Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Repentance and Rest

"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength..."
Isaiah 30:15

A lazy bum: that's what I've been for the past week or so. We took a vacation from school, so besides doing chores (when Cole doesn't do them before me), and reminding the kids to do their chores, and going up and down the basement steps umpteen times a day to fill the wood stove, I haven't been doing very much else. Alexis even told me one day, "Mom, you do have to remember to feed us!" I happen to not be a big eater, and "forget" to eat regularly, especially when there is no schedule to follow. Good thing there are some budding chefs around here who do remember that it's time to make something for lunch.

I miss Trent. I miss living without the pain of missing my son. And I knew it would be harder over the holidays. Therefor, I committed myself to very little else other than grieving.

Exhaustion only causes me to forget the Promises, and they are easier to forget when the pain crashes in, wave after wave. I don't want pity; I just need to acknowledge where God has me and allow myself to be there. This is tough; it's a real battle. A battle to believe, to not give up, to not grow weary, to keep going.

I don't know how to hope for tomorrow, so I just focus on getting through today. I focus on getting out of bed in the morning to be able to kneel and pray; to be real with the God of the universe and allow the tears to flow over missing my son~ trusting God, but missing Trent. I make the bed, remembering how Trent used to always come in and snuggle. I walk past his bedroom, where there is no longer a sleeping teenage boy on the bottom bunk. I start the coffee and check the wood stove, then sit down in the recliner to read my Bible. An hour later, I am still begging for the strength to start this new day.

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength."I remember the words: the words that have been impressed upon my heart for nearly a decade. "Repentance and rest" in a world of hurry up and never take the time to stop and ponder eternal truths; they are a welcome sign to sit at my Saviors feet. During a quiet time of prayer the repentance can come, followed by the rest. The rest of a forgiven, satisfied heart, a truthful heart, a broken heart. God knows, there is no reason to pretend that He doesn't.

Quietness and trust. When the chaos is too loud I can't hear God. In the quiet He whispers, and then my heart remembers His words, and the trust comes easier. But quietness in a busy household is hard to come by. I intentionally carve it out of my days, and I guard my mornings to achieve it. The kids know my ritual and honor it as much as seven-to-sixteen-year-olds can, and my husband has long given up on asking me anything or intruding on that much needed time until I rise from my chair with a smile on my face.

"Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9

I am weary lately, so very weary. Ten months into this and I feel as if I am no closer to eternity myself. Galatians 6:9 has been my anchor verse this past week: "Don't grow weary, don't grow weary, don't grow weary . . . for at the proper time, proper time, proper time . . ." I have repeated to myself over, and over, and over again. Even a friend encouraged me with those words today. I remind myself that it is all done at God's proper time, not mine.

And then I see a picture, or a card, or a pair of boots or Trent's shorts in the hamper (it's funny how all these months later those same pair of shorts keep getting cycled through and nobody claims to know why they were on the closet floor or under a bed) . . . and the battle begins again.

On Christmas Eve afternoon I was working in the kitchen and muttered under my breath, "I just don't want to do this."

"I can tell," was Alexis' reply. The soft words were soothing, not harsh, as she wrapped her arms around me.

I was surprised that the honest thought had been said out loud rather than just in my heart. I really tried: I tried to make it a nice Christmas. I helped cut down and decorate the obligatory pine tree, I went to the parties and plays, I made the cookies for the neighbors, I wrapped the presents, I made the Eclair cake, and then I ate half of the Eclair cake. But it still showed: I didn't want to do it. I didn't want a Christmas without Trent.

So I repented and I rested. I stayed quiet and I trusted God. I kept doing the good things for my family and refused to become weary in them. I longed even more for my Savior Jesus to come and make it all right again.

In repentance and rest is my salvation, in quietness and trust is my strength. In God's strength, I will refuse to grow weary of doing good things, and will look forward to that harvest which will come in God's proper time.