By Tabatha Murphy
Breathe. It’s something that we often take for granted—the very breath of life inside of us. The moments where we can just stop and breathe all of life around us. While death and grief often remind us of just how precious that breath is—we quickly are consumed by the chaos of it all and forget again this mere and priceless blessing. Those moments when we can breathe in God’s love and truth.
I tend to walk through my grief the same way that I walk through my life—running in five directions at 150 miles an hour. It is something that I’ve tried very hard to work on. It’s not because I need to go at that speed or because I am required by law to be involved in so many activities. God really didn’t lay it on my heart to be so generous with myself or my time. (I wish that I could say that was the real reason). No—the truth is I bury myself in activities, projects and acts of service as a means for comfort. Even though I know the truth of God’s word, that His grace is not bought by good works, I find security in making my mind and hands busy everyday.
I’ve always struggled with worthiness, but the passing of our son penetrated that hurt in my heart even deeper. I spent many years believing that I failed him… that somehow and in someway his death was my fault. So, I poured every bit of my being into trying to make up for it with good works. I wanted to make a legacy for my son, to not let his death be in vain—but most of all I wanted to somehow show that I was worthy enough to be his mom.
A few years ago, I finally let this secret out. It was in one of those moments—where we all sat still, breathing life in and letting God into our hearts. Surrounded by some of the most amazing women I have ever met, I confessed my hurting heart and said words I had tried for nearly a decade to say, “It wasn’t my fault.” I knew that God had been trying for so long to reveal to me this truth, but I had made myself too busy trying to prove my worthiness and guilt that I never let this truth sink in.
I will never forget that moment—nor the women that held me as I cried that night. And though I still have to remind myself of this truth often—still have to gather my priorities when I’ve shoved myself into too many projects—I know that one day my Jesus will one day hold me and my son together and tell me how worthy we are.
I hope that today, whatever you are going though, whatever grief you are walking out—that you take a moment to just breathe. Be reminded of that precious gift of one more day of life you’ve been given and know that He hears you and sees you and thinks you are worthy too.
“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
by Tabatha Murphy
Tonight I had one of those conversations with my daughter Ciena that truly touched my heart. Even though she's only nine years old, I'm sometimes amazed at the wisdom inside such a small girl. Don't get me wrong--most of our conversations are about hair, friendships, school and why she was fighting with her brother. But there are the other ones, when we're in those still moments with just the two of us that she brings me perspective that not only amazes me, but touches my heart.
Tonight's conversation was about her brother Elijah in heaven. It first started with a prompt to tell her stories about her and her other brother, Jeremiah, as babies. Then we talked about how even though her brother Elijah's life was so short, he still had his own story. The conversation then changed to what life would be like if he were here with us. It's something I have thought about so many times, but to hear her tell me how the three of them would have been the best friends and how Jeremiah would love to have him as a roommate, was absolutely precious. And when we moved to talk about what it meant to see our brother again in heaven was a beautiful witness of what childlike faith really means.
There is not a day that goes by since the birth and death of my first son twelve years ago that I don't think about him. I wonder what he would be like, how he would interact with his younger siblings, how our life would have unfolded as a family if he wouldn't have died that day. These thoughts always led to tons of questions about God's plan, about whether or not we'd have the two beautiful children that followed that event, about my marriage to my husband, about my life as wife and mother. Then the questions would lead to doubts, fears and guilt about myself, my decisions and the person that I've become through this journey of grief.
But tonight as I listened to my sweet girl speak about her brother and how sure she was of the life we would have if he was here with us and the life we will have one day in heaven, I was reminded of that childlike faith God holds so dear. There are so many questions and emotions that surround our grief and so many of them that go unanswered. The truth is we can never be sure of what would be or even what is to come. But we can be sure of one thing: our faith in an unconditional love means death is not the end. While I hold on to this promise that one day I'll see my Jesus and my son again, tonight I am reminded of just how important it is to try and let go of all the questions, what-ifs and doubts, and trust in knowing one day we'll be a family of five again.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4