The last 48 hours or so, I have been swept away in a wave of grief I'm still not sure I'll recover from... Coming off the adrenaline rush of taking care of the girls and finding the right activities, mingled with a dark foreboding that clouds the lights and bells of the holiday season...
My mom took the girls for a couple of days so I could rest. As soon as they were out the door I was on the floor, huddled in a fetal-like position, holding myself together so the inner pain wouldn't rip me apart, then I would surely die. I knew I needed to be alone, but also feared being alone, so I contacted a few good friends to check in on me every now and then. (Thank you, friends.)
Never have I felt so ugly, so full of despair, so far from hope. Who is this person? Who will I become, particularly throughout this month of December with smiles and joyful singing and families gathering together? I felt no joy in my heart (a first) and no desire to celebrate anything. I would be happy to lay in my bed, bury my head in my covers, never eat another meal, and fade away to nothing.
Sunday morning, it snowed. I picked myself up, got "decked out" in black apparel :), and adorned my neck with pearls (one of my favorite gifts from Lynn), and went to church.
I parked across the street so I could easily sneak in and out, and sauntered in fashionably late, slipping into the back row of the overflow. Every breath felt intentional, so heavy was the weight pressing on my chest. Breathe, just breathe. I thought to myself over and over again. (Thank you to Lois and Carla who quietly came and sat beside me, offering quiet but loving support.)
I was like Amanda (Part A: Metaphor) mind swirling with thoughts, smells, memories. During the worship, I mouthed the words but nothing much came out. I closed my eyes and watched Lynn at the piano, bouncing on the piano bench, hands flying over the keys, moving to the rhythm... Then I opened my eyes and watched my church family... How precious and wonderful you are!!!!
When Cory got up to speak, I realized for the first time it was Christ the King Sunday. I was so thankful I had come. I needed church today. I needed to be edified in the Word and built up in fellowship with the body... And I needed to tell the Lord, or hear from Him, that He is still King. He is my King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Yet again, God led me and provided what I needed to get through another day.
Later that evening I had a beautiful conversation with a loving friend who does not profess to be a Christian. She was sharing some of her own journey and things she's learned along the way. I thought O, Lord, help me to protect her heart! How precious she is for opening up to me! What a journey she's walked!! She is an amazing woman, and I realized my temptation was great to "stick a bandaid" on her story (and mine) with Christian words of truth and faith. To throw out words about God's faithfulness and sovereignty, etc. But it's that very approach that turned her away form God and the church...
Help me in my brokenness not to stick a bandaid over a gaping wound. The world sees Christians as broken bleeding people walking around claiming healing, all the while bleeding through the fabric of our faulty bandaids. Help me to show real brokenness to these loved ones. Help me to have the courage to say, yes, I have questions. Teach me to lament in a society that longs to grieve but doesn't know how.
Lead me in the Way everlasting for Your name's sake...