When I agreed to be part of the weekly link up by Faith Barista, “Faith Barista Jam “.I began to panic this week’s was on Unexpected Encouragement. I’ve been struggling through many emotions the biggest one being my grief. I wasn’t sure I would find the encouragement or be aware enough to notice it.
I should have had more faith. In some incredible amazing way God gives you what you need, the answers, the support, the encouragement, the hope.
After writing a book review for a Christian magazine, I was overjoyed to receive a gift through the post. A book “Choosing to SEE “by Mary Beth Chapman. I knew of this book, to be honest I knew the story behind the book. Steven Curtis Chapman’s album “Beauty will rise” had got me through many nights when the pain of my grief overwhelmed me and crushed my heart. When the endless “Why’s” denied me sleep. The words of these songs kept me hanging on.
So I knew of the book but had been scared to order it, scared to read a mother’s pain, the rawness of her aching spirit. I was barely coping with my own grief.
Yet I found myself opening the first page. I felt as if God had sent it to me to read, so I trusted in him.
Bless you Mary Beth! The pages are tear-stained, my heart is torn yet my soul is filled with hope. Reading your (Mary Beth) accounts of Maria made my heart smile. Livvy was my bundle of mischief, my Tinkerbell.
Mary Beth spoke of the quietness that had been left behind. I know that silence. The great gaping hole which had once been filled with the cheeky spirit of my darling daughter.
As I read through the pages my own journey was to be found in the words. The doctor at the hospital telling me there was nothing they could do, Livvy was gone.
The guilt, I’m her mom I should have seen, should have known, and should have saved her.
The pain of watching your husband, your children cope with a loss that no one should ever have to face.
“This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
But this is how it is
And our God is in control”
Steven Curtis Chapman & Mary Beth Chapman
Yet as I read the words through tear filled eyes. I felt Jesus by my side, telling me he was there with me. I have always believed it, now I knew it, I wasn’t alone.
There was so many emotions Mary Beth wrote about I could relate to, yet I know each journey is different. How we survive is up to us.
In “Choosing to SEE” I found unexpected encouragement. I found HOPE!
I pray each day for my darling daughter. She holds a piece of my heart that will never be complete until we are reunited again. Yet I do take comfort and strength from my faith. Livvy is in the arms of Jesus.
I live with HOPE.
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love in our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us”