Monday, April 22, 2013

On rocking chairs and twilight.

Tonight I watched the sunset.  I had put Colton to bed, and since it was finally one of the first warm days we have had all spring, I sat out in a rocking chair on my back porch and watched the orange sun wane down below the horizon, and I listened to the matching rocking chair next to me as it swayed gently in the breeze, noticeably and painfully empty.

I sat for a long time and as the sun sank deeper, it began to get harder and harder to see my surroundings.  I strained my eyes to see Colton's swingset, and I could barely make out the outline of our Australian Shepherd as he paced the lawn, still searching for his beloved master even after two weeks have already passed.  Even familiar surroundings were difficult to decipher and navigate in the scant twilight.

Since my best friend died, life has felt like it's literally in a twilight zone - not just because of how strange everything feels, but because twilight is dim and gloomy and it feels like it will be eons until the world is bright again.  So it feels without Ryan.  Was it really just two months ago that we went out for his birthday and traipsed through a furniture store, bouncing on mattresses and drawing the ire of the store clerk?  Were we really laughing, imagining how we would decorate our new home together?  Was it really just two years ago (and some odd days) that we were making plans for when we were going to have our second child and planning the birthday bash for our firstborn's first birthday?  Only two years ago.

How did I get here?

Where am I going?

In this dark, dimly lit period of my life, I have but one hope:

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
Romans 8:18 - NIV, emphasis added

While I sit rocking on a porch, contemplating the darkness that has suddenly enveloped my life in the short span of two months - okay, well, two years - I pause to think of what my best friend is doing.  What he's seeing.  Who he's talking to.  Imagining his grin as he gets to worship in wild, unadulterated adoration of the Savior that he clung to.  And as much as I hurt, and as much as I ache for the Ryan that I had, I can't help but be happy that he is where he is.  Whole.  Free.  And I feel a twinge of jealousy and longing for the same glory.

Eventually it got completely pitch black as I was outside and I was completely blinded to what was in front of me.  But I do know this: darkness does not last forever.  I know, somewhere down this painful road, that there is joy ahead, in the morning.  And direction.  Guidance.  Purpose.  Meaning.  I do not know what that looks like, and I don't know when it's coming.  All I know to do right now is to sit patiently, rock, and wait upon the One who loves me - and feels every single ache right along with me as I sit in silent darkness.


Hannah said...


Anonymous said...

You brought me to tears! My heart aches for you and cannot imagine what you are going throug but I share in that great hope with you. Lean hard on God! You have a great support system around you...friends, family, church family! We are all praying for you and Im always available to lend a listening ear or whatever you need! Love ya, Deb Schneider (Flood)

Anonymous said...

Kendra, thank you for sharing this journey with us. I cannot imagine all the heartache you are facing right now. I wish so badly that I could fill that 2nd rocking chair with the one your heart longs for. However, you are right. There will come a day when you will find JOY again. You will laugh. I have recently started a women's study at my church. We are working through a book called WONDER STRUCK. It is basically challenging us to see God in the everyday, and pray that God would opens our eyes to His WONDER. I pray Kendra that even in the tears and darkness of what you are facing, you'll see HIS wonder all around you.That you'll feel His ever comforting presence in your life. My prayers are with you and Colton! Katie Worth (Friends with Courtney Moore)

Lynette Philippus said...

ThinkingOfYou &PrAY EveryDay FOr You &YourFamily.

Anonymous said...

I don’t even know you but feel so much gratitude for your blog and the Scripture you’ve posted. I too am going through a time in my faith that it seems like light has ceased forever. I keep imagining a candle when everything is completely dark the candle shines the brightest. Jesus is holding your hand drying your tears…
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Anonymous said...

Kendra-My prayers continue to you to ease the pain and I ask god to bring you more joy in each day ahead. With your strong faith and family god will get you through this. I will continue to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Abba Father, please continue to hold close this dear daughter who clings tightly to you in the darkness. Continue to love her, comfort her, guide her as she waits for the light of dawn. May your Light continue to shine bright in her life and be her ever-present source of strength and hope. Amen.

MBush said...

Praying for you. Praying for Colton. Rejoicing for Ryan. God is faithful. He will restore you. The sun will come back up, he promises that. Thank you for your faithful, open hearted, determined heart for Jesus! You are inspiring.

Anonymous said...

As I read this I think of where I was 13 years ago when my husband of 31 years passed away. The love of God and the wonderful memories we made still carry me through the dark times. Some people have said to me time will heal. Time has not healed my wounds of losing the man I loved more than life itself but it has given me the strength to move on, smile and it has made me a stronger person. He is with you and your little boy every step of the way. God will gain you through this.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Kendra. You are clinging to the One who dearly loves you and walks with you every day, every step, every heartache....and so many friends and family are walking with you. Take heart, walk in the light that you have, and be comforted by the Lord. he will provide all you need. Jaye

Katie said...

