Daring Journey of Healing After Son’s Death
As we begin preparing for Easter, I am reminded of Jesus’ journey to the cross.
Over the years, I have understood the season of Lent as a time to give up something, but as I began to mature in my faith, I felt called to give more to Jesus. I began devoting more time to prayer, reading scripture and seeking his presence.
A few years back, my Lent journey took a different path. It became a journey of walking with Jesus, drawing closer to him in the darkest moments of my life. For my soul was calling for a deeper and richer relationship with Jesus.
I found my heart was broken and a shadow of sadness dwelled deep within my soul. I needed to be cleansed and healed beyond anything this world had to offer and there was only one place to turn, to my faith.
As a young girl, and naive in my faith, I always knew that there was a love beyond my understanding, a love greater than my struggles. I remember seeking this love and calling out to heaven for Jesus to come and live in my heart.
After the loss of our oldest son, Jacob, at the age of 23, I knew I needed to step back into the innocence of a childlike faith and call Jesus into my heart, to take my hand and restore my soul.
I choose to walk hand in hand along the journey of Lent with Jesus, being true and authentic about where I was spiritually so I could heal and grow in our time together.
However, what I received was more than just healing and growth in my relationship, I became deeply rooted in the overwhelming and relentless love of God.
My time with Jesus became a beautiful journey of healing and truly surrendering my soul over to my Savior. A journey of being refreshed in the living water, knowing Jesus was tenderly walking along with me and before me, nourishing my soul.
After living through the silence and chaos of grief, God called me to resign from my job, to come and find rest with him in a garden. Calling me to find comfort, peace and allowing him to heal my deepest wound.
After months of ripping out an old rotting deck, in a secluded area of our yard, I built a memory garden that reflected my son’s life and the beautiful place in the mountains, where he entered into the Kingdom of God.
This garden of solitude became a place I could go and pour out my heart to God.
Then, I began traveling near and far in order to connect and experience God in my healing journey. The blessings were unexpected and abundant.
When I traveled to Israel, it was in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus retreated away from the world to pray, that I connected and found comfort in the truth that Jesus truly understands the hurt of a human soul.
After Jesus last supper with his disciples, the night before he would go to the cross, Jesus retreated to the quite garden to find solitude to pray. There in the isolation and knowing with certainty of the pain and suffering that was before him, Jesus poured out his heart to God. Asking His Father if the cup could pass him over but also a will to fulfill God's plans. Jesus knew he came to die for us and to reconcile us with God offering forgiveness and healing to save the world. However, in his distress of knowing what was before him, Jesus went to the garden pouring out his heart to God seeking comfort and strength to endure the journey. (Matthew 26:36-39)
This intimate moment of an innocent and righteous man's plea to God in a garden away from the chaos,
connected with the pain of a broken-hearted mother through a simple memory garden across the world.
Standing so far from home at the garden was a reflective time of my own journey. It was in my own garden where I retreated and shared conversations with God, asking to be released from pain and wondering why this must be. Yet, in the Garden of Gethsemane that day, I recognized the abundance of comfort, healing and strength I had received because of walking hand in hand with Jesus.
As Easter arrived that year, I realized I had been watering my soul with water from a cistern that had grown stagnant. However, after a journey of walking in the garden with Jesus, the living water, I began to flourish. Being who God has called me to be was beginning to take root!
Jesus came to us in a manger and journeyed to the cross, but it was from the grave where new life came. The resurrection really does change everything. The resurrection brings new life.
This is victory. This is hope. This is Jesus, the living water who knows our deepest hurts and gently brings new life to our soul.
Growing in my relationship with Jesus has changed my heart’s desire to be more like Jesus. I want to love like Jesus. I want to serve like Jesus. Each day, I want to take up my cross and share the love of Jesus with all.
During this season of Lent, I encourage you to take Jesus by the hand, no matter what you are going through and know he will bring peace and balance to your soul. Jesus truly walks his people through the valley and over the hills into a garden of hope.
So, Spring into Easter as God’s people knowing Jesus is the living hope, who fills our spirit with endless, everlasting joy and new life!
1 Peter 1:3 (ERV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has great mercy, and because of his mercy he gave us a new life. This new life brings us a living hope through Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death.
Rev. Cathy Beasley is pastor at Waller UMC. Their congregation would love to have you come worship with them. www.wallerumc.org
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