At Nate’s service, the talented Melody Workman sang through emotion filled eyes, Natalie Grant’s, “Held” for us.  The song was and still is heart wrenching, breath taking, and overwhelmingly beautiful.   I don’t remember much of the service to be honest with you.   But I know when “Held” was sung, it held my heart through the tears that fell.

Following Nate’s service, I listened to that song many days on repeat.  Some days it brought me peace.  Some days it drove me, I’d belt it out as we drove and listened to Drew just belt it out in the back seat as well. Some days it brought tears that streamed off my face like a waterfall.   If I’m being totally honest there came a point in time where the music from Nate’s service and from the days after his service that actually became painful to listen to.  I have a track of songs that a good friend put together for us from the service and songs meant to carry us.  And they did carry me for a period of time.  Until I found that when I turned them on, they suddenly became sad and washed me with deep pain and grief. It felt as if my body would warp right back into the days and weeks and months following Nate’s death and would paralyze me with pain. Heart. Breaking. Pain.  I couldn’t bear them.  So I stopped listening.   And honestly, when it hit my shuffle playlist, there were songs I had to skip because I knew if I listened I would flash back into a time of deep, deep pain.

Recently, I was provoked to really dig into the meaning behind the song that carried me through a period of time.   I found the songwriters blog that told the story behind the song.  You can read here:

“Sherry is my mother-in-law.  She had mentioned her daughter Erica to me at different times, but I remember one conversation in particular when she talked about Erica’s birth and death in detail.  She spoke through tears about the pain of carrying a child to term and then having to let her go without even getting to take her home from the hospital.  She told me about the still, small voice that spoke to her in the delivery room, saying: You have to choose how you will carry this loss after this moment.  You can choose bitterness.  Or you can choose to let me wrap you up in peace that can’t be explained and that will lead to hope.  You can choose to trust that you are not alone, and that everything you suffer here will someday be redeemed.”

I read those words and my heart raced.  It was as if I had put them into that blog.  As if this mother had really experienced the exact same things I had.  I even blogged months ago about being "Bitter or Better".   I remember very clearly on September 3rd, 2012 making that decision in my mind of how I would carry through this.    My loss hurts, it’s pain that can’t be expressed in words, but is wrapped in peace that leads to hope, and that can’t be explained.

This is what it means to be held. How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life. And you survive. This is what it is to be loved. And to know that the promise was. When everything fell we’d be held.

I remember sitting with a heavy feeling as rescue crews searched for Nate .  Still.  Paralyzed.  Lifeless myself.  Unable to move.  It felt as if there were weights on me so heavy they weighed me down so I could not move.   I just watched knowing what was happening but not able to move to do anything.  I didn’t talk.  I didn’t scream.  I just sat.  I remember knowing that I wanted to do something and not being able to peel myself out of the chair.   It was as if arms had wrapped around me and just held me and wouldn’t let me go.  That feeling is one that when I am deep in sorrow I can still feel.    It took me months to understand that feeling.   One night, during a bible study, it came to me.  It was God.  He’s had his arms around me tightly.  He was holding me the whole time.   He literally wrapped his arms around me to hold me, to keep me from screaming in pain, to love me, and carry me through the days to come.

And He hasn’t stopped since.  xoxo, Katie

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