Hey Y’all!!! I am so sorry it has been so long since my last blog post! My only excuse is I have been BUSY!!! Since we got home from our AMAZING trip across the US I have worked practically non-stop on my house. We are getting soooooooo close to finishing it!! Yay…if we can keep from falling apart from exhaustion we should be finished in a couple of weeks. Pray for that…Please!
Today’s blog post is going to be about this roller coaster ride I have been on here lately with grief. By now you all know that my family loves amusement parks…right? Well, if you didn’t know…now you do! We LOVE them!
During our stop in Branson, we spent a day at Silver Dollar City. It was awesome! We rode every roller coaster there…well Bo and Maggie did! Garrett and I chickened out on one of them called “The Powder Keg”. There’s just something about being shot like a bullet from 0 to 70 mph in three seconds, then dropping straight down only to end the fall in a double loop that just scares me silly. Ya know?
Anyway, Bo and Maggie called us every kind of chicken on earth and then some because we would not ride it with them. We tried…even got in line…then decided we needed to go to the restroom so we lost our spot. That wasn’t intentional or anything…
We watched them shoot out of the little building and were immediately reassured that we did NOT want to get on that coaster. The fear of riding it overshadowed the fun we might experience if we got on it. I was good with giving in to that fear…still am. Bo and Maggie thought it was the best one they had ever ridden. Whatever.
I was sitting here thinking about that roller coaster and God showed me that I am on an even scarier roller coaster ride in real life at the moment. C.S. Lewis wrote in A Greif Observed: “In grief, nothing ‘stays put’. One keeps emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I’m on a spiral? But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?”
I have gone through some major spirals here lately. I thought for a while there that I was making good progress trying to find my feet in life again…and I was! Then, I went tumbling down again and I realized that I still have a long way to go. And, you know what? That is ok!
I have a hard time giving myself permission to grieve. I have a hard time grasping the truth of my life. I was talking to my Mama about all of it the other day and she shared a message her preacher talked about last Sunday. The message was about Jesus when he calmed the storm. (Matthew 8:18, 23-27; Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25).
Like most people when I have read that story in the past I have always thought that the amazing part was that Jesus spoke to the wind and waves and they obeyed him…and that part is amazing. BUT, it is not the part we should focus on!
If you go back to the beginning of the passage you see that Jesus said, “Let us go over to the other side”. So, they all got in the boat and set sail. Jesus was very tired. Like, very, very tired (I know how he felt!) so he laid down and went to sleep. He was calm, cool, and collected. He relaxed and went to sleep. A storm came up “suddenly” yet he still slept. Everyone around him on the boat started freaking out! Yet, Jesus slept. They actually had to wake him up when they got so scared that they didn’t know what else to do.
When Jesus woke up he asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”. See, Jesus had told them what was going to happen before he ever went to sleep. He said, “Let us go over to the other side”. The storm was irrelevant, because He had determined to go to the other side. The storm that caused everyone else on the boat to freak out didn’t mean a thing to Jesus, because He knew it couldn’t kill him…or hurt him…or destroy him. So, he went to sleep with complete confidence that no matter what…he and his shipmates were going to reach the other side. Man! Isn’t that awesome?
So many times lately I have found myself in the middle of the storm. Wringing my hands, crying out for help, and shaking with fear…but God has already shown me how it ends. If you have read my book, Burdens then you know he gave me that answer in Jeremiah 33:10-14.
This roller coaster ride called grief is tough. It is not fun at all, but I am on it and there are no other choices except to ride it out until the end. I don’t know when the end will come, but what I do know is that God has promised me that it will end and I will be restored.
When we love someone or something…it always ends in sadness. Did you know that? I haven’t ever thought about it, but its true. I read a blog this morning and this is part of what it said:
“When we accept the reality of heartbreak, it can open our hearts to love, rather than keep us from it. Here’s why: If we are afraid of getting hurt and insist on arranging our lives to avoid grief, we forfeit the chance to love because, as Lewis stated, grief and pain are always love’s price tags. On the flip side, when we accept the inevitability of heartbreak, we are one step closer to developing the courage it takes to love, no matter the cost.”
I hope this helps someone besides me! It takes courage to keep going when you have a broken heart. It takes courage to let yourself love someone again. It takes courage to say that the pain of loss is worth the risk of letting go and allowing your heart to love again.
And, when I say love again I mean love at all.
Love for yourself.
Love for your kids.
Love for your family.
Love for your friends.
Love for your future spouse.
Allowing love AT ALL takes courage. Just like stepping onto that roller coaster takes courage. Just like crossing the sea in a storm takes courage, choosing to allow love to flow through you after you have been crushed takes courage.
I am praying daily for God to continue to give me courage. I don’t know how long I will live on this Earth, but I do know I want to love again. I want to be happy and I want to live for God, because He loves me more than I will ever realize. He loves you too and wants that for all of us.
As I keep moving along this roller coaster ride, I am looking for fun and trying to let go of fear. It’s not easy. In fact, it is the toughest thing I have ever done! But, God has given me the ending and I may be riding the roller coaster through the storm…but I will be ok. I’m pretty thankful for that knowledge this morning!
Have a happy day y’all! I hope to see y’all again real soon!