Even our tears are liquid words and He hears them all. –Brian Simmons and Gretchen Rodriguez, I Hear His Whisper
At the bottom of this post you will find an old post from a journal entry I posted in June of 2016.
It is on the subject of suddenly finding yourself in the captive arms of an unexpected grief.
I believe there are many of us who in this time of COVID, have lost someone personally, or at least know of someone who has lost a dear someone, to this insidious flu.
Sudden and unexpected losses
C. S. Lewis wrote, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
And, after years of COVID fears, we all know what damage fear can do when it runs amuck.
Honestly? I have experienced many types of grief and the fears that came with it. Loss of jobs, loss of home, loss of health, loss of church (with all the attached friendships,) and even loss of family.
So, I think I can safely conclude, that it was those sudden and unexpected losses that really took the wind from my sails, and threatened to set my spiritual life adrift.
After all, if you can see a loss looming out there somewhere on your horizon, you can try to prepare for it.
But those losses that seemingly come out of nowhere? They are the ones that can devastate, and paralyze you.
For sure, I am certain that all loss is hard to bear, but my sudden and unexpected losses, those were the ones that brought the deepest paralysis, and worse, the greatest spiritual dangers to my own soul’s future beliefs.
In A Grief Observed, it was C. S. Lewis who very transparently shared,
“Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not ‘So there’s no God after all,’ but ‘So this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer.”
Our own grief observed
I found another honest quote on grief by author Anne Lamott,
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
I do agree with Anne, but not all “come through,” so I would also add this,
It is up to us to decide where our “limp” takes us–which direction in life we will choose for ourselves.
By this I mean, you can limp your way along in great sorrow, serving grief with bitter regrets, or you can choose to make your grief serve you, by using it’s hard and painful lessons to help and serve others.
Experience has taught me–no one else does this for us–we must each choose for ourselves.
Finding some focus
Author Dean Koontz agrees, and adds a beautiful thought,
“Grief can destroy you –or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”
In the end, I discovered that grief is a load that is just too hard to carry by oneself.
I had to surrender mine to God.
I had to trust all my tears to the One who had promised to save each one.
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.psalm 56:8 the message
Post: June 10, 2016
Tasting my own tears again. Thinking, “This is not how I would have done it.”
How often God takes us a way we would not have gone— points to a path we would not have chosen.
Dear Reader, have you often pondered the words:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
How often I have pondered God’s ways with the taste of tears in my mouth.
Perhaps there are Christians that can walk the path of captivity with great joy, but I confess to you, I am not one of them.
… My thoughts are not your thoughts…
I remember the LORD whispering to my heart before I came here, “…there is no other way.”
I confess I did not truly comprehend the enormity of those three little words until now…
No other way.
Looking back… to who I once was, I now know:
⦁ There was no other way to bind the wounds of betrayal without being betrayed.
⦁ There was no other way to learn the words of comfort for the abandoned without being cast out.
⦁ And, how else could one sing the song of deliverance, had one not felt the chains?
To become a wound dresser one must endure many woundings; one must taste their own tears, over… and over again.
To receive “a new heart” (Ezekiel 11:19) indeed… there is no other way.
The DREAM~MAKER’S Promise:
“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV
The Caterpillar’s Prayer:
Father help me to believe in the process of transformation, though it may be full of pain, it is also a miracle in the making. I don’t want my tears to blind me to the miraculous things You are creating, in me.
And not just for me, but for others, too.