Since my last post I have gone out to see my dad’s grave site which now has a marker on it. It sets things in, and makes this whole ordeal real. My daughter and I laid in front of the marker, and stared up at the heavens. I asked her what she thought “Poppie” was doing at this moment, and she thought perhaps that he was watching Snow White with all the kids that were already in heaven… (a favorite past time of theirs).
“I sat at his grave and cried for my missing friend and for all the lost opportunities.
God is good and God is sovereign, but sometimes he’s so hard to understand.”
-Sam Childers ‘Another Man’s War’
Compliments of Danielle Conley
Proverbs 3:5 comes immediately to mind, when reading the quote above – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (NLT). Isn’t that so true. In these precious moments I have nothing BUT to trust in the Lord with all of my heart. I dare not depend on my own understanding because nothing about what happened makes sense. But I feel a sense of calm come over me anytime that I just repeat to myself that God is good… and God is sovereign. He is in control and someday I will too will understand.
I honestly try hard not to think about it too much. – the why’s and the what ifs… It hurts my head, causes me anxiety and puts in me a fearful heart. Do not confuse this with “stuffing it down” which I certainly am not…I’m being a realist. I could search this world until the end of time, and I am convinced I will never have the answer. So why dwell on it and waste emotion on unanswerable questions.
I’m currently living with forgetting. Not forgetting my dad in general of course and not flat out denial that he died, but just forgetting that he did die. Just yesterday a friend of mine wrote a post on Facebook about a housing inspection she needed to get through and I almost commented stating that I would ask my dad if he could do it… In a blink I smirked to myself forgetting for a moment that he was no longer on this side of heaven.
In his book “A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis talks about this. “Its not true that I’m always thinking of H. Work and conversation make that impossible. But the times when I’m not are perhaps my worst. For then, though I have forgotten the reason, there is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness of something amiss. Like in those dreams where nothing terrible occurs – nothing that would sound even remarkable if you told it as breakfast-time – but the atmosphere, the taste, of the whole thing is deadly. So with this. I see the rowan berries reddening and don’t know for a moment why they, of all things, should be depressing. I hear a clock strike and some quality it always had before has gone out of the sound. What’s wrong with the world to make it so flat, shabby, worn-out looking? Then I remember.”
Each day brings me something new. Most days I have purely blissful moments, and now, more often than not I am generally happy. But I still feel this cloud looming over me, as if it is following me, raining down, getting me wet, ruining my plans, and being generally annoying.
I’m learning to dance in the rain though… and make the most of it. It’s my new normal as my cousin’s wife pointed out to me shortly after my fathers passing. She shared,
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but, you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler.
So what am I learning from dancing in the rain? I have grown so much closer to God in this place. Though I am wet, and damp, and frustrated that my plans didn’t turn out how I thought they should go there is a beauty here that I wouldn’t have known had I not been here. I feel a sense of newness in my relationship with Christ that is stronger than ever before. I feel so deeply dependent and in love with Him, not as a crutch, but in gratitude that I don’t have to figure any of this out on my own. I don’t have to do this by myself, or try to understand it. I can cast all my cares on to God who will sustain me, and not let me be shaken. ~ Psalm 55:22. (My paraphrase from NIV)
I am learning through Philippians 4:13 (NLT). “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”. I can get through this grief and see the sunshine of tomorrow behind the veil of the rain. I can rest assured that my father is joyfully praising our Creator face to face. I feel strengthened by Christ, and closer to him and more thankful to Him than ever before. I will pour out praise to Him over and over again because it is His breath in my lungs.
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
GREAT – ARE – YOU – LORD