For what seemed like several weeks in a row after Eli passed away, our church kept singing a song with some lyrics like, “For Your goodness Lord. For the things You do. For Your mercies and all of the ways you have been gracious to me. I long to sing. I long to sing of Your unending love…” (There’s more but right now I’ve forgotten some of the words.) I would stand there stone faced and listen. Listen with a hard heart and be close to tears each time that song was sung. I hated it. I’d look around at the folks praising and worshipping Jesus while I stood there really mad and angry. He wasn’t good to me. He wasn’t looking out for me. For the previous year and a half it just seemed like one blow after another on us and frankly, I was really close to being D.O.N.E.
At some point, I realized that I really couldn’t live in anger forever. I’m not really sure what changed my heart. It was probably a series of events that I may not even be able to pinpoint. Has that ever happened to you in your grief? Like you’re healing and you don’t even realize it?
At one point in my heart, I knew that I didn’t have a “God” answer for everything. I didn’t know why Mike’s mom died so quickly. Why Tullie was born the way she was. Why Eli died. Why Tullie was on oxygen FOREVER. Why we got pregnant with Ellison so quickly. Why the pregnancy was so difficult. Why. Why. Why. My list could go on forever. There are simply answers that I won’t get. It’s just the way it is. It doesn’t mean that Jesus is less present or less sovereign. He just means I won’t have answers. That’s ok. It took awhile to come to terms with that.
One day I stripped my theology. I went back to the basics. Jesus was born of a virgin. He died. He died for my sins. He rose again. He lives in heaven. He loves me. Then I started rebuilding from there. I have to say it looks different then before. More mature. More put together. More my own. More Jesus.
I cannot say that I am thankful for what my family has walked through, but I can say that I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful for His death, His resurrection. His salvation. It is so much more then I deserve. I’m thankful that He hasn’t let go of His grip on me. Because without Him, I would not be where I am.
I was thinking about this today. How even through my anger and frustration, my saddness and my grief, Jesus was so loving and patient. Sometimes I felt pushed with Christian-ese and pressure to heal, like I had to be where someone else thought that I should be, because it’s been a certain amount of time. Jesus isn’t really like that. He pushes us sometimes and we don’t even realize it. We’re held in His loving grip. For that I’m thankful.