Clinging to the Wreckage

The past few days have been difficult (surprise, what’s knew… I know).  Where is that eye-roll emoji when I need it?  I can’t pinpoint a reason as to why, but my mind has been a revolving door of emotions.  I’ve missed my dad fiercely this week.  And I’ve broken for our baby, over and over again.  A friend of mine shared something someone else wrote that I thought was so profound.  I’ll paraphrase here and make sure to acknowledge that this beautiful description is not mine to claim!

She described grief as a shipwreck.    At first, the wreckage is so devastating and all encompassing that all you can do is float, and cling to a piece of the wreckage around you.  The waves come at monumental heights and very close together (this reminded me of labor contractions reversed, it gave me something to smile about).  They sweep over you, pulling you under, and leaving you gasping for air when you are finally able to resurface.  The more time that passes, the less frequently the waves come, but still at the same ferocity.  Then, in time, as they continue to come less and less frequently, the intensity may slowly begin to decrease.  These waves never stop crashing, but they become tolerable with time.  Special events and celebrations may temporarily increase the painfulness of them, but they die back down again, once you’ve faced the obstacle.

Reading her description gave me great consolation.  Although I haven’t gotten far in the process, my waves are coming at a lesser frequency than they were 2 months ago.  Back then, I couldn’t imagine going through a day like I am able to now, with extended moments of peace, and even happiness.  What I did notice was that she didn’t mention faith in her writing.  That’s not to say she isn’t a spiritual person, but when I think about grief, and surviving it, I can’t NOT think about my faith as being a critical piece of that.  When I allow Him to, Jesus is my wreckage that I can cling to.  In all honesty, as I look back, even when I wasn’t asking for Him to hold me up, He was.  He pursued me during the time that I was so desperately trying to push away the thought of accepting His help.  He never let me forget that He was there when I was ready.  He never let the devil get the best of me.  And when I needed Him so badly to guide me during the times that my future hinged on what decision I made next, He was there, without me even asking.

He knows my heart, and He knows yours.  He only wants the very best for us.  I’ve had some really amazing things shared with me over the course of the week.  One of my very best friends, from my time spent with my dad in New Mexico, shared a quote from Jodi Eareckson Tada that said, “Sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves”.  Jessy explained it to me as thinking about God allowing His Son to come to Earth, only to be killed so that “the world’s worst murder could become the world’s only salvation”.  If you’re like me, you’ll reread these sentences over and over.  And each time you do, they will hit you with such magnitude… I just cried.  I know that my God hates the pain and suffering that John and I, and our precious families are going through right now.  He hurts so badly that we lost our father, brother, husband, uncle, friend… I believe the same about our precious Ethan.  He weeps as we weep.  He mourns as we mourn.  But He knows that it is to accomplish something wonderful, even if it’s simply to build His kingdom, in heaven and on Earth.  My dad touched so many people during his time here, and I believe he continues to, even in his death.  Ethan… oh my sweet boy.  I believe that he has already touched so many lives in his time with us, and I know that he will continue to do so, for years to come.  God is accomplishing many things that He loves by allowing these things that He hates.

I have tried to be honest with you since I started, and don’t plan to stop now.  I share these things with you and they give me great hope, and they continue to strengthen my faith.  But make no mistake, my faith is not perfect, it isn’t always strong.  I still question, and in my moments of deepest pain, doubt HOW this can be God’s plan.  I never doubt that it IS… only how it is supposed to be for our good and His glory.  Until recently, my mind would have to make a choice as to what kind of day it was going to be.  Was it going to be a “Dad Day” or a “Baby Day”?  To be honest, I think it was as I began writing, sharing my story, and receiving the prayers and encouragement from all of you… the need for my mind to choose one has waned.  I can feel both.  It is incredibly painful at times, to move from the grief of losing my dad, to the pain of losing our child.  It’s like those waves I shared about, they consume me at times.  But even during the worst moments, John and I both agree that it’s the times that it hurts the most that we need praise our Lord!  I am SO thankful for the blessing of Ron Howard, and the even greater blessing that he was MY dad!  What an honor to have such a man as the one that raised me.  Words can’t describe the pride I feel to call myself his daughter- and I think I can speak on behalf of my brother and sister when I say that they feel the same.  We also PRAISE Jesus for the life growing inside me.  I would gladly go through this again for the precious soul that he is to us, than for him to have never existed.  I am so honored to be his mother, to carry him, love him, pray for him, and eventually send him to be with our Heavenly Father.  I’m so thankful to have been presented with the opportunity.  I know John feels the same way about being his father.  Our children are our greatest blessings, all THREE of them.

If you haven’t heard it, listen to the song “Even When It Hurts” by Hillsong United.  They have a gazillion songs out that I love, my favorite album being Empires.  This song, however, is SO perfect to remind us that even when it hurts, we praise Him.  I’m so thankful for the faith that He has given me.  And to know that it may not always be at its peak, and I may always struggle, He is full of mercy, grace, and His love never fails.

(I prefer the album version to this that I found on YouTube, but it’s still great!  I also added lyrics below)

 

Hillsong United
“Even When It Hurts (Praise Song)” Lyrics
“Take this fainted heart
Take these tainted hands
Wash me in your love
Come like grace again
Even when my strength is lost
I’ll praise you
Even when I have no song
I’ll praise you
Even when it’s hard to find the words
Louder then I’ll sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
Take this mountain weight
Take these ocean tears
Hold me through the trial
Come like hope again
Even when the fight seems lost
I’ll praise you
Even when it hurts like hell
I’ll praise you
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then I’ll sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
And my heart burns only for you
You are all you are all I want
And my soul waits only for you
And I
And my heart burns only for you
You are all you are all I want
And my soul waits only for you
And I will sing till the morning has come
Lord my heart burns only for you
You are all you are all I want
And my soul waits only for you
And I will sing till the miracle comes
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
I will only sing your praise
Even when the morning comes
I’ll praise you
Even when the fight is won
I’ll praise you
Even when my time on earth is done
Louder then I’ll sing your praise
I will only sing your praise”
Songwriters: Joel Houston
Even When It Hurts lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

5 thoughts on “Clinging to the Wreckage”

  1. Wow! My precious Katie. I weep everytime I read these. You are one strong little girl even though I know you dont feel like it from time to time. I pray for you daily and for our sweet little Adelyn. She’s so young to go through this. I love you and your family!!

  2. Once again your words are so moving:) Love you & your SWEET family. Praying everyday for you!!!❤️😍😘🙏✝️

  3. Thank you for your sweet message ,dearest Katie. You know our hearts break with you and John.
    We too look to our Heavenly Father for solace & comfort
    Blessings to you always, Nana❤️

  4. Such a beautiful song that speaks right to the heart!! I love you sweet cousin and love your honesty and rawness that you share!!

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