leads.  Instead, I feel completely lost, completely lacking, completely empty.

To live again is harder.  To visualize a new life is harder than I thought it would be.  It kills me on the inside.  Every second of every day, I am wondering how I'm going to make it, how I'm going to raise my kids, how I'm going bear another second of this unbearable pain.

But I refuse to stop at questioning society.  I am in the darkest pit of my life and I never could have imagined it real, possible.  It is a nightmare.  It is hell on earth.  It just is.  But I can't allow my eyes to become tainted by the darkness of my grief.  I must maintain my ability to stand in the shadows and project light, the light from within, the light that dispels the darkness, radiating forward in waves of divine power and heavenly glory.

My eyes will not stay on the difficulties of being a widow, a single mom, a grieving minister of the gospel in today's technological, intellectual, knowledge-based, medicated culture (no cynicism, I promise!).  But they will remain fixed on Christ, the author and the finisher of my faith, the one who holds the keys of eternal life and who places them in my very hand, entrusting me with with an inheritance far greater than anything I could ever think of or imagine...

To mourn is necessary.  It is a necessary means toward healing.  It is very hard, brutally painful.  And it is a beautiful form of worship.

I cannot right now go into church, smile and shake hands, chit chat with the masses, stand and sing and raise my hands... I cannot promise that I will rise above this valley of the shadow of death unscathed, perfectly victorious, a glorious overcomer.  I cannot imagine how I will continue to live tomorrow, next month, saying goodbye to my home, packing up, leaving...

All I know is today.  Today, I weep.  Today, I grieve. But in grief, I will worship.  I will lament and I will praise.  The two are not contradictory.

Lead me in the everlasting way, where I praise. 
(Psalm 139, Elizabeth Rhyno)

1 comment:

  1. Natasha, God be with you and give you strength. When my youngest sister's husband died, they had been married 12 years, she sold their home, in a community where she grew up, and moved to Ontario. He had died in their home very unexpectedly. Her life was a turmoil for quite some time. Eventually she moved to NZ, to a place where she knew no one. She did not have any children. She never did have a life she wanted, as she died 5 years later on her 45 th birthday.

    But through it all I supported her. Do what you must, do what you feel you need to do. and in a year or two if you need to do something is your life. We can all say we know how you must feel, or what you are going through. No one but you knows how you feel. And if you want to grieve longer then "people" think you should...too bad. I did not lose my husband, but I did lose my baby sister, my friend whom I shared a lot with. I did go to NZ to be with her. Although I could never understand why she left her family and all things familiar, I never questioned her decision. I just supported her.

    If your friends do not support your decisions, do not let it bother you. It is your life!!!
    Your faith will get you through this, and years down the road you will look back and what if you think you made the wrong decision, it will not was your decision to make. Life is full of decisions, some important, some not. But they are our decisions...and we are the ones to live with are such a model for strength, and God's will make it...........when you are ready!!!!

    You are the one who lives with it, not the people who think they know what is best for you.

    Keep your faith and one day you will come out of the darkness...