Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Roadblock of Grief

First of all I want to say that this blog post is a highly journal- like entry. This is a process I'm going through which is likely to be interpreted wrong or harshly. It's part of a process that can't be ignored or shoved down. It has to be walked through but it's not very pretty. It brings up thoughts and emotions that are not always right but have to be worked through in the light and truth of my faith in Christ, but it's not a smooth trail.
From reading the following you are very likely to draw certain conclusions about me. I take that risk in writing about today. I try not to worry about what I put on the blog because I want it to be real, but this one may require some grace from my friends to realize that it is a journey and not a final destination.

I hesitate to write much any more about my thoughts on loosing Dad. Why? Because I think that people around you don't understand how you can be processing something as if it just happened last week and yet, it has been nearly a year now. I wonder if the reader may say "enough all ready, you're just trying to make everyone feel sorry for you". I can honestly say, that is not my goal and I hold back a lot out of concern of the appearance of wanting to stir up pity. I don't' like the whole drama queen scene but running from it keeps me from expressing when I probably should. So today I'm letting go of the fear of that reaction (or perhaps just letting you know it's there and I'm working through it) and go on with what today was like.

I went to the ladies tea at my church. It was a lovely event as always. I took my two girls and my mom was able to go this time of which I was glad. The ladies who shared did a wonderful job and are both women I love to glean from. However, I was not expecting the theme at all and it threw me an emotional curve ball. The theme was "the provision of God" which sounded good but I did not really think it through at all. What it ended up being more so was a message through word and song of trusting God even when he brings us big hard things. Much of it from our main speaker was gleaned from our bible study book by Jerry Bridges "Trusting God Even When Life Hurts".

I don't know what has happened to me. I felt so selfish for my emotional reaction to today. I had to detach myself to get through the morning. That is not like me. Months ago, these topics were healing to my soul. All of a sudden I have lost enthusiasm for my study and the whole topic of trusting God through trials. It's not that I disagree with it either, I fully agree. I have found such deep life changing truth in this topic and it has ministered to our family greatly. All I can relate this to is that it is just like being served the same dish of food over and over and after a while you don't want to eat it anymore. I knew that if I let myself really feel the hymns today that I would loose it. I found myself resisting the message just out of exhaustion of hearing it in such great repetition over the past year. And yes, sometimes you go to that very selfish place where you don't want to eat a dish that is being served from someone who has never eaten it themselves and doesn't know how hard it is to chew, swallow, and digest. Perhaps I look down at the "plate" and just don't have the energy to take it on all over again. To bring it up in my heart and go through the whole process once more. Today, I couldn't do it, and my spirit refused. The result was complete exhaustion for holding it in and not wanting to relate or engage mentally.
I am frustrated for myself and the selfishness of this attitude. I know that the message was wonderful and one or many have been ministered to by the message today. So, I think of them and pray that the Lord would use it for their growth. I have to remember that (and this sounds so obvious but when your in it, it's harder than it sounds) it's not about me.
The roadblock seems to be that I cannot seem to apply these trial lessons to my everyday life. Trust me, I have tried. I have gone through this study and different messages from different people and tried to ask myself, how can I use this for God's glory in my every day life. Every time I try I am blocked by this huge roadblock of grief. I see my dad, and the issue is huge. I have gone through periods of being hard on myself for not being able to get around it. Today, it was there again. I feel I can't talk about it because everyone else moved on months ago. I understand for one moment, a smidget of what it must be like for my mom. I am coming to the realization that I need to give it time. This huge trial needs time to fade into the history of my life. Not that I forget, but just that it has to have time to heal still. I know this is true when I continually can't seem to get around it. I don't mean that I resist trusting God about it, I fully do and have for a long time. What I can't seem to ponder or grow in, is how do I trust God in my daily stuff. When people give talks I try to make my mind go there, but it seems to have wheels of it's own and it backs up and runs into that roadblock over and over and over. There is no visible way around, over, or through right now. Perhaps this is a sign that I need to give myself more time.
For me personally, I'm ready for a new topic. I don't want to keep going through this one. God obviously wants me to keep chewing on it right now but I am not wanting to. I long for a good message about how you put one foot in front of the other and move on in your life. I want to remember the promises of God and hear encouragement for the future. I'm tired of talking about trials. This is just me focused on myself right now. I know I need to pray through this and get on the other side of it. For today, I'm just needing to be real and talk about how it's there.
I long for something new on the menu of life, for a light dish that goes down well and gives lots of energy. It may not be what I get in life, but it's what I'm longing for right now. A breath of fresh air, a new leaf turned over, a beam of sunshine so bright that my eyes have to close from it's glare, a birds song that speaks to my soul. Yet, the storm still seems to rage around me even when I think it is passing, and it starts up again. I find myself longing to hide from it out of pure lack of strength to stand out in it again. There have been many days that I have said like Steven Curtis Chapman "Bring it on! Let the hard rain fall, let it make me strong!" Today I don't have it in me to say that.

