I awoke this morning thinking about my mother. Specifically about how she must have felt that December morning in 2004 when she arrived at my brother’s house to find him lifeless on his bedroom floor. I think I’ve blocked out any thoughts of what that must have been like for her, how it must have shocked and pierced her heart. Until this morning.
I’m not sure why I’m feeling so drawn to such thoughts today, except that maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about failed relationships. Missed opportunities. Family bonds that should’ve been strong and lifelong but haven’t been allowed to blossom, let alone bloom.
And love that should’ve thrived but got smothered out along the way and died too young.
When that happens it can leave us with empty eyes and hearts and hands and leave our arms aching under the nothing they hold.
My mother joined my brother in Heaven less than a year after the morning she discovered his body. I am grateful that she lived close to me during her final year, and that we had that time together as mother and daughter. Especially that she had time to learn how deeply God loves her and how she can know beyond any doubt that she is His cherished child He longs to hold for an eternity.
I don’t suppose it will ever seem fair that they both had to go so soon, or that my children and grandchildren had to lose their sweet Grammy and Uncle Gary. Or that my brother’s baby boy preceded him in death–perhaps the only nephew I would’ve been allowed to truly know. Or any of a hundred other losses we’ve known in this fallen world.
None of it is fair.
I’ve often heard the saying that life is hard, but God is good. I know the truth of that statement. I’ve also heard that someday in eternity this will all make sense and be made right.
I’m counting on that.
But really, whether it ever all makes sense or not, I know this: I want to make the most of every moment in this life and not waste a single one doing any less than everything I can to write wrongs in relationship, give openly of myself, enjoy these gifts for everything they were meant to be.
To wildly love with His love at every opportunity.
We aren’t promised tomorrow. What we are promised is that His love never fails. And if it never fails, that must mean it has the capacity to fill the empty places left by these losses we suffer here.
Because love is stronger than death.
What can fill empty hands, empty eyes, empty hearts, empty tombs, like His love?
Precious friend, how does He fill your empty places?
Lisa Easterling is a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area alongside her husband Steve, five children, and two grandchildren. A pioneer for home education in Florida, she has served in various areas of Christian ministry for the past 32 years. Lisa is a lifelong writer and creative writing coach, currently serving as Associate Editor for Write Where It Hurts. Her favorite place to write is near the ocean, and she particularly loves helping others to fall in love with words. Lisa blogs at www.writepraylove.com and can be reached by firstname.lastname@example.org.
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