I think it's safe to say that my life has become pretty chaotic lately.
I'm surrounded by children 24 hours a day 7 days a week. My husband works a crazy work schedule. I try to manage the house, the kids, our marriage, and Joshie Dolls. I'm pulled in what seems like a thousand different directions each and every day. And throughout all of it, grief is intertwined.
In my last post, I was really struggling. Nothing in particular has brought on the grief- it just came out of nowhere and seems to have a hold of me.
Sure, I laugh. Sure, I joke. Yes, I still enjoy life. But the grief is still exhausting. It's still hiding behind every smile, every prayer, every conversation.
Sometimes, I look back to where I was a few years ago. Grief was so fresh. It was so real. I struggled with anxiety, flashbacks, and PTSD. I was clinging to my faith, but I was failing miserably at it. I was angry, hurt, and confused.
And then God stepped in.
He held me when I could no longer hold onto him. His Spirit kept whispering, "Surrender it. Give it to me. It's not yours."
But I fought, and fought, and fought. I didn't know how to surrender it. I wanted to carry it myself. I wanted to FEEL the pain, because clinging to the pain meant keeping my baby alive.
But my baby was never meant to live. Not here on this earth anyway. And nothing I could do or carry or force would keep him here. I had to surrender him, even though he was not physically here. I needed to let him go.
God met me. Right there. Right then.
He met me at my darkest time of grief and reminded me that Joshua's life was never meant to ruin me. Joshua's life was not meant for harm. Joshua's life was perfect and was never out of God's control. In that moment, I surrendered Joshua's life. I let it go.
He was, after all, never mine to keep.
God healed me in that moment. He healed me from the suffocating grief and the terrifying anxiety that gripped my every thought. He took it, but only when I surrendered it at the feet of Jesus.
It would be a lie to say that I don't still struggle. I struggle every single day. I struggle with anxiety. I struggle with the grief. If I'm not careful, those things could quickly become out of control again.
I know that sounds like I just contradicted myself, but hear me out. Every single day, we are called to carry the cross of Jesus. Every single day, we are called to lay our burdens down and to let God provide for our every need. He has done just that. He has provided physically for our family, but he provides for my soul in almost every second of my days. He gives me grace when I don't deserve it. Time and time again, he forgives me.
He offers forgiveness when I let those anxious thoughts in. He understands my struggles and is merciful to me when I mess up. He sees my tears. He hears my cries, and he is mighty to save me each and every time.
God heals me, over and over and over. Every. Single. Blessed. Day- he heals me from the anxiety. He gives me the grace I need to face the next moment. He calms my soul when it is in turmoil. And best yet, he continues to love me. It's unfathomable to me- simply beyond my comprehension. Why would the God of the universe love me so much to continue to offer forgiveness, grace, and mercy when I mess up over and over and over and over and over?
But it's there. His grace covers me, time and time again. I'm so unworthy of it- but he doesn't see that. His Son's blood covered that unworthiness. His Son's blood took that burden from me. His Son's blood was and is enough!!! The blood of Jesus took the responsibility off of me and placed it on Him with every slash, every thorn, and every nail that pierced his body. I simply cannot understand a love like that.
Through it all, something has formed in my heart. Where it once screamed and cried out to God in anger and agony, my heart longs to love God with my every being. Every decision, every choice, every thing I do is based on my love for God and my desire to be obedient to Him. I want nothing more than to be obedient to Him and Him alone. I want to enter into His presence some day and hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Don't get me wrong. I still mess up on a daily basis. I gossip, I curse, I get angry or bitter or anxious. I lose sight of that love for God and the desire to live my life for Him. But at the end of the day, I know that his grace is enough. It always has been and it always will be.
What a blessed reassurance. The burden of this life is not mine. The pain of this life is not mine. Nothing can keep me from him. Nothing.
Thank you, sweet Jesus.