I’m afraid to speak my grief out loud or to actually feel it.
Why? Because people cannot handle it. They want to fix. They want it to be easy or neat or not chronic. Shoot, I want life to be easy, neat and not have chronic hards. In fact, I expect that reality every day only to be met with a better one.
A better one, you say? Not better as in more comfortable or more palpable, but better as in the deepest gift I could be given. It is a gift I forget I desperately need…a gift I look like a brat responding to…a gift which lays me out and exposes my ugliest parts. It is a gift that does not appease the taste buds like cheesecake but nourishes like apple cider vinegar.
Yesterday, my friend, JC, spoke briefly before communion. He said our lives were a cycle (just like Christ’s). We are chosen, blessed, broken and given. I felt the heaviness of the word broken. In the last month, in particular, we have been in a battle in parenting where we do not have the answers. We do not have the capacity to power through. There is not a strategy or a plan or the “godly” way to tie things in a bow. We have come to the end of ourselves–so, yeah, I feel the brokenness.
I also see how in the last 3 years of parenting that the Lord has used our chronic sorrows over the realities of Sensory Processing Disorder to give hope away. A support group was formed and people can come together to identify and to share and to encourage and to pray. Were it not for this painful place, there would be only isolation for some. Were it not for this painful place, there would be no #getrealwednesdays. Were it not for this painful place, I could not give grace upon grace to young mothers (I might think I have it all together–or at least fake that I do.)
I DO NOT have energy within or without to fake it. For this reforming people pleaser, that is a gift. I don’t say this in an arrogant way because it is nothing I have manufactured–only God has birthed this–but I am making a difference in my pain. It is because of the Lord’s great love for me/us that we are not consumed. His mercies are new every morning. I want people to know the power and reality of the Gospel of Jesus that He takes dead, hopeless things and realities and makes them come to life like the blooming garb of Spring.
These last 12-15 years of my life have been a systematic breaking of my supposed dreams, my hopes, my desires. Daddy’s Parkinson’s and death, Infertility, Greg’s Rheumatoid Arthritis, My depression, and now in parenting–Sensory Processing Disorder have dismantled my coping mechanisms, my supposed control, and my self-righteous heart. See, God is not a God who appeases our whims–who listens to our guidance and plans. He is the Ancient of Days. He is Wisdom. He has all knowledge and righteousness. He holds Eternity. He is Savior. He is Just. He did not come to save or redeem or restore me in part but the whole. He is not a Santa Clause God that listens to our fits and whining of the moment and says “oh, you are right, you do need this toy, this car, this success, this guy, this behavior out of your children, and then you will know that I am good.” He is a Good, Good Father who sees beyond our momentary pain and calls us deeper into Him to find the ultimate Hope,
He says, “jennifer, I know your heart hurts wanting to make things easy and palpable for your boys. I know you grieve when everything seems to be a challenge. I know you long for ease and comfort. Do you believe in my goodness? Do you remember my faithfulness to you at every turn to refine you to be more like Me–to know Me more? Don’t you want that for your children, your husband and more for yourself? You were created to make a difference for My renown and My glory, and being broken allows my message to be poured forth in love to others. Look at the tapestry I have woven with the pain you have experienced…It is more beautiful than a painting or life that you could manufacture…Do you trust me and know that every step of this life is a gift to steward well and that I will not leave or forsake you? Do you trust me that ALL hope and fulfillment that you “lose” here will be gained in eternity?”
My heart is burning within me. I’m on my front porch swinging in my new swing literally ablaze with love for my sweet Savior. I know He has me and that He has my family. Does that mean ease? No. Does that mean rich life? yes. yes. yes.
I write to create a space to wrestle out my heart with the Lord. Thank you for letting me share. What are you afraid to say? What pain are you not facing with Him? What are you trying to stuff down. You were created with a purpose–to make a difference–that includes every single part and pain and experience. I pray that you have courage to truly live.