Thursday, December 4, 2008

Faith Intersects

It's honestly hard for me to get out of bed most days. Some days I just lie in bed until the late afternoon, trying to will myself up out of bed, just to take a shower and eat- let alone interact with other people.

It feels safer to stay inside myself and grieve in my little cocoon. Grief is so unpredictable and complex. It's hard to explain how it feels. It just overwhelms me. And it looks different depending upon the moment, the day. I am beginning to understand the complexity of grief and of suffering. And by that, I mean understanding that I will never understand it. I expect so much from myself. I have always been able to articulate what I feel and write about it, even if I don't ever explain it to others. But not this. Owen's death has taken everything from me. I am at ground zero. I question everything and doubt everything and everyone. When I was 21 and a new Christian, I talked about all these things with authority. Struggling and suffering, God's grace and His sovereignty, and I believed because it's what I read in my Bible. Now, I am living it. And it is hard. It is so different than I had previously thought. Just when I think I understand myself and my grief, it changes. And I am thrown into the pit.
I expect myself to understand this (Owen's short life and his death) and put it into a box and make it fit into my world. It doesn't fit. It just won't ever fit. Grief is an ever changing landscape and never makes sense. It just is.

I'd rather stay inside my little cocoon and grieve like a wounded animal. But...I need to be around other believers, because I need encouragement and hope. But, you know, some people don't understand our pain, they trivialize it and say things like, oh they're in a better place, everything happens for a reason, you can have more babies, etc. BUT regardless, people need to see us. They need to talk with us and see what grieving looks like. This is a big struggle for me. I hate being around other people when I feel awful and can't hide it (I feel awful a lot, but sometimes I can hide it). But I need to be out and around my friends, at church and small group and other functions. It's scary and uncomfortable.

It's like being hit by a huge wave and knocked under water. I am struggling under water, I can't breathe, but when I come up for air I am immediately knocked down. I couldn't catch my breath before I was knocked down again. I'm underwater. I can't breathe, I'm drowning; but I am scared to come up to the surface. I'm afraid of being hit again. It FEELS safer under the water, but it's not. I'm drowning.
This is how I struggle. Well, one of the ways I struggle. I need companionship, friendship, fellowship, but I am scared of being hit by waves of misunderstanding and hurtful comments and the crap that comes with being in a relationship because none of us is perfect and we mess up.

I also view God this way. I feel like just when I was ready to have another baby, to risk my heart...and I was making great strides in the way I thought about God and His love; another dead baby...I thought I might die of a broken heart.

Amazingly after the death of my third precious baby, I feel God's love in ways I cannot describe and never thought I'd feel. I cannot explain it. Words fail me, but I am comforted by His grace and love, and it is enough. Even when I don't feel like it is...
it is enough

I want everyone to know that it is okay to struggle. We don't have to have it all together...we can be who we are...and we can even struggle with not wanting to struggle.

As a Christian, in a lot of churches, and sometimes in the world's eyes, it is not okay to struggle. We are supposed to have it all together. Prayer is supposed to make us healthy, wealthy and happy. I don't believe this. Prayer makes us closer to God. Prayer does not solve our problems or make things magically disappear. I know at first, I treated God like Santa Claus. I want this, and that, and all of these make it happen God. As you can imagine, it didn't work.

I know I am not the only Christian that struggles, and who feels like the only one who became a Christian and things got worse, not better; but Christ is our only hope. Our only guarantee.

My heart still aches with questions. day all things will be made right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally identify with this struggle of needing others but not wanting to be around them. It always makes me so angry that I need anybody. Why can't I do this on my own? Why can't I just hide and not converse with the rest of the world and be content with that?

But the truth is (as you said) we need the community of other believers and it is so hard. I like to think I am good at hiding how I really feel as well but so often people can see right through me. It makes me mad but for some reason God always uses my vulnerability (and even my humiliation) to glorify him in ways I never thought possible.