Okay – I am back in Tallahassee after the adventure of going to South Africa. I first learned about and started to consider this trip just a week after Christopher died. So now, after 7+ months of anticipation and looking forward to it, it is now in the past. What does that leave me with; a lot of great memories for which I am very thankful, but now what.
A song by Steven Curtis Chapman says,
But there’s more to this life than living and dying,
More than just trying to make it through the day;
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see,
And there’s more than this life alone can be.
I know that is true. I know that is true for Christopher and I know that is true for me. It is just a little more clear for Christopher right now than it feels for me.
I am applying my “you can’t steer a parked car” right now. I just keep moving and we’ll see where God directs me. I don’t like this feeling right now; I don’t like being so obviously out of control. Truth be told, if I have learned anything in the last almost 8 months it is that I was never really in control; it was only ever an illusion.
Over the last three weeks I read Larry Crabb’s Shattered Dreams and although I could identify with almost everything, it made me very uncomfortable. I don’t like the fact that this implies that Christopher died so that I would find a deeper relationship with God. Wasn’t there a different way? Did Christopher have to die? There must have been another way? If there wasn’t another way, what does that say about me? Was I so hard-hearted that the only option was to take my son?
Then I have to remind myself that Christopher didn’t lose in all this. He is not in heaven thinking, “Darn, I don’t get to go to prom!” He is more than satisfied with the outcome. It is me that is challenged by the whole thing, because my perspective is so limited.
It doesn’t, however, change the pain. For that understanding, I appreciated Crabb’s book. Permission to hurt in today’s Christian culture is rare. I hurt and that means nothing other than I am in the reality of Shattered Dreams