Darkness Will Not Consume Us

Mother’s Day feels very all over the place this year.  It will be 6 years this November since my Mom died and I miss her still, but God has done so much work in my heart, mind and body when it comes to losing her.  He has allowed me to shed so much heartache and anger and bitterness over the years and truthfully, I miss her all the time and Mother’s Day doesn’t really amplify that for me anymore.  Of course it is still a giant reminder of “Hey, your Mom is dead” 🙂 but so many things in life do the same thing.  As the years pass God teaches me more and more how to deal with those moments.

I find it so interesting all the different ways a random holiday can heighten ones senses to others.  Every year I notice more and more about this holiday and others alike.  I see how different the day can spin for each individual.  I know the death of my own Mom made this so for me.  With Mother’s Day you have women who are longing to become moms, you have new moms and waiting moms and moms of biological, adopted and foster children. There are mamas who long to be celebrated, but there’s no one there to celebrate them.  There are single moms and newly divorced moms and moms who are now widows.  There are moms who grieve the loss of their children, moms who are sick and people who are taking care of their own sick mothers.  There are people who’s mothers have died or who have never experienced what it’s like to have a healthy relationship with their mom.  There are mamas who no longer have relationships with their own children and people who have no idea who their mom is or was.  There are birth mamas near and far who either rejoice or cringe or a mixture of both on this day.  And still so many others.  One day can amplify so many many different feelings…such a wide range of emotions and feelings on display.

This Mother’s Day has found my heart, mind and body in such a funk.  I lay awake at night researching Everett’s health issues and his heart failure medications and more than I’d like to admit, I’ve gone to google to try and figure out his life expectancy.  It has crossed my mind 5,000 times, “Will this be my one and only Mother’s Day with Everett?”.  Questions and what ifs and the unknown and shitty realities reel in our heads and hearts most of the days.

 Grief is so heavy in our home from what feels like 1000 different angles.  Everett is a sweet roller coaster of emotions from one minute fine and well adjusted to the next minute falling apart at the hinges, right on top of me and crying his eye balls out.  He asks to see his best friend almost every day and will sit and watch the video of him on repeat.  He has already adjusted his “Mama help you” to “Mama help me” because GEEZ this kid is smart, but those English words are still forming and his blank little stare slays me dead.

Our littlest is very similar, but throw in massive tantrums.  There are so many unknowns right now with her and she is dealing with confusion and questioning her place and where she belongs coupled with sadness.  We’ve regressed in lots of areas and when people give us the side eye or make THAT comment, I want to A) Throat punch them #healthy and B) Tell them how strong and amazing and resilient and brave this girl is and they have no idea about her little life and all the unfair thoughts that swirl in her little mind.  I want them to know what I know because if they did they’d give us a smile and keep that judgey comment to themselves, but we move along because I owe them nothing and I will protect her story fiercely.

Amon is grieving as well for his birth family.  It came out of no where or so we thought, but then we realized an important event in his past had taken place at this same time and although his little mind doesn’t remember his body does.  He cries and draws pictures for them and I help him write notes.  He picks flowers every day for his birth mom and puts them in a little glass bottle and when one bottle fills up we add a new one.  He is so excited about picking out flowers to plant in our back yard in honor of her…a Mother’s Day tradition to honor our birth mamas.

Throw in every day life like trying to keep the laughter alive, maintaining somewhat normal relationships within our own home and the outside world, Harper starting middle school, our van breaking, medical bills, making big medical decisions for Everett, loving each other well and and and.  This is life though.  Everyone has their struggles…their ups and downs.  Everyone has these seasons.  Some seasons are just longer and harder than others.  I have trouble with knowing how to pray for our family…outside of the “God just heal his heart” or “God just be what they need” and I have been terrible at reading my Bible.

Today I told myself no matter what that I would read my Bible…no matter what.  I talked very candidly with God before I started reading the short little 9 verses which sat before me.  I told Him, “I don’t really know what to say to You right now and I’m not sure this book has what I need today, but I’m going to give it a shot.”  And then I read about darkness, the ninth plague I originally started reading about in late February.  And I cried when I read a description of the darkness, “a darkness to be felt” or “a darkness so dark you could touch it”.  That is how I feel right now.  I can literally feel the darkness and it weighs heavy on us.  And as I read on I was reminded yet again, He is here.  He knows.  He will never leave.  He sees us.  He hears our cries even when we continue to cry the same simple thing over and over again and can’t muster up anything else.

Exodus goes on to say that while the people of Egypt were in the darkness they did not see one another and no one could rise.  I don’t want that to be me.  I don’t want to be so consumed by my darkness that I can’t see others around me and I cannot rise to where God has called me to go.  I cried more.  Please God, don’t let that be me.  Please.  I read further and there sat my hope, “…but the people of Israel had light” or “…except for the Israelites: they had the light”.  I have the Light.  God literally lives in me so I have His light, His hope, His peace.  I cannot be consumed by this darkness because God drives out darkness.  He is the light of the world.  He breaks through the darkness.  He is light in the midst of darkness.  Darkness will not consume us because He has overcome.  These are things I know, but when the darkness feels so thick you can touch it, it’s easy to forget.  I needed this reminder more than I ever.

