Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27th Changed My World

Normally this is not an aspect of my life that I share but feel directed to write this today. Perhaps there is someone struggling with the loss of a loved one and there need to be exercising faith - believing that the Lord can do all things - even in extreme circumstances, when most people seem to lose hope.

January 27, 1993, changed my world forever. Although I still have three wonderful children and the most precious grandchildren in the world, a piece of my heart is gone. That piece? My fourth child, a son who was full of love. His warm smile could melt a heart, and he could charm any and every one. His friends were many, his enemies few. His concern for others was sincere.Often he gave when he didn't have to give. If you'd asked for the shirt off his back, he would have given it. Too, he could be a pest...joking when being serious would have been best.I miss Mark...I miss his first words when he called, "hi, momma". I miss his hugs that squeezed the stuffing out of me; his love pats; and his arm around my neck. I miss his expressions of life and of love.

Mark fell into the pit holes of youth and on into adulthood. He struggled with his calling and identity. It was a constant struggle. However I was encouraged that the Lord would go with Mark, and that he would find his way. Wonderfully the Lord never lets us down (if we believe).

It took several years before I was able to go through his belongings. The pain of so quickly losing him was too great to do so before then. When I did, I came across handwritten notes that Mark has written. As I read the pages, I wept. They were sermons - sermons that he should have preached. No one will ever hear them as they lie wasted in the bottom of a cardboard box. What God wanted most for Mark will never be. In his writings were words about faith and trust in God. Examples carefully written on the pages. His words encouraged the use of faith. I continue to hold to the faith he wrote of, for I believe God answers a mother's prayer, and holding to that faith, I plan to see Mark one day in heaven. He did not pass from this life as some ugly gossip and rumors had it, for in his last few minutes on this earth, he and the Lord came to peace. He spent his last few minutes uttering praise to God in a heavenly language.

Now for that person that may be struggling - we do struggle from time to time with our loss. And moreover it is difficult to accept the scripture, ". . . the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away..."(Job 1:21). But even harder is its finish, ". . . blessed be the name of Lord." Bless the Lord when he takes away a vital part of our being? Taking away a life that loved unselfishly, bringing slices of excitement and joy? Yes, we need to bless Him! The Lord sometimes only gives us loved ones for a season, and He has every right to reclaim them. Dear one that struggles, may you find peace and comfort. For to have loved ones even for only a short while is better than to never have had them at all.

Mark's pride and joy from the time he turned 15 until his passing at 32 - and it still sits in our garage. Just wanted to use something different instead of a traditional picture.


Just a thought said...

I can, to a point, understand just how you feel Sis. Hopper. Eighteen years ago April 17th I lost my wife of twenty-seven years. Some days you feel nothing in pain, and then a word an action by someone else and a cloud seems to fall across the day. I do the best I can to remember the text you quoted from Job many days. Time and Virginia has been a great healer in this life!
God’s best to you and yours on this day.


Kathy McElhaney said...

Sis. Hopper,
My Bible reading this morning included 2 Corinthians chapter 1. Paul writes, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

These words caught my attention and I was pondering a post about them (may still happen). You have walked through the deepest valley and now you are using that time, when God was your comfort, to comfort others.

I miss Mark so much. He was my friend, often a pest, but could always make me laugh. I could never stay mad at him, he wouldn't let me! He'd charm a smile out of me and pretty soon we'd be laughing again.

Love you.

The Kendrick Clan's Scrapbook said...

Thank you for your openess regarding your will help so many that are on the roller coaster ride of dealing with the death of loved one.

Your in my prayers,

The Kendrick Clan's Scrapbook said...

Sis. Hopper...
I thought of you...I put a link on on my only they are having a sale.

Take care!

Karen Hopper said...

To All,
Thank you.

I'll definitely take a look. I'm with you, love a good bargain.

Kellee said...

Mom, I miss Mark too! He had the ability to make me so mad at him one minute and love him to death the next minute. I wish he could have come to grips with what he should have been - I think what he feared becoming would have actually made him extremely happy in life. I also wish Cameron & Alisha's kids had known him - they would have thought he was the best, just like we did!

*BTW, nice car behind Mark's car. ;-)

Love ya!

Karen Hopper said...

Mark was one to play with our emotions. LOL I too wish Madi, Cassie & Preston could have spent time with Mark. He would have been whatever age they wanted. Preston told me on the phone last night that he would have loved to have met Uncle Mark. BTW: Yet that '55 is a looker. heehee Plus Alisha's baby is showing a tail light.

Carol Connell said...

Hi Karen,

Thank you for what you've shared here. I know folks who have become bitter, because they just could not understand how God could take away someone that they loved so dearly. You have a great attitude and spirit that I appreciate.

Love in Christ,
Carol C.

Susan Hill said...

Aunt Karen, I haven't blogged in so long, I decided to look back and see if you were being good and staying up with yours, sure enough, you are!! Your blog about Mark is so sweet! Kellee, Misti loved him dearly! He would come see us in our trailers while evangelising and beat on the side and holler and antagonize Misti until she wanted to holler at him!! We all loved him!

Karen Hopper said...

I am so thankful that I never accused the Lord. I've seen those who become bitter, and my heart breaks for them. Many I've spent hours talking with - some found peace, others just bitterness.

Oh yes, Mark did know to antagonize. He was such a kid at heart.

April Renee said...

Mark was different in many ways from the other guys at Truth Tabernacle. He befriend the ones that were not always accepted in the "crowd".
He was funny and I have fun memories of him. But the one that stands out was the the Sunday night he gave a tongues and interpretation and the how the power of God that was on him.

Kellee, how do I remember that "classic" car you drove to school everyday!!! Good times!