Thursday, November 19, 2015

Let Me Grieve But Not Forever

I miss talking with him.  He had the sweetest voice.  I still hear it in my head, which makes me sad.  It makes me more sad to think there might come a day when I don't remember it.  I just want him back.

Sherrod and I spent the better part of yesterday putting away things from the funeral, going through his things, deciding what we couldn't part with and what really needed to benefit someone else.  We didn't finish.  His toothbrush is still on the counter.  Some things will just stay the way they are.

To say grieving is difficult is such an understatement.  I always thought of grief as an expect the emotional pain of grief.  But what I am caught off guard by is the physical pain of grief.  It is almost unbearable.  I am thankful for the faithful prayers of friends who are standing in the gap during a time when I am too weak to stand.  I am thankful for a faithful Lord who understands me even when I cannot find the words.  I am thankful for those who have gone before...who are able to put their grief into words so much better than I ever could...

"'How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?' the psalmist cried. And I wondered ... Will this pain ever go away? Will I ever again think clearly? Will anything in the days to come hold any sense of contentment? Will you forget me forever, Lord, and let the enemy named Despair have the last word: 'I have overcome her?'
Self-pity? Maybe. Reality? Yes. I daresay no one who stands in the debris of a lifestorm has not struggled with such feelings. Sadly, sometimes the unitiated voices of the religious community rise up and ask, 'Where is your faith?' and the suffering devout scamper for a place to hide. When the hurting Christian begins to fear the fine line between facing the reality of the pain and wallowing in self-pity, the pain too often gets stuffed into some room down inside and replace with glowing rhetoric. Or, rather than deny the pain, anger at the unfairness replaces the self-pity.
But would not the psalmist have us cry out in our anguish and reach upward with a weak and uncertain hand? Would not he say to us that God hears such pleas offered in the desperation of knowing we cannot heal ourselves? Would he not tell us that the way to trusting in God's unfailing love is through the valley of shadow and death and pain and confusion and dread and fear - and in finding that, indeed, he goes ahead of us and positions himself along the way to take a load from us, one hurt at a time?"
~Verdell Davis, "Let Me Grieve But Not Forever"

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