My Son

Someone had recently stated that they had a difficult time even speaking their child’s name after their child passed on. I could definitely relate to this.

It took me years before I would willingly and ‘casually’ speak my son’s name. I would never share a photo of him with another without hesitation and a feeling that by doing so, I was going to ‘lose’ him. When I began sharing and seeking support in groups on line, I would notice that many proudly posted such things. I loved ‘meeting’ all their children and it helped me to know that they are ‘real’. Still, I simply could not do it. Even when someone asked my son’s name, I was apprehensive to respond. I felt afraid of sharing him, that somehow I would be letting go of him.

Finally, I did it…I posted a pic of my son. Others made such kind and loving comments that I was glad I had done it. However, it wasn’t long until I no longer felt ‘safe’ again in doing so. Things were being shared that made me uncomfortable, so one night I deleted everything I posted about him. Time went along, and I eventually re-posted a photo. But then there was another bend in the road. I had shared some Scripture with a professing Christian who sincerely wanted to know what God’s Word said about a certain matter. I was then accused by a moderator of attempting to: ‘proselytize’. That was the word she had used. I wasn’t even precisely sure of its definition and had to look it up. I was removed from that site as ‘punishment’ for violating their ‘rules’ by sharing a Scripture. I soon learned that all other ‘beliefs’ were permitted, even encouraged…but no Scripture.

I was horrified. I couldn’t sleep. I made numerous requests to have my personal posts deleted and the administrator repeatedly promised they would be. But gals I had met would send me proof that they had not done as they had assured me they would. I felt ‘robbed’ of a piece of me. Eventually, the administrator told me they didn’t have the time nor were willing to invest the energy in removing these things; even though I knew it wouldn’t take more than ten minutes to delete them. They then claimed that they were now ‘their property’ because I willingly shared them on their site. It tore me up inside. I was re-living the feeling of ‘loss’ of my child. It cut deep.

It still hurts (which is my way of saying I am currently balling my eyes out as I write of this).

After some time, I attempted to share my son’s photo again on another site. Again, I would delete it and often after a few days, delete all my posts. This time I was on a professing Christian site. I felt warmly welcomed…at first…and was positively assured that nothing like what had occurred on the secular site would happen on this site. Then, one day, I was speaking privately with the moderator in Private Messaging. I shared with her a dream in which my son appeared, warning me of 9-11. She was aghast. She asked: “Do you truly believe that was your son??”. I was taken back a bit that she had even questioned it. I told her: “Yes”. Within a few hours I was booted from that site and the moderator blocked me, as well, to prevent any discussion of the matter. In addition, whatever posts I had on that site I could not retrieve nor delete. I could not make sense of any of this. Had this woman truly believed that God would allow the devil to pose as my son…to warn me about 9-11?? That didn’t even make any sense. It still doesn’t. There is no logic in any of that.

More loss.

All of this, however, led to something I had never expected. One day, I simply opened up a public site. I had missed having a place to go where I could get support from others when I was overwhelmed and drowning in grief, but I did find other sites to join. Also, because I have met some wonderful grieving Moms along this journey, I discovered that I could rant, rave, cry, complain, etc. in private chats with them. With some, I have even exchanged phone numbers. I decided that having a public site had its place and that anyone who came there knew upfront that it is public. I have learned that even closed and secret sites are never completely secure and that all is electronically recorded anyway. Then the Lord had me go ‘public’ with writing my book. This was very frightening for me. Did I really want the ‘world’ to know all these things? Yet, I believed strongly that I was to take on this endeavor. I wanted God to be glorified; I wanted to share His Redemption and Hope. Secondly, I had desired for nearly eighteen years to have my son’s poems published in his honor. This seemed like the perfect platform for accomplishing both. The first issue was a practical one…it cost money to do this. But that was a minor issue because I knew God would provide one way or another since He was directing me to do this. It was a step of Faith, yet not a frightening one.

The hurdle was ‘me’.

