Today has been a really hard day for me. I feel taken aback by the waves of grief. Lately I feel like I have somehow been coping and seeing perspective again, but then a day like today arrives and reminds me that I am completely heart broken. I just want the tears to pour to somehow wash the pain and longing away. It's not a pain based on hopelessness or depression, just the sheer sadness of loss. It's the reality of Zac never being able to be in my arms until I see him again in Heaven. It's the sadness of realising that we will never all be together this side of Heaven for Christmases, birthdays and special occasions. In fact, it's more the intense sadness of just not being able to share every day life here on earth as a family all together. It's the confusion of why this ever happens to anyone?! I don't like to linger on the "why's" because I know that even if I did know "why", it wouldn't change my reality. I am just so broken to have to live in waiting to all be together again. I miss my little boy and ache when I see my little girls hurting every time they see a baby wrapped in a blue blanket. I never for one moment thought that this would be our story. I long for the day when it will never ever have to be anybody else's story either.
It's day's like today where I have to choose to come and sit quietly and allow Him to soothe my heart and mind with Truth and Peace because so many other thoughts are trying to over-ride His sweet, still voice. Thoughts like ... was it something I did wrong? Was it something I didn't get right? Did I not pray enough? Should I have done something more ... something different? If only I had done this ... or that?! I know that these questions do not hold the answers nor the truth, but the guilt phase of grief is very harsh in its judgments.
Then there is the pressure of trying to focus on meeting my hubby and the girls needs. People often suggest that the loss must at least be a bit easier having 2 other children. While I do thank God wholeheartedly for the privilege of having them to raise, it does not lesson the pain of having lost another child equally loved, anticipated and treasured. It is also an immense journey of faith for me to seek God's guidance in keeping it together and still functioning as a wife and mother when trying to deal with an immensely broken heart. Grief has taught me that it is not just about negotiating your feelings ... it has a physical effect on your body too, like your ability to cope with noise, stress or concentrate in conversations. Many people battle in the area of sleep. It's a continual leaning on God to keep strengthening me to get through the use-to-be easy, routine stuff. The things that I loved doing which came so easily to me, take a lot more out of me right now. I am learning how to tackle boundaries. Sometimes that is painful for me, because not being able to do what I used to do reminds me of the kind of loss I am still walking through and screams out my failure. It's one of those moments when I have to remind myself to choose wisely to not give heed to those thoughts, but rather to listen to the voice of Truth. A friend had to remind me yesterday to not take on something that would usually be so natural for me to handle. She was right. Some things are just too painful and raw for me right now. That makes me sad because I want to be further than I am right now ... not fearing my responses to certain situations. I know it will all come with time.
I find that just being around nature is soothing to my soul, so I went to work in Zac's garden to try and clear my mind and I was comforted by the beauty blooming even in the midst of my pain. It always speaks fresh hope to me. Take a look at some of the roses which have bloomed in my garden ...
As I pour out my heart and allow Him to comfort me today, I am reminded once again that every day holds many moments of choice. Choices to believe the Truth of His love or choices to allow unbelief or fear to cloud my judgment. Choices to draw near to Him and allow Him into the pain to heal and soothe, or choices to pull away and brood in anger or resentment. Choices to seek out His voice, or the choice to simply retreat and pull back. I don't always get it right, but when I do lift my eyes, I see Him ever-present ... always willing to meet me at my point of need ... ready to still my heart with His love.
I love that God allows me to be real with Him. Often times as Christians we don't give ourselves permission to be honest about our pain or disappointment. We think that to have faith is to not acknowledge any hardship or weakness. This is so much more dangerous than letting it out and wrestling with God (think about the account of Jacob wrestling with God through the night. This didn't anger God, in fact God meets him right there and allows Jacob to get right up close and personal and have it out with Him.). I also love the personality of David in the Bible, and so does God because he is the one that God declares was a man after His own heart. Reading some of his conversations with God is so refreshing in the Psalms! He rants in anger, laments in sorrow, rejoices in exuberance, cries in despair ... but in it all ... he is sharing his every emotion and thought with God. He is letting God into every one of his highs and lows. It's when we keep our disappointments or anger all locked up inside that we are in the most dangerous place, because it doesn't disappear ... it grows! Eventually there comes a day or a moment when it all explodes out.
I've come to accept that I can get real with God about my highs and lows because He can totally take it ... and mostly because He is the only One who can take me through it! So though I am acknowledging my sorrow today, by lifting my eyes, I can also see that He is bringing me through. I still feel sad and I still ache and I will not pretend otherwise ... but I also have peace to know that the bigger picture is beautiful and the essence of His presence is ever-present with us as a family in helping us to find healing.
These are my thoughts this Monday.
All my love xxx