Grief’s persuasive nudge finally got my attention. Oh, but I must tell you, my mind did a stellar job in subtle trickery convincing my broken heart that the grief work was already completed. Hands down my flesh preference leans towards maintaining the appearance of a neat, tidy package over delving into a disheveled hot mess of emotions.
No twisting of the arm needed when calling it quits on the whole grief process, quite frankly it felt like a viable option. Ready to vamoose, exit stage left and save myself from completely depleting my emotional bank account. Recently losing my only brother Troy to Lewy Body Dementia was not my first rodeo when it comes to having a loss. A mere 3 1/2 short years ago we said good-bye to our sweet mama. Though I had made great intentional strides of grief recovery with my mom’s passing, Troy’s diagnoses overlapping mom’s illness produced dark permanent clouds of abiding sorrow. Knowing barring a miracle, sooner than later, I would walk through the valley of the shadow of death once more. When the dreaded news of Troy’s rapid decline became a reality, my heart wanted to run away from the tsunami waves of sorrow, too weary to start the painful mourning process all over again.
Resisting just like a swimmer’s breaststroke push’s away the water, I fought pushing away the grief after my brother’s passing. Avoiding the boundary walls of necessary grief work, in a desperate attempt to regain a sense of normalcy I lost years ago. The core of my being longing to handle my grief in a healthy way, yet fighting the painful intrusion of this once again unwelcome guest.
The not so funny thing about grief is, you can run from it but you cannot hide from it, sooner or later that sleeping giant you tried to bury deep within will rear it’s ugly head. It’s all part of God’s beautiful design for our deeper healing and wholeness. He longs to equip us to face the Goliath of grief with our smooth stones of acknowledgment, permission and His strength . Bringing comfort to mend our fragile broken heart’s, as He blesses us in the process. Fulfilling His promise written in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted”.
So how did God woo me into my needed grief work? By loving nudges as I watched various tender brother and sister interactions played out before me . Losing our beloved dog of 18 years little Buttony Boo. And leading me beside still waters as I slowed down my busy pace, gently redirecting my heart towards the pain and not away from it.
This thought came to mind the other day as I swam ,my body became tired of doing laps resting my head against the hard pools’ edge I marveled at the pools utter stillness. After several minutes passed my legs wanted to kick again and do so with wild fervor holding the pools rough edge. Suddenly I witnessed the calm waters swift transformation. Watching this juxtapose a epiphany rose to the surface of my soul : “It was only when I stirred up the water in the turmoil of movement, that brought out the most brilliant color of blue rising up from the deep. Such depth of color was not revealed in the pools’ stillness.”My life longs for calm, smooth sailing without conflict. Jesus however called His disciples to a storm tossed boat to show the depths of His faithfulness …
Roaring deep calls to roaring deep, life’s upheavals, storms raging while Jesus sleeps. We cry out for calm and it will come as Jesus declares, “peace be still” over our battered souls. He lovingly invites us to yoke ourselves side by side with Him… “a man of sorrows”, personally familiar with our raw anguishing emotions. He is more than able to handle the weight-bearing load of our sorrows onto His cross carrying shoulders. Bidding us to trust in Him through all our storms… encouraging us to give ourselves permission to grieve.
I love what Pam Vredevelt wrote in her book the ” Empty Arms Journal ” Healing requires us to stop traveling in five -speed overdrive and to turn down the noise. To move out of our heads and into our hearts . It may seem easier to deny , block , or repress our feelings , but denied feelings don’t go away , they go underground , trapping us in grief “.
Then she adds” Opening your heart in the light of God’s love, and acknowledging what is , is far more productive than resisting and denying the message of your heart. It empowers you to keep moving forward through your grief “.
So my friend take God’s hand in this journey called grief, opening your heart to His light, as he guides you every step of the way .
” Wilderness and desert will sing joyously , the badlands will celebrate and flower… Like the crocus in spring , bursting into blossom , a symphony of song and color.
They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads . Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrow and sighs scurry into the night ” Isaiah 35:1 and verse 16 The Message