Wave after Wave

 

Good Grief.

I used to wonder what people meant by that. What could possibly be good about grief? I thought the point was that it wasn’t good at all?

I’ve experienced a lot of grief in my life… from living through sexual abuse/assault, being betrayed and abandoned by those I trusted most, the loss of loved ones, the finality of infertility, the pain of adultery, the death of a marriage… watching my daughter’s heart break when she heard the word “divorce”… recently I lost both of my cats. One died peacefully in my arms. The other… I heard her get hit by a truck yesterday. I watched her in her death throes. I screamed in anguish in the middle of the street… not only for the loss I felt and the pain and fear my cat must have felt… but knowing that my Luvbug’s heart would break again. Her tiny heart should not have to bear the weight it has had to bear this past year.

Grief affects everyone differently. I’ve done it all… I’ve hid my emotions, I’ve yelled them at the top of my lungs. I’ve thrown myself into new hobbies and distractions, I’ve considered ending my life completely. I’ve acted out emotionally; drinking, boys, spending sprees that put me in debt… I’ve felt the physical affects; A heart condition, moles that grow then disappear, nervous stomach problems, anxiety attacks…  I’ve held tightly to the illusion of control trying to maintain the tiniest bit of order in my life…
Yesterday afternoon I noticed a knot on my head and a scratch from the pavement. I suppose I hit my head on the street in my grief… I remember leaning over, but I felt no pain… I screamed until my neighbors came running. One messaged me today to tell me he couldn’t stop thinking about me in the street and that his heart breaks for me. My neck muscles are sore today from screaming so hard…

But not 2 hours after her death, I was laughing at a friend’s joke. Then I wept again. Then I felt peace again… And I felt guilty. I used to panic in the pain. Like a fish out water, I’d gasp for relief… I used to feel like a tattered flag barely hanging on to a ship’s mast in a hurricane… Now I feel the comforting weight of my Anchor holding me secure.
All this grief has taught me something… It has taught me how to mourn without losing myself in the pain.

Grief comes over us in waves… but so does God’s mercy…

The pain hits you… sometimes so hard you can’t breathe. And all you can do is sit and feel it. Accept it. Mourn in that moment
-Then let it withdraw-
When it does, enjoy a wave of God’s mercy. His mercy gives you rest… if you choose to rest in it. His mercy will bring you peace if you choose to accept it. And it reminds you that you are not alone…

Accept His peace. Accept His rest. Let His Mercy wash over you… wave after wave.
The grief gets less and less painful as you learn to trust Him through it.
And you’ll see how grief actually can be good…

“His Mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before Him.” Luke 1:50 MSG

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“Stand in the rain, stand your ground. Stand up when it’s all crashing down. Stand through the pain, you won’t drown. And one day what’s lost can be found…”

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Full of Life

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes,
but when you look back everything is different.”
(Possibly C.S.Lewis)

I came to this park to reflect again today. And I was surprised by what I found…

When I cam here 2 months ago I wept. My heart broke at the devastation caused by the floods. All I could see was how it mirrored my pain…

I sit on the same bench. I look across the same field. I see the same grass…
But everything is different!!!

Where I once saw death and destruction, I now see new life!! I see hope!!
I danced barefoot on this new green grass today. I rejoiced in how God makes things new in His time. How He loves and cares for His creation.
I took a deep breath… The air that once smelled sour is now fresh!
Deep breath after deep breath!! I laughed for joy!
It isn’t perfect yet… there is still some water. There are portions of the park that are fenced off that weren’t before. The playground is still closed.
But what progress!! What a dramatic change!!

I feel my heart has changed the same. I no longer mourn the loss of my marriage. I am grateful for the good times, but also for the hard times.
There are places in my heart that are fenced off… Not quite ready to be opened…
But I have hope for my future. With or without another man. I am happy.
I still have a beautiful family. It just looks different now. And that’s ok.
I am free!!  Resting in the One who remains Faithful above all…

And I am so full of life!!

Psalm 30:11-12
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”

Isaiah 43: 18-19
“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.”

April’s Fool

10 years ago today. April Fool’s Day 2006.
I went with my friends to our church.
There was a conference being hosted there…
I walked in and I met the man who would later become my husband. And then my ex.

I used to be so terrified of losing him.
Anxiety attacks if I lost a single keepsake… Nightmares about him leaving me.
Waking up in the night begging him not to..
I would (and often did) do anything to keep him.
Even when I shouldn’t have.
I was scared that somehow it was all some big April Fool’s joke.

I think I knew deep down that we were never meant to last.
I was given several signs that I should just walk away…
But I didn’t
My heart was terrified of what my brain already knew.

We had been through so much…
On-again-off-again dating… Him cheating while we were dating… A rushed wedding (because we didn’t want people knowing he had moved in with me… and because my fear of being alone was always greater than my sense of value)…
Pregnant only 2.5 months after the wedding…
Multiple affairs before and during the pregnancy. I left him a few times…
I always went back. I had valid reasons…

After 3.5 years of fighting… I mean seriously fighting for my marriage, I left him again. This was the end. I knew it for sure. I knew without a doubt that I was done.
We had been apart for several months before I began pursuing divorce.
Then I got scared. I stopped pursuing God. I slid into depression.
I started drinking again… I began falling into old habits.
And that terrified me. I thought I was different?
But there I was again…?

Then he swept in and made me feel safe… as usual… He became my rock and sense of security…  A false sense of security. A shaky foundation.
When my hope should have been in God…

He seemed to have changed.
And I thought our family was worth another shot…

3 years ago today. April Fool’s Day 2013.
I stood in a white dress at a beautiful park with my husband and we renewed our vows in front of close friends and family.

I had no idea that he had already begun talking to other girls by then.

I don’t know how many girlfriends he has had over the years.
Because when I asked he said “more than I can count”.

God is a loving God. He doesn’t play jokes on His children.
He also doesn’t make mistakes.
I went through this fire for a reason. And I am grateful.
If I hadn’t been through what I have been through, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
I would have no idea how strong I am when I lean on God. What I am capable of in Him.
I am so much stronger, more fierce, and far braver than ever I thought.
Than anyone thought.

Today…  April Fool’s Day 2016
I thought the past 10 years was a painful joke. But it wasn’t.
I thought I was a fool. But I’m not.
I gave everything to a man who was undeserving.
-he was the fool-