Share – The word “why” plagued my mind since the sudden loss of my 18-year-old son. This debilitating word caused sleeplessness, anxiety, and doubt. “Why” lingered in the back of my mind like a looming storm cloud and therefore I felt prompted to take refuge from my personal life storm and create a safe haven. Making a “runaway” garden to escape to when my worries were getting the best of me became my mission.

Grasping the shovel tightly, I began tilling the soil feverishly. The blade struck several stones, and as I bent down to remove them, it became evident that the smaller ones were easier to lift. However, when my shovel struck the boulder, I found that I could not raise it on my own because it was too large and heavy. I reflected on how my problems are like these rocks. Some of the struggles that I face as a result of my difficulty are easier to solve, and I can figure them out on my own. However, other situations are quite massive and only a power greater than my personal strength will deliver me and lift the burden. The weight of my current trial could be all-consuming. In the early days of loss, I was challenged to detect God’s faithfulness.

Insights From Above –  As I was raising a rock while preparing the garden,  I recalled a sweet memory of my son grabbing my hand, pointing to the ground and saying, “Have you seen a stacked stone pile of faith before?” At our feet was a small arrangement of beautifully stacked stones that had been placed on top of each other. He explained that each rock was to resemble how God had shown His faithfulness. We talked about how the process of remembrance increased his faith and trust in the Lord. Upon reflecting on that moment, I thought back to the word “why”. It had become my personal boulder which was hindering me from healing and seeing God’s presence.  The lingering question became a load that was blocking growth. I noticed that my repetitive thoughts were prohibiting wellness and causing me to stay stagnant. Rehearsing what I could do differently would not change the outcome. I decided to let the boulder of “why” be lifted off my hurting heart which was indeed causing additional cracks and affecting my daily attitude. I searched my mind to see His faithfulness. Inspired to start stacking my own stone pile of remembrance, I grabbed a pen and began writing down God’s provision in previous unforeseen and bleak circumstances.  I was compelled to remember all the times that He had been with me in the past, and this strengthened me to see his presence in my current journey toward moments of joy.

Application – Rerouting my mind has been my saving grace. When I dwell on what I cannot change, I realize that I must reprogram my thought pattern. Replacing my negative thoughts with a more positive one is yields a better return. Finding a scripture verse to think about when I am feeling defeated has helped retrain my brain and equipped me to live and laugh again.

Grounding Scripture – Joshua 4:6-7 ”We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future, your children will ask you, ‘what do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”

Prayer – Lord, Thank you for the way You water us with Your Living Word. Lift the boulder of “why” that is impeding healing. Help till the soil of my heart so that the seeds of Your hope and promises can be planted in my spirit so that I might remember Your faithfulness in the past and detect it in the present. May the love You have for me take root in my soul and grow me through Your grace during my times of drought and difficulty. Amen

by Deana McGarr, Copyright 2019.