During my seasons of grief I have asked this question, “Does life go on, does it go forward, or will it stop to let me catch up?
That’s a good question. It’s the basic question that all people ask when living in seasons of grief.
What the question is really asking:
- Will the pain in my stomach ever stop?
- Will I ever wake up and not feel the heaviness of a ten-ton weight?
- Will I ever get past the loneliness and sorrow?
- Why when I think I’m making progress, will something just hit me and take me right back to that sad place?
- Why don’t prayer and the encouragement of others comfort me?
When Our Baby Died
As a father, I struggled not so much with my faith, but in finding comfort or peace from God. I was hurting and not finding God very helpful.
As a Minister, I found that my prayers didn’t seem to help. Many were praying for me and that didn’t seem helpful either. There was lots of encouragement, and it was well intentioned and sincere, but seemed shallow.
I was struggling both as a father and as a minister. I didn’t give up on God, didn’t blame him, but I felt like he wasn’t doing very much to help. That’s hard for a minister to admit. It was the not helping me part that brought anger to the surface.
Ultimately, I had to follow the advice I blogged about in Pt. 5. I had to get in touch with my anger and deal with it. I wasn’t really mad at God; he was just convenient for parking my pain.
There would be more seasons of pain and sorrow. And there will be more to come. It may sound glib, but that’s just life. No one is promised paradise on earth.
We say that time heals all wounds. It’s just an expression. But wounds do take time to heal and emotional wounds take the longest of all.
I’ve grieved more than some and less than others. Some people I know have faced grief of nightmarish proportions.
But peace can and does return. For me, the trick was to change my definition, my understanding of peace. I thought it was the absence of conflict, freedom from pain and sorrow. It isn’t. Peace isn’t harmony with the world; it’s harmony with God and with our selves.
A Rose Garden?
In 1970, singer Lynn Anderson recorded a song with these famous words, “You never promised me a rose garden.” Well, my heavenly Father didn’t promise one either.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have much tribulation,” meaning that in this world we will have trouble, hardship, grief, and pain.
We have to make peace with it: peace with God and with our selves.
I pray that all of you who are hurting, grieving and suffering, will find the peace that passes all understanding.
In time we heal; we get stronger, we never forget, but the joy and happiness returns. In the meantime, we lament, we weep, and we sometimes cast our anger onto God and wonder if we will ever feel better again.