Sunday, November 23, 2014
THE HOLIDAY BLUES
This is the time of year, that most of us bereaved moms struggle with the most. Too much to do, on top of not feeling "up"…it just all gets to be too much (understatement of the year)…
Newly bereaved moms-don't expect too much from yourself. You've been shattered. You've suffered the worst blow to the human body and soul that is possible. It's going to take time to heal, to eventually bounce back. (Yes, it is possible to bounce back- in time.) It's not going to be easy, but we have One who has suffered as we have, who understands human weakness and suffering and sorrow. He's especially close to us when we feel the most alone and in the most distress. Even if we don't "feel it"-He is there with us in the trenches...
That phone call from a friend you just received- that you hadn't heard from for so long? Influence of the Holy Spirit, prompting her/him to call. That card in the mailbox that took you by surprise? That finding on the sales rack of one size left (and it's your size!)-Encouragement from the Holy Spirit. Yes, I truly believe that even such things as surprise finds on the Clearance Rack, are given to us, as encouragements from Above. To help us continue the race. He knows our energy reserves are low and we're faltering…These little kindnesses from Above, are highly individualized, also...
Even minute amounts of water and light, help sustain a plant that's struggling.
When I look back over 30 years (this Dec. 22), I see how my early grief contrasts so sharply to my mindset now. I'm all about keeping a positive mindset, now. Seeing that glass as half full. Focusing on our upcoming Reunion…gain and not loss. Not letting myself "go there" because nothing good ever comes when I'm feeling blue and then "go there".
Back then, all I knew was pain. It was not possible to even "feel" for anyone else's pain. I was so completely saturated-every pore contained pain pain and nothing but pain. I simply could not contain any more.
Similarly to an infant getting inoculated-the baby knows nothing except IT HURTS…Wails of protest will erupt, and rightfully so! No one would think to tell that baby, "That's enough now! Stop crying!" (As I was reprimanded by a night nurse, shortly after the wreck.) The child is comforted and dealt patiently with... for as long as it is necessary. We are all God's children.
It's also beyond the child's comprehension, to understand the "Why?"…Acceptance that there is a reason for this pain, isn't understood until much, much later... Pain starting to subside is what finally makes the infant stop crying. And there's usually some lingering residual of whimpering at the shock, the indignity and the awful unfairness of it all…
I wonder why some people feel the need to "tell us" why they think our child has died? So many things said to me early on, didn't fall so much on "deaf" ears, but on "numb" ears. I put up with many people trying to play God, and trying to tell me "why" the wreck happened. And some answers really felt like a whipping, to me…
"You had something you needed to learn!" I was told. And I've been questioned several times over the years, as to whether I was a Christian before the wreck happened or only after… I saw a lot of smugness among Christians... I often felt tiny, while some "helpers" towered over me as I lay "recovering" in my hospital bed …I did learn a valuable lesson…the most helpful response to me was "I don't know what to say, just that I'm sorry…" Less said- spoke more to me.
We need Jesus' help before, during and after all troubles that befall us…When time provided enough of a scab and the numbing effect was gone-I had to call on God's grace- to help me not respond angrily toward those who continued to know "exactly" what I was going through…With the numbness gone, I was able though, to "feel" more for those who had also suffered child bereavement-or any loss, for that matter. I was able to be fed, and I grew.
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)
"Endurance" has been "the" keyword for me, all of the many years since my bereavement. "Patient" endurance…like we're called on to have in Scripture, is something that has to be worked at…it does not come automatically just because we desire it. Not anymore than being successful at anything, comes just because we "want" it…Being so-called "successful" at surviving child bereavement, involves like anything else, "practice, practice, practice"…
Calling on Jesus to help us, is the best singular thing we can do, to help us get through anything-especially the upcoming, perilous holidays. And keeping a reserve of energy, by saying "No!" to anything that will completely deplete us, or even hints at it...helps too. There will, God willing, be many years ahead of service to our families and our Lord… For now, others will need to practice giving us bereaved moms the gift of kindness, patience and compassion. "Rest awhile"…it's not possible- nor even smart-to run uphill with a broken leg. Give yourself time to heal first! And time-coupled with Jesus' helping us- really does help us toward restoration.
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