Wednesday, September 22, 2010

can you go over that last step again for the 100th time?

“That my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:12

The Devil likes to make us believe we are alone in our pain, that how we feel is what is real. One thing I have learned and am always relearning is that my feelings do not determine my reality.

Feeling in a place that is unreachable is not the same as being in a place that is unreachable. I am not alone. In the past few months I have been humbled by the families who have shared their stories of loss with me and my world has changed in so many ways. I have been comforted and amazed at the courage of mothers who have shared their losses with me, whether sharing your story of loss in pregnancy, the loss of babies two days old, or children you have watched grow to young adults, you have touched my life in ways I cannot describe. I am beginning to see how much our loss and grief binds us together if we let it. Beginning to see that all of our lives are touched by hurt, pain, suffering and loss and that a life without loss is an illusion not worth maintaining. Like I’ve said before, pain is not a contest.

I am not a member of some crazy exclusive club were the entry fee is the loss of a child and only those people understand my pain. It’s not exclusive and it’s not a club. It’s a family. A family bound together by the loss of a child. A child bound so that we could all become members of a family that shares in suffering and joy.

I will only be alone and unreachable because I am the one not reaching.

And I am learning to reach. All the time, God has been waiting for me to realize something very important and take his hand to begin something. Life doesn’t begin again when this is “over”. First because it will never end. Our lives will never be the same. We will always be parents who have lost a child. But the question is becoming, why do I want it to be over? Why am I in such a hurry to not hurt anymore?

Because hurting, well, hurts? Who wouldn’t want to get the heck out of that like greased lightening? But What if running away from the suffering, the hurting isn’t the point?

Psalm 30 has become one of my favorite Psalms of late. (Don’t tell my mom but I am even thinking about getting some of it in a tattoo). Verse 11 in particular:

“You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy”

I discovered the other day, thanks Henri Nouwen that I have been reading it all wrong. Even though somewhere I knew my understanding was off, my heart tricked me into thinking it was saying “when my mourning ends, if I can just get through this rough patch, then I will dance”.

grieving and joy, mourning and dancing, I am being shown, are not mutually exclusive. I believe it is God’s deep desire to dance with us while we grieve. To teach us how He can use the suffering in our lives to create something in us, and perhaps even among us, which powerful and beautiful. And the good times, can really be only be good, when woven when these hard times. These times of hurt in our lives are not just something to get over and through and try not to think about. No. I am learning to stop waiting for life to begin when we can “move one”. I am learning to live fully right now. To smell, to touch, to breathe in every moment of this time with Gideon even though sometimes it hurts more than I can describe.

I am learning to reach for my Father’s hand and let him teach me the steps. For those of you who have had to learn choreography with me, I can see you chuckling right now. It’s going to be quite the process, learning this dance but what a show it will be.

You are welcome to join. No auditions necessary.

“Father, thank you. Thank you for wanting to dance with me when I am so unworthy. Thank you for your Son, for allowing me to share in the sufferings of Christ. Thank you that I never have to bear this hurt alone, that you invite me into your family, that you paid the entry fee. Take what I have, take my life, I lay it down on your alter and pray that you can make it into something beautiful. I give you my son knowing that he has always been yours. Thank you for the loan. For letting me having him for a while. Teach me to love and to live fully and use our lives to bring you glory, to bring others who are hurting comfort, and to show some who may not know the power of your touch in their lives how awesome it is to be in this family”

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