Giving Up or Letting Go?

March – I still haven’t decided if it has come in like a lion or a lamb. Mild temperatures, blustery winds, and beautiful sunshine – we’d had it all. As I sit at my kitchen window and look out into the bright sunshine, I am reminded that regardless of how it came in, March is here and with it comes the promise of spring. Spring sunshine fills my heart to overflowing with joy and excitement at all that spring brings – new life, new flowers, and a regeneration of the land, but spring also holds memories of difficult times as well.

Twenty years ago, my oldest son, Justin, slipped into a coma on a bright spring day in May 1992. I was a young mom at the time and really had no idea what the words ‘brain damage’ might mean, but the reality of those words struck me hard weeks later when we toured the rehab facility and I was exposed to other children whose lives and abilities bore evidence of brain damage. I was suddenly over-whelmed with the reality of what we might face and I found myself in the bathroom heaving sobs; desperately struggling to regain my composure; and coming face to face with the foundations of my faith.

At that point in my life, I felt that to surrender to grief meant that I was giving up on my faith, and so I swallowed hard to bury my sorrow and cling to a faith that believed God would rescue me from my circumstances. However, God did not rescue me from those difficult circumstances, nor did he leave me there alone. He gently reached down and walked with me on a journey that would change my life and grow my faith. He revealed himself, not as a genie-in-a-bottle God, but as a sovereign Lord who truly does work all things together for the good of those who love Him.

Years later, on a rainy evening in March, my surrender to grief was an offering of faith as I leaned on a loving God who gently allowed me to let go of that beloved son. I had lost a bright and beautiful little boy; I had gained a precious son who taught me priceless lessons about unconditional love; and I had not lost faith by giving up but I had gained an intimate trust by letting go.

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About sheilacampbell

Like all people, my life is multi faceted. I have been a mom for twenty-eight years, raising three wonderful children to young adults. I have been also been a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. I love my Lord; I love the life He has given me and I write about the things I love.
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6 Responses to Giving Up or Letting Go?

  1. Denise Hyde says:

    Thank you for sharing this amazing gem of understanding grief and trusting God.

  2. thsctim says:

    God bless you, dear sister for sharing from your heart and thereby encouraging others on their journey with Him!

  3. Delaina says:

    I discovered your blog tonight after viewing the new issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Thank you for sharing your heart. It is so encouraging to me. My family has been through a lot this year. Our oldest son was diagnosed with cancer last spring. We have supported him through chemo, and helped our other children along the way, tried to homeschool through it all. Then we found our we were expecting another child. Shock eventually turned to joy for all of us, and then to sorrow as we experienced a miscarriage in the 17th week last month. We are all grieving. I needed to read this tonight.

    • Delaina,
      My heart breaks to hear of the trials your family is suffering, and I know there is little I can say to ease the pain you are experiencing right now. I pray that God will grant you and your family the peace that is beyond explanation in the middle of this storm.

  4. Kelle in Oklahoma says:

    I just read your article in the February issue of my TOS magazine. God is speaking to me through a women’s conference I was able to attend (Jennifer Rothchild spoke about saying I am, I can, I will), then I read your article Bloom where you are planted.. then just reading this .. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and insight and walk of faith. My journey is with a special needs child with Aspergers, I am new to homeschooling, many days I want to quit and have wondered if another school would be better for my son than me. After the conference though I apologized to my son, as we had argued the day before about whether we should return to public or private school or even military school… I had given up on me and on God. I shared that with him and told him I will walk in faith. Thank you for your encouragement to remain faithful to the Lord as he is ever faithful to us and doesn’t leave us when times are tough. God bless.

    • Kelle,
      I pray God will bless you with the strength you need for those difficult days. I didn’t always see it at the time, but when I look back I am amazed at the strength with which I was blessed that I know did not come from within myself. The fact that you are even homeschooling a child with Aspergers is testimony to the strength and faith God has already given you. May the Lord continue to bless you on your journey.

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