So here’s what I know…life is messy and hard…He never promised us easy.  He calls us into loving and caring for each other well.  And He knows how damn hard living in this fallen world is.  He sees each one of us right where we are and knows our hearts, hears our cries and loves us the same every single day.  His plans are always better and wildly good and we can never fathom all He has planned for us.  He is always good even when the darkness is so thick we can touch it.  And the darkness will not remain…it can’t when the Light lives in us.  He is light and He has come to cut through the darkness and to shine bright.

Praying for all your hearts this weekend wherever they may land and in whatever state they may sit.  God is still good…He always is…and He loves us like no other.

11 Comments

  1. Judy baker says:

    Laura my heart breaks for your little ones but one thing I know, they have a mamma that loves them fiercely and prays for them daily. I will continue to pray for Everett. God is still in the miracle working business.

  2. Robin Faulks says:

    I just want you to know that 1st I wasn’t raised in church… i have a strong faith and at age 52 just started reading the bible…with some difficulty. but your journal bible inspired me… Today Rhonda gave me a journal bible!!! thank you for sharing “light” and your faith with me… it truely has been an inspiration… prayers and hugs for you and your family

  3. Amy Lafayette says:

    Oh wow. This made me teary just reading your words and trying to put myself in your shoes. You are right. . . life is so stinking hard. I re-read an old journal entry from about five years ago just this morning. In it, I stated that I used to think that if I did the right thing, my life would work out and be pretty good with a few hard times thrown in here and there. And then I realized that life is mostly hard with a few smooth sailing moments at various times. haha! But I want to share another story with you that God has used to show Himself to me in the last two weeks. I just finished an 8 month study of the book of John (which I highly recommend).

    In the last chapter (21), the disciples decide to go out and fish all night. They caught nothing. “Early in the morning” Jesus stood on the shore and called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “NO,” they answered. Can you imagine how humiliating?! These were FISHERMEN. . . they knew the waters, the best spots to catch fish, and yet after a long night they had NOTHING. NADA. ZERO. ZILCH. Jesus told them to throw their net on the right side of the boat and they would find some. And they did. They listened and obeyed. And they were unable to haul in the net cause it was such a large number of fish. Boom. But then in verse 9, the Bible says, “When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” Now this little verse holds lots of truth. . . you see, Jesus appeared to them very early (probably as the sun was coming up), and yet he already had a fire with burning coals (those take a while to heat up and for sure a while to cook something). So what I saw when I read this verse was that. . .
    1) Jesus was likely there through the night. He was there IN the darkness.
    2) Jesus knew they would be hungry and he PREPARED IN ADVANCE for them. Why? Cause He knew their needs and He loved them!! He wasn’t waiting to see if they came up with anything. The meal wasn’t because of their fishing skills. . . most likely, Jesus had already been preparing it when he saw them with no fish.
    I just LOVE this. Jesus was there IN the darkness and was preparing for them IN ADVANCE. My prayer as I read this post is that you will know that Jesus is there in this darkness and that HE IS PREPARING something for the Kelley family. Something amazing. He has always showed up and showed out in your family! I wrote a note in my Bible years ago under this passage (not sure who was preaching when I wrote it): The miracle wasn’t the catching of the fish- but that the disciples listened and obeyed Jesus when he told them to throw the net back in. The fish were a by-product of trusting and obeying Jesus!

    You are a rock-star mom, Laura Kelley! I often pray 2 Chronicles 20:12b, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Hugs!

  4. Can I just ditto Amy? (Thank you Amy!) Be encouraged and comforted by all of us today Laura. The dark heavy clouds will not remain. Know that He is with you in this storm. None of this is a surprise to Him. Praying for you and your sweet ones.

  5. Phillip Kinzer says:

    Laura,
    I just read your blog. Man, that was some good, honest, openhearted mom stuff.
    Les and I are preaching together tomorrow. It’s Mom’s Day and we are preaching the annual Mom’s Day sermon. He’s talking about the good stuff. I get the bad and ugly. I sat down to put some more thoughts together, read your blog, and decided that I don’t have a clue about what to say. You said it so much better than I will. And you live it so much better than I ever could. Thanks for writing about your journey for us. God is in middle of all that messiness. He will see you through it.
    All storms end.
    And the boat wasn’t going to sink with Jesus in it.
    Peter and the fisher guys should have known that.
    You do. And you said it with the words of God’s truth.
    Thanks
    Phil Kinzer

    • Thank you Phil! We’re all just a mess and God is just so good. Holidays are messy and carry such different meanings for so many. Can’t wait to hear what you guys have in store.

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