This morning I woke at about 3:30 and just couldn’t go back to sleep. I didn’t wake thinking about food getting cooked, family gathering and laughing. I didn’t think about Black Friday shopping or the crazy chaos of the day.
I didn’t think about anything other than my mother.
My heart was so heavy I could hardly contain myself. I realized that I was starting to dread the start of the day. When Grief starts knocking, I find myself with one of two choices. Fling open the door and have some kind of party (which could be an ugly party, let me tell yah) or lean against that door with all my might, grunting and sweating, keeping my visitor out.
I have learned that Grief likes to especially whisper lies. Lies that I am learning come from the Father of Lies. He likes to whisper that you’re alone in what you’re feeling. He likes to make you think you’re the only who has felt this way. He tells you over and over that this holiday season without your mama will suck.
BUT today I just couldn’t. I couldn’t lay there in bed grieving over my family’s first round of holidays without our mom. My heart wasn’t just heavy for my loss.
My heart was heavy for the so many out there who have to go through this time of year without someone they love.
My heart IS heavy for all of us.
The biggest challenge I find for myself when I am wrestling with grief is the memories. Sometimes I want to walk through memory lane, stop and look at the intricacies of the whens and wheres I laughed with mom, cried with mom, and argued with mom. Sometimes I want to just stuff it all down and not deal with it on that particular day. It’s a constant pendulum that swings with my emotions and I just ride it whichever way it sways.
But through the swaying of emotions I have learned that I cannot allow myself to think God is void in these specific emotions.
And I cannot allow myself to think that I am alone in these emotions.
I just want to remind those of you today who have lost someone that you’re not alone today.
As your family gathers around their table and you get that pinch in your heart because there’s one less seat, know you are not alone.
As you load your children up in the car and think you should have one more car seat this year as the heart wrenching miscarriage you had a couple of years ago replays in your mind, know you are not alone.
If your heart is feeling heavy with grief, let me muster hope for you today.
I don’t pretend to walk high on some mountain of faith. I’m not here to make you feel like your faith is slipped beyond reach.
I just want to come alongside you today and hold your hand with this gentle reminder:
God is with you in your grief. You are not alone today. You are not ever alone.
This morning at 3:30 when I couldn’t go back to sleep, I heard that Voice that rattles me awake. I heard the One who reminded we are not alone as we go through the times of such bittersweet emotions as we celebrate a joyous time of year with the holidays, yet feel the burden of our lost loved ones.
I kept hearing the word brokenhearted. I felt brokenhearted. I started mourning not just my mom, but the moms of many I know who are gone this year.
But then He came close and gently tugged on my heart reminding me that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He sang a love song to me of the healing He brings to the brokenhearted and the binding up of their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
He picked up my broken heart this morning and we wrestled with the pieces for a bit. I thrashed in my bed not ready to receive my broken pieces, but He is faithful. He stayed with me. He told me it was OK. I didn’t have to take them yet if I wasn’t ready.
And you know, that act alone of reminding me of the choice I have opened the flood gates. I ran to Him with the most open heart, nodding my head with tears streaming down my face, ready for the pieces to come back together.
I saw the pieces of my ratted heart, the pieces of tape and glue from the times I tried putting it back. I saw the pieces in his hands, fully mended, with no traces of my shoddy handiwork.
I saw a heart that was whole in His hands. I saw a broken heart that was healed.
Not only did I see my heart being healed, I saw many grief-stricken hearts that have been healed. I saw the promise of healing to come for many hearts. I saw hearts still not ready, but needing more time.
I saw the hope of healing.
And that my friends is what I want you to remember this holiday season.
The Hope that comes.
The real, in your gut, deep in our hearts Hope.
Peace to you,