A Love to Fill the Void
Today marks six years since I lost my mom. In some ways it feels like she was just here with us. Living 100 feet away in the “little house” behind ours￼, laughing, planting flower bulbs, jumping on the trampoline, ￼reading to the kiddos, and visiting right before bed in her silky leopard jammies with a glass of Franzia in hand.
Other times, I can barely remember her. I get angry with myself for forgetting, for allowing myself to forget. Because it’s still too painful to listen to her voice or watch videos of her playing with my children.￼ Sometimes I can’t even look at her beautiful face in the frame next to my computer screen.
And to be brutally, painfully honest, I sometimes feel angry at God for allowing her to go so quickly and unexpectedly.... especially when she was in the happiest years of her life.
Why, Lord? Why did you take her before her grandchildren could really know her? Before she could sing, “I Had a Little Chickie” to them. Before she could take them shelling on the beach. Before she could see my daughters grow into young ladies. Before she could watch my son grow into a man. ￼Before she could grow old.￼￼
She was only 64.
It is an excruciating ache, literally ￼a physical pain that radiates from my heart—and the pit of my stomach— to the rest of my body￼.
The week after my mom’s unexpected and untimely death, I remember a sweet friend coming to share with me that she had just lost her mom six months prior. I recall thinking, “Well, that’s nice of her. But she is probably fine by now.” And I dismissed her pain like it was irrelevant to mine.￼ Oh, how little did I know.
All I knew was that my grief was raw, and she was standing there, radiating a kind and joyful smile. My grief was gaping, and I was truly unsure if I would ever smile again, let alone feel true joy. What I felt was searing loss and shock and unbelief and disappointment all rolled into one gigantic, confusing and overwhelming mess of emotion.￼￼ I could barely function. I didn’t see the meal for weeks. ￼I remember relying on the Lord to breathe and to sleep.
￼Now it’s been six YEARS, and sometimes it’s still hard to breathe. There’s still a very vacant place within me, where my mama’s unconditional love was suddenly ripped away.
And there are good days, too. Amazing days. In fact, most of them are pretty peachy at this point in the process. ￼Not a day passes that I don’t feel incredible gratitude for the blessings in my life. ￼
But some moments really suck. In fact, I’m not a crier, but some days I UGLY cry. Sometimes even when other people are around.￼ And that’s OK. We need to be more real and vulnerable with each other.
Life is not easy, and it’s seldom pretty. ￼￼And sometimes it feels pretty crappy￼, even when I know full well that I am held by a good and loving God. So I fix my eyes on Him, focusing on the truth that ￼God￼ is in the process of healing ￼that wound and ￼filling the gap with His amazing, powerful love. And despite how I feel, I know God‘s plan is better than mine. Not just better, but perfect.￼
When we receive a gift, the proper response is always gratitude, no matter how long we are able to enjoy the gift. And although I would have preferred to spend many more years in my mother's presence, I am thankful to God for giving her to me for the most important seasons of my life.
My friends, God is real. He is present. He is POWERFUL. Our amazing God created the world with the breath of a word, and He ￼has written my name in his book.
God is bigger than my pain. He is sweeter than my suffering. His love is healing. His love is sufficient. And His love is able to fill the void. Mine and yours. ￼