One Day Closer

Without a doubt 2016, was the hardest year of my life. As the year was drawing to a close and we began marking significant days that would not include Jonathan, part of me was just eager for the year to end. His absence at all of our holiday celebrations and even the ordinary days is an unimaginably painful hole in our lives.

Jonathan 6/2012We did some special things around Christmas to make sure Jonathan would be a part of our celebrations. There were definitely some tears on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, but we were together as a family and it was good. It was healing.

So when New Year’s Eve rolled around I was surprised that the thought of starting a new year without Jonathan was harder than spending our first Christmas without him. Somehow it felt like we were moving further and further away from him.

Here now a week into 2017 and I have not been able to shake that thought. Yesterday we marked 10 months exactly since he was received home by his Creator. So many of Jonathan’s friends are experiencing major life events like weddings, engagements, new babies, new jobs and birthdays. These are wonderful things and we are sincerely happy for the families who get to experience them. At the same time, these events are very real and painful reminders that we will never experience those things with Jonathan. Left alone with those thoughts, it would be easy to slip into a pit of despair and bitterness, but God. God is so gracious to pursue and pull me back out of that pit. Day by day, minute by minute He does not let me stay there long.

This morning the nagging thought of 10 months without him popped back into my head. In many ways, time has stood still for us since March 8, 2016. In other ways, it is moving faster than ever. I could not help but think that before we know it, it’ll be 11 months and then a full year without him here. Then two years. Then five. Further from the last time we saw Jonathan and spoke to him; heard his giggle. Further from the last time any of us received one of his super tight, warm hugs that always spoke louder than words.

Then this morning as the rain was falling outside and I was trying to shake the cobwebs out of my head to get ready for the day, God graciously gave me an epiphany. We are not moving further away from him. Today we are one day closer to seeing Jonathan again. It is so simple, yet it makes all the difference. My soul immediately felt lighter. What a gracious and merciful gift from a loving God. Praying that you also would possess this gift.

Ephesians 2:1-9

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:1-9 ESV

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8 thoughts on “One Day Closer

  1. Shawna Frenzel says:

    Susie, This is a beautiful revelation that God has given you, and that you have given us! Jonathan, Dad, Khristopher, Grandmas, and my other loved ones who have left this earth, I’m one more day closer to seeing you again, and that makes my heart happy! Thanks for sharing your heart, Susie!

  2. Cyndi Shaver says:

    The 30th was our anniversary, but God helped me see that eternity with Ed beside me worshipping our savior will be much longer that the 45 years we had together here on Earth! God is so gracious to give us bits of insight even in the very depths of our grief. One day closer to the Lord and to the ones we love, who have gone before us. Thank you for sharing your insight, dear sister in the Lord!

    Cyndi

  3. Cathy Radke says:

    I love this, Susie! Thank you for sharing your epiphany, instead of keeping it to yourself, so others of us could benefit from your new perspective.

  4. Nina Munoz says:

    Hello Susie, My name is Nina Munoz (on facebook it’s Nina Marmer-Munoz). My best friend, Tammy Irwin (Nicole’s mother) sent me your link. I believe Nicole knew your son Jonathan. I, like you, am a Jesus lover and follower, married and the mother of two guys. My younger son, Grant, died instantly in a motorcycle accident 8/17/15. It’s been a gut wrenching experience but God is seeing us through it and many blessings abound in spite and because of the tragedy. I really appreciated your blog and wisdom. I can relate on so many levels. Thank you for writing and I will look for more. God Bless you, Nina

    • 2xjms says:

      Hello Nina,
      Thank you for visiting and commenting. I am so sorry for your loss of Grant. I love how you put this: “blessings abound in spite and because of the tragedy.” I am so glad that we can see God at work through what must be about the worst thing a parent can got through.
      I don’t know Nicole or Tammy, but I do know that Jonathan had a lot friends and acquaintances so the connection doesn’t surprise me. It is nice to be in contact with other beleivers who know what this is like.
      Talk to you soon,
      Susie

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