Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tucking Him Away

It's late. Meal prep is done. Kitchen is clean. Girls have been asleep for awhile. Now husband is asleep. It's me and the cat. I don't even really like that cat all that much, but here we are.
I long for alone time, as a mom, wife, working full time, leading worship every other week and I always end up cleaning the whole house, mess around on Facebook, play a game on my phone, work on projects etc, but I rarely just sit, alone, quietly. 
It isn't that I don't "have the time". I just don't make the time. I think for 3 years I have filled the time up because it is easier to stay busy than to really deal with pain. It is easier to fill my schedule with things and over commit myself to ministry than it is to be real with my hurt. It is easier to just mask it all because people need to see that "God is good" and "it is well". 

My child is dead. Why do I have to be okay with that? Why do I continually have to push it down further away in my memory and my soul so that I don't seem weak or annoying or even rude. I do not understand why I chose to jump back into ministry the weekend after my son died. I don't know why. I don't know why nobody tried to stop me. I don't know why I was able to just sign up for all the events and ways to serve in the church and no one noticed a red flag with that. I'll never understand why I continually overbook, over schedule and underwhelm my soul. I don't know why I think that things will fall apart if I'm not there. 
I fee the tug of loyalty and commitment and the tug of the desperation to get alone, find some peace and be honest and real with myself and God. They battle each other so often. It is a gamble to even make known these things for fear of letting people down. When we go through seasons when the grief bubbles up again, I have realized that I have to be aware and I have to be willing.  Willing to be honest with myself, with my husband, with those in my immediate circle, my co-workers and ministry family. I have to refocus, find ways to relax and remind my heart that the whole purpose of ministry is simply so that others may know Christ and make him known. For me, grief/over commitment is the biggest way Satan grabs me and keeps me from thriving.

The purpose of this blog, in the beginning, was to update family and friends of the things going on in our world, then it became a place to update on Noah and then after he died it became an outlet for me through many ups and downs of grieving. I am not certain what it is anymore. I have had a block the last year or so and so just occasionaly do I feel that I have the clarity to really write something that could be read and even understood. The last few weeks, Noah has been pushing his way through my jumbled up busy mind and parked himself there. I have a lump in my throat that I had gotten rid of over the last couple of years. I think with the anniversary of a heart friend's death, the surgery of another heart friend and just a lot of bottled up emotions from the last year I realized I was drowning in some unattended to issues, heart cries, questions even. I guess I was just frustrated and sad that I'm missing out on raising a boy. I knew the day would come when I realized I was missing out on so many adventures. I knew it would come. I also knew that I had to face it and come to the point of accepting the fact that I will be tucking Noah away for the rest of my life. I may not tuck him in at night, but I tuck him away each holiday, each new season of life, each new season of my girls' lives, and I will quietly tuck him away in my momma heart during the times I watch the boys in our life hit a home run or shoot a 3 pointer. I will tuck him away. I will learn to give myself space and time and grace to cry the tears I need to, not shove more cliche sayings down my own throat to make me believe it or feel it or be ok with it. I am learning to grieve inwardly and alone and not rely so much on others around me. I don't need 200 likes on a picture of my son to make me feel better. I need alone time to just sit and miss him and then let my soul linger with the Lord before going about the momma and wife duties that ARE there for me to attend to. Noah has and will ALWAYS keep me focused and accountable. Have I prayed today? Or have I just announced to the world all my "things", all my needs, all my struggles. Have I sat and lingered with him or have I exhausted myself and others with neediness.

Maybe you don't struggle with grieving right now. I feel safe to assume that a lot or most of the people who might stumble across this are dealing with some form of grief. Be it the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a friendship gone sour or another relationship struggle... are we exhausting ourselves trying to make people hear us and our struggles or are we truly trusting and bringing to the Father our deepest longings? Besides bringing him our needs he already knows we have, are we just lingering with him and letting him soothe our souls? Are we truly being honest with God? Or are we just saying "God is good" so we don't have to deal with the fact that maybe we really struggle with that truth.  We ALL HAVE STRUGGLES. WE ALL HAVE THINGS, NEEDS, FRUSTRATIONS... How are we dealing with them, honestly?
Be aware of your emotions, your grief, your needs and really lay it out with the Father. Christian sayings, going to church, being over committed, drowning ourselves in stuff is not the answer. Be honest, get support and just be real and honest with yourself.
I was made aware of so many attitude problems, negative thoughts, struggles with people and frustrations with others that were all stemming from this toxic heart condition of my own.
Actually asking God to "search me and know me" like David writes in Psalms. It is revolutionary to be undone by Him because He puts us back together so beautifully. Scars are special.

I may be tucking Noah away more and more, but I am thankful that He always seems to teach his momma something at the times she needs it the most.