To go ahead with this endeavor I would have to confront a lot of pain and heartache in my life. I also discovered that I was still carrying some shame of my abusers in my life which was theirs…not mine…but I was carrying it anyway. I kept coming back to:

Revelation 12: (KJV)

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

I knew the ‘blood of the Lamb’ had me covered. That was done and complete by Jesus my Christ. My testimony, though, I had been withholding for the most part. I had to decide what was more important…my fears and feelings or giving God all the Glory which is rightfully His. Through many internal struggles, I finally told myself: “Just do it!”…and stopped arguing with myself.

Then, just this week, I was encouraged by another moderator on another closed site to ‘introduce’ myself and share some very personal matters because the gals on the site didn’t know me, and this person also had reservations about who I am and what my ‘intentions’ were for being on their site. This was another first, but I went ahead and posted such matters holding nothing back. This was after she had booted me from the site, but then let me back on. Then, I was booted again…and my personal posts are now inaccessible to me. This was also a ‘professing Christian’ site. Any wonder that I sometimes feel as if I have a target on my back? One gal, who once operated a site for many years, informed me that many of these moderators have a place to meet up at to discuss ‘people’ on their sites. I’ve never seen this, but have no reason to doubt what she has told me. There does seem to be ‘circles within circles’ in the ‘grief community’. This, to me, is politics. I naively thought that we were all here for the same reason…to get personal support for our own grief while extending support to others.

God has taught me a lot in these past 15 months of being on ‘social media’ in the grief community. I learned about trolls, about liars and thieves, about folks that enter sites for the sole purpose of sabotaging them. I have sadly learned that just because a person has buried a child, that doesn’t automatically make them a good person. I have even learned that there are some very off-balanced folk that say they have lost a child, when they have not. That last one really is a kicker to me.

However, through all of the additional pain and heartache, I have grown closer to my Lord. I have become less afraid in general of speaking the Truth. I now have a great motivator for being in God’s Word daily in which He continues to show me new things. I ‘hunger’ for more of Him. I have my son’s poems published and I have broken the silence that held me captive in my life. I have met some of the most wonderful broken vessels that have integrity and can be trusted. I have found some good sites where folks truly do help one another and carry one another’s burdens. I am learning how to become an overcomer.

Nothing in this world is perfect, however, the good far outweighs the bad in what I have learned. I do still continue to get attacked for some of my beliefs. I have now encountered some that have accused me of only ‘being here’ to ‘sell a book’. If that were the case, why would I spend hours daily posting, writing articles, and speaking with others in grief when I really could be doing other things? I don’t get paid nor materialistically profit from any of it. But, it is becoming apparent that no matter what I do, folks will choose to attack and judge. I do have my ‘off’ days; I do still get discouraged easily and want to throw in the towel. But if I am to do so, it will be in God’s timing and out of obedience to Him. I have learned that the bottom line is ‘what does God want me to do?’. I have learned that I answer to Him, not ‘man’. I have learned that God is my refuge and my Defender (see PS. 5); I know that when I am weak, He is strong within me (2 Cor. 12:10). Every attack, judgement, false accusation that has been hurled at me are met with God’s response. I have learned that God is the absolute best Husband, that I am His Bride, and He is very protective of me. If the darts start being thrown, God goes to the door and answers it. I have also learned that nothing/no one can ever steal away my son from me. He was, is, and shall forever be my son…and I his Mom. He is safely at Home with Abba, Father…and I will soon join them, as well as, others for all eternity.

Psalm 91 (NKJV)

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Because of all of this, I can now share with you ‘My Son’. His name is Roddy.

xoxoxoImage may contain: 2 people, closeupLove you, Sweetie!

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728  Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

 

 

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6 thoughts on “My Son

  1. I feel like a bystander to much of what you’ve told about the social media groups. It’s been just a year since I lost my son and I was in one of those groups when I met you. I had questions that went beyond my day to day sorrow and raw emotions. I asked you a question privately and you spent a few hours answering my questions and you always backed up what you said with Scripture. You told me about your group and I joined. I think there were only 8 of us at the time. When you were told that you weren’t welcome in that other group, we had conversations and I know you were really rocked by the way you were treated. I think it shook your faith a little bit, faith in people I mean. I didn’t know about the problems you had with “trolls” and other bottom feeders. I can’t imagine what kind of person who would use a group of grieving parents to sabotage the group and make trouble, As far as someone making up that they lost a loved one is disgusting beyond words.

