creating through brokenness, remembering our son

*Written in memory of our precious son Abram on his 25th birthday. And in honor of my sister Kathy, the most creative person I know.

Have you ever experienced a life-changing event? One where you knew that from that point on you would never be the same? For my husband and me, that day came 25 years ago today. After 9 months of awaiting the birth of our baby boy he suddenly and without explanation became still. We gave birth to our beautiful, precious son Abram Charles on November 4th, 1991.  On that day we began a path through sorrow that was greater than we could have imagined. Our hearts ached with a pain that to this day can come back as fresh as the day it began. Our little boy, with his beautiful head of dark hair and soft little cheeks, would never come home with us to nurture and love and raise as we had dreamed he would.  After his death I struggled to face each new day. There was a constant weight on my chest that made it hard to simply take a breath. Although I began to grow in my relationship with the Lord in a deeper way than I had ever known was possible, I still wondered if I would ever feel joy again.

A few weeks after Abram’s death while I was spending time with my sister I asked her how long she thought the pain in my chest would last. She answered me with a random question. She asked, ‘What time of the day is most difficult to get through?’ It for sure was the evenings when my husband Charlie was at his youth ministry meetings.  It was wintertime and the days were depressingly short and the evenings would seem to drag on endlessly. She invited me to her home during those times so that Emily and I could just hang out. We began going regularly and while Emily would play with her 4 older cousins Kathy and I would make something. Anything! It might be a sewing project, a random craft, or something in the kitchen.

Slowly, as the weeks passed and we connected over what might have seemed like simple little craft projects, the weight on my chest began to lift. I can remember the day when I felt the first flicker of joy in my heart return, it had become so foreign to me that I actually felt guilty feeling it!

I will forever be thankful to my sister for sharing her daily life and love of creating with me at a time when I could not do those things for myself.

We can help others who are hurting by simply sharing our lives with them. I need to remind myself of this as I go about living and doing the things each day that come naturally to me. It is a gift. The art of living, creating, moving through each day is a gift from God and through simply sharing our lives and connecting we can help one another. Just as my sister simply shared her life with me through her everyday activities God used her as one of the ways that helped me walk through darkness until I could feel joy again.

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  1. Oh, Judi and Charlie–

    I still remember your heart-breaking loss. It’s hard to believe Abram would be 25 today. I think of him often as I see his grave that you faithfully keep decorated with precious, unique “country” art in the church cemetery. How beautiful that Kathy knew what your heart needed and lovingly spent time with you and Emily. I remember when Scott died Cheryl spoke of the physical pain in her heart she experienced as well. So thankful that in Gods timing He heals hearts even though that person remains in your heart forever. May encircle you in His loving arms. In His love, Eleanor

    1. Thank you so much Eleanor for your loving words, they are an encouragement to our hearts. I know both our families look forward to the day when we are united with our loved ones.
      With love, Judi

  2. Oh Judi, you are so sweet. I sure wish you hadn’t had to live this pain but I am so grateful for your wisdom (in so many ways). What a wonderful reminder of how we can love others right where we are. Sometimes that is hard for me to remember.

    1. Thank you for your sweet words Randi. You are not alone, I struggle to remember the same as well!

  3. Judi, thank you so much for sharing this painful but beautiful and healing testimony. I would like to share this with our couples group here in Cambodia. Sometimes in a new church plant (maybe in ANY church setting) some new believers get the feeling that they are not really committed Christians if they aren’t out preaching the gospel or going on ministry trips. The quieter ‘helps’ oriented gifts are less publicized and glorified. The testimony of your sister reaching out in a way that was healing for you and employed her giftedness shows an amazing display of God’s love and compassion with those who are hurting. So many of God’s children are created to serve in this way and this story is an inspiration and beautiful testimony to that affect. Though I ached for you and Charlie at that time, Kathy reached out to you in a way that I never could have done. God is so good – and so CREATIVE!

    1. Hi Carolyn!
      I would consider it an honor and a blessing if you would share this with your church family. Our God IS so good and so creative in the way He uses each of us!
      I enjoy reading each of your updates and seeing how God is using you to reach the people in Cambodia. Thank you for your faithfulness!
      Love and prayers,

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