Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Feeling Like a Clay Pot

Yup, that's about it. Feeling like an old worn out clay pot these days. Last week was absurdly terrible. Nothing made sense. I had all these random emotions at once; anger, sadness, loneliness, more anger....
And I was all the more frustrated because I couldn't pray my way out of it, read my way out of it; even worship was dry, so I was really stuck.
I know I had some justifiable reasons to be there. Finding out my (former) son-in-law had his girlfriend move in with him not even 4 months after Jessica's death, conflicts with him and Kayla, with him putting her stuff (she had once stayed there with he and Jessica) out on the driveway and other little nips at our relationship.... It all just broke my heart. I had to release him into the life he chooses. You might think that's as it should be and you'd be right, except....for how much I love him. In spite of our many conflicts over the years, Cory and I had developed a fairly good relationship. To the point he could respect me, which wasn't easy for him. So, what should've been no big deal hit me harder than I expected.
I've also had some relationship conflicts with friends. And then there's the old "everyone is getting on with their lives, having babies, etc.etc." and so much of that is lost to me. Perhaps there was some self-pity rolling around there, I don't really know. It was just a dark place to be and hard to function.
Whenever weird stuff happens to me where I can't be my normal, positive, everyone means well kind of person, I try to think of who I can relate to.
Last week I was relating to people in depression. I've known several Christians who battle with it. They do all the right things, prayer, reading their bibles, trying to worship, listen to preachers, etc., but can't get out of it. Even well-known believers have been there. And it is certainly a part of the grief process.
So, relating, but without any real answers in this, I came to a magnificent conclusion. Ready? "Be still and know that I am God". Heavy, huh? :)
Job got some revelations, but never any real answers to why he went through what he did. Moses. Why couldn't he go into the promised land, I mean really....hitting a rock with his staff? I've done much worse. And on and on. We go through what we go through because He IS. Because He is all-powerful, all-knowing and is doing as He chooses in our lives. Can I really live with that kind of faith and trust?
Can I trust that if my daughter's destiny was never to have children, to only be on this earth 23 1/2 years, that it's part of a perfect plan? Can I live this life with dark days, sometimes weeks or months, not feeling an ounce of his presence, yet continue on in obedience and literal blind faith, trusting that He'll be on the other side when it's over (not ever really leaving me)? If I have to watch other people that I love die of cancer, will I be okay?
I think the answer is yes. Last week I felt like an empty, dried out, useless clay pot. I felt like I had nothing to give my family, my church, my jobs....just very empty. This week, some much needed refreshing came to me. Some of it from a dear friend who's walked through the fire of grief also, some of it came from a challenging teaching tape from Lisa Bevere, some of it came from hugs from my babies (my hubby was away in Chicago these two weeks), but ultimately Jesus decided it was time and lifted me up and out.
I think I feel like a broken clay pot this week, a little more brokenness, a little more compassion, a lot of thankfulness that I wasn't there longer, and even more understanding of my loss. I'll settle for that.
As long as it was His doing and He never leaves me. But I have that part in writing. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Always About Choices

The weekend was going pretty good, surprisingly so, I thought for our first Easter without Jess. Then I opened my Facebook.

There were pictures of my (I guess now former) son-in-law happily posing with his new girlfriend. Talk about a punch in the stomach! I realize I may have unwittingly gave him permission. Monday was his birthday and even though he's been phasing out of our life these past few months, I made him his favorite spaghetti dinner and brought it over to him with Jordan and Joy. We had also wanted to see his new puppy....or should I say new guard dog...it's part pit bull and already has quite a bite! My relationship with mean dogs is not a good one. I've been bitten once and cornered another time, so I won't be frequenting there too often. During our visit, we talked about the future and the dating subject came up. I said I understood if that was starting to happen and would never want him to feel he had to hide it. Ooops.

I had no idea he was already in a serious relationship. And they seem happy together from the pictures. Another time, down the road, I know I would be happy for him. But not this and not yet. We all think (the family here) that our girl deserved better, a little more time to be honored and that's just the way it is. No matter what the statistics say or grief counselors...that say this is common with men who were previously married....she deserved more.

He and I Facebooked (Webster is behind the times here)a bit, he and I. And he does love us. But ultimately, he's made his choice and will continue to do, that as we all do. Do I think he's ready and this will be a long and healthy relationship? No, not at all. But my prayers will go with them both. And our pain over this will ease in time.

He also brought over more of Jessica's stuff from her past. School papers, letters, cards and always, books! It was the books that made me cry the most. She loved Robin Gunn books and I was always looking for new ones for her. She loved all kinds of books, some deep and heavy, some light and romantic. We had the same taste in books which was fun. She would be so excited about the new Francine Rivers book that just came out! We'd be fighting over who would read it first :).

Anyways, in all this with Cory, I was thinking about all the choices that people make every day. We don't even realize how many we make. And how each one can affect the next.  Small bad choices easily lead to bigger ones. Even in the littlest ways. We choose to stay up too late and our next day is not as productive cause we're lagging. Then we're playing catch up all week. We eat that second piece of pie....and well, you know where that leads! We choose what we listen to, what we watch, what we wear, one decision after the other and they all have consequences. Some things will build up our spirits, others will bring it down. Some choices will show others our salt and light, others will cause us to just blend in. Maybe we skip church here and there. Soon it gets easier and easier to sleep in. Next thing you know the voice of the Holy Spirit has gotten quieter and quieter and we're listening to our own reasoning instead.....in every area of life.. instead of God's word. How easy the trap is set when we don't make good choices. I feel bad that Cory had chosen to work out his grief without church and church support, without God, I'm supposing. I wish that all these choices wouldn't lead him to greater heartache down the road, but life without Jesus as Lord eventually does.

Right now, we're making choices here. To love, forgive, and pray, even when it hurts. And every day my first choice really needs to be to spend time with Jesus. Somehow when I do that, He feels invited to help me make all the rest of my choices for the day. Not that I always listen, but I'm working on it!