Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thirty...Life's Hardships...

30 day challenge, Question #6: "What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?"

We may wonder why God allows us to be subjected to certain trials, hardships and suffering. But it is in those trials that God comforts us. It is in the trials and hardships that we can choose to draw closer to God and can experience His peace knowing no matter what, He knows and is still in control!

That being said, I still struggle in my daily life and I have experienced many hardships/trials. Most recently I experienced the death of my younger brother, my only full blood sibling. I am not sure that I can properly put into words exactly how horrifying, shocking and damaging the sudden loss of my brother had on my heart...but I can say that one of the blessings about becoming a Christian is that I have a hope that non-believers don't have when it comes to death. I have a very specific promise when it comes to eternity and believing in Jesus Christ, and because of that promise I believe that I was and am able to better shoulder the burden and grief of my brothers passing.

Within my brother’s death, I believe that the heaviest sorrow for me was seeing my brother in death. Does that make sense? Standing over my brother’s lifeless and cold body as he laid on the hospital bed, his hospital gown neatly tied and smoothed across his body. The thin, white covers evened across his lower half, his hands placed by his side. There was a ventilation tube coming from his mouth which the doctors could not remove until after the autopsy. His eyes were not shut all the way and his face was pale and rough where his facial whiskers had been neglected for several days. He looked bloated and his hair was unruly around his swollen face. I specifically remember his right foot peeking out from the bottom of the covers…I gently caressed the top of his foot and tugged the corner of the blanket over his big toe. I smiled at the thought of his big feet, remembering how difficult it was for him to find a decent and affordable pair of size sixteen shoes….no longer would that be a concern. I sat at the edge of his bed and I laid my head next to his chest and I wept. I didn’t want to look at his face, it wasn’t how I wanted to remember him….but I couldn’t help but lightly stroke his cheek and quietly whisper to him how much I loved him. I struggle with that being the last vision I have of my brother.

I literally did not sleep for the first four to six months after my brother passed...I was afraid to close my eyes because when I did, I saw him lying in that hospital bed. I was emotionally exhausted, but at the same time forcing myself to be strong and stable for my mother's sake. I suppressed my sorrow deep within my soul...

... My husband begged me to seek help, to find someone to talk to. I had finally been beaten down by weariness and agreed to see a grief counselor, but I have found that prayer has been what has helped me to sleep, prayer has been my comfort, understanding.

But I am still flesh...therefore, I still struggle. I still have nights where I am afraid to close my eyes. I still have days where I am frantic for the answer to my question of "Why?"...days were I am so overwhelmed by the ache of missing my brother, his contagious laughter, his humor and his silliness.

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