It has been an interesting few weeks. Let me just say that I have learned that material things, earthly issues and matters don't seem near as big of a deal as they did before having Noah. Yet, that does not mean that having to fix the washing machine, the jeep's battery and alternator, getting our roof repaired, going to have to paint the house, get my wisdom teeth out, window repaired, etc. doesn't get annoying. I mean, we're talking around 8 grand in reapairs and upkeep of everyday life. ugh. I think satan tries to use these issues, well, I know he does, to get us in a vulnerable spot. We begin to think poor pitiful me. We even begin to feel that we are entitled to less suffering or less hardship just because we love and serve God.
In fact, I have been going through some deep grieving lately. It is always there, but sometimes it just gets heavier and harder to maintain. While in this valley, you could call it, I discovered I began having this terrible anger problem. I realized I was getting snippy and short with Ava, A LOT. Not just your typical toddler/mommy spats, but with things that should not have been a big issue, I was flipping out. Simple mistakes made by Nick or myself would result in me getting angry and would throw me into a depressive state for anywhere from a couple of minutes to a day or more. I would try so hard to pray and focus, to remember who hold the future and who held everyday of my past, the one who knows me and still loves me, but I could not shake the anger. I still deal with it. I have confided in some special people in my life and I couldn't be more blessed to have a sister in Seminary, studying Biblical counseling. She sisters me but has some depth and knowledge to her advice and I'm thankful for that. I have decided to seek help with a counselor for some of my deep pain and issues. I suppose I am telling you this because there is surely someone who is facing the depth and darkness of child loss and is trying to function and do it alone, by sheer will or by stubborness. You can't do it. I feel that I have a strong faith, it has gotten me through so much and continues to sustain me in everyday life, yet, having a neutral party who can help me sort through some of my questions and longings, I have realized, does not make me weak or lacking in faith, but makes me human, real and willing to get through this for the sake of myself, my husband and my daughter.
You see, grief is NOT an excuse to sin. Maybe you didn't catch that, but grief is NOT an EXCUSE to SIN. I could easily try to justify my anger, my depression, my ugly words towards nick, inpatient heart towards Ava, my snippy words, bad attitude, harsh judgements, etc by saying I have gone through hell. It feels as if I have, but that is no excuse. If I am to go deeper and know Christ and share in his suffering I feel as if he is taking me to this new level of grace and mercy within the depths of my sinning, to show me that suffering from grief is part of carrying my cross. DAILY.
There will never be a day I do not grieve the loss of my son. ever.
Perhaps when Christ so boldy says, "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:37-39 Perhaps, he MEANT it. I'll go out on a limb here and tell you that there are moments when my missing and grieving Noah is more painful that anything and not even scripture seems to heal the wound, but at the same time, God isn't calling me to be happy and comfortable, even in healing. He is calling me to follow him, to press into him, to love him. MORE. THAN. MY. SON. more than Nick. more than Ava. In order for me to be worthy of him, I have to LOVE HIM MORE than the things that mean the most. So, I must lay down the anger and find help to deal with my anger, I must, in my grieving, allow Him to hold me and be enough for me. Because, grieving Noah is not sin. Missing him is not wrong. But, putting that grief and anger ABOVE him IS. Not dealing with it is. I must begin letting him take the anger and entitlement, frustration and the feeling that I deserve good things because I went through the death of my child.
I may not be making any sense, but I have felt more conviction of this and the need to share with others that in our grief, we can begin to put our loved one above God, we can end up worshiping our grief and it begins to make us become obsessed with the grief itself, not letting it be a tool to make us better. I begin to see more clearly now why I have been dealing with such turmoil and agony inside. God continues to use Noah to teach me, to mold me and then to share with you those things. The other night I randomly wrote down that I didn't want to learn anything in my grief or find a way to feel better. I just wanted to wallow in it, be in it, soak it up and let it overwhelm me. That was a trap and I almost fell for it. Don't get me wrong. I can grieve anytime I need to, but I can never have the mindset and attitude that grieving is the answer (always) or that the results of grieving are all ok. Anger is ok, frustration is ok, but sinning in the middle of that, by lashing out at my husband, showing anger and poor reaction to my daughter is not ok, judging others' lives simply by the standard that they haven't lost a child is wrong. God is calling us, even in our loss, to a deeper level and a higher calling. We must grieve and miss our child, but we cannot conform to the world's way of grieving. We must always end in a deeper knowing of God, Christ and His way.
This is a hard word. This is a word that I am even having a hard time digesting and I know that is becasue it is directly from the Lord. Please pray for those you know who are grieving, for those who do not have Christ in their grieving. Be patient with those of us who always talk about our child that is no longer here. Show grace and love as we try to move past the hurt and the feeling of betrayal and move into the beauty of grace. (as most anyone reading this, already does) :)
To those of you grieving alongside me. Please seek counsel when needed. Don't be too proud. Let others help you. For those grieving, who are believers. We must not let our grief become sinful. It only allows satan to create footholds for others, we do not represent Christ's love or his healing and we appear as if we do not actually believe that he is enough for us. I say this in love, as I am living this out, trying to rely on God moment by moment to not let my missing my son become costly to my daughter. Costing her joy, happiness, a healthy mom, a respected daddy, costing her a childhood of happiness and adventure for one of watching her mother deal with the ups and downs so harshly that she begins to feel it was her fault, in her small, innocent mind. Please reach out. Don't let others watch you destroy yourself, for the sake of the grief and hurt. I know it is real. I still feel it every moment. I am in this with you. Be wise. Press into the Word. Be willing to be held accountable. Do not love your loved one who's gone, more than your Lord. I am. Trying. Join with me and let's give God glory. In. All. Things.