Friday, February 21, 2014

A New Grief

Over the past 3 years, it is no secret that I have struggled with Joshua's death. I have experienced every type of emotion and every facet of grief.

I have felt God's presence in ways that are inexplicable, and I have also felt completely abandoned by Him. There have been times of complete clarity, and times that I couldn't tell you which way was up. I have been able to clearly explain my feelings and my grief, and there have been times that the words just don't come.

Lately, I've been struggling again. But again, as time has gone on, my emotions and the way I process my grief has changed. I've become more private about it. I don't share it with my husband or even my best friend. I often find myself thinking that it's pointless to even express my grief any more because there is simply nothing new to say about it. It's all the same old, same old and for lack of a better explanation, I'm tired of it.

But now there is a new and festering aspect to my grief. Anger.

Not anger like the rage that I felt at Thanksgiving just a month after Joshua died. No, this is festering, bubbling over anger. It's anger that makes me feel isolated and alone. It's anger that is being directed towards everything and every one. It's anger that scares me.

I haven't written here in a  long time. I have stopped writing because my grief has changed. I haven't NEEDED to write. But I'm finding myself in a place that scares me and I don't know how to fix it.

I am angry and if I don't figure it out, it will destroy me.

So what am I angry about? Everything.

I'm angry at the God that I love with my whole being. He did, after all, allow our baby to die in my arms. He allowed my husband to be 2 hours away when our baby died. He allowed me to be alone and have to tell my husband that his son died and then wait for two hours until he could get to the hospital. He allowed our family to be seperated by over 100 miles for over 2 months while Joshua was alive, only to be taken away. He allows my husband to question whether his own son even knew who he was!!!

He allowed our family to be subjected to attacks from complete strangers who blamed his death on me mere moments after Joshua died. He continues to allow those attacks to come, 3 years later after the fact. He has allowed 3 long years of painful healing and growing. He has allowed me to continue to struggle with anxiety on a daily basis- despite my pleas for refuge. He allowed my dad to die at the age of 56 just a mere 14 months after Joshua died. He allowed so many other things that have been and continue to be so incredibly painful. And I'm mad at him for it.

I'm mad at people who are guilty of nothing but reminding me of myself and my life before Joshua- a painful reminder of who I was and the person that died inside when Joshua died. I see their innocence and their faith that comes so easily- even though they think it is hard. I hear the Christian platitudes of, "I'll pray for you" and "God won't give you more than you can handle. You are so strong." (which, by the way is not even Biblical!!!!) I hear things like, "Just look to God for your answers." or "You have a wrong view of God, that is why you are angry at him." I look at people who bring hardships upon themselves and then complain about it as if they are completely helpless to fix the situation. And all of these things make me so ANGRY!!! (I know there have been so many blessings and good things that have come along the way, and I'm not diminishing those things.)

Now, I know in my head and in my heart that God is good. I love him with my whole being. I have seen his mighty hand in my life and through Joshua's life. He has given us so many blessings despite the pain and suffering.

This is why worship is so hard for me. I worship and love a God who has allowed so much suffering and pain  in my life. It seems so contradictory. But I love Him. And I trust Him.  Completely.

But that doesn't take away my pain. It doesn't take away the anxiety that I surrender every. single. day. of my life. It doesn't take away the fact that my baby is nothing but a pile of ashes that sits on top of my dresser instead of a wild 3 year old running around making me crazy with exhaustion.

I'm having a hard time reconciling my anger and my love. I can't begin to understand how good and faithful God has proven himself, yet how much pain I have in my life because of what He has allowed to happen. I just cannot make sense of it.

So here I am. Writing again. Please bear with me while I work this out. Be gentle with me as I tell you of my struggles. And offer your words of wisdom and your prayers.

I am determined not to get stuck. I feel like this new grief is just another part that I need to work through, and I KNOW that God will be faithful through it. He will get the glory. I just need to work through it.



6 comments:

Beverley said...

Glad you are writing. You and the family have had a rough 3 years. God can handle your anger, He is bigger. You appear to be very aware of your emotions, well done.

Father, surround Jill with your love, may she be comfortable sharing her greatest frustrations and fears with You. And, Lord, grant her a renewed peace and joy.

Bumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bumper said...

I feel as you do. It has been five years and I am at a standstill in my relationship with God as I find it hard to equate a good God with the God that has allowed so much suffering in my family. He knows all things, so he knew how I would react - that tells me he didn't much care or he would have answered my prayer. I remain ambivalent in my feelings towards him. God my be good but he hasn't been good to me in recent years!

Dina Jean said...

Jill - I've been a prayerful follower for years. I applaud you for being so transparent with how you're dealing with your grief. I won't say that I understand completely, as I haven't lost a child...but I will say that I have lost someone that I loved more than myself - which is how we love our children - so I can relate in that way.

I have found that in quite a few blog posts you talk about worship - this one is no different. I am a worship leader and have experienced first hand that heavy chains can be broken as though they were made of nothing at all. I feel impressed to tell you that you are drawn to worship, and you fight worship because your healing will come one day during worship. Is there a 'coffee house' or an IHoP or just a place where there is worship and prayer for longer than a regular church service? Perhaps if you face it, embrace it, accept it, and let it wash over you, you will find what you need. Press in to worship, as much as it hurts. Press in to the anger and let it go at the altars. Press in to a God who loves you beyond your wildest imagination and who will use this season to strengthen your testimony.

Please PLEASE don't take the above as me telling you what to do or what will absolutely work for you...but I read your post earlier, I prayed for you and your family, and I really felt like I had to share my heart a little with you. You've been so transparent with us.

Praying for you - Dina

Dina Jean said...

Jill - I've been a prayerful follower for years. I applaud you for being so transparent with how you're dealing with your grief. I won't say that I understand completely, as I haven't lost a child...but I will say that I have lost someone that I loved more than myself - which is how we love our children - so I can relate in that way.

I have found that in quite a few blog posts you talk about worship - this one is no different. I am a worship leader and have experienced first hand that heavy chains can be broken as though they were made of nothing at all. I feel impressed to tell you that you are drawn to worship, and you fight worship because your healing will come one day during worship. Is there a 'coffee house' or an IHoP or just a place where there is worship and prayer for longer than a regular church service? Perhaps if you face it, embrace it, accept it, and let it wash over you, you will find what you need. Press in to worship, as much as it hurts. Press in to the anger and let it go at the altars. Press in to a God who loves you beyond your wildest imagination and who will use this season to strengthen your testimony.

Please PLEASE don't take the above as me telling you what to do or what will absolutely work for you...but I read your post earlier, I prayed for you and your family, and I really felt like I had to share my heart a little with you. You've been so transparent with us.

Praying for you - Dina

Anonymous said...

Stumbled on this page. Lost my 1st child (only pregnancy after 9years of marriage)to HLHS last December and this summarizes how I've been feeling.

 
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