This morning, I was able to share pieces of our journey over the last year with a pastor at church. I've been hesitant to talk about some of the "what we've learned" aspects of our journey because I feel like we are still in the beginning stages of this transforming process. We are so glad that God has given us a lifelong "learning curve" on this one.
However, I also don't want to hesitate in being open with our story, in case God may use it somehow. And while I am excited by how Carter's life might further reveal God to others, talking about our son, our experience, and our God has brought up some intense emotions that I haven't felt in a little while.
So when I sat down this afternoon to have a few moments of much-needed solitude during Cohen's nap time, I was surprised by the following Scripture verse in the Psalms:
"O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit."
I'm not sure why these words surprised me other than this was exactly what I needed to hear.
I needed to be reminded that even though most days aren't as difficult, I can still call out to God for help and he will hear me and heal me. I needed to remember that even if my sorrow overwhelms me to the point where I feel stuck in a pit, God will find me there.
God is bigger than grief, so I shouldn't be afraid to go there.
As emotions get less raw, as time separates us from Carter's death, it's easier to depend on myself for strength. Most days, it's easier to just ignore sad feelings rather than invite them in.
And today...I really don't want to let myself grieve. I have dishes to do. I need to run to the grocery store so my family can eat this week. I need to exercise so I can fit in that bridesmaid dress I'm supposed to wear in June. Grief doesn't seem like a "productive" use of my time.
But after my conversation this morning, I can't help but come face to face with grief once again, and I need to give myself permission to go there, to call out to God, and to let Him heal my heart. I need to give myself permission not to be strong (or my version of it). I need to give God permission to be God in my life...for He will "spare me from going down into the pit".
Grief without God is scary due to its ability to overwhelm. Grief without God can consume and devour a person. This may be why I try to hold grief at bay.
But I am clinging to the promise today that experiencing grief with God is where healing takes place, that in loss we can cry out "help me!" and not be devoured. Grief isn't weakness (and I need to hear this more than anyone...); it's an opportunity for God to prove Himself to be who He says He is, if we let Him, and for us to find true healing.
So, goodbye, to-do list. I may get to check a few of you off today. But today I need permission to grieve.