Thank you for sharing your heart continually Kendra- praying for you and Colton and thinking about you often.

Anonymous said...

I hope you continue to make entries on this blog. Your story is just as inspiring now as it has been through out the entire journey. Your hope in such a dark situation shows me even more how I can, and need to have hope in the smallest of life's struggles. Praying for you and Colton and the rest of the family continuously<3

Angie said...

This is one of the most powerful things I have ever read.

Thank you for sharing your journey and attesting to the faithfulness of our Father.

Jen Wagenmaker said...

What a beautiful post. I have not followed your story for too long yet I feel connected through your pain. I am 6 years from the year of my suffering. I wouldn't be the woman that I am today without the year of 2007 in my life. For now, I see it as my most precious gift... As you grow through this experience, your story will touch so many lives and His Glory will shine.

Ivanna said...

Keep Rocking!! As you walk the road before you, continue to pave the way for those who have never seen the one who chooses to walk with God, even when it is a difficult road! I watch as a stranger, but sister in Christ, waiting in hope of the joy that lies ahead!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Kendra you are an amazing and beautiful spirit! What a blessing to know that Colton is in such loving and able hands! Praying for Gods peace and strength to surround you both. Many many prayers!
Janine Dulac

Anonymous said...

Psalms 23:4 KJV

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me...

He is with you, even in the darkest of times...prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

Luke 1:79 KJV

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.


CJ Gilbert said...

Thank you for taking the time to letting us in, allowing us to glimpse where you are and how God is there with you.

Praying for God's mercy and comfort to wrap around you and Colton day by day...

Anonymous said...

I've never commented because you don't know me, but I've followed this blog for over a year. I am one of countless people whose life has been touched by Ryan's life. I am praying Psalm 18:28 for you and Colton.
"You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light."

Anonymous said...

Kendra- We continue to pray for you and Colton daily. Thank you for sharing your journey. Peace and gentleness, and the fruits of the Spirit in abundance our you and your darling son.

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Praying for you Kendra. Your strength is so inspiring.

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Anonymous said...

I read your letter and I don't know if you remember that I was the last person to join your blog before we lost Ryan.... As it turned out, only moments before he went to be home with our Father, like 40 minutes to be exact... I was praying for you, Ryan and Colton the exact moment that Ryan slipped away. I find the irony in that to be absolutely Godly.... God wanted and lead people like me to continue to join Ryan's life right up until the moment he went home to be with the lord.. their is no mistake that happened. It shows the impact that you, him and Colton have had on so many people... I found out about your story through a friend I went to High School with Kris Sunner Veine Lucius... She asked me to pray for all of you knowing Ryan's condition and of course I did.... I am honored to have entered all of your lives just moments before Ryan went to be with Jesus because I can say I knew all of you when you were together here on earth.. I read your lovely and hearwrenching blog about the empty chair but wanted to offer you just one bit of solace... The fact that Ryan is in Heaven means that you are NEVER alone now... He is with you every second of every minute of every day, right inside your heart so you are NEVER alone!!!! and you never ever will be alone for the rest of your life as he continues to live in and with you... that is a beautiful thought and I just wanted to share that with you.. Philippians 1:21 to live is Christ, to die is Gain and Ryan has now Gained forever in the Garden with the Lord.. please always remember that. Now he walks and talks with God, and God talks back with him, they actually have conversations daily. What a beautiful thought!! God Bless you all.
Eric Tucker
Los Alamitos, CA

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Stacey Riker said...

Kendra, I think about you everyday. Wondering how you and colton are doing? I can't imagine going through what your going through and how your feeling right now and for the past 2 years. This brought tears to my eyes and makes my heart ache for you. I am so sorry and I hope someday your mornings can look alittle brighter and your evenings can be more settling. I have know doubt that Ryan was sitting right there next to you in the other rocking chair smiling at you. I'm always here for you and wish you comfort in the days ahead.

kara said...

Although we've never met, this blog has become a part of my daily "routine." I can't thank you and Ryan enough for sharing your lives and your faith with me! Our God is so good and anyone who doesn't know that could quickly learn that from this blog. You are an amazing family.
You and your precious Colton are in my prayers. I, too, am happily married... I, too, have one child...a son...and I, too, cried the day Ryan went to be with his Savior. Now I hope you can begin to realize just how profound the impact you guys have had...a total stranger has cried with you, given thanks with you, prayed with you, and grown in her faith with you. For that I thank you!!
May the Lord bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you, and give you peace.

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