Truth.....it really can set you free.....
When your whole world comes crashing down on you, and you feel like you are free falling, where do you land? That is what grief feels like, and you wonder where it will end.
It seems to be everywhere I look. Did I not notice it before, or does it seem to more prevalent these days? I'm not sure, but I find my heart broken a lot lately, especially for moms losing their babies of all ages. And I wonder if they'll make it through, soul and spirit intact. Or will they continue the free fall?
I spent my summer feeling suspended in the fall. Depression really took hold and honestly, I didn't recognize it for a long time. I was just going through the motions, spending my time keeping my kids occupied, hanging with Mark, and the rest of the time, pretty much unproductive and uninterested in much. Classic symptoms, I know. And it was obviously still connected to my grief. But lately, I can breathe again, really breathe. And laugh, and look forward to the future. Thankfully, thankfully, the Lord brought me out of the darkness. I just needed some of His truth.
It is always, only truth that sets us free. John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
My first truth came in a prayer spoken at the end of a service one night. A simple one line prayer-word against depression. The blessing of being at our church conference, where I was supposed to be. The lifting of heaviness began.
Then the emails. There is wisdom in the abundance of counsel. The Griefshare emails I get daily have literally been my roadmap on this journey. They speak a biblical word of truth to each season you are coming into. One of them said simply, "Are you stuck in grief?" Then, "it's time to move forward. It's time to let go." Like a huge spiritual slap, I woke up. I started doing the things they recommended; writing a letter to Jess, emotionally letting areas go that I was holding on to...not even realizing I had been doing that; taking on new things. Of course, when you're in the dark place, that isn't even possible, but as the Lord has continued to touch my soul, I am able...once again.
And then a friend, a very good friend, at the right time, called and said let's meet for coffee. Not usually a major life deal, but when you've been in a dark (and lonely) season, a simple gesture like that can be like opening a window that you have no energy to open yourself. I know I should've reached out more, but sometimes even that is not an option. If you've ever been really depressed, you know what I'm talking about.
Somehow I'd gotten stuck, and by facing the truth, accepting where I was, and receiving healing words, the darkness has lost it's grip. I still miss my girl, I still have tears, we all do, but we are truly moving forward.
And now, I can even do some reaching out of my own. Like to the moms I mentioned. My heart just aches for the ones in the beginning of this unbelievable journey. There are still days I don't believe we've gone through this, that our daughter is gone from us. But that first heart wrenching pain no longer has a hold on any of us. Yet, you never forget it. The sleepless nights, the daze you walk around in, tears that are ready to fall at a random intersection, drugstore or restaurant. Songs you cannot listen to, clothes you'll never wear again, pictures you just stare at. No, we'll never forget those months....and hopefully those memories will be a bridge to offer hope to others. And through their journey, they'll have to choose what to believe and where to put their trust.
For me, and I think my family feels the same, grace has carried us, love has blanketed us, but ultimately, we have to face the truth. That's where the free falling ends. Do we believe what we say we believe? Is God who He says He is? Is there more to this world than what we see? Do we lose all hope and faith because one we love returns to the home they were created to dwell in forever?
The truth for me is that Jesus is who He says He is.We can be at peace, we can accept our loss, we can go on knowing that Jesus stands at every crossroad, every tragedy, every victory and weeps or rejoices with us. There has always been a plan, nothing is unseen or disregarded. He understands our anguish and anger, he carries our pain as His own. If we let Him, He will shine His light in the darkest corners of our souls....and do it with unfathomable love. There is always purpose and promise even in the most difficult trials. We may not see it all, but we can trust in the truth, because He is the truth.
"I am the way and the truth and the life..." John 14:6a