A Lost Little Girl Like Me (Deep Calls to Deep)

Chris and I both cried our way through breakfast the other day. While I choked down my delicious gluten free pancakes, I watched Chris devour his sausage and cheese omelette and at the same time, continuously wipe tears away. It’s like they just wouldn’t stop. We didn’t stop either, we kept on eating like nothing was wrong… this sort of thing isn’t that uncommon. Before the server delivered our meal, Chris started tearing up. When I questioned him, he said he saw a couple walk in and the woman clearly had cancer.

Chris and I traveled down the Oregon Coast this past week – it was kind of like part two of our honeymoon. For me, it was a dream come true; Chris had been before. The breakfast I’m telling you about took place in a town where Chris and Heather spent a couple of days, three years ago. Chris showed me the hotel where they stayed, and a few other memorable places. The Pig N Pancake restaurant where we were eating was where they ate. Hence the opened flood gates when the women who seemingly had cancer walked through the door. Chris explained, “This is my Victoria.”

A week after our wedding, Chris and I went to Victoria for his aunt’s surprise birthday party. It was a quick trip because Chris had sold his house and had to be out that same weekend. We stayed one night and took in a few sights and everything we saw, reminded me of Mike (he and I spent a lot of time there together over the years – sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with the kids, always when his mum vacationed there from Toronto visiting her sister and brothers). I loved it but had no idea it was going to hit me so hard. Chris watched me wipe away many tears those couple of days as I was overwhelmed with the opened flood gates of memories.

The thing is, away or at home, I’m constantly reminded of Mike and if it’s not tears on my face, it’s a big smile. Every once in a while, I ask Chris if he’s getting tired of hearing about Mike. The last time I asked, he said, “Never.” Chris has really gotten to know Mike and likes getting to know him better. I feel the same about Heather. She was an incredible woman, someone I would have been honoured to call my friend. As weird as it sounds, I feel a strong connection with her.

Anyway, I’d like to go back to the Pig N Pancake. I don’t mean to get more delicious gluten free pancakes, although that sounds good too, but I’m talking about getting back to that part of my story. (You’re probably still wondering about the word “delicious” and “gluten free pancakes” in the same sentence, but it’s true… they were amazing.) Here’s the thing, when Chris started tearing up, so did I. Just when the tears where welling up in my eyes, the server brought our food. I had never ordered pancakes before; my mom ordered them all the time. She loved pancakes and when my pancakes were placed in front of my face, so were many beloved thoughts of her. In that moment I missed her more than ever.

I felt completely numb the morning my mom died. I had stayed with her over night like a couple of other times, but this one was different. She had been moved from a hospital room of four, to a room for one at the end of the hall. It felt like the end-of-the-line kind of room. Chris stayed too. We tried to get comfortable on the skinny cot the nurse brought, but this night wasn’t about getting a good sleep-or any sleep, this night was about watching and waiting and praying… this night was about a final so-long.

If I hadn’t already decided to marry Chris before this, my decision would have been made and the deal would have been sealed right then. Since meeting him, he had already absorbed hundreds of my tears on various sleeves as I continued to grieve Mike’s death and now he held me up as I realized my mom’s last breath had come and gone.

My mom had a short battle with cancer (lymphoma). How long for sure, we don’t really know, but from diagnosis, it was less than two months. Ultimately, it was the chemotherapy that killed her. She was in the hospital for two weeks. My sister, Elanna and I agree that sharing a lot of the constant care she needed was an amazing gift. It was a drop in the bucket of pay-back to the life time of care she gave us. We all did everything in our power to keep her comfortable as she endured the side effects of the chemo and sadly the shutting down of her kidneys and other major organs.

Numb is the word I use to describe how I felt the morning she died. Today, I think I feel the same way. It happened so fast. She was at a fitness class a few weeks before she went into the hospital. Watching my dad grieve the passing of the love-of-his-life for over 55 years has been painful enough. Grieving her myself had to be delayed. I’m still shaking my head and questioning, “Is she really gone?”

When I see a freshly made bed, for a split second, I think “my mom’s been here”. Same thing when I see ‘Mom and Dad’ on my cell phone call display, from one extreme of elation to the immediate opposite of deepest disappointment, I sadly remember, she’s gone. Elanna shared recently how when she went into her laundry room and saw freshly ironed clothing hanging there, her first thought was, “Mom!” Then, instantly, that sinking feeling, no, she’s gone.

