I met one of my girlfriends for dinner tonight. It's been a while since we have actually carved out time to see each other. Aren't we pitiful? Great friends but ohhhhh the effort that it requires to gather the energy to plan and calculate a time and pick a restaurant. THEN the energy to get dressed etc. I know that I'm the most guilty one for staying home in my comfortable and protected zone.
We chatted over our personal girlie girl lives and then I wanted an update. An update on her grief viewpoint.
See--when you've lost your child, these conversations are not only expected, but are just FINE. We are on a level playing field and I learn so much from others.
Her son died a little over a year ago. Recently I had another mother tell me- "between year one and year two is hardest." I was curious about her thoughts, because she TOO is between year one and year two.
As I asked questions about her thoughts, it brought me back in time- to just a few years ago- to between my year one and year two. Where was I?! I was tired constantly. (Remember that grief is poops you out!). Also, I had exhausted everyone around me... It happens with us all. We can't HELP it.
I found solace in digging in the dirt.The amazing incredible things that God produces out of the dirt gave me hope. I began to look at the intricacy of each flower and leaf-- and it had new meaning to me. If our loving God would put soooo much effort into a plant or flower or His Creation, what was he doing with me? How was He quietly tending "me" as His garden?
Susie Duke in Grieving Forward "When you are consumed with grief,often other people just don’t want to be around it. If they only knew how much is learned on the threshing floor of grief - the place where wheat is crushed in order to separate the insignificant stalks from the treasured grain - they would see that grief takes you to the deep places of your heart, and that all the changes occurring in your life are not bad. In fact they might catch a glimpse of grace in its purest form, and sacred love unveiled. At first, you may not feel comfortable with change, but in time, you’ll realized how much grief has seasoned you." (pg 66) The quiet time that I have, like it or not, has made me have time for reflection. I didn’t want to be seasoned... but I am now feeling more of a sense of peace and purpose. The fog will last for quite sometime, but will begin to lift. Time and going through the grieving process does make the light start to come back into your life again. But as you will notice, grief is like the tide, it will roll in and it will roll out. "
I've quoted her many times when she writes - "It's in the darkness where we truly learn to trust His voice and His direction for our next step. "I will give you the treasures of darkness,/ riches stored in secret places,/ that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." (Isa. 45:3) He often conceals the deep work that is going on in our hearts as He works behind the curtains of our darkness. Some things grown best in the dark, such as undaunted trust and fathomless faith. No one can see the tulip bulb growing inside the cold, dark earth in the winter, but the treasure is there waiting for spring to call forth its beauty into the light. When springtime comes to you - and it will - it will burst forth with the light of sacred awareness, a renewed sense of God's presence, and an awakening of hope for your next step."
I held onto those words during that time period and even now. That even in the darkness, God was shining a teeeeee tiny light for me to see a smidgen before my next step.
So girls, by reading these words, I began to dig in the dirt. I became a crazy landscaping idiot who wanted to see what all God could produce from dirt, water, and seed. It was miraculous. :)
One of my personally biggest challenges was selling my house during the divorce. Although I now live in a wonderful condo, I don't have dirt. I can't watch Gods creation blooming around me. But CAN I?!?!
A couple of weeks ago I had a thought. God shows us itty bitty sparks of light-- if we CHOOSE to see them. As I was walking my faithful old dog lady, I took my little iPhone phone and took an upclose pix of a flower. The next day, another flower. The next day, a leaf with rain drops on it! These simple pleasures have brought me immense joy, as I see the gifts that are around me.... If I chose to see them. :).
What little joys will we see if we open our grief filled eyes?
What "good" things have you learned through your tragedy?
Lets see.... Maybe your core values are clearly defined?
Maybe you know who your "real" friends are!
Maybe you appreciate your loved ones more?
Maybe you have made new life altering and lasting friendships?
Stop and think about what you are learning through the pain. You can still think of your child that has been ripped from you too-- but just take a moment and shift gears. Just for a moment. Make a list. It's my personal challenge to you.
I dare each of you to email to me what you've learned. Privately and anonymously.
Hugs mamas! Tootsies on the ground. Every day! Keep on.... I'm proud of each of you as you continue to try to redefine normal.