Five Minute Friday

The Softening Between Before and After

For so long after my son, Tyler, died, my life seemed to be defined with the distinctions of “before Tyler died” and “since Tyler died.”  The distinctions were not only marked but painful.   Every aspect of my life seemed determined and effected by “the before” and “the after” lines of time.  I often tried to think of my life as a whole but it usually felt impossible.  My line in the sand was deep grief.  But I imagine those who have experienced traumas of many types might feel something similar.  Life becomes disjointed. Days, months – and years – feel disordered.  Disconnected.

But God has been patient.  And merciful.  Just as He has in so many ways through my journey of grief, He has helped.  And brought healing.  He continues to bring healing.  I do not know when it happened but the sharp, jagged lines of “before” and “after” have been softened.  Blurred.  Of course, the two distinct times are still real – just as there are two separate oceans – but God is creating oneness in my life again.  This one life He has given me.  Many different experiences, “before and afters,” opportunities, days and years fashioned together by a loving Heavenly Father for His glory.

These are my thoughts for the Five Minute Friday prompt: BEFORE.  If you are not familiar with my grief story, you can read more in the header above under “Could It Be Any Worse?”  My heart is heavy today for those who are hurting or may be struggling with raw distinctions of before and after in their lives.  For so long, I held onto those hurtful divisions of time.  They defined me.  But they also hurt so badly.  I pray God will soften your edges and you will allow Him to give you healing and comfort as well.

13 thoughts on “The Softening Between Before and After

  1. Oh, Jennifer…

    But that had been my life before
    that thing that had transpired,
    and since then life has been a blur
    and I have just desired
    that somehow I might find a way
    to turn back clock’s sharp-pointed hands
    to find again a yesterday
    of green and sunlit lands.
    The sun, however, sets its course
    and the earth whirls in mad glee,
    both in fell intent to force
    my face to what is killing me.
    Lord, I bow as you play Your part
    to let broken Son heal broken heart.

  2. I suppose That I have not really thought of it that way before. Blurring the lines… but it does make sense. How encouraging —thank you Jennifer

    1. I’m glad you found it encouraging…always encouraged myself whenever Tyler’s story or God’s working through it can be shared – and can be a help! I’m glad you stopped by today:)

  3. You fit so much depth, so much heartache and hopefulness into your 5 minute Friday post. My sister lost a child at the age of 3 to Wilm’s (kidney) Tumor. Because Andrew was so young, and was so sick for much of his short life, even though it wasn’t just with a cancer diagnosis, but also constant ear infections, etc., we don’t have much BEFORE to hold onto. And now it has been 19 years since Andrew died. We tend to wonder what he would have been like in elementary school, high school and now, at college-age.
    I am thankful that God and your faith and time have all worked to blur the sharp edges of before and after. May your memories and your certainty that you will be with your son again, continue to bring you comfort.

    1. I totally understand how difficult it can be to “grow in our minds” our loved ones. Just as you dream and wonder about Andrew, I see all of Tyler’s friends getting married (even becoming dads) and I wonder…..

      Thanks for your sweet comments. Extra hugs to you – and to your sister!

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