Too Tired to Trust and Pray

I’m too tired to trust and too tired to pray,
Said one, as the over-taxed strength gave way.
The one conscious thought by my mind possessed,
Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.

Will God forgive me, do you suppose,
If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,
Without an asking if I may,
Without ever trying to trust and pray?

Will God forgive you? why think, dear heart,
When language to you was an unknown art,
Did a mother deny you needed rest,
Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?

Did she let you want when you could not ask?
Did she set her child an unequal task?
Or did she cradle you in her arms,
And then guard your slumber against alarms?

Ah, how quick was her mother love to see,
The unconscious yearnings of infancy.
When you’ve grown too tired to trust and pray,
When over-wrought nature had quite given way:

Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,
As you used to do on a mother’s breast,
He knows all about it–the dear Lord knows,
So just go to sleep as a baby goes;

Without even asking if you may,
God knows when His child is too tired to pray.
He judges not solely by uttered prayer,
He knows when the yearnings of love are there.

He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust,
And He knows, too, the limits of poor weak dust.
Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,
For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst.

When He bade them sleep and take their rest,
While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed–
You’ve given your life to Him to keep,
Then don’t be afraid to go right to sleep.”

–Ella Conrad Cowherd

Sailing on the Sea of Loss

From A GRACE DISGUISED: HOW THE SOUL GROWS THROUGH LOSS by Jerry Sittser who lost his wife, 4 year old daughter and his mother in a car accident.

“Loss creates a barren present, as if one were sailing on a vast sea of nothingness.  Those who suffer loss live suspended between the past for which they long and a future for which they hope.  They want to return to the harbor of the familiar past and recover what was lost.  Or they want to sail on and discover a meaningful future that promises to bring them life again.  Instead, they find themselves living in a barren present that is empty of meaning.  Memories of the past only remind them of what they have lost; hope for the future only taunts them with an unknown too remote even to imagine.  Memories of the past do bring joy, but it takes time for memories to comfort rather than torment.

Loss forces us to see the dominant role our environment plays in determining our happiness.  Loss strips us of the props we rely on for our well-being.  It knocks us off our feet and puts us on our backs.  In the experience of loss, we come to the end of ourselves.

But in coming to the end of ourselves, we can also come to the beginning of a vital relationship with God.  Our failures can lead us to grace and to a profound spiritual awakening.  This process occurs frequently with those who suffer loss.  It often begins when we face our own weaknesses and realize how much we take favorable circumstances for granted.  When loss deprives us of those circumstances, our anger, depression, and ingratitude expose the true state of our souls, showing us how small we really are.  We see that our identity is largely external, not internal.

Finally, we reach the point where we begin to search for a new life, one that depends less on circumstances and more on the depth of our souls.  That, in turn, opens us to new ideas and perspectives, including spiritual ones.  We feel the need for something beyond ourselves, and it begins to dawn on us that reality may be more than we once thought it to be.  We begin to perceive hints of the Divine, and our longing grows.  T our shock and bewilderment, we discover that there is a Being in the universe who, despite our brokenness and sin, loves us fiercely.  In coming to the end of ourselves, we have come to the beginning of our true and deepest selves.  We have found the One whose love gives shape to our being.”

We need someone greater than ourselves to help us forge a new identity.  God is able to guide us on this quest, to help us become persons whose worth is based on grace and not on performance.”

Absorb Your Loss

From A GRACE DISGUISED: HOW THE SOUL GROWS THROUGH LOSS by Jerry Sittser who lost his wife, 4 year old daughter, and his mother in a car accident.

“…..Though I experienced death, I also experienced life in ways that I never thought possible before—not after the darkness, as we might supposed but in the darknessI did not go through pain and come out the other side; instead, I lived in it and found within that pain the grace to survive and eventually grow.  I did not get over the loss of my loved ones; rather I absorbed the loss into my life, like soil receives decaying matter, until it became a part of who I am.  Sorrow took up permanent residence in my soul and enlarged it.

I learned gradually that the deeper we plunged into suffering, the deeper we can enter into a new, and different life—a life no worse than before and sometimes better.  A willingness to face the loss and to enter into the darkness is the first step we must take.  Like all first steps, it is probably the most difficult and takes the most time.  We do not always have the freedom to choose the roles we must play in life, but we can choose how we are going to play the roles we have been given.”

Looking Forward – One Day at a Time

Another new year.  I find it amazing that I have been able to live without my husband for a little over three years now when in 36+ years of marriage we had never been apart for any longer than a week.  I have to give God all the credit because without Him in my life, I could not have survived and for this long.

For a very long time I struggled to figure out what my purpose is in this life now.  I found it very frustrating and after a time, I decided that for me, it is best to simply take life one day at a time and not worry about “trying” to set goals and get my life as a widow neatly arranged.  Each day brings its challenges.  Some days are easier than others.  Some days are more emotional with grief triggers that still come out of nowhere.

One of my aunts said it best in an email that she wrote to me.  She said:

“And now we look forward to whatever God has planned for us knowing that He will lead us through it.”