Friday, December 5, 2014

i must remember. i dare not forget.

"Nehemiah is hard for me because it doesn't end happily. It ends with them going right back to how they were before." She says it and I'm surprised. I'm surprised because we're supposed to like the bible, aren't we? We're supposed to be thankful for the way things end, the people involved, and the moral that sits firmly on Him.

"They act like nothing ever happened, don't they?" I'm a day behind her in the bible study, but I know what's coming and I know it's disappointing to see humans getting it wrong -again.

"I want to remember what happened to us." It felt almost like pleading. She wasn't stating a fact, not a fact at all, but asking, almost begging, her fleshy little soul to remember this time and its pain, its tragedy, its despair because it too shall pass.

I sat in a broken-hearted sadness reading about the Israelites in the final chapter of Nehemiah, the way they made those amends, the shiny, new promises, and then, in time, forgot it all. I thought of the sting forgetfulness brings: broken lunch dates, being stood up while I waited in a restaurant, knowing my feelings weren't realized. They way it says, inadvertently, you are not important, this is not important. 

And I realize, I must remember. 

Remember what he can't. His words, his wishes, his loves. Keep him warm in John Deere sweatshirts, adorn his head in a cap of green and yellow, hold his hand as he leads, though we steer ensuring he ends up in no danger. Remember his honesty, his tough love, his vibrant life.

Remember the mourning. The soul-shaking, heart-shattering mourning that shook every ounce of our beings in those days that extended into months after the diagnosis. The moments mourning morphed into rage and we stormed around slamming doors and shunning appetites. Remember the way hearts' ache and, yet, don't necessarily break, that tears spill, but do not drown, that sobs shake, but do not shatter.

Remember the desperation as I hold white-knuckled to the end of his hospital bed, his legs tremor and quake as though aftershocks from the seizure just hours earlier. As I bow my head and tell him, in whispers, I'll care for them -his loved ones, our shared family members, his wife, my mom, his sons, my brothers. I tell him I'll care, and we'll remember him and his humor, his quick-wit, his constant hunger for adventure.

Remember the hope that broke through the thick veil of mourning. The way it tore off my deepest sadnesses and burdens and refused to let me cover myself in such heavy, troubled garments. Hope that ignored my pleadings to "just let me be" and retorted with "no one, not one soul, left behind." The spiny splinters within my heart it pieced back together, knowing I'd resist, become brittle and fracture into bits and pieces once again.

Remember His giving and His taking. Knowing what I need more than I can express, wonder, understand. Cherishing the times I had, we had, with him and Him and that baby we lost and that sweet Jeremiah-boy we gained. Those friends who were just a season and others who are lifers. Those teachers for just a year and others who became life-long mentors. Knowing He gave us those joys, deep and earnest, and He then took them away, making space for growth, new memories, prosperous plans.

I must remember. My life must not read like the book of Nehemiah, it must not be a reflection of a heart too busy, too wild and wayward to take a moment and remember. This Advent season, I wait, longingly, excitedly, for the celebration and in waiting, I remember.

Among the sparkles, twinkling lights, glass ornaments, as we are excited and joyous, as we gather and hug and celebrate, may you take a moment to remember. Remember the birth and it's promise, the life sentence and it's Savior, the death and it's defeat. May you remember. 


  1. This is so incredibly, perfectly raw. You are wonderful. Your heart is wonderful.

  2. In tears at my desk. Thanks, Amber.

  3. Chills, misted eyes. Chelsea's right, it is perfectly raw. I'm raw.

  4. I think it's part of our human nature to forget. The Lord knows how we wander off at times, and I'm so thankful that He is patient and gracious and waiting with open arms. I want to remember too.

  5. this was just....flooring.
    your writing is so raw, unedited, and passionate.
    it touches those places within the readers heart that you share.
    this mourning, the struggle, the deepest level of sadness and numbness and pain...i've been there and man you just explained it so beautifully and heart-wrenching that my soul just quivered.
    remembering is beautiful.
    and as you said, may we not have a heart too busy or too weighted with life to remember those we love, have lost, still have, and will meet in the future.

  6. I am shaking and covered in goosebumps with tear filled eyes. What a beautiful, intricate way you have with your words and ability to be vulnerable. "Knowing He gave us those joys, deep and earnest, and He then took them away, making space for growth, new memories, prosperous plans..." Oh, this. This so much. I love you, dear friend.

  7. Tears. Big time. I think the word "raw" that everyone has used is so fitting here. We NEED your story.

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