Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sinking, Wrestling, Brawling, Fighting

On Monday (Labor Day) I sat down to write about one of the dozen or so thoughts that have been stored in the "Blog Topics" folder of my Yahoo email. The subject that I was thinking about was Why do we rush the healing process? Have you thought much about that? To be honest, I hadn't... not until we were faced with the loss of our little man.

Well, I didn't get very far on Monday. I'll come back to it later.

The past few days have been difficult. If you read the post on August 24, "Grieving With Hope," you may remember these words: sinking toward depression, wrestling with despair, brawling with anger, fighting our fears. They were part of the piece I wrote for Luke's service. They are more real than ever these days.

Sinking, Wrestling, Brawling, Fighting

sinking toward depression...
a terrible pit
so deep, so dark
a chasm of brokenness
jagged, vast
rescue us now
oh, great deliverer
hold us close
oh, one ever near
whisper softly
your mercy, your grace
lift us again
we need you today
wrestling with despair...
why our boy?
why our son?
why our little man?
why our Lukey?
why him?
how can it be?
who can know?
what now?
when will it ease?
whom shall we seek?
where shall we turn?
ah, to you
bind up our hearts
we need you today
brawling with anger...
this is not normal
this is not right
it seems so unfair
it seems so unjust
Nicol suffered with nausea 24/7
she had a c-section
the scar will remain
now her heart is broken
the scar will remain
no special dates, no worrying late
no first day of school, no first crush
no spoiling, no pampering
no singing, no writing
no mother should go thru this
Summer lost her brother
Summer lost her friend
no laughing, no late nights
no Christmas morns, no birthday parties
no bragging, no boasting
no protective big sister, no adored little bro
no daughter should go thru this
my son is not with us
I don't understand
no ballgames, no roadtrips
no popcorn, no pizza
no Yankees beat Red Sox, no Celtics beat Lakers
no me teaching him, no him teaching me
no father should go thru this
this is not normal
this is not right
it seems so unfair
it seems so unjust
soften us
we need you today
fighting our fears...
what if?
what next?
whispers, lies, irrational
how can we?
how can we know?
whispers, lies, irrational
are we safe?
are we alone?
whispers, lies, irrational
will it happen again?
will it end?
whispers, lies, irrational
can we avoid it?
can we escape?
whispers, lies, irrational
do you know?
do you understand?
whispers, lies, irrational
is there no mercy?
is there on grace?
ah, yes, yes, there is
calm us
we need you today

If you think of us today or whenever you read this, we would appreciate your prayers for...

-- deliverance from our enemy and his evil tactics... as one of my friends told me, "I'd like to say that the devil doesn't kick us when we're down, but he does."... true indeed... and he has been.

-- Nicol as she records this Friday... for strength, that it would be a comforting and soothing time... the songs are Home and You Are My God, both of which carry significant meaning for us... when we think of those songs we think of Luke... pray for Jason and Rusty too, who will be producing and engineering.

-- the sale of our house... we will be getting it ready to sell next week, which will be a difficult task in itself, with all the emotions involved with turning the page on this chapter of life... please pray that it will sell quickly... given the market, it's a tough time to be selling a house

-- a trip to Maine in the next few weeks... we haven't booked flights yet, but want to get up there to see my family... I think it will help us and them in processing Luke's death... also, we will see my father's mother, Nana... she's in her mid-80's and not doing very well at all... she's recently been place in a nursing home and her health has failed significantly over the past 6 months

-- housing in Nashville... we are considering renting for 6 months to a year... pray that the Lord would lead us to the perfect place, whether it be renting or purchasing

-- Summer... that she would continue to adjust well to all the change... she's done remarkably well and we are so grateful to God for that... but we also know it's possibly been more difficult on her than we realize... pray too for the day when she realizes the depth of her loss, that she would look to Jesus for help, that He would carry her

-- for help with the pain from the only One who can really help us... that we would depend on the the love of the Father, the tender care of the Son, and the comfort of the Spirit


Tonya Gray said...

Your story has touched my heart, broken it as well. I can not nor will not be able to grasp the depth of your pain, your loss. I am reading this and praying for you at 1:20pm on September 3. I will continue to pray as the Spirit leads. Your testimony is great and He WILL pull you through.

The Barnes Crew said...

Many, many prayers for you and your family!

mommyof2boys said...

I have been thinking about and praying often nfor your family since i found your story. I will continue to lift your name up to the Lord and pray that He will protect and guide your family.

carriex3 said...

The depth of loss is unspeakable, not the order of life, unfair, unkind, and a robbery. For all of this I am saddened. There is hope, and one must walk through the darkness of grief to come full circle. May our Lord wrap your family in his arms and hold you tight.

amynelsonmom said...

