I’ve read it before.
“Haran died in the presence of his father Terah.”
This phrase isn’t used very often in the Bible.
And it grabbed my heart this morning,
because Nick died in my presence too…………….
and in the presence of his father, brothers, and many other family members and friends.
I remember that morning like it was yesterday.
His 36 hours of unstoppable sleep suddenly began to change.
We knew God was calling him home.
We gathered around him.
And he began to hum
The room was filled with an energy I had never felt before and have never felt again.
And when he took his last breath,
the energy vanished just as suddenly from our presence as he did.
Several hours later,
Olivia, just 10 years old at the time,
returned from a friend’s to find Nick gone.
The horror of the unfolding of that day has been refolded
and tucked into my heart…….
And very little has changed about that room
or our lives as his parents
since that day ten years ago.
This morning as I read about Terah’s loss,
I was taken back to that morning.
I was moved by the fact that Genesis goes on to say,
Terah was headed to Canaan.
A country also referred to as “the fertile crescent”
“a long strip of land curving around like an arc or bowl, where the soil was very rich and fertile and there was plenty of water.”
Terah was on his way to what would eventually become The Promised Land,
but when he came to Haran he stopped and settled in.
No longer wanting to move.
I’m not sure if God told him to move to Canaan
like he eventually would his son Abram,
but for some reason this destination was his goal.
And along the way,
he changed his mind.
The death of his son Haran
followed by his desire to settle in Haran
spoke to me this morning.
Have my husband and I settled in the land of the death of our son…..
and the land of our daughter’s death years before?
Has life in some way been on hold as we’ve grieved.
It’s been nearly twenty-seven years since Adrienne went home.
A little over ten since Nick followed her there.
In God’s way of looking at time,
this is only minutes
as to Him a thousand years is like a day.
What is He saying to me this morning?
Is He challenging me to release my grip
on a location or a mindset or a way of living?
Is He challenging all who grieve not to miss the next thing
for fear of losing the memory of what they’ve been forced to lose physically.
Yesterday, I unexpectedly cried in a food court.
Working behind the counter with his mom,
a little boy had Nick’s brown eyes.
He had his demeanor.
He had his gentle voice.
And he handed one tiny penny to my friend as her only change.
At the very same time, I noticed artwork hanging in their little service area
Artwork that looked so much like something Nick would have drawn.
And if there was one thing Nick loved other than football,
it was drawing.
I held it together until we sat down
and as I began to speak,
I could feel the tears I had been fighting to hold back
slowly begin to slip out and run down my cheeks.
Grief ambushed me yesterday in a town far from our own.
I still miss him.
I forever will.
Yesterday I realized grief doesn’t need a location to be real.
It just needs my heart.
I will carry Adrienne and Nick with me wherever I go.
And this morning,
God is gently whispering,
“You can only carry someone when you’re moving.”
I don’t know what that means.
But I do know this.
I may not be young,
but I’m too young to settle for anything less than what God longs for me to be or do.
So is Tim.
I don’t want us to die on the way to where He has us going.
Yes, grief is hard.
But allowing grief to limit
the depths of purpose
our one life on this planet
is able to hold
is even harder.
How has grief affected you?
Are you stuck?
Unable to take the next step?
If so, you’re not alone.
Grief stops us all for a season,
and I believe it should.
But I also believe a day comes when you wake up
“Grief, I’m moving forward……..
and like it or not,
you’re coming with me.
I’m no longer being held in your grip.”
Don’t miss the fertile crescent before you by settling in Haran.
As all of us know who have lost someone we love,
life is too short for that kind of short-sighted living.