Friday, June 14, 2013

In A Year's Time, I've Learned I Can Risk Again

If there's one swirling thought I have about this past year, it's this;  if people who have passed into heaven are really able to watch from up there, I wonder if she would be proud of me. And then I have to stop, bc I've already assumed her answer. It would be my answer...not hers. And then I realize that she was already proud of me. I think.

One year ago today, barely an hour into the new day, my grama faded peacefully into new territory. Her temporary struggle defeated and her bones made new.  I've visited her gravesite a few times. All few have proven too much for me to handle.  The realization, each time a little more searing, that she's really gone unravels my tightly wound heart into potent sadness. The grass still hasn't even grown over the unearthed ground. A picture not unlike my heart. With jagged stones and clay-like dirt dusting over the pictures and balloons and other knick knacks that have made their home in the uneven ground.

Journeying thru the very tangible grief of losing a loved one has proven many things.  Most I'm not proud of.  I've shut down, held bitterness towards God, stayed angry, punched a few walls, given up running and a slew of other things that I like doing.

Why? Because how is it ok for me to be happy? I've meandered my way thru the levels of grief and each one is deeper than the one before it. I've tasted the salty tears that drip from my eyes as I lie awake at night. I've gone thru an entire box of tissues as my nose catches all my tears and snot rockets. I've journaled till my fingers had indents in them from squeezing the pen too tightly. I've screamed and cried at Him in my car, in the shower, standing in her old room in our house.  And the greatest pain of all...I've held all that in a time or two.

And even though yes, I am human and I can't possibly understand all of why things hap

pen the way they do, or why "bad things happen to good people," I can't explain that...This is what I've come to learn, but not without cost; whether God chose to heal my grama on earth or in heaven, he still healed her. How do I know this? Because He is a healer. Though He does not always heal on earth.
Take risks
Circumstances do not change who God is. What kind of god would that be? His word says He is the same; yesterday, today & forevermore. His faithfulness is not circumstantial.  He's watched his own Son murdered at the hands of spitting doubters, scoffing Pharisees and bitter betrayal.
He sent his own son to encounter all of that...for us.

So why do i still feel pain?  because im normal.  i can't help the way i feel sometimes as i remember vividly even now, 365 days ago, to the minute, nearly, racing thru the halls of work to punch out to meet my mom to see my grama one last time before she moved on.  She was gone before i ever made it to my car to head for home.  Im convinced even now that she purposely waited until all her kids had left the hospital room...then she went home.

ive driven by her old apartment building, slept in the room she stayed in, been smacked in the face with the reality that yes...she's really not here anymore.  i was angry, devastated, numb, paralyzed, and then angry and devastated at the same time.  and then angry some more.  confused and questioning who God was to me.  If He actually cared that I was hurting.  If He had a time limit on my hurt and pain.  

ive found little comfort in the truth of what His word says, and sometimes the "little" is all I need to get thru.  "To be absent from the body is to be at home with Him."  And although my expectations were not met by Him, it does not mean that He is any iota less faithful, or even an ounce more faithful.  He's just faithful.  that's it.  

And that alone has taken me through a year of hell and questioning whether or not He was still good. Whether or not i could still trust Him.  It may have even knocked down the makeshift shack of a house i had my trust in Him built on.  It was built on the sand beach of "maybe" best.  And sometimes the best thing to do when you want to change something is to completely destroy it first.  My trust in Him looked like an inexperienced tight-rope walker.  Now it looks different.  But it didn't happen overnight.  He's begun to cement the foundation of His truth in my life; He cares for me.  And if it matters to me, it matters to Him. 

It's been hard to reach my hand back out to Him and say, "ok, I'll risk my heart again."  Because that's what relationships are...risky.  And I've learned that sometimes, the best ones are worth all the risk in the world.