Shadow Of Victory

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Saturday 9th May Final Reflections

I started this week sharing about my brother Robert...who he was...and how he affected my life and as I have continued to reflect on him and memories have risen I have so enjoyed this time of writing. It may sound weird but no-one in my present day life knew him..Robert died before I met Chris and none of the friends I have past or present ...ever met him either so he has rarely come up in conversation and lets face it "suicide" isn't the best after dinner topic. He sadly became known as "my brother who committed suicide" and he was way more than that .

Sharing him with you has been hugely rewarding for me and brought back a store of happy times that I had forgotten existed and has brought me to a place of peace and even joy. I still stand by the statement "writing is my best chance of happiness" and certainly this week has been a happy week for me.

In the midst of this strange sense of peace there has also been a surge of memories that haven't been so good.Roberts death wasn't the only suicide in my family...I have an uncle who committed suicide and my half brother also committed suicide and for many years I felt tainted by these events. I would dream of death...I would plan funerals...if any of my children were late home or I didn't know where they were I would picture death scenarios. I lived with the constant fear that I would lose Chris to some horrific accident and I never worried about losing him to another woman it was a motorway pile up or a hit and run.I would hear a phone or the doorbell ring late at night and be convinced a police man would be at the door bearing bad news.

I cant close this chapter of the blog without being 100% honest .!! Referring to the scripture from Deuteronomy ch 30....there have been times in my life where I have been faced with the choices as set out here...Life and Death...before I became a christian I thought about suicide many times ....long before my brothers suicide impacted me ....and although I didn't know God nor the scriptures somehow or other I kept choosing "life "
I would like to say (because it sounds a lot better )..that I have never thought about suicide since becoming a christian but it wouldn't be true. As I began to seek God for my healing and restoration there were times when memories surfaced that were so incredibly painful that I honestly thought death would be easier...and I had to constantly make the choice...LIFE ..LIFE...LIFE...I would drive along the road and be thinking "that tree...I could drive into it..." or I would look at tablets and think..."how many??". I would take stock then and think about how this would affect Chris and my children,,and I could NEVER leave that legacy in their spirits... and so deep in my spirit I would draw on the knowledge that Jesus could ...and would ....and did rescue me

PSALM 18 V 4-6
The cords of death entangled me;the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice;my cry came before him into his ears.

Please read the rest of this psalm to know how God will rescue those who are entangled up in "death" and He will rescue each of us. I am deeply and passionately grateful to God who provided me with a safe place and in the same way that I have been honest about my past thoughts about suicide I can truly say it has been a very ...very..very long time since I had these thoughts . ..God can and does deliver His children from such dark torments

And finally...the ever unanswered question of WHY....Robert had left no final last word ...we were all left with this searing loss and no resolution closure. For many years I carried the unresolved pain of his death.. the constant replay of incidents trying to find a clue...a word spoken in anger ..a trigger that would have caused it...the terrible thought that perhaps it was MY fault. I know we all suffered badly due to the breakdown of our family...I know Robert was an extremely vulnerable and sensitive young boy..I know he chose to work and pursue a career with the the poor and socially deprived...I know he carried unexpressed pain that he shared with no-one and covered it up with humour and good works. Mixed in with all of this is also the underlying mystery of "is he in hell?? was he saved?? ...did God have mercy on him at the final breath?" I could speculate and debate endlessly but it wouldn't answer the questions nor would it bring me any closer to understanding and so all I am left with is God and his word.

1 Corinthians ch 13 v 12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully ,even as I am known fully

Perhaps one day....when Jesus is fully known and fully revealed to all mankind I may know the answers but until that day I have the amazing assurance that God is sovereign...and that's enough for me.


Jacqui W-G said...

Dear Irene, I have just come home from a week away on holiday and read your chapter about Robert back to back. I felt caught up your celebration of his life, you have beautifully and sensitively demonstrate your love for him in the way that small details of his life and legacy are recorded.

I can see that you are so like him and so drawn to him. I can see that he encouraged you with your school work and also opened up the world of theatre and the arts. I can see too how God gifted you both with a heart for those who are excluded and that your pain has been used for the benefit of others.

I like the way you reference back to your own responses both then and now and the effect that his death and the aftermath of reaction to his death had on you. The Scriptures are so powerful, they are like the rock that make up the banks of a river shaping the pathway of our lives.

This morning God remind me that He brings all things into balance, and when we are balanced we can do anything. All the musical instruments were "in tune" and in balance with each other and able to make a combined sound that was more than their individual sound. I spent the week walking up and down mountains on paths suitable for goats.....but I was able to balance enjoy the views.

I think that your writing is helping you to find more balance and get over past "vertigo". Keep going-wonderful stuff!

Love Jacqui

Sandra in Bonnie Scotland said...

Hi Irene, I have read your past few blogs about Robert with tears, and sorrow, but also with smiles and is a true pity that I didn't know you at a younger age, as I would have been honoured to have known such a special brother of my fab friend! Love ya, Sands xxx