Yesterday was tough.
Bad days don't come around very often for me but yesterday, it truly was one for the books. During my normal lunch hour, I feasted on a delicious salad from Cafe Express. I'm not sure why I was searching for June 2019 because the event I was trying to book was for June 2020. All of a sudden, I felt a rock form in my throat. It may sound weird but a heaviness crept up until tears began whelping up in my eyes.
There was not a smell or a person that looked like her as many people warned me about but it was there, staring me right in the face.
I left my salad, grabbed my iced tea and tried my best to make it to my car without weeping uncontrollably.
It's been eight months and twenty days since mom passed away and to be completely honest, every moment of my days since then have been filled with the new job, seminary, two more unexpected deaths in the family and finally, MS 150 training. Whether it was subconscious or not, I have yet to give myself the space for grieving. And you know what?
It came anyway.
I was completely taken aback. Upon arrival at Tallowood, I found myself with tear-filled eyes telling my cube mate Sarah I would be downstairs in the prayer room.
She instantly knew.
"This is grief" is all I heard as I bolted for the stairs. I still had it together but every step I took, the larger the lump in my throat grew.
A dear friend who works in the prayer room, agreed with my coworker and encouraged me that this was normal. But growing up with my mom, you just didn't do that.
Momma told me to be strong and she told me to never cry over her. Though I knew the intention of her heart, it has created a tall, thick brick wall around my heart.
I sat in Dana's chair and I never fully let go. Some tears fell but I certainly didn't let it all out and I knew. I knew that this was a problem; something needed to change. I went back upstairs and after several months of recommendations by numerous coworkers, I finally cracked open the book called, Through the Season of Grief by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard. This was given to me by a complete stranger last week and though it was the last thing I wanted to do, I read:
Understanding Your Grief
Grief is not an enemy or a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being human. Grief is the cost of loving someone.
Since grief comes to everyone, why do some people seem to work through it better than others?
“Some people think that going through the losses or crises of life are the exceptional times,” says Dr. H. Norman Wright.
“I see it differently. I see the times of calm as the exceptions. Life really is going through one loss after another, one crisis after another.
"Instead of avoiding talking about these times, let’s do our homework. When you know what to expect, you’re not thrown by them as much, and you’re going to be better able to recover.”
Join us each day for the next year as we walk with you on your journey through grief, strengthened and enabled through the Lord Jesus Christ.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Lord God, teach me to embrace my grief and not fight it, so that I may experience the true healing that comes from You. Amen.
I have tried to understand the concept of grief but I was unaware that it would look like this. Let me be honest, I have yet to surrender to the thought of "just let it happen" but Dana, the beautiful young woman that prayed her heart out for me yesterday, said something that pieced my inner most being.
"Grief is like waves in the ocean. There are small waves and then there are waves that come crashing all the way up to the sand."
I understood. This made perfect sense to me.
I cannot control the ocean. My Mighty God controls the ocean. In fact, He knows the count of every grain in the waters and that right there, gives me hope.
Hope that my heart will eventually be tender enough to cry and empathize with others as my two coworkers did for me yesterday. I want hearts like theirs, NO, I want a heart like Jesus. I want compassion to flow from my very core.
And I know it takes surrender.
I know it takes shutting out my pride and being okay with crying.
It's Day One and it's been a long day at that but it has also been a day full of reflection and prayer.
The road ahead may be long but I am officially ready to move forward in surrendering my life to God as He heals my heart from this very tough season of my life.
For anyone who would like more information of a GriefShare group in their area or would like to sign up for the daily devotional, you can find that HERE.
With tender love,