Hello, beautiful, innocent blog. So much has happened since we last met. I have so much to tell you… good and healing and terrible and heart breaking. I plan to do some backward blogging; to tell you about some recent trips, and my bedroom makeover, a whole house re-arange, and about some wonderful things God has done in my heart.
But first, I have to tell you the most unbelievable, awful news. We lost our most precious, youngest son, Joel Manuel Coleman. On December 7th of 2012, our twenty year old son, was murdered at a birthday party. He and Joshua took an Apples to Apples game to enjoy a bonfire that ended in a terrible gunfire that instantly took my baby boy home to be with Jesus.
God has really given us so much comfort, so much joy in our suffering. Right this minute as I type I am listening to IHOP streaming live as I often do and they are singing/praying “God of hope, arise, anchor their soul, give them hope that doesn’t disappoint.” http://www.ihopkc.org/prayerroom/
This morning I am mourning my losses.. laying them at Jesus feet. It helps so much to take inventory. Counting my losses, recording them, leaving them, frees me to count my blessings.
I had a vision once of all my sorrows at the foot of the cross wrapped in brown paper packages and tied up with string like in the song from The Sound of Music, “My Favorite Things.” What I didn’t understand was that one of “My Favorite Things” would become my sorrows wrapped in “Brown paper packages tied up with string.” It’s as if Holy Spirit graciously takes my sorrows and wraps them up tight so that it’s easier for me to leave them there at Jesus’ feet. What had seemed so loosely laid there, so easily picked up again is now neatly and tightly packaged, safe at His feet.
“When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”
“He restores. He makes all things new. Everything beautiful. He’s just in time. He’ll be strong in your weakness. He will restore your song. He will restore your soul. He is there even when you can not feel Him, you can not hear Him. I’ll take your ashes and turn them beauty. I’ll make all things beautiful just in time. I am your strength. I am your beauty. I am your life. I am your life. Come to me. Come to me.” on IHOP now..
Each morning since Joel was taken from us, I wake up to the awful reality that he is gone, that I have loss so much, and I weep. It’s as if while I sleep, I forget and all is at peace, but when I awake, I have to face the reality all over again.
After facing the awful reality each morning, I purposefully to turn my thoughts to the reality of the goodness of God in the midst of my suffering.. as I am now.
Many days it has been this song by Jesus Culture that has given me strength to face the day:
One Thing Remains
Higher than the mountains that I face
I’m confident and covered by the power of Your great love
Today, God gave me the extra grace I needed to take inventory of many of my recent losses: losses through moves, of friends, of a sense of security, of a sense of home; losses in health due to my corn allergy and breast cancer, losses of rest and freedom from pain.
And now of this huge loss of our precious son, Joel, losses of innocence, of untainted joy, loss of a friend, a brother, an encourager, a joy, laughter, a confidant, a protector, a companion, a fellow worshiper and prayer warrior, of so much of who we were as family of six.
Writing them all down is part of wrapping them in the brown paper packages of Holy Spirit all tied up with string, part of why I try to write so openly and honestly here on this blog. The truth sets me free.. free indeed.
I am laying it all at His beautiful, loving feet. Striving to enter into His rest, to allow Him to be God, to give and take away, to work all things together for the good of those who love Him – whatever His definition of that is. I am choosing to rest, to allow because it’s the only choice.
What I want, what I would choose if I could, would to be to go back in time, in the story of my life and rip out the pages of the last eight weeks and rewrite my story with a much happier ending, but what I am coming to recognize is that wanting anything except more of Jesus is pointless, striving to do anything but rest in what God is doing is futile.
Until He returns, takes me home, or until he decides I have loss enough of myself, I will continue to loose and I will continue to take inventory of my losses, and to leave them wrapped up by Holy Spirit’s power at the foot of the cross where I can find healing and help in my time of need and freedom to live again.