I read this quote today and instantly loved it and it immediately provided some needed clarity for me.
I love “God Moments” in my life and this was one of those moments. Just a few days ago I found myself looking through old photos of my mom and replaying memories in my mind. I was happy and sad and thankful all twisted together. My mom went to heaven in 2012 and there’s not a day I don’t think of her in some way. I believe that grief was best described by C.S.Lewis, when he stated, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid” in his book, “A Grief Observed.”
It is also true that grief is a process and not simply an event. The accepted process lists five stages of grief and there’s no right or wrong order in which individuals go through them. Some might be brief while others take extensive time and sometimes stages are repeated before completing all five. Be gentle with yourself and others, navigating these stages is not the same for any two people. I will provide some additional references at the bottom for anyone wanting more information. I can only speak from my own experiences, I am not in a position to offer any professional advice if you are grieving and need assistance please reach out to a professional. My immediate family though small, we all have dealt with death differently and that’s ok, I’ve actually appreciated the lessons and insights I have discovered through this life event that caused processes to begin. I can say with full confidence that my brother, father and myself all have renewed relationships with one another and our family bonds have strengthened and I know in my heart my mother would be overjoyed. God did not call my mother home to cause pain to our family. God is a loving God, He only wants what’s best for each of us. I can say that with confidence now, but on June 22, 2012 at 3:22am…I was crushed and broken! I was not able to see anything good or positive, I felt pain like I had never felt before. I was angry and I did not understand. I trusted my family, my friends, my church and I trusted God. I’m thankful for a loving and patient God, I’m thankful for a forgiving God and a teaching God. I felt sorry for me, my brother and my dad but mostly for myself. I was really selfish! I finally realized that God is God and He’s in control. My mom no longer would suffer physical pains of medical issues, she no longer would have to work twelve-hour days, her mind would no longer have to calculate and pay bills, she would no longer go to sleep tired and wake up to repeat the previous day. She is forever in the care and love of Jesus! My mom loved her family, she loved her friends, she was loving, she was honest, she was dedicated, she was tenacious, she was smart, she was creative, she was funny, she was loyal, she was my mom, she was my friend, she was my biggest fan, she was my biggest supporter, she was a daughter, she was a wife, she was a mother, she was a grandmother, she was an aunt, she was a cousin, she was a daughter-in-law, she was a sinner and she was a saint. I could go on and on, but you get the picture I’m painting. I loved her and I miss her. By the way, I’m not saying my mom is better or more important than anyone else’s…mom are all quite uniquely special in their own way and they are all gifts from God.
When we grieve the loss of someone and our grief process begins the world does not stop and wait for us to do the things we need to, no! Life continues moving forward at the same speed and pace it always had and we must keep up. Over time my life settled back into its previous rhythm and I tried hard to accept the fact that life would go on and I would be ok. Some days I tried extra hard to understand the why’s of it all and some days I relented and simply said it was God’ will. I actively searched out books on grieving, shared with friends and family, spoke with a counselor and my pastor. Talking helped and I also wrote down my thoughts and eventually shared them on this site as well as with friends and family. Writing helped me to focus and seek God, and through this activity I discovered I was changing. I started to see beyond myself, past my dad and my brother as well. I was seeing the world and more importantly the world that God created! God is in control! My responsibility is to trust in God, trust that God has my best interest in mind and that He not only loves my but He died for me, died for my mom, died for my family, He died for you too! It’s difficult for me to admit this but I’ve learned so many valuable life lessons because of the passing of my mother. I could not have learned these life lessons any other way, God blessed me through this excruciatingly painful period of my life. I am not weeping every time I think of my mom, sometimes I literally laughing out loud when speaking about her, reminiscing about her and I even catch myself saying things that she would have said and done only to laugh about it in the end. And, that my friends is joy, pure JOY! I know and can see how truly blessed I am that God gave me such a wonderful mother.
The clarity I have gained is this…
God loves me.
God is patient with me.
God is trustworthy.
God knows best.
“God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good.”
God has been faithful my entire life, I have not always seen or recognized it and often when I do, I have been slow to act but I am seeking to learn more every day and striving to be more like Jesus, even asking the question, “what would Jesus do?” Friends, God has never ask anyone to be perfect, He asks for obedience and repentance. He wants to be part of your life and mine.
John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out…”
John 14:23, “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Lastly, I can honestly say with true conviction that God has opened my heart, mind and soul to an increased understanding of grief, love, loss, clarity, joy and unspeakable peace.”
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, if you are in need of prayer or support please reach out to someone you trust, I am also praying for you as well. Blessings to you!
A Grief Observed by C.S.Lewis
Movie – God’s Not Dead