Picture credit: kygp (Flickr, creative commons)
Most weeks I receive an email or two from readers of Resurrection Year. Merryn and I were overwhelmed to read this one from Kylie – shared here with her permission – not just because our trials happened on the same days, but because of the nature of Kylie’s crisis and the faith she has displayed through it. Her journey isn’t over, though. There’ll be a long healing journey ahead for her and her family. I hope you’ll leave Kylie an encouraging message in the comments to give her strength for the road ahead.
I have just put down Resurrection Year, a book which has impacted me deeply and is resonating within, a bit like echoes bouncing off a dark cave. I can’t quite see or capture what has been stirred but stirred I am. As you chronicled your and Merryn’s journey through to December 2010 I was taken back to my own journey on almost identical dates. Different journey, different loss, but with the same theme of shattered dreams.
On December 12 2010 my husband went to work early in the morning. I stirred slightly as he kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me. That afternoon I received a phone call to say he had been arrested for multiple offenses relating to child sexual abuse. In that one moment life changed forever. On that day I lost my home, our business, income, friends, family, my husband, and my children lost their father as they knew him. Added to this was grief for the pain and abuse that had been inflicted on others.
On December 24 I too curled up in a foetal position, just as Resurrection Year describes Merryn doing after her call from the IVF clinic. For me it happened after seeing my husband for the first time following his arrest. On New Years Eve I lay in bed with unstoppable tears and said goodbye to all that my life had been to that point.
As you were planning and preparing and packing up your lives I was doing the same. I was attempting to deal with shattered staff, shattered friends, shattered finances and discovering day by day that the person I trusted most in the world had been bound up in addiction and deception for many many years.
For my children and me it was as if an atomic bomb had been dropped upon us, shattering our life as we knew it. My husband and I had been Christians for 27 years, had run bible study groups, parenting groups, and even in the early years headed up children’s ministry. Because of the sudden loss of business and finance we could no longer afford to live in our new home, which had finally been acquired after years of financial ups and downs. Our cars which were leased through the business also had to be sold.
At the beginning of our journey, I realised I had a choice: I either held on to God and all I professed to believe in, or I walked away and blamed him. Somehow I instinctively knew that I wouldn’t survive without him and that I would most probably take my kids out if I fell. At some level I also felt that God grieved our situation too.
Like you, I too spent time in the book of Exodus and Exodus 14:13-14 became a scripture I held on to. I had to trust that if I could keep walking, and put one foot after another, God would fight for me.
It has been almost three years since my husband was arrested, and the grief and aftermath is still being worked out. But along the journey we have experienced God’s provision, his love, his faithfulness and goodness. I have walked one of my daughters down the aisle to her soul mate and am about to watch my son marry his. All three of my children are clinging to Jesus and serving others whilst working out their journey. One of them still struggles and rides the roller coaster of pain – perhaps because she was the closest to her father. In the aftermath she was coping with her senior year at school whilst losing the security of her home. She even lost her familiar bed as she shared a room with her sister in the house we moved to.
Two years ago I sat in a conference and heard the speaker talk about fears. He named the top five fears most of us have and went on to say most times in life we do not have to face these but we spend much wasted time fearing them. I realised I had faced four of those fears in one day.
I thank you Sheridan and Merryn for sharing your story, and for choosing to get up from the bed and for choosing life. Our great life choices encourage others and I have been encouraged by yours. Thank you for your honesty and rawness. I hope I have the courage to face them myself with such honesty.
On the Resurrection journey,