We are praying for you too. Our family lives in Kansas and God has led us to your story. You are in our constant prayers and we pray for slow healing. Let us take a piece of your burden as we go about our daily lives. Your words, your experiences, are amazing. May God bless you again.

sheila said...

Greg, Nicole, and Summer,
I pray for each of you almost on a daily basis. Thank you for giving me some specifics to pray for. This was one post that I could only read 1/2 through before I had to get up and walk away from it. Your words are screaming to me your pain and agony and yet they probably still do not do justice. I think for myself (I'm in a valley now) I want to hurry the healing process because the hurt hurts too much. I've also discovered (just the last few days) that in order to heal I must feel/agonize/and wait. I can't put on a happy face and push my thoughts aside, again, and again as I have been. I won't heal. So Lord today I ask you to give the Sponberg family and myself courage and strength to face the hurt and I ask that you would surround us with peace and real healing. Praise the name of Jesus. In God's Love, sheila

Mom to 2 boys +? said...

I lost a child this year, unlike Luke, he never took a breath but he was still our baby. Satan creeps into your grief and tricks you into thinking that you're all alone and your thoughts are wrong. You have to be vigilant, you know he is really sneaky. It is so ok to ask those questions and I have often found that asking them to God has led me to peace. Not answers, but peace. May God grant you the peace that passes understanding. I will be praying for your whole family.

Courtney said...

Still praying for you...

It's been three years since I lost my mother and 10 years since I lost my father. I've never lost a child, but these losses are great, nonetheless. Your comment about why some people want to hasten the grieving process makes me think about my own situation. I still think about and "speak" to my parents on a daily basis, and I miss them today just as much as I did the day they went home to God. Some days are more painful than others, but I've allowed myself to feel all the emotions that accompany my loss each step of the way. It's not easy, but it's so necessary, and I just turn it all over to God in the end.

God bless you in each day, hour, and minute you grieve the loss of your son.

Praying in Indiana,

Tucker's said...

Praying right now! Praying for strength and hope, peace and comfort for you always.
We love you,
Jon & Heather

Soni Henry said...

Greg and Nicol,

Please know that you are covered in prayer. You are not alone in this walk. Know that hundreds of thousands are sharing in your grief. Although I have never personally experienced the loss of a child, I do work in a funeral home and see loss daily. Please know that He will carry you. Prayers and blessings!
Soni Henry

Tara Renae said...

Lord Jesus
Father of all
Comforter to those who mourn
Giver of Peace
Founder of Hope
Bestower of Mercy
Deliverer from evil.

Set these captives free, oh God. They ache for Luke. They are caught in the pits of despair and only You can rescue them. Shower this family with Peace and allow them to see the Hope that they have in You. You are merciful oh Father and the gift of Luke, however short a time, was more precious than they ever imagined. But now they are hurting.

Jesus, precious Savior, as Greg and Nicol cry over the loss of their Lukey, show them that You cry with them in their pain. But also show them that You are rejoicing with Your son in Heaven.

We thank you for the children you give us-- remind us that they are on loan because they are Yours before they are ours. But, Father in Heaven, it hurts when we lose someone so dear.

Seep into the depths of their hearts and begin to heal those wounded places, Lord. All the anger, pain, frustration, despair... Lord You are bigger than it all and You can bind the hurts. Seize the demons that are attacking them and burn them in Your glory fire.

Father God, I stand against any forces of evil that are trying to take advantage of the situation in Greg and Nicol's life and deliver them to You to be judged. Emmanual, God with us, be with this precious family and lead them to the heights of the mountain so they may overlook this dark valley and see that You had a plan all along.

Grace, hope, mercy, I leave with them. Joy, love, peace, I pray.

Our hope endures for You are the keeper of our souls.

Thank You, Wonderful Counselor.

Love and Blessings,
Tara Renae

mhutsell said...

Oh how I wish I could carry some of the grief for you. Spread across many many shoulders perhaps the grief could be carried better. I imagine the pain of trying the make big decisions that change the chapters in your life must be so hard. Praying you will have the Hand of Grace and Mercy heavy on you. M.

Heidi said...

We are praying for you and will continue... Thank you for sharing these specifics.

Much love,
Tahd, Heidi, and Gabe

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting us know how we can pray for you and your family. I will pray for a hedge around you that Satan can not get through. Quote scripture out loud when you feel the enemy...he can hear you!!! Let him know who you belong to!
We don't even know you but my family prays for you every day.

The Morris Family said...

