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And Yet

Monday, March 7, 2011
Over the last 13 days, I have often thought about David in the book of Psalm.  Besides Proverbs, it is my favorite book in the Bible.  Up until now,  there were emotions that David describes that I felt were unreal or too "super spiritual" for any real human being to experience.  I thought these emotions were reserved for Old Testament heroes of the faith or Paul, in his passionate desperation to share the gospel with all who would listen.  I told my close friend, Adrienne, from Mobile, that I am hurting in a place so deep down inside,  a place that I did not know existed.  My cries have turned into moans that literally feel like I am giving birth to a child... I had our last two children naturally and the experience has been identical.  The cries can sometimes sound abnormal. It has turned my mind to David and the scriptures that I often would scan over thinking, "I can't relate... move on."  But now I get it.

 Our pastor, Mike Campbell, from Redeemer Presbyterian Church, spoke at Michael's funeral service.  He drove home this truth, which is often beyond our comprehension, that two truths, which at face value seem to be in opposition to each other, and yet can exist at the same time.  Yes, we will miss Michael. Yes, there will be great pain.  Yes, the pain is real and validated.... And yet, God is still loving, merciful, full of goodness,  tender mercies, and abundant grace.  I have continued to hear those words ringing in my ears, "And yet..."  It is so reassuring that God is still God and He still sits on the throne and He still stands on His holy hill and hears my prayers.  Psalm 6:6-9 reads, "I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with tears.  My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.  Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity." (Here comes another 'and yet' or 'but God'.)  " For the Lord(and yet He) has heard the voice of my weeping.  The Lord has heard my supplication."  David says it again in Psalm 22:14 & 15, 19, "I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd.  And my tongue clings to my jaws; You have brought me to the dust of death.... But you, O lord, do not be far from me; O my strength, hasten to help me!" David feels all of these emotions but he knows he can look to God and say,"Here I am Lord... dried up, a wreck, lost, miserable, and feeling so heavy my bones can barely carry me.  But I turn to You, because I know You are able, and in spite how I may be feeling, You are still there."

My stomach muscles still hurt from recently "giving birth".  I still have those sudden moments where I feel like every bit of life has been sucked out of me.  My tears still overtake me like like a tidal wave, suddenly.  I still have to catch my breath, as if someone has just punched me in the stomach, as I recognize that Michael is no longer by my side.  I still have thoughts of fear of the future, completing this journey without my beautiful "other half".  I still hurt way down deep inside my soul where no amount of crying, eating, drinking, or resting can, seem to satisfy.  And yet, the Lord is the lifter of my head, my rock and my salvation...whom shall I fear.


Anonymous Says:
March 7, 2011 at 6:04 AM

Beautiful, Jene'. You and your family have consumed my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for this beautiful testimony of God's goodness and grace. Love you. Prayers continue.

Kelly Kastens

jaxonpolo2 Says:
March 7, 2011 at 6:20 AM

Jene', your words are so inspirational. Most people only dream of loving someone like you have loved. My prayers continue for you and your entire family. Know that I will always be there for you.

Robie Rossi Says:
March 7, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Beautiful. God bless you and your family.

LiNz Says:
March 7, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Mama Jene! You truly are his 'other half'. You both genuinely moved as one. He was such a light and beacon for Jesus Christ and the Gospel... and all the while you were behind him, his help-meet, his rib! And now that the Lord has taken your other half home, you are still moving as one... maybe because Jesus is the glue between you two, but you, through this blog, and through your life and your faith in your Savior... You are such a beacon of light; a beautiful ray of sunshine of the Gospel of Truth! Through you and your love, grief, weakness and faith in Jesus... I am seeing Him and loving Him in a new and deeper way! God is at work... using your oneness still! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN WORDS CAN EXPRESS!

Anonymous Says:
March 7, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Hi Jene, My heart is hurting so deeply for you, your children, and what ya'll are going through. I keep waking up at night and ya'll come to my mind. I immediately start praying for all of you. Please know that many prayer warriors, people you know and people you don't know are praying for your strength and guidance during this dispairable time.
I went to school with Michael. I was in the class above him. He was such an awesome guy. Your sister, Jerri, and I were Kappa's at Ole Miss together.
Please know that my prayers and Communions have been offered up for you and your family and I will continue to support you in prayer through this difficult time.
In Him,
Susan Burke Smith
Germantown, TN

Anonymous Says:
March 7, 2011 at 4:02 PM


I am weeping with you and hurt for you. Frank and I know how it feels to lose a loved one having lost a daughter in 1999.
We think of you and your family often and you are all in our daily prayers

Theresa Dolansky

Anonymous Says:
March 7, 2011 at 7:12 PM

You came to mind many times throughout the day---I think your mom went home today.... been praying for you about that....

You are taking us places through Michael's death that we cannot go without your guidance--- because of your pain. Please continue to help us understand what we have in our homes each day....not to take it for granite. Your insight on the Psalms is very good....

You have something very special with a husband like Michael. He may be gone, but what you have is yours to keep and share...

I'll be walking with you as you heal...

Columbus, Georgia
(JL Bethea's sis)

Anonymous Says:
March 8, 2011 at 2:59 AM

Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into this journey you are on. It makes me feel connected somehow. I would have loved to be in MS right now. Love you and the kids. Praying continiously for you all. Hilmari

Connie Key Says:
March 9, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Jene, Precious sister in the Lord, My heart aches for you and your children. My heartfelt condolences to you all. This is a tremendous healing tool that you have begun writing. You are a gifted writer and eloquently express the emotions that I have felt as well. I lost my dear husband, Ronnie Key, 11 months ago to cancer. At least I had some time to prepare, although you are never prepared. I will be praying for you that God's grace sustains and lifts you every minute. I know our Lord will do just that because He has done it for me.

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