Perhaps I shouldn’t be writing when I’ve also got a horrible cold and a shooting pain down my leg... and... It’s a few days away from my son Caleb’s ‘would be’ 25th birthday... IF he were still on planet earth...
My heart is aching.
Last night while talking (complaining) to a friend about all my woes I said, “I hate sickness with a passion, I hate sin, I hate sorrow, I hate death... I use to feel sorry for the devil but no longer – I can’t wait to see him burn. I think I’m going to write a blog called grief sucks.”
So here it goes...
We have now been walking this grief recovery journey for 7.5 years.
Has the extreme pain diminished? Absolutely. Are most days filled with joy as we trust God’s promises concerning Heaven and the eternity we will get to spend with Caleb? Yes. Are we blown away at the privilege and opportunities we have to carry on his legacy through the Caleb Foundation? 100%.
In just two weeks, I’ll have the honor to love on some precious orphaned children and gorgeous women in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. What a sincere joy. And there are countless other young people, all over the world, being loved on, nurtured, taught God’s ways, treated medically, educated and led to what matters most – a life forever with Jesus! Giving my life away is like a balm to my sorrow.
At the same time, in ways, it all still seems like a nightmarish dream. I see Caleb’s pictures around my house and these haunting feelings & questions surge again, “Why can’t he just be here?”
I want to touch him – talk to him – know what he would have chosen as his life vocation – who might he be dating or married to... There’s this inconsolable longing – this itch that can’t be scratched – this pain so deep that time evades.
I want to see my son. So I choose to allow myself to feel... To grieve.
There aren’t too many other words I can think to describe grief really. Grief hurts, it has no happy (earthly) ending. No resolve for today. It just hurts. Our hearts are broken. Our feelings are bruised.
And it’s okay to feel it.
Feelings are exactly that – just feelings. They are neither right nor wrong. Good nor bad. Sinful nor holy. Feelings just are. When we allow ourselves to sit with our feelings for a hot second – it causes us to be honest in the moment – to remember – to be human.
Stuffing our emotions doesn’t help, and remaining too long in the pain certainly isn’t healthy either... but often, we don’t give ourselves permission to simply feel. It’s okay to feel.
It’s here in the pain – in the heartache – in the tears – in the overwhelming sucky feelings of, “I am sad, I miss Caleb, I hate this.”
That beckons my Father to draw near.
I NEED his comfort.
I NEED his peace.
I NEED his love.
I NEED him! O how I need Jesus! And he always does come. He comes with EVERYTHING I need. His presence covers it all.
Jesus knows all too well.
“We despised him and rejected him – a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our back on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care. Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins. But he was wounded and bruised for our sins! He was beaten that we might have peace; he was the lashed – and we were healed! We - every one of us – have strayed away like sheep. We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us!” (Isaiah 53:3-6 – TLB)
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
(1 Corinthians 15:54–55)
Sickness – healed.
Sorrow – carried away.
Sin – forgiven.
Death – conquered.
God has experienced and understands grief – he comes to us in our grief – he smashed grief forever.
I’m so grateful grief only sucks for a little while.