I read this today from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening, as we too flounder in the sea of grief still missing our little 3yr Joel...
The Lord trieth the righteous Ps.11:5 All events are under the control of Providence; consequently all trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great First Cause. Out of the golden gate of God's ordinance the armies of trial march forth in array, clad in their iron armour, and armed with weapons of war. All providences are doors to trial. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Men may be drowned in seas of prosperity as well as in rivers of affliction. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low for temptations: trials lurk on all roads. Everywhere, above and beneath, we are beset and surrounded with dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order ere it hastens to the earth. The trials which come from God are sent to rove and strengthen our graces, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our virtues, and to add to their energy. Our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon His people's faith that He will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire. You are a tree that never would have rooted so well if the wind had not rocked you to and fro, and made you take firm hold upon the precious truths of the covenant grace. Worldly ease is a great foe to faith; it loosens the joints of holy valour, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. The balloon never rises until the cores are cut; affliction doth this sharp service for believing souls. While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be known. Thus it is well that Jehovah trieth the righteous, for it causeth them to grow rich towards God.
Its hard to receive these deep truths but it will slowly work its way into those deep chambers of your heart and you will embrace it and the questions will somewhat quiet themselves...He will get you through this, he is getting us through...tough but He is faithful!

Mami Sue said...


Tasha said...

Praying for you today as always.You are often on my mind but always in my heart.I love you guys!~Tasha in Indiana~

Becca Sports said...

Still praying for your entire family. Whenever I think of you, I pray for you and Nicole.

Rebecca & Wayne

Tricia Moran said...

You are in our hearts and prayers. I wish I could offer more, but my children's prayers, I believe are more powerful than mine. They are both great little prayer warriors. Thank you for sharing your heart and the depth of pain that you and your beautiful wife and daughter are going through, it helps us try and understand at some level,although I know we really cannot. Just know that you are loved and prayed for. With our love,
Tricia, Micaela and Brian (N.VA)


its got to be hard before it can be better, a move might be good it does not wipe away the memory or the every day thought just a peace of mind that luke is with you wear ever you go, I THINK THIS WILL BE GREAT FOR ANGIE TO BOND WITH NICOL AND HAVE A CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND BY HER SIDE WITH THE MANY OTHER FRIENDS THAT ALREADY ARE THERE. mAY God ease your pain and you find peace in your new location, many blessing for summer that the move gives her friends and happys days ahead. blessings

Pipsylou said...

I am praying.

Mary said...

I check you blog for posts just like this one. Will def pray. Thank you for opening your heart. I pray for God to work mightily in your lives. Love a sister in Connecticut.

Mary said...

I check you blog for posts just like this one. Will def pray. Thank you for opening your heart. I pray for God to work mightily in your lives. Love a sister in Connecticut.

Amanda said...

I am praying for you all.

georgia tarheel said...

We will definitely be praying. Dalton will be sad to lose you and your family, but COMPLETELY understand the need/want to move to Nashville.

Your words are deep and full of such pain, grief and yet so much hope. I pray that one day when you look back on what you have written, you will see that as you wrestled and fought the pain of loss, God sustained you with His neverending hope and love and strength and grace. Even if you don't feel like it now, God is using you, sustaining you and healing you.

We will continue to pray for you as God lays you on our hearts.

E said...

Praying for all of you~

Kristin said...

Greg and Nicol
I pray that God place a hedge of protection around your marriage and family. I am certain that satan wants nothing more than to destroy you. But I have even more certainty that God will protect you. Guard your heart, draw closer to one another and remember the blessing you had in Luke, although it was for such a short time! Lord may I carry someof their burden so that today, and in the futre thaier load seems lighter.
In Him,
Kristin from South Dakota

vaneblu said...

I cant stop thinking about your family and praying for all of you every time I do..

Shawn said...

Wow, bro. Your words/poem were truly God-inspired. I am speechless. You are a writer! Your voice comes through loud and clear. Jesus, through you, is giving others hope. Praying for you even right now.

Love to you, my sis, and my Summer.

Gail Lynn said...

Dear Greg and Nicol: I have not lost a child; I cannot imagine. I lost both my parents last summer 101 days apart. I thought there would never again be a day in my life in which I didn't cry. The healing takes time. Like you said, "don't rush it". You have to go though it to get beyond it - and I don't think you EVER get OVER IT~~!!! But God... I keep coming back to that. And He has been there all along - ever close lifting, holding, never changing. I pray for you every time I think about you - wherever I am; both of you and Summer, and Angie and Todd and their 3 girls - and Sarah and her family... and all the others I have read about.

You are never alone. God is always there. Sometimes it is hard to see Him through the tears and the dark clouds - the depression, the grief, and the aching; but He is faithful.

