Hello there again, grief. A foe that seems to be never too far away. So much loss. Where is He in the midst of it? I mean, we know where He is supposed to be. Yet, why does it feel He is simply not there.
For me, that familiar ache has returned. The ache that takes your breath away giving you only moments of reprieve. I knew this day would come. Saying goodbye to my grandma isn’t just saying goodbye to a beautiful woman who impacted my life. It is another piece of my heritage, of who I am and where I come from, being pulled away. This is a gentle pull, much different then snatching that occurred with my parents. Yanking and tearing away the foundation of family in my world. It’s like saying goodbye to them all over again. Nonetheless, it hurts. And I’m sad.
I am more than aware that these family ties are not necessary to an abundant life. And, yet, they are important and so when it is not there it feels a little more empty. I can feel the gaps and the missing pieces deep in my soul. Every single day. Not just in the moments when I’m thinking of them all and missing their smiles, voices and hugs. Every day the missing pieces affect my world, my heart, and my relationships. It’s inevitable and it is necessary that I am aware of that.
We all have missing pieces. Like me, you know pain and loss. Those people who are supposed to be there and are simply not. The relationships forever severed for one reason or another. The brokenness of this world interrupting our world in the most despairingly unwelcome way.
When we act as though it’s inconsequential or just a part of life - we are deceiving ourselves - most often to avoid the pain of calling out lack in our lives.
We do not like the lack. It causes pain, confusion, uncertainty even. Navigating the world and our hearts with these missing pieces - it hurts but it is necessary.
We cannot avoid the losses that occur, the pain that takes our breath away. In this moment, I’m staring it in the face and I’m overwhelmed by all of the thoughts and feelings I have. I can shut it off and distract myself with well meaning things like my children, activities, work, and such. I could do that. Oh boy, I really know how to do that. I have learned if I do, the pain will remain hidden - disguise itself - and will wreak havoc on my soul, Spirit, and body.
I can say nice words and cliche statements that will help me or you feel better in a moment. And, yet, how will that change us and draw us into a deeper place of dependence on Jesus?
I can give whatever words to my avoidance, but it doesn’t change that it is just that - avoidance. Pain is a part of this broken world as is loss. Pain and loss avoided, though, will produce a deeply broken soul and spirit. So, call out the loss - name the pain. Sit in it for a bit. Recognize the depths of its complexity and harm. And, wait. As Jesus gently comes in, His light will pierce through the darkness and there will be relief.
Yes, there is purpose to deeply experiencing the pain. Despite our desire to hide, avoid, run - there is freedom in just wrestling with the pain. Lament. Cry out and grieve. Why? Because He weeps with us. In our belief, in our unbelief - in our pain - He weeps alongside.
When I fight and push against Him, He never lets go. I can kick and wrestle with His purposes, but the compassion of His character holds me steadfast. I rage against the unfairness of the world, of sadness that fills every crevice, but in the quiet of the night - I collapse into His tenderness and care.
Even in the darkness, His goodness still exists. It exists as He gathers us in His arms and He simply sits with us in our pain. He won’t push and pull and insist. He will gently and tenderly be present. A day will dawn in the distant or not so distant future when the sun shines again and our hearts don’t feel so weary. He will pick us up as we move on. But in the meantime, go ahead with the Savior’s hand in yours - weep.
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.”
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Forever in my heart, grandma.