|Winter Mountains photo by Jean Ann Williams|
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
—Psalm 51:10 KJV
I swallowed fear as it rose in my throat and said to my husband, “Honey, I feel strange. I can’t breathe right.”
We were sitting at a steakhouse restaurant on September tenth. We had finished our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary meal—our first anniversary after Joshua’s death. My husband watched me and nodded. “You’re having a panic attack.”
I pressed a palm to my chest, and drank from my water glass to clear my throat. Catching my breath, I said, “Oh, I didn’t know.”
Many more panic attacks came in the months to follow. They always left me breathless and fearful. And 90 percent of the time my thoughts revolved around Joshua. How could I go on without ever seeing my son again? The lonely feelings of missing Joshua continued. My crying spells lessened, though, since I began writing the Bible stories with Becky.
But I couldn’t stop believing that I would never feel joy again. The old me had disappeared. I did smile when the grandchildren were around. But why wasn’t anyone talking about Joshua? He had lived among us for twenty-five years.
Please, people, continue the conversation when I talk about Joshua.
Father Lord, others cause me to feel isolated. I know they mean well, but I need to hear Joshua’s name from their mouths. And please help me, Lord, for the panic attacks are suffocating me. In Jesus’s holy name, I beg. Amen.
A Mother’s Memories
I waited for the perfect moment to look in Joshua’s bedroom.
He stayed in his room all the time—a few months before he died in there. He kept his door shut, so I understood he was hiding something from us. Recently, he took to carrying his backpack into the bathroom. I seized that opportunity to snoop.
I turned the knob, stepped inside, and jerked backward. Every crack of the knotty pine walls Joshua had covered with masking tape.
A gloom settled over me, and I shut the door. Only a person who was extremely frightened would do this.
My son needed help.
When I told my husband, he agreed that Joshua’s medications were not working. We talked about approaching our son and convincing him to quit his psychiatrist. We wanted him to see a Christian therapist, one who would help him get off his medications.
Would Joshua agree to this? We prayed so.
Dear God, what are we to do? We fear Joshua will not listen to us about seeking better help. Where did our son go? He walks about, a shell of himself. Oh, Lord, help us. In Jesus’s name, I beg of You. Amen.
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~