Be merciful to me, God; be merciful to me
because I come to you for protection.
Let me hide under the shadow of your wings
until the trouble has passed.
Psalm 57:1

Perhaps sometimes we just want to hide and take respite from the battle to get through or around something that will never go away. Only in God's time will it dissipate so we can see again. I find myself thankful that he is so faithful to be the God who gives strength when he wants me to stand and fight, and the God who is strong and ready to in fold me in his wings so I can just hide. Oh, I am so thankful that he knows me, he sees and he cares. He knows how hard the dish of grief is to eat and swallow. I know he understands my emotions that overwhelm and make me push the plate away. He is patient. He does not always expect me to be a warrior.


tricia w. said...


I will pray for you. You are right. I can not comprehend the emotions you are going through. I just want you to know that I am here for you and will listen.

tricia w. said...

I know it is probably hard to be told everyday that the loss of your Dad is for your own good. I do not have any wise words to tell you. I can tell you that God loves you and promises to help you through this trial. I Love you.

Christina said...

Alicia, I thought of you and your mom and prayed for you both while I was preparing this talk and giving it. I knew this was going to be hard for you.

I was reading a biography of Helen Rosevere this past week. She talked about feeling stuck in a valley when she wanted to keep moving from one mountain top to the next. She learned that sometimes the valley is "shadowed" by the mountain top you've just come down from. It can feel like you're going backwards, but really God is moving you forward, on to the next mountain. But the "way" is through the valley.

I'm sorry it was a hard day for you. I care about you and don't mind that you need to keep talking about your dad. With love, Christina

julie said...

hi alicia...your post was so touching and transparent. there simply is not a time table for grief. how could you possibly expect yourself to NOT feel this grief so deeply when you had SO many years with a father you loved deeply and who loved and cherished you so very much? writing and talking about your beautiful memories and allowing yourself to express the feelings of pain and sadness is therapeutic. it is good that you have close sisters in Christ that will let you talk and cry as you do this. the hardest time i have had is when i thought God's silence equaled His absence. i have REALLY struggled with that in the past year or so. anyway, i will pray for you too.

Amy B said...

Hi sweetie,
My hubby lost his dad when he was 16. He described it like a void in his heart, something you can't replace. I am so sorry for your loss, Alicia. Even 18 years later I say that to Steve. God designed us with a place in our hearts for our parents. Don't you apoligize for one second for missing him or for crying about him being gone, in fact, I'd think you were crazy to not feel like that anymore.

Beth Moore says all the time that where your hurt is, ask God to tend to you there. In Ephisians it says that the Holy Spirit moves gently and deeply in us. His name is the "Comforter." HE is working, and your job is to cry it out and tell Him how much you hate that he's gone and dare to ask Him to fill up that hole in your heart.

I love you!

Zimms Zoo said...

I haven't faced a loss so deeply yet, but I enocurage you to visit the blog that is linked on my blog (joel's Journey) It has been over a year since he died and she still grieves very deeply and shares it, raw and real, with those who read.
She might write something there that touches your heart. She still deals with the anger and grieve. She asks God why?

Alicia said...

thank you all for your gracious words, it was encouraging to hear from each of you.