Lead us Lord

Here we stand 
At a crossroads again
Like you said
In time the seasons change

 Looking back
We recall the blessing and the pain
But now we turn our hearts toward
What is still to come
We want to dream again

Lead us Lord
Into a life of fruitfulness
Prepare our hearts to risk again
And as we trust
Taking simple steps of obedience we know
That you will lead us Lord

This song, Lead us Lord, by Brian Doerksen is from his album “Today”.
It caught my attention sometime late last year.
Since then it has been coming up in my mind over and over.
Not like when you’ve listened to a song too much and you can hear it without listening to it.
More like when God plants a thought in your mind: “Phone Joe” or “Take roses to Jane” or “I wonder how Tom is today?”
You know those?!
Yes, those – those that you know you have to do something about, because if you don’t, you’ll regret it!

For starters I’ll write about it and see where that takes me.
Ponder the words with me:
Here we stand
At a crossroads again
Like you said
In time the seasons change
Looking back
We recall the blessing and the pain

At the beginning of September last year we were at a crossroad.
Emma had finished her intensive chemotherapy and was on maintenance chemo.
She and Lisl had moved back to their own house after staying with us for eight and a half months. We were so grateful to God for all the progress made and were looking forward to their little family settling back into their own home, to Emma regaining her strength, eating, starting to walk, her hair growing back!
It seemed like a “good” crossroad – unlike the mountain passes we had traveled the previous months. We weren’t expecting a highway – but maybe a tarred road with some potholes, some “stop-go” bits, some deviations. I think we were anticipating a new season – spring – new life returning after months of winter – cold and barren.
We weren’t expecting Emma’s death on 13 September 2014.
We weren’t prepared for a precipice…a free-fall into pain…an abyss of emptiness…
Not prepared for the harsh pull-back into winter… the frozenness…the lifelessness…

When we look back, we do remember – both the pain and the blessing.
On 22 September I wrote:
“The pain just gets deeper and the ache more intense and the hole in my heart is continuously expanding. My eyes are little slits from weeping, my nose is blocked, my head is bursting and I want her back.”
The pain of losing my granddaughter – the apple of my eye – was and is blinding.
It cannot be understood by someone who has not lost a child.
And to see my daughter and my son (yes, although he’s my son-in-law, he is my son) break…shatter…
And my husband…
But, by grace, in our brokenness and pain at the bottom of the cliff we could and can affirm that God is in control and that He is good. That we know that we and Emma were chosen to walk this road that seemingly ended in a grand canyon of grief.
The blessing is so much – having a beautiful, smart, brave, precious granddaughter; being changed through our experiences; knowing what childhood cancer, chemotherapy and death do to a family; new lifelong friendships; real love and support; people’s lives saved through the story of her life and her death and so, so much more.
Emma used to say: ‘When I’m better…”
Well, God has given her the best – she is completely whole now. And I know His plans are for our good and I WILL hold her again in heaven one day.
Today would have been our precious pretty pink rosebud princess’s 4th birthday. Her wonderful, wise mommy organised a pink princess party to celebrate and honour her memory. She baked the most awesome cake (I certainly hope she posts a photo on her blog!) and we all blew bubbles and sang “Happy Birthday” to Emma in heaven!
Crazy…lost their marbles…
No, not at all! If we’d stayed all alone, each in our little space, today would have been sad. Instead it was special and joyous!
Grief shared is grief halved.
Joy shared is joy doubled!

The next part of the song does not roll quite so easily over the tongue:
But now we turn our hearts toward
What is still to come
We want to dream again
It feels almost sacrilegious to sing those words. (At least until yesterday it did!)
I might even (not openly I know, but in the back of the mind) be suspected of wanting to forget Emma. Nothing is further from my mind. I’ve said to God that I’d rather hurt and remember, than not hurt and forget.
I’ve just been so in limbo. So used to the routine of hospital.
So used to what had become “the altered reality”.
So unused to the possibility of something new.
So immobilized.
So, dare I say it, scared to start anything new for fear that something – anything – will happen and then I must stop again and deal with yet another disappointment.
But I do want to dream again.
I want us to dream again…
I want to look forward while not forgetting the past.

But I know that I, that we, cannot do it alone, so we ask Him who made us
to prepare our hearts to risk again.

And once He has prepared our hearts,
we want to take simple steps of obedience, we want to live a life of fruitfulness.
Because we trust that He will lead us.

Listen to the song and pray with me:
Come and lead us Lord.

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