Monday, December 31, 2012

A Gaping Hole

As the holidays round the corner to a brand New Year, I peer into the distance with an odd mix of emotions. Anticipation for what God will bring, fear of losing others in my life, and loneliness from the missing mama in my life.

Christmas came and went. My dad made a decision to do Christmas in honor of mom. She loved giving gifts! She used to spend months finding the perfect gifts for everyone in her family. She would scour the internet, hit all the shops and peruse the aisles. Her favorite thing, my dad reminded all of us, was to set out all the gifts under the Christmas tree with one of her kids receiving remarkably less than the others. This son, or daughter;-)...would open presents, watch others open presents and sit slightly sullen in the corner. Little did we know that from the garage or bedroom or backyard would emerge a beautiful, bright, large or small gift! One year, when I was 11, it was a spectacular drum set for me (so I could play like Larry Mullen from U2!)

So this year, we exchanged gifts and my brother David received the secret present, a fantastic golf driver! It was an enjoyable time and Emma was especially hyper until 10:30pm playing with her new RC cars from Papa.

In the middle of the gift exchange, there would be moments we talked about mom and felt a little joy with a twinge of sadness. Christmas was so her "thing." I drove away feeling as if there was a huge gaping hole in the fabric of our lives, this hole that we all wanted to sew together, but it was just...gone.'s hard to deal with loss. That emptiness will never be filled again. Yes, I know my mama is dancing and singing with Jesus right now and that I will see her again around the corner! But...for now, she is gone. No more phone calls, text messages, Bible studies, late night advice, silly words, surprising emails, encouraging gifts, divinely inspired blog entries... just gone.

I remember so many beautiful times with my mom, I just don't want to forget. I don't want to lose those memories. So I write them down or I look through pictures. How do you deal with loss of a loved one? What helps and what does not?

I am so thankful for the people who see me and give me a hug, or just smile and say, "I love you."

In the gaping hole of loss, it really helps to reflect on the power, might, and love of God. I take comfort in the fact that His Hands are holding us. Those nail scarred hands which made the deepest demonstration of love, are holding our lives together.

Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me ~ Isaiah 49: 15b-16

Jesus, has inscribed you and me on the palms of His hands. The nail scarred hands (or wrists possible) serve as a reminder of the cost. Jesus laid down His life to give us eternal life, without which I would be utterly in despair. When I think of my mom, I have a peace and assurance that she is in heaven.

Colossians is a great book! It is all about the supremacy of Christ and how everything, literally everything, is held together by Him, the Creator God. In light of this knowledge, our only response is to gape in awe of His Presence! If we are living in His presence, then the natural effect will be that of holiness.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.~ Colossians 3:1-4

Seek those things above. What a challenge!? Am I daily seeking Christ? In all that I do, am I bringing glory to Him? Hmmmm... it's a tough one. I want to say yes, but sometimes I am so caught up in examining others or trying to frantically run from one thing to the next that I miss sight of God! Amazingly, He will use me for His plan, but I don't want to be so nearsighted that I miss it!

So, as I stare into the New Year and a seemingly gaping hole, I am challenged to seek eternity. To step out in faith. To go to uncomfortable places and meet the needs of the people around me.

And at the core of all my life, I am comforted by the realization that His Hands are holding me. He will carry me through the difficult days and moments, He is big enough.

Do you have a story of how God is holding you right now? Share it!

The song of the day: "Your Hands" by JJ Heller. It was in my mom's recently added playlist titled "Worship." 

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
Lisa, sitting pensive and pretty (I think I look a bit like her here:-)
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still
Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

See you around the corner!


  1. Hi, am Katie.... And I know that when my daddy passed dec 17, 1991 from lung cancer... I was floored.... Because my mom was also dx with breast cancer... My daddy fought hard.. His faith in Jesus was beautiful... I was 22 years old facing both of my parents with cancer.... I prayed... Sang... Did all that I thought God wanted me to do, but I realized that I wasn't doing it for the glory of God, but so my pain would be removed.... I was selfish... I didn't want to have two gaping holes to fill... Now in my 40's looking back... My daddy was so in love with Jesus ... He would say you feel Jesus .. :) I smile .. It does get less sad.. You will always remember your mama like you just spoke to her.... We never have to forget only remember the love they gave us... And share it with our kids, siblings... Am grateful that God let my mom stay with us for the time He has... Am sure a day will come when God will call my mom... Nobody is ever prepared, but I know that the love of Jesus is carrying me, and will embrace me when it's her time.... Until then I will love, live , laugh.... He is big enough ..
    In Him,

  2. So very sorry for your loss, Jess. We lost Tim's brother and grandpa this past year...and the grief is ever-present in our hearts.