I was sitting in Walmart parking lot waiting for my son, Jim, when the dark clouds rolled in. I was not sure if the clouds have ever been that dark, or if I was just noticing the sky more these days.
Darkness was all around the sky, except for an opening all around the sun. I remember well Kristin watching the sky and commenting how the light always manages to shine through. She took many pictures of the sky and loved when the sun burst through the darkness. I smiled to myself as I remember her explaining how that was the way God is speaking to us. Just when we think the darkness will overtake us, some light shines through. The student became the master, in this respect, as Kristin always could find an illustration from God most every single day of her life.
I came home and was sitting at our kitchen table with my dear husband. He, sensing my reflective mood, said, "You know it's always darkest before the light breaks through. It is a dark time right now for you, but the light is beginning to shine through."
Taken back a bit as I recounted to him my experience in the Walmart parking lot, we both agreed, light is shining through, even in this darkness midnight of grief.
There is a legend of a man who found the barn where Satan kept his seeds ready to be sown in the human heart, and on finding the seeds of discouragement more numerous than others learned that those seeds could be made to grow almost anywhere. When Satan was questioned, he reluctantly admitted that there was one place in which he could never get them to thrive. "And where is that?" asked the man. Satan replied sadly, "In the heart of a grateful man."
I have found that light surprises me when I grieve, if I grieve with a thankful heart. You might ask, "how can you be thankful your daughter has died?" My answer, to you dear friend, is that I am not thankful she died, but I'm thankful she lived. I'm thankful in the midst of being told I may never have children, that God gave Kristin to me. I'm grateful when her daddy died when she was 9 months old that I had her and a reason to get up every morning. I'm thankful for the amazing child she was and the wisdom she exhibited as a columnist in the Webster paper for many years. I'm thankful for the lives God changed through her, and that he allowed her to be "Sissy" to the boys during the years they truly needed a role model and nurturing sister. I'm thankful for our close relationship that surpassed anything I ever dreamed. I'm thankful that she didn't just disappear in Thailand or another country, but rather she is safe in the arms of Jesus.
Yes, you read that correctly. I'm thankful for her haven of Heaven. Kristin suffered more than most know in many ways, and I'm thankful that is over for her. She never has to have cancer, have her heart broke again, have headaches that plagued her days, etc. You get the picture. I am thankful that she is free and that I was blessed to have her. Though the boys, myself and the rest of our family miss our "princess" (she was the only girl among all boys), we are thankful we had her. Thankfulness brings light in the darkness.
Streams in the deserts says: "Sometimes a light surprises the Christian when he sings." The Psalmist realized that gratitude plays an essential part in true worship. He sang praises to God at all times; often, in his darkest moments. When in his despair he called on God, his praises soon mingled with his cries of anguish, showing the victory accomplished by his habitual thankfulness. Do you need doors to opened? Try prayer and singing; they go together and they work wonders."
(Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife and homeschool mom in Elkins. She is counselor at Cornerstone and Kristin's Hope, a ministry to the children in the Appalachian Mountains as well as domestic violence victims and human trafficking. Reach her at 304-637-1109.)