Lean on Me

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2 NIV  

When you hit rock bottom and have nothing to cling to but the Creator alone, that is when you learn how to trust God.  When life seems so impossible and you cannot figure out how to breath your next breath, that is when you learn how to trust God.  When you have never studied the bible, never opened it up aside from church, but that is where you are drawn and the only thing that will bring you comfort and hope, that is when you trust God.  When your world is upside down and you realize that you have control over nothing, that is when you trust God.

Losing my son almost 7 years ago put me in all of those situations, at once.  As devastating as his death was, what followed was unbearable at times.  Life went on for the world around us, but we were still stuck in this abyss of grief.  Friends and family went back to work, back to activities with their kids, back to the grind of daily living.  We were still.  We couldn’t move or breath.  

When we tried, we were punched in the gut.  For instance, I vividly remember the first time I went to Target after losing my son.  I went to grab the diaper bag…. expect I no longer needed it.  (Punched in the gut.)  I remember trying to set the table each night and seeing the place where my son’s booster seat was.  (Punched in the gut.)  I remember glancing back in my rear-view mirror in the “family van” we bought after I found out I was pregnant with my son.  I saw my beautiful daughter, but my son’s seat was empty.  (Punched in the gut.)  I could literally go on and on.  Everyday for years this feeling happened.

The other part of this journey was the feeling of being out of control.  When you are a person who feels like they have everything under control and you can handle whatever comes at you, and then your son is diagnosed with cancer, you learn quickly that you have no control over anything.  I was terrified.  Before he was sick, I would look at families suffering illness or tragedy and feel sorry for them, then I would think, “That could never happen to us.”  That was my security blanket of control that kept me sane.  When my son got sick, my security blanket was ripped out from under me and thrown away.  After he died, I had no control, no sense of security.  

I thought my husband would die in a car crash on the way to work.  I was afraid to send my daughter to school in case she fell off the playground and cracked her head open, etc.  The only fear I didn’t have was if I died.  (I probably would have welcomed that!) 

Over time, I learned that I still don’t have control.  (Not feeling warm and fuzzy yet, I know!) However, I learned to not fear as much.  I learned to let go of my fear and trust in God.  I started reading Scripture more and really digging deep into the meaning.  I started attending church regularly and reading books to learn more.  I couldn’t stop leaning on God.  I couldn’t stop hearing his messages and promises.  I needed more than ever to keep learning.  

As I began this spiritual journey, my grip on controlling my fears loosened.  Not all at once, but slowly.  My pain numbed, not all at once, but slowly.  My heart grew and my mind opened.  My trust in God blossomed and my faith exploded!

I realize more than ever that control is not something I was ever meant to have.  I also realize that fear is also something I was never meant to have.  These things I have given to God.  I am living a much more peaceful life since I have released these things to Him.  

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5

 

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23 thoughts on “Lean on Me

  1. Janet says:

    AMEN! Erin….I have no words to express how I feel after reading this…I do know I am blessed by your presence in my life even if it is long distance….Your words are gripping, authentic and the courage you have is inspiring! God IS our strength….God is our light in the darkness…God is LOVE always! and He is ALWAYS present in our lives! May He continue to bless you and your family….because by blessing you, I am blessed!

  2. bloggerlovestheking says:

    Erin it’s hard to express what I am feeling. I cannot imagine after experiencing the grief of the last few weeks from losing my Mom, but a child would be harder. I just finished a book a fellow OBS leader sent me today and it has helped me see what we go through is not abnormal. Hugs to you sweet one and what a testimony to share and you are exploding – love watching you blog and your heart. Debbie W. (OBS Leader)

  3. naklas says:

    Erin, God Bless you & your family. A heart wrenching blog to read; and more to write. Thank you for sharing your story and how it has strenghtened your relationship with Christ. Nothing is in our control, so we must have faith. xoxoxo

  4. Katrina says:

    Your story brought me to tears. As a Mom, I can’t imagine any greater loss than that of a child…the only thing I can imagine is greater than that, is the Lord himself. Your story of learning to lean on Him through your loss has grown my appreciation for God. I realized just how much I take Him for granted and tend to forget just how mighty and loving He truly is. Thank you for sharing your courageous message of trusting in Him. My prayers go out to you.

  5. Mary (OBS Group Leader) says:

    Erin, I normally can’t read long blogs (ADD or what, idk!) however, I couldn’t stop reading to see what you had to say about how you rely on God after such a sad loss. I was in tears reading about your daily reminder that your son was gone, but encouraged that you trusted God and leaned on him even more after your loss. Thanks for opening up and sharing such a personal part of your life to us. May God continue the work he is doing in you and my prayer is your story will help bring peace to those who need it. Hugs!

  6. Sue Molitor (OBS Leader) says:

    Erin, I know writing this must not have been easy for you. Thank you for sharing the most intimate places of your heart. My heart aches over your loss. Many hugs to you… I also really love the last verse. Love, Sue

  7. Pat says:

    I read this Thursday, but I didn’t post because we had an unexpected death in the family. As the preacher started the service Saturday, the very first Scripture he gave was Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. It almost reads the same as Psalm 91:2, but the main word that is missing is “trust”.

    To fully let go, we must have trust. As I read your blog again this morning, I understand now that you have peace because you fully rely on the LORD…your trust is in Him. ❤ Erin, thank you so very much for sharing.

  8. emcuomo says:

    Hi Pat,
    First of all, I am so sorry for the unexpected death in your family. It is always most difficult for those left behind who need to process and experience the grief. I will be praying for you and your family.

    Secondly, yes. My trust is in God, fully and completely. I have learned that without that complete trust, I have nothing. It is God who blesses me and my family every single day and when the road becomes difficult, God sees us through. He has not failed us ever and He never will.

    Blessings to you my friend.

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