Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Castaway from God?

At the end of the movie, "Castaway," Tom Hanks's character (the "castaway") is sitting in a dark room with one of his friends, lamenting the fact that, because of his years spent alone on the deserted island, his ex-girlfriend is now married to another man. When his friend asked him how he kept the will to keep living, the Hanks character responded, "I just kept on breathing." While I understand this it is only a Hollywood script, I've often thought that a Christian would hopefully have had a better response --perhaps referencing a Biblical passage or a deep theological truth.

During these days following Micah's death, I feel that, on many days, the best I can say is, "I got through the day, and the best I can say about it is that I am still breathing." Even after digging into scripture, after the encouragement of emails and sympathy cards, there are days that we still don't feel the presence of God. The grief is just too great. No great spiritual discernments; no breakthroughs in our grief; no great achievements at work or at home.

But God is present in my life whether I feel his presence or not.
"You know when I sit and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar. (Psalm 139:2)
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make by bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you. (Psalm 139:7-12).

While I often feel like I am a castaway, I continue to trust, through faith, that I am never cast away from God's presence.


  1. Hi Cory and Heather,
    I am just someone from Bethlehem who has committed to reading your blog every day whether you update or not. It is a very small thing but I want you to know that it is happening. I pray for you and think about you a lot.

  2. These are wise and profound thoughts, Cory. On this day in particular I'm praying for you both. I hope that in time you will sense God's presence more clearly.

  3. I felt the same way Cory. Each day will seem like an eternity, but you will make it through this is and look back and know that God has never left your side. Don't forget to breathe. We are thinking of you on this day and praying for you guys, you are not alone.

  4. Hi Wessmans, I just wanted to say that you're doing a great job sharing your process. I'm so deeply sorry about your little Micah.

    I'm sure you're getting good counsel on grief, but just thought I'd lovingly encourage you to remember that you're still in a state of shock right now.

    When you said, "No great spiritual discernments; no breakthroughs in our grief; no great achievements at work or at home." I just thought, "Yep." That's what the first few months are.

    So keep holding on, keep processing all the good and bad emotions that will come. To run from them is not what God wants for you.

    I hope I've not overstepped any boundaries; I just wanted to tell you that all that you're feeling is so normal.

  5. Thanks for this- although I know it's been a while since you've written it. We're almost a month out from our Zion's death and this is often how I feel. Word for word. Glad to know it doesn't stay this way forever.