I’m new on the road of grief and I do not pretend to be an expert or have all of the answers. And yet, what makes one an expert on grief? Must you have a degree? I do not have a degree in Psychology but I do have the perspective that one year of pain with loss brings. I sometimes read my journal entries from last year and I feel a rawness in the words that, thank God, I no longer feel most of the time. I have grown a sheer, thin layer of skin. It is still very, very tender and sensitive and the pain never far away, but there is healing.
Over this next year, I will be writing a series about lessons I have learned from this past year. Lessons I’m not sure I ever would have learned…
Earlier this year, our church had a women’s tea. The speaker was a woman named Judy Squier. She is a woman born without complete legs and 3 fingers on her left hand. When told of her birth, her father remembers the doctor saying “Your daughter is going to live, I am sorry to say”. She said she had “a hunch that her birth announcement had an invisible PS that was obvious to everyone: “In lieu of balloons, bring a hankie.” Her talk was entitled “His Majesty in Brokenness”. She has a book with the same title, His Majesty In Brokenness which looks to be a very insightful read. I connected with her title immediately. While my brokenness may not be instantly observed, it is there. And I know that there is Majesty in it.
Her whole talk was inspiring but one thing that I want to focus on for this post was when she said that now that she’s older, she is able to look back at the past as if in a rear-view mirror and see where God was present in it all.
He has it ALL in His hands. He sees the end from the beginning and we need to trust Him with it. Often times, in the moment, we can’t see Him, we can’t feel Him. Sometimes it takes time to allow us to have perspective on a moment. I believe the time involved, the time needed to be able to see God in the moment, is different for each person. I’m certain, with more time, that I will gain even more perspective, see even more moments of Majesty, but right now, one year out, this is what I have and I want to share it.
Here are lessons that I have learned while looking in my rear-view mirror:
Looking back at the moment in a rear-view mirror allows you to see God in the moment. This one is huge for me and I will be writing a whole post on it.
Looking back at loss in the rear-view mirror allows you distance; almost as if you are watching yourself in a movie. You see yourself suffering but you don’t feel it with the same intense pain as you did when you first experienced it. I learned this when I went to counseling. Seeing the loss in the rear-view mirror allows you the distance to examine the painful moment without ripping yourself open and re-living it.
Looking back in the rear-view mirror allows you to see it from another angle. This not only allows you perspective, but it can change it; maybe it will allow you to start to see the good in the bad, as tragic as the moment was.
Looking at pain in the rear-view mirror surrenders the need for control and hands it over to the ONE who sees the end from the beginning. You can’t change the past. But you can surrender to Christ and allow Him to use you for good in the future. “Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be” Sonia Riotti.
Looking back in the rear-view mirror allows you to move forward in faith. I can go on because God has been with me all along. I may only see one step at a time where He is leading me, but I know from experience that “faith is not knowing what the future holds but knowing who holds the future” Author unknown.
One year ago, grief put me on a road of insecurity and fear that I didn’t know anything about. It wasn’t a road I would have chosen, but a road I was forced to take. I will write about my thoughts on last year with the perspective that one year of healing brings. I will be writing while looking back in my rear-view mirror. It’s still fresh enough for me to remember (still too fresh for my liking) yet there is healing, a little perspective and a Majesty in my brokenness.