I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another year.

I went back to that lonely place this year. I kept saying it was my first Christmas back since The Deep Sadness....and it pretty much was. We drove back to Oklahoma again after those horrible, horrible days in 2007, and we spent Christmas there in Altus with Darryl's family. I couldn't tell you one thing I got. I couldn't even tell you one thing anybody else opened from beneath that tree. So, to me....yes, it was my first Christmas back. I was alert this time. I was aware.

I went to the gravesite for the first time since then. It was difficult. I had a horrible feeling in my gut. However, it wasn't any harder than the previous two years have been without My Momma. Her absence has been loudly apparent. There were two things that really hit me hard, though. They got to me in such a deep way that I know I will never forget. First of all, seeing the words "Parents of Carmen and Jessica" on the tombstone made me fall apart on the inside. It doesn't make sense. It shouldn't be. My sister and I, standing there, looking at a slab of stone resting above our Momma. Oh, how I have felt robbed since that December. Not to mention seeing my Daddy's name on the other side. That was not comforting at all.

As I walked through that cemetery, seeing names of other loved ones in our family....I started reading dates. For many of the tombstones, there were a lot of years between those two dates. Many of the souls resting there had full lives. And as I glanced again at the dates on My Momma's tombstone, all those feelings of anger came back. WHY in the world was she not allowed many more years here with us? And what about those who don't even have as long as she had? So many questions. Not a soul on this earth will ever be able to answer them, though.

Grief lingers. The absence of our loved ones lingers. And it should. Because they were, no, ARE loved and missed.

I am thankful for the grief, as I've said before. In our grief, we remember the love. In grief, we are reminded of our neediness. In grief, we are reminded that we are not in control of this life. In grief, we are reminded of this wonderful breath we have in us, and that we never know the minute that breath will be taken.

Christmas morning we woke up at my in-laws home. Darryl looked at me, and he knew. He knew exactly what I was thinking before I even said it. I wouldn't be finding
My Momma under that tree. The only present I have wanted for so long now.


The past two years has been filled with heartache for my family. There have been other things Darryl and I have had to live through, and I am ready to be done with this dark period in our lives. Every inch of me wants to scream as loudly as I can for some sunshine to come peeking through for us. God only knows the heartache we are carrying. Just as He knows the heartache every single one of us carries.

I wait. I hope. I refuse to be overtaken by bitterness. How easy it would be for anybody who's lived out these last 24 months to become a shell of a person. To lose their humanity, their faith. And many people do. It is such an easy thing to do to become hard-hearted. There are so many excuses for it.

But I can't. I simply can't. I see all the heartache. The grief. I see all the injustices. I see all the poverty. I have seen death. I have seen people treat my husband like dirt. I have seen hatred fill so many people's lives that it becomes who they are. I have seen marriages fall apart. I have seen fear all over my face in the first part of our pregnancy with Dylan after being rushed to the ER and told, "you'll just have to wait and see what happens......"....


I remember Christ. I remember My Momma's voice, her laugh, her hugs. I remember her grabbing my hand. I remember kissing my husband on our wedding day. I remember feeling Dylan move for the first time in the early part of our pregnancy. I remember holding him the day he was born. I remember his little voice calling for me for the first time. I remember the grief shared and the comfort given among my sister, my Daddy, and myself. I remember our close friends who have reached out to us through this. I remember laughing.

And as I remember all those things, I know that God is real. I know that He is not a fluffy white man in the clouds who will give me all the riches I want if I'll just name it and claim it. I know that He is a God who not only hands out sorrow, but comfort. I know that He is a God that not only causes tears sometimes, but cries alongside me when I do. I know He is a God who loves me. Even when I question His love for me, He still loves me. I know that. I know that through all these dark days. He loves me. Even though it doesn't look like it, and even though sorrow has camped out in our home.....He loves me. I can't deny that.

So with that said, here's to another year. One that I hope finds my family in happiness, comfort, fellowship, and answered prayers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not sure about the heartache
Or why things keep falling apart.
But I'm trying as hard as I can
To make some good things start.

I'm holding onto what is good
And living through all the bad...
It's times like this I remember
all the good things that I've had.

Life keeps spinning and handing
out things that devastate and destroy...
I'm clinging tight to my lover with
all I am, and our little boy.

I remember the good Lord teaching me
that tribulation will come my way-
But I think I've had all I can take,
I'm ready for something good to come today.

I'm holding on to the amazing marriage
God has blessed me with for so long.
I do not take that for granted,
In his arms I'll always belong.

I'm holding onto this precious blessing
wrapped up in my little boy.
The sunshine he gives me everyday
brings me nothing but pure joy.

I'm holding onto This Holy Spirit
whom I know will intercede....
In these darkest days and darkest nights,
of which I am in my greatest need.

December 30, 2009