Sunday, July 10, 2011

From the beach to the woods...

Oh...what a weekend!

This post can't begin to capture the emotion of it all.

Friday night, I left my house at 9:00 pm with my sister-in-law, Shawna, who came to visit with my brother and their son. We were en route to the beach, because Shawna has never seen the ocean - except in books or on movies. She grew up in Kansas (and still lives there), and growing up in a family with 5 other siblings never afforded them the opportunity to take many vacations, let alone vacations to either coast half-way across the United States. Well, I knew I had to do something about that. Even if only for a few hours.

The spontaneous, adventure-seeking sister-in-law that I am, asked her if she'd like to make the 5 hour trek to see it - in person (and hopefully catch a sunrise too). She was all too quick to say...YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, a few stops and 6 hours later - we arrived in Myrtle Beach, SC (a little ahead of sunrise). We piddled around for a couple of hours and then finally made our way down to the ocean at the break of day. The sun didn't perform a brilliant show for us this, as it was blanketed by a thick veil of clouds. But, the sea...the glorious sea...still showed off the majesty and splendor of Creator God! And...Shawna was amazed...

For me, the trip was bittersweet. To see the joy on my sister-in-law's face was priceless. But, the last time I went to this exact same spot was in April...with my sweet Chris! I miss him so. The beach was a haven for us, and we both planned to live by the sea one day, Lord willing.

I needed to try and rest for a few minutes since we were going to turn around and head back by noon to pick up my daughter at the airport. I placed my towel atop the sand, got down on my stomach, and with the sun just starting to poke through and warm my back...all I could do was cry...salty, sandy tears. Today also was another monthly anniversary. It was another 9th (this time our 35th month of marriage). It was another day that I would normally walk home to later find the flowers my husband brought me to celebrate...those individual monthly anniversaries. More salty, sandy tears. And...the sleep? Maybe 10 minutes. Too many thoughts going through my mind to rest my brain.

Fast forward to today...Sunday. I had asked a couple of friends from church if they would do something very special, yet difficult, for me. Would they please take me to the location where my husband took his own life? Yes. I wanted to see it. I had to see it. There were so many there that day, but not me. I was waiting at the house in case he came home or other news reached us there. But, I was not out with the search team. I was not there to see the truck parked or the pitched tent that contained his broken body. And, I knew I had to. I had to go there and see it for myself. The visual person that I am needed to see everything in order to progress in this healing journey.

So, this afternoon, we went. I am forever grateful to these precious saints for giving me a couple hours of their Sunday afternoon to drive me deep into the woods to see this...

The place his trucked was parked that fateful day...

The place where the tent was pitched that contained my husband's body...

The place where he hung the key to his truck... difficult as it was. It helped me to go there and see everything for myself.

So, later this evening. I went to the cemetery to "talk" to him about it.

And, I've been talking to Him (to Abba) about it the rest of the evening. "I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy." Psalm 116:1


  1. You are a brave, brave woman, Leah. What a weekend for you! I pray that you will get some deep, peaceful rest after all of these things. May the Lord bless you and wrap His arms around you and give you peace.

  2. Sending hugs to you my sister! I love you.

  3. Wow, I can't imagine this weekend for you. Been praying and sensing that it was going to be a tough one. Praying for HIS comfort for you! Blessings friend!

  4. I can so understand your need to go to the place in the woods. What precious friends you have to take you there and support you.

    Love and prayers dear one.

  5. I can't wait to meet you Leah and give you a big hug. Your words touched my heart. I've said it before but I'll say it again. Thank you, thank you for sharing your journey of pain, and healing of how the Lord walks with you through it all!!

  6. Your weekend was definitely a bittersweet one! I love it that you took a spontaneous beach trip with your sister! Very thoughtful of you to do this for her!
    I completely understand your reasoning for wanting to go back to where your sweet Chris passed away! I get it!!
    I am so grateful our God is a healing God...he is healing you one day at a time!
    Twitter: Twittle__Dee

  7. And ya know the cool thing is that His (Abba's) ear never deafens from the sound of His loves voice :) Continue on you journey!

  8. How Great is the Grace of God to provide such bittersweet and important treasured moments. Praying for you my friend!!