So, I’ve been quiet on this forum for some time now. I’ve never addressed it here formally – and thank you to those who have continued to reach out in messages. I’m grateful that many of you continue to read old blogs and send messages of encouragement to keep writing.
For those in faraway places who don’t know … My husband’s daughter – my stepdaughter, and our son-in-law were killed in a tragic car wreck on January 30, 2017. Our three, precious grandchildren lost their whole world that night. And I want to be clear … any pain my husband and I have felt can’t compare to theirs.
In the days and months that’s followed, the enemy orchestrated chaos and our grief’s been complicated in ways that our family should have never experienced. A lot of loss has peppered our lives and it’s still hard to comprehend. So … I’ve been quiet – not because I didn’t have anything to say … but because I didn’t like how I sounded when sour words found their way onto pages and pages of countless journals.
A lot of tears … a lot of honest prayers … and a lot of sleepless nights have come and gone over the last 16 months. We will never find a new normal because what our family experienced is flat out abnormal. It isn’t the natural order of living.
But dang it … Life is just so stinking hard.
The losses and pain hurled my way over the years have left me at times asking if this life is worth living?
There have been moments that courage floundered and my faith shillyshallied like a triple crown filly that’s thrown a shoe.
The last year’s events have brought the realization that there are defining moments in our faith that will make us ask hard questions.
Like when the unbearable happens and you almost feel like God let you down?
Is there a line that God can cross in your relationship?
Have you ever thought about that?
What it would take?
What would be the breaking point … or if there is one?
That’s rattled around hard in my brain … cause all I’ve ever known is trying to seek Him out in an imperfect life. I naively existed as though faithfulness will keep me safe from the reality of life and death trials.
I’ve wondered how in the world can the last year and a half of losses ever work for God’s glory like the verse in Romans 8:28 proclaims.
I’ll be honest … I’ve asked the Lord if all this pain is worth the glory because from where I’m sitting … I just can’t see what good can come from it.
And then after I repent of thinking thoughts that I recognize came from the enemy, I ask Him … am I living in a way that will make the loss worth God’s glory? Gads I don’t want to mess that up.
So many questions and not enough answers for a hard thinking girl that probably thinks too much.
At the end of the day … the pain is only lessened by time, a lot of snot slinging prayers and the word of God. That’s it. That’s all I got.
Grief is a place where you put up or shut up so to speak.
It’s where you find out if what you’ve practiced as a way of life is going to carry you through the darkness.
Grief wrestling sure ain’t for the weak -pardon my Tennessee twang.
In my grappling, I went back to the Ecclesiastes 3 scripture – you know the one about … “to everything there is a season.”
As I studied word meanings and cultural explanations, verse 7 jumped out at me.
“A time to tear … and a time to sew.”
The bible is full of people who would rend (tear) their clothes when great grief, pain, regret or even sin were a factor. We see this term a lot with those who mourn death.
As I studied further … I learned that after a period of time, they sewed their robes back together. Not only did this signify that we are to move on from mourning in time … but it’s a beautiful picture of a tapestry of faithfulness … that God puts our hearts back together … just like the garment.
The stitched-up tear reminds us of the pain … but also of the faithfulness of a Holy God to bring healing and hope again. I’ve found this truth very comforting of late.
And if this scripture in Ecclesiastes signifies anything its that God made life to be a cycle of activities. Some of those activities are darn hard, while others are joyful.
We may think sometimes that what He allows will kill us.
But in each hard place that we experience … we find balance. God balances everything with time … joy … sadness … death and new life. He leaves nothing undone … ever.
Grief has the makings of a great come back and restoration if we are willing to let God do with time and purpose what He wants to do in our lives.
It’s a fierce buckling under a Holy God that allows the incredible pressure of heartache to melt and refine stubborn hearts.
It’s hard. Just darn hard to learn from grief … but God deems it necessary to make us more like Him.
That almost seems harsh … doesn’t it?
But in truth … He knows what will make us better … kinder … more loving … more patient … more forgiving … more generous … more faithful … just more like him – period.
God allows grief with a period of mourning to measure the good things in life and to learn from the bad. And we have to fight the enemy’s schemes for grief to take us to places that we can never recover from.
Some days it feels like this time of grief will never be over … and then out of nowhere a day of pure joy will surprise us.
We still have days of overwhelming sadness and it sure makes this old girl tired.
But the one thing I have come to believe with all my heart is … grief and all of its questions have to lead us to faith … because faith is where the hope is.
If there’s no faith … you got no hope to heal, restore, or find a purpose out of the pain.
So, I’m going to keep digging a hole in my bible … and refuse feelings that want to bury me in acrimony.
I don’t want to be bitter at the losses or those who have inflicted our family with their bitterness.
I don’t want to let the losses and pain of life entomb me … because then I will be useless for the kingdom.
I’m not going to lie … it’s a daily struggle … but I know this … I have to press on in doing the right thing even if I don’t feel like it because God is in the process.
And as long as He’s here with me in this process and I’m honest with Him … the weeds of sorrow will eventually be pulled out and I’ll relish in the beauty of new growth.
Lord, Help us run to you in our deepest griefs for a shelter of protection from the enemy’s attempts to break us. Help us believe you are in the process and in the mourning. Give us faith … give us hope … and help us endure until you turn our mourning into dancing. Amen.
Remember … broken hearts run to Jesus.