Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Golden Sky by EC Stilson Shares Personal Story, Diary About the Death of Her Child

I'm staying at my mom's house a lot. Well, it's not that I'm a pansy or anything. It's just that Cade is gone almost all of the time, and I get lonely. Plus, my mom has a piano, and I need it to pull my mind from things. Ruby loves bobbing to the music, and I figure it's probably good for both of us. That kid is so empathetic you wouldn't believe it. 

I keep playing "Amazing Grace," and a song I wrote for Zeke. I hope this is all some dream, but I always cry at the songs' endings, because they don't take the pain away. I don't bawl or anything. I just cry lightly, so my mom won't hear. She's usually in the kitchen when I play the piano. Ruby stops dancing when I sob, and she cries, too. I keep playing while we cry, just so there's some background noise drowning out our sadness, but I still can't figure why Ruby is upset.  

Zeke, strength of God 
Come now, and strengthen him,
 Love him, and help him through the battle.
 My Baby, it's so hard, 
yet so beautiful.
 God, please give me understanding.
 No matter what may come, 
I will always love you. 
Struggle so deep for a gift so pure. 
I can't imagine life without you. 
Sorrow is around me, 
but it will never drown me;
 Our love will see me through.
 Our love is timeless:
 No beginning or end. 
Our love will tie us;
 I'll never lose you . . .
 I'll never lose you . . .

A path leading to nowhere and one leading to all, 
they are one and the same . . . 
I am lost on this path called life
 and I desperately need answers.

Everybody talked me into getting an ultrasound, and I'm supposed to go in a few days. Even though I didn't want to, I'm excited now. I hope we'll have a boy. I know it shouldn't matter, but I've always wanted a son—a rowdy little kid, running around the house, pretending he's an airplane. I hope he'll have brown hair and be strong like his daddy. If we have a boy, we can be done having kids. We already have beautiful Ruby, and a little boy would even us out. Like that song says, "a boy for you, and a girl for me." That's what I want, a boy for me. I'll be happy with another girl too, but I really want a boy...

It Was You 
Walking down a desolate hallway, 
not knowing what's about to come, 
Wondering every step . . . 
why did you need to take my son? 
The day he was born— 
one of the best days of my life—
 His little hand held mine; It just felt so right. 
I'm thankful for every day 
that I spent with my baby boy. 
Now, you're holding him tight, 
just how he likes. 
You're taking care of him for me. 
Yet, you're holding me right now, 
and you're telling me how you love me. 
You're seeing me through; 
without you, what would I do? 
I love you more, 
I need you more than before. 
You're everything to me. 
Help me be the person 
that you want me to be. 
My baby waits in Heaven; 
Joy fills his little heart. 
His pain has now ended, 
but it still hurts me to be apart. 
God help me live right; 
I want to see my son's face 
when he sees me up in Heaven 
because of your amazing grace!
 I know you have a reason, 
and I know you understand. 
I'll put my faith and trust in you;
without you, how can I stand?

Do you know anybody who keeps a diary? Have you ever sneaked a peek...or merely wished you could really understand what that person may be thinking about life? I've just finished The Golden Sky by EC Stilson... I knew the reason for the book and I prepared to be sympathetic...and garner enough empathy as I could by a woman who has never had children...or lost one...

I didn't have to prepare... Elisa puts it all right out there--every emotion that she experienced in her past and especially when she lost Zeke, her son who died after months of medical attention and praying to have her son's body recreated, only to realize that was impossible...and allowing him to die...

But life cannot be just about sorrow, the worry, the fear... Elisa writes before and after the loss of Ezekiel (Zeke). Prepare to laugh out loud, cry with her, and even worry about what this young girl, not even out of her teens at the beginning, was able to do in light of all that she faced. Obviously writing was a way for her to cope...

But praying - talking to God was the most precious part of her book... She wonders if God still loves her since she was no longer like a virgin, Mary. No wonder, though, her church had discovered she had sex before marriage...and forced her into an exorcism! Bad enough but the people around her displayed absolutely no empathy or basic understanding of what Elisa really needed to do... After such a reaction from her family and church, she often wondered if God was still there for her and tries to learn more about what was happening "just in case God doesn't have time to heal my boy." 

It is certainly hard to continue to have faith in miracles when so much has been wrong in your life, don't you think? 

On the other hand, perhaps we must face these come to know who we really are...and, in turn, our relationship with God, the Father. Elisa's life has been full of trials, of pain, of death. But, it was, in the telling, the sharing, of her most innermost thoughts, that she has provided a book that touches to the heart of many who will read her words. Not, necessarily, because we see ourselves in what she's gone through, although many might, but rather how she responded to all that happened. She never stopped loving God, having Him first in her life...

But...she also didn't sit back and just wait, like the one who was given talents in the Bible, and buried them, for fear he would not have them safely available when his master returned. Elisa acted! Sometimes rashly, sometimes unpredictably, sometimes with consequences. But she never stopped writing and trying to work out what God wanted for her...

May we be like Elisa... constantly striving, moving forward, on the path either chosen, or guided by God for her... The journey was hard sometimes, the journey was joyous sometimes, but any reader is bound to see a traveler seeking God's Will in her life, no matter how hard it became. Truly an extraordinary life story, shared through her personal diary.  

Elisa is facing a new pain in her life these days... And, for many of us, the pandemic has caused not only pain, but sudden death to millions as the virus continues to rage across the world. Sometimes you feel so alone, even within the midst of family. I think Stilson's story--stories, look for more thoughts from me on her books--allows us to ponder, to evaluate, to consider "what if" and, indeed, What would Jesus do in any daily situation we may face. For those of us who believe He's alive within us, I'll be sharing about dreams that came to Stilson immediately after her public church disgrace... 

Extraordinary, Heartbreaking, Heartwarming, Provocative... Prepare for your mind and heart to be totally immersed in words that just might be what you need to read, right now, where you are in today's world... I'm thrilled to have read the book as I was recently as of yesterday, starting talking about it to others... It's an important book, for so many reasons! Check it out!

...I cried because I knew I was getting my husband back, and because I knew we'd just made it through the storm. I can't help remembering my dad's speech at Zeke's funeral. "At the end of a storm is a golden sky. Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you'll never walk alone."

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