Monday, August 1, 2011


Like snowflakes each little chance memory, familiar object, or conversation settles into the overwhelming drifts of emotion in my soul, waiting for the dissonant chord that will send them crashing over me.  At some point, I can sense the mounting tension, and my heart starts to flutter like a butterfly afraid to come to rest and trigger the release of emotion.  I can live for days, maybe even weeks, in this state, though I'm not sure how long I've been here currently.  For some days now, a good portion of my prayer time has been consumed by an image of myself being held in the arms of Christ.  No words really, just a tearless gnawing grief.

This Wednesday would have been nine years, fourteen really if you consider how long we knew we wanted to get married.  I'm at the Stallings' family farm, near where Emmett is laid to rest.   I went to see the sod they laid on his gravesite that is carefully watered by the loving hands of his grandmother almost every day, and I continue to be surprised at the new layers of grief that open with no apparent end in sight.

I am learning that grief is unique in its power to completely unhinge your sanity.  I remember accounts I have read of child soldiers in Africa, sexual assault victims, children in poverty, and they begin to make more sense as I explore my own grief.  But then I think of so many other sources of grief, closer to home perhaps, divorce, depression, unfulfilled desires, and I know that these are just as powerful to wreak havoc on the soul, just as vast in their ability to overwhelm us with grief, just as capable of driving us completely mad.  

And so I find the image of being held in the arms of Christ quite appropriate for my prayer life right now, both as personal and intercessory prayer.  I was reminded of a song by Phil Wickham, "Safe" that seems entirely appropriate for my life right now.  As I listen to it on repeat, I am beginning to discover two blessings of the Lord.  First, a persistent, gnawing hunger for heaven that I can see driving out the desire for sin and the fleeting pleasures it brings.  Never have I felt the hollowness of sin like I have these past weeks and understood what it means to throw off that which ensnares us.  Second, a growing knowledge of what it means to be loved by Christ, realizing how little I know of his love, and how much I long to know him more.  These are the blessings in the pain, the tiny threads that keeps me tethered to my sanity, the arms that keep me safe.


  1. Those threads are Christ, and they are enough. Praying for you, Wendy. Praying for you and Quinn.

  2. All I can say is "me too"...looking forward to seeing you when we're both back in town

  3. You know what? I've been praying each day that "God would wrap His big arms around you and squeeze tight and you would feel it." That is amazing that He laid that prayer on my heart and He is doing just that!!

  4. Beautiful words, as always- my heart is heavy for you, and somehow encouraged at the same time, by the way you are comforted. I saw this posted earlier and waited all day until I could be alone to read it, and cry. Over the weekend I was straightening some papers, and something fell to the floor. I picked it up, not knowing what it was, and then saw it was the program from Emmett's service at Grace, which my mom had brought to me that day- I felt your grief freshly in that moment, as I thought of how many times you experience that every day. Ongoing love & prayers for you.