Horrible September
September 27, 2019

The last several weeks have been horrible.  Matter of fact, they have been worse than the weeks following Hagen leaving us so unexpectedly.  During that time there was family and unity and laughter through the tears.  It was hard, but it was nothing like this.  As with most of my posts, I eventually get to my point, so please just hang in there, because it’s a good one. 

My horrible September didn’t start out that way.  It started out with big plans and marking a huge “to do” off of a list that was started shortly after Hagen went home.  He had saved up money to buy Tyler a car and we finally found one.  The only downside - it was at the dealership where I was working on March 19.  The place I was on the day I knew before I was even told that I would never see my son’s smile again.  It’s 70 miles from that dealership to my house and a few miles short of that to the police station in our town.  I remember every single mile of that drive.  I remember the prayers that I cried out and I remember the songs that played on the radio.  All of them.  I made that trip asking God where to go.  Home or the police station.  Not one time did I ask Him to let my son be alive, because I knew. Driving those 70 miles alone was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life and I never, ever wanted to make that drive again.  Ever.  But on the 8th, I had to.  I didn’t know what to expect emotionally, but I was prepared and hopeful that it wouldn’t set me back.  What I’m saying is, the day already had the potential to knock the wind out of me, but that was the best thing that happened for weeks, and it led to a daily onslaught of hell - each day worse than the one before it. 

Going into details would be slinging mud and that’s not what I’m about.  What I’m about is using the ugliness that I endure, watching God work it out, and then sharing that with the hopes that it will encourage someone going through something similar. 

Here’s a hard truth to swallow about going through a personal tragedy.  You will lose friends.  You won’t see it coming until you’re in a situation that you expect for them to rally and they don’t.  Instead of encouragement you get silence.  I know this isn’t exclusive to me, because I have heard from so many others going through the same thing.  While we mourn the loss of a loved one, we are forced to mourn the loss of relationships that were precious.  It’s ok.  We get it.  You don’t know what to say to us, so you don’t say anything.  It’s just something that we endure and move on.  Until the really horrible days. 

On the really horrible days, we are left alone at a time when we need someone the most.  And that’s ok too, because we’re never truly alone, but in the middle of the pain and confusion it’s hard to believe we aren’t alone.  These past weeks have been that for me.  One thing after another after ANOTHER came my way.  Flaming fireballs from hell that hit their mark, that mark being me. 

I can honestly tell you that I lost hope.  I saw no need to keep up the good fight.  I saw no need to continue to try to be a peacemaker or a light because instead of rewards and peace, I had agony and confusion. 

My losing hope wasn’t losing the will to live because I know I have much work to do.  I just threw my hands up and sat in the darkness because that’s all I could do.  It was, quite frankly, scary because I have never felt so alone.  I felt forgotten.  I felt like all of hell had a “How to Torment Staci” list and was marking off each task while it laughed.  Where was God?  I kept asking him that. 

I went to bed in that bad place and I woke up in that bad place.  I woke up missing my son and the friends that had once been my ride or dies.  I woke up missing those life connections.  I wanted to cry, but couldn’t.  I wanted to scream - so I did.  It didn’t help.  I wanted to throw something so I did - it didn’t help either, because I had to turn around and clean up the mess I just made. 

While in that dark place, all I saw was the darkness and immeasurable loss.  I felt the attack and tried to wrap my brain around why it was happening after I had already been through so much.  It sounds like a pity party, and maybe it was, but one in six months is impressive, all things considered.  I asked why why why and when when when.  Why am I going through this and when are You going to make it stop.  I knew He would, but I wondered how much of me would be left when He finally did. 

I was reminded of Daniel.  He fasted and prayed for three weeks waiting for the Lord to answer his prayers, and when the angel finally appeared to give him that answer, he explained his delay was due to a battle he had with the Prince of Persia.  A battle so fierce, the arch angel Michael was sent to assist him and to the battle he returned once the message was delivered.  Now, I’m not the prophet Daniel, but I can relate to the agony of waiting for a prayer for relief to be answered. 

My prayer was answered.  Relief came.  The attack stopped (for now) and on this side of it, out of the darkness, I can see clearly how much light was truly there.  The friends that have known me since before there was a Hagen, were there for me and in the place of mourning relationships that died when my son died, He sent complete strangers one after the other after the other who are now more than friends. On this side, I see there was no loss.  Only gain.  He gave me a new perspective.  He gave me a new outlook and showed me that when I let Him fight the battles that I can’t possibly fight, there is ALWAYS victory.  Victory and reward. 

When the world knows who you are because you used Facebook to notify the enemy that you’re coming after him, of course hell retaliates.  Especially knowing you meant every word you said.  And hell will use whatever it takes to take the fight out of you. 

When I was empty and alone, and the was no fight left, He was filling me up and surrounding me with loving people and starting invaluable relationships.  While I was in the darkness waiting for rescue, heaven was fighting what must be one hell of a prince.  Pun intended.  While the enemy was trying his best to shut me down - and I’ll admit, it seemed he would win- heaven never gave up.  While the enemy was focusing on me, God was busy sending the army that I called for on March 21st.  Those mommas and those daddys snuck past while hell was distracted. 

My relief came and I like to believe that my angel went right back into battle.  Instead of losing part of myself, I grew.  I’m stronger and I’m more determined now than I’ve ever been and standing beside me are the generals of that army.   See what God did there?  He promised to use all the enemy meant for harm for the good of those that love Him.  He has consistently used what felt like hell, to turn the enemy on his head.  He does it for me and He does it for you. 

The loneliness you’re feeling and the mourning you’re doing over those that are no longer walking beside you in life - LET.  THEM. GO.  They were never meant to walk beside you now or they would still be there.  Let go of the pain of the losses and embrace who is next to you now.  They are your generals.  They are your ride or dies and they are equipped to be by your side.  They were Hand chosen to stand with you, sit with you, cry with you, laugh with you and pray for you. 

Each person that has suffered the loss of a loved one is a different person than they were before that loss.  They are a new person that has to begin a new life, and that new life requires new relationships,  new lifelines and a new perspective. 

If you don’t have the new yet, you will.  Until then, know heaven is fighting for you and you are not alone. 

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