    People saying you are using the group or contacts to “sell your book” are also way off base. I’d known you for months before you mentioned the book and you didn’t try to sell me one. What you did do was share your fears about stepping out in faith with the book. You shut down the group about the same time. If you were planning to use a group to sell your book, shutting down that group would be counter-productive, wouldn’t it? That’s a bunch of bunk and makes me angry. The world is full of ugly people with selfish motives of greed, jealousy, and hate. You, my friend, are not not one of them.

    You have no idea how much you helped me survive the past year. I didn’t need a group where people just cry out in pain and get a canned response from the moderator. I needed the Word and I needed someone who could give me what you gave me. You told me the story of your son and how angry you were in the beginning and then one day you posted the following:”

    “I do now accept by Faith that God is Sovereign and that His ways are greater than mine and that He sees things I do not see. I’ve come to understand that God in His Love and Wisdom answered both our prayers. For there is no safer place my son could be than where he is…which is exactly where he wanted to be.” I’ve had this hanging on my mirror since the day I took it off a message from you on August 15, 2016. It was from a story about a note you found that your son had written before he passed. I’m sure you will remember.

    You reminded me, or maybe pointed out to me for the first time, that God is God and I am not. I decided that my job was to trust Him. My life is still filled with pain at the loss of my precious son. I’m not “fixed” and I’m not silly enough to think that I would ever “get over it” or “move on,” but as you pointed out just the other day, by the Grace and Power of God, I am moving forward! One foot in front of the other, one day at a time, one breath at a time. Losing a child is a very humbling experience. 36 years ago, God gave me a beautiful son with a beautiful soul. He was my joy. I am so greedy that I want him here with me for the rest of my life. How selfish is that, huh? Now he is with His Father, no more pain, sorrow, or confusion. He is in a beautiful place. I can miss him, but I can’t begrudge him Heaven.

    This is long and perhaps no one but you will read it, but that’s okay. I want to thank you for your time, patience, and wisdom. You have one sentence in particular written in the post above. It is, “I have learned that the bottom line is ‘what does God want me to do?’. I have learned that I answer to Him, not ‘man’.” This is where I’ve been for the last few months. My job is to Trust Him, but my job is also to serve Him. I try each day to look for someone to help or something worthwhile to do for Him. I too have grown into the place where I can miss my son and still ask God, “What do you want me to do?” You’ve brought me some peace, Jude, and you’ve helped me heal a little bit. Don’t let the bad guys get you down. Jesus love us and what more can we ask?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read it and I’m glad I did. After so many times wanting to go fight these… people, who’ve hurt my friend, it’s awesome to read this!

      Jude isn’t any of those things she’s accused of but perhaps her abusers hold those dishonest traits themselves.

      There are good people out there and despite our horrific pain we’re able to be there for others in return perhaps because we know first-hand how it feels to be SO rejected by our own tribe.

      Our work is far from done, ROCK ON MAMA, YOU ARE CHERISHED‼️📣❤️‼️😘💔

      Liked by 1 person

    2. OH>>>my dear friend….the dam just broke!!!! Tears have been dripping down my face the past 2 hrs…but I wasn’t crying! I couldn’t cry! Just…drip. drip. drip. Your words…I cannot express my gratitude. TY!!!! (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your son is very handsome. I hope things work out for you. So much pain everywhere. I’m glad you have a place to vent. For a writer at heart it would be unnatural not to do that in some way.

    I’ve seen offers within the grieving mother groups to have our children in video’s. I kept passing them up and I couldn’t figure out why. Then one day I realized although I post many photos of my son, it’s part of my denial. It’s would just seem too official if his photo was on a video on youtube with 30 or more others who had died. Just a couple of weeks ago in one of the groups who made the offer I decided to put one of his text messaged to me that has a small photo of him on the side.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just COULDN’T share my son with others. Like a precious treasure I keep hidden away with only a few I could share. But now he is on proud display! …and that’s OK, too. Cause he still, and shall always, remain mine! (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 1 person

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