I’ve been feeling a little lost lately – more at times than others. I guess the feeling kind of comes and goes. I don’t mean my soul, all is well with my soul, it’s more my heart and head that feel lost (and feet sometimes as I often question, what was I doing here again?) After Mike passed away, I felt that way a lot.

For a long time, I blamed my scattered thoughts, memory loss and inability to focus, on the grieving process. Then, about a year ago, I was like, wait a minute: pre menopause! Lately, the above feelings mixed with the feelings you get when your a little girl separated from your mom at the mall for too long – discontentment, anxiety, fear and so on – I describe it in one word: lost. And even though I’m all grown up now and I’m not afraid, I’ve decided the longer the separation from my mom, the more I feel this way.

As I’ve pondered this lost place, God has met me in it with His comfort, guidance and grace, and I’ve heard Him speak, “Deep calls to deep.” The first time I heard it, I thought of Canadian Christian artist, Steve Bell’s beautiful acoustic arrangement of, Deep Calls to Deep (Author unknown). My friend Suzy, most-defiantly his biggest fan, got me hooked on him. She invited me, Elanna and our mom to one of his concerts years ago. Since then we’ve been to a few with her and other friends (she always saves us front row seats). Anyway, I knew “Deep calls to deep” was part of a verse I was pretty sure found in the book of Psalms. Indeed, chapter 42 verse 7 says: “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.”

My first thought was that the deep things of God, call out to the deep things of me (and maybe vice versa sometimes), and the water from above, flows into the waters below and as this blended H2O washes over me, there’s this deeper communing with my Lord producing indescribable joy and peace.… something along those lines. I’m not a Bible scholar of course, but I’ve been there before and feel I’m just speaking from experience. I did a little research how my take on the Psalmist’s writing compares to others. There were some different ideas, but most included this idea of “communing”… deep communing with God.

Sometimes, it just seems easier to stay in the shallow places. I think we all resist the ‘deep’ for various reasons. The deep can be scary; the fear of the unknown. It’s beyond our comfort zone. We have to be more vulnerable there. We get stretched there. We have to listen there, and wait there and we wonder what He’s going to say there. But when we let go and follow the call, Agape love invades the soul and we are forever changed there. The author of Steve Bells’ Deep Calls to Deep, puts it this way: “Deep calls to deep and my soul finds no resting place but Him. He is my God, the yearning of my soul His touch can still. And each rare moment, I felt His presence, I shall remember and forever cherish…”

I’ve decided that this lost feeling is okay and it’s probably not going to change. I’m just passing through this place and even though I love my life and want to fulfill all of God’s plans for me here, I have a longing for my heavenly home. It’s like a little piece of me is there already with mom and Mike, Mike’s mom Sheila, Randy and Heather and the list goes on.

Recently, while gathered around a table in one of our favourite coffee shops (dad, Elanna, Chris and me), a friend asked us what was so great about heaven. What are we going to do in heaven. What’s the big deal about heaven? I know the Bible has lots of amazing descriptions of heaven and one of us could have really tried to sell it. Instead, what blurted out of my mouth was something like this: “Our Saviour and Lord is there – our best friend, Jesus. We look forward to seeing Him and being in His presence.”

If you are feeling like a lost little girl like me, don’t worry. Follow the call as Deep calls to deep!

God’s peace!

“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life …”  1 Peter 2:11 Message Bible

IMG_5191

If you missed my last blog post,  you can check it out here. It will fill you in on Chris’ and my story: You, Me and a Cherry Blossom Tree

You can find my book, Hold On, Let Go – facing ALS with courage and hope here. Or get from me personally if you live locally.

Here is Deep Calls to Deep in full:

“Deep calls to deep

And my soul finds no resting place but Him

He is my God

The yearning of my soul His touch can still

And each rare moment

I felt His presence

I shall remember

And forever cherish

Deep calls to deep

For he created me to be His own

He understands

The joy and pain of life He too has known

And each rare moment

I felt His presence

I shall remember

And forever cherish

Deep calls to deep

And at His feast I am a welcomed guest

He gives me food

The hunger of my soul is laid to rest

And each rare moment

I felt His presence

I shall remember

And forever cherish”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s