II Cor 4: 7-9 has been my mainstay. " 7)We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. 8)We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9)We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed."

God Bless You and Keep You. Rest in His arms - let them surround and comfort you.

Skerry said...

I do believe that Satan is waging war on families, I will continue to battle with prayers for your family as you continue this journey with grief at your side.

The Mangus Family said...


Anonymous said...

Luke looked to be such an amazing little fellow. He has touched so many in such a short amount of time. We are praying for God's continued healing for your family. No one can grasp the tragedy of your situation or the endless questions, but God will see you through until you see your little Luke again. Peace and courage be with you.

Julie said...

I wish I had the words to comfort your heart...know I am praying for you all.

There is always hope...hope is what happens as long as we breathe...for although it takes time, the sorrow will ease.

Just keep breathing....

graciejean280 said...

Greg, Nicol, and Summer,

Peace be with you today -- lifting you up in prayer to our Father.

Love in Christ,
The Prehn family

Mare said...

Praying that you find comfort in the arms of Jesus.

Misty Rice said...

Always praying......

I recently read a devotional titled "Never Say Amen".

The moral of the devotional was to learn to never say AMEN when talking with God. Let your prayers become daily conversations to God, through out the day, the nights and let him be a part of your every second and every breath. Never say "AMEN".

This is how I often pray and to have read a devotional on it made me smile. I find myself often just rambling, mumbling and talking to to God, my father, my friend and my personal side-kick.

Yes at night I will go down a list of my prayer request, but mostly you, your family, Angie and a lot of others randomly come to my thoughts during conversations with God and I pray again and again for your healing, your peace, your pain, your sadness and I don't think healing should be rushed or have a time frame...... that's God's job!!!

May he comfort you and your family during all of these changes, your trip to see family, your little girl , your home, your new home, your hearts..... everything!!!!

Thank you for being so transparent and allowing me to share some of your pain with you.

God Bless.

Ordinary Mom said...

I just so happened to come across your blog and your story has truly touched my heart. I can not imagine the pain your family is experiencing. Even though we do not know you or your family just know that we are praying for you!! God bless!!!

Georgia's blog said...

Greg, Nicol and Summer,

I am so sorry for your loss... I too know the depth of your pain. Our precious 15 year old passed away in April and the loss is tremendous. I have thought of you and prayed for you often ever since I found out about your precious Luke. I follow Angie's blog. Her blogs have been such a comfort to me. I am praying a hedge of protection that surrounds your family and keeps the enemy away. I know how he tries to kick us when we are down... Please know that I grieve with your sweet family and what an awesome testimony of faith that you show.

Much love and prayers!!!

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you and your family.

noahandlylasmommi said...

That was beautiful. Tears are streaming down my face as I write this. I am always thinking of your family and will remember you in my prayers over the next few weeks.

team hill said...

My heart is just crying for you and your family. I will continue to pray for you,Nicole and Summer,just as I have been. Our God is mighty and will grant you the peace that passes understanding.

Anonymous said...

I will be praying for you and your family. I'm so broken for your loss but He will continue to hold you close & tight.

Heather from Mi said...

I have never posted but I have been keeping up with your story from the very beginning. After your post today I just feel compelled to say something. I cannot express how much your little Luke has touched me. He has taught me so much about life that I never knew before. Thank you, thank you for your amazing words and your courage. I think about your family everyday and have asked God to pass some of your grief onto me.

Praying for you everyday.

Kaye said...

Praying for healing and peace of mind for your entire family, without ceasing. HE is our healer, our protector, and loves each and every one of us unconditionally. Please know you are being lifted up in prayer today and every day.
With His Amazing Healing Love,
Psalm 46:10
Philippians 4:13
Revelation 21:3-5

krista said...

You all are in my thoughts and prayers each and every day. I got to see your parents on Sunday-it was so wonderful to see them. You never know what to say, but just hearing them speak of Luke, Summer, you, and Nicol was, well, refreshing. It was sad and joyful all at the same time, their love for each of you shined through. I appreciate all that they have been doing for Nana in this hard time. I love you guys, and would love to see you if you are able to come north. xoxo

Tabitha said...

I am still praying for your family.

Kristy said...

I will be praying for you on all of the points you raised. Words cannot possibly express anything from our hearts as we grieve for you all. Your poem was so touching. I agree, why do we try to speed the healing process? All who read just pray for comfort and healing for your family because we can only imagine how great and awful is your pain. Many prayers for you and Nicol and Summer.

Liza's Eyeview said...

read the "poem" - prayed for you and will keep you in prayer...