Where words fail


*It isn’t often that I write directly to a single person, but mom this is for you. I’m letting the  rest of the world read too, because I think that you and I share the belief that pain is somehow easier to bear in the moment that you realize it has served some kind of purpose. Even the worst kind of heartache begins to heal a little when our story becomes a rope for someone else to hold onto. So, this is for anyone who has suffered a loss. I suppose that means it’s for all of us.

It’s been a month since he died, and the days and the hours are full of empty space–bursting at the seams with all of the words I haven’t found to say.

You and I just hung up the phone, but my ears are ringing in the silence. If Tommy were here, he’d have cracked a joke by now. But he’s not, and I don’t even know how to begin to fill the void.

My words feel paltry against such loss. So I say the most honest thing I can manage …

I love you.

I love you, and my heart is like that sweater that began to unravel after I pulled the loose thread you had told me to leave alone. You’ve never claimed to be a seamstress, but you found a way to sew it all back together. I’d give anything if I could do the same for you now.

279 miles separate us, and each stretch of highway hurts more than it ever did before. I ache to bridge the canyon with a hug or the squeeze of a hand–anything to let you know that I’m there, even when I’m not.

My attempts at comfort seem trifling against such distance. So I offer the most truthful thing I know …

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.”–Dueteronomy 31:8

Thank God that though my words fail, His never will. When all human sympathy and consolation–however heartfelt–seem to fly with the wind, Jesus speaks the Words that don’t return empty.

His Word will not fail.

His love will not end.

No number of mile markers could separate you from the perfect love that knows no distance. He is closer than your breath.

Even when it seems as if the last thread of hope has been pulled loose, our God remains faithful–stitching broken hearts and weaving a story of redemption into every loss, like only He can.

Kept in You
by Holly Chapman

*For you, mom

Let us hold to our hope
Our God can be trusted
Wait patiently, unwavering
Let us be brave
Strong and courageous

Strength made perfect in this weakness
Grace intended for this moment

Father, You are the arms that hold me when
This world is more than I can face alone
Abba, Your love sustains me even then
Kept for eternity am I in you

When tears fall down my face like rain
Yours are mixed with mine
I know You feel my pain
And when the ground is sinking sand
Softly, You remind
My life is in Your hands

Your joy is real
Your peace is overwhelming
Your strength is now
In You I overcome

“Where words fail, music speaks.”–Hans Christian Andersen

3 comments on “Where words fail

  1. Amanda Hammett

    Your voice.. Oh how I miss your sweet voice on sundays and Wednesdays. Thrilled that I can visit your blog and listen to you sing whenever I want.. Still praying for precious family..


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  3. Sandy Finley

    I love you so much, Holly, thank you!


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