It’s been just over 8 weeks.
Two months that have created an almost unbearable distance. 60 days that have allowed for some healing, provided some space, shown us that we can still breathe and move and live; and that while very difficult, it’s not wrong to do so.
Eventually I will write a post sharing more about the story of Ezra’s short time with us, and some of the reasons (beyond the obvious) that his loss was so deeply dark and confusing for us. (If this whole conversation is new to you, check out this post first, then come on back and join me here.)
But for today I want to talk about something else. I want to continue bringing you along on the current journey of processing life without him, taking one step at a time through the loss. It’s not easy to do that, but I believe it’s significant. This journey, while in specific is so very personal and can’t fully be understood by any other human being on the planet, isn’t isolated to us. And my hope and prayer is that the healing we find as we walk this road won’t be either. So thanks for walking together with me, processing whatever your individual loss or pain is. Our stories are not over, my friends. That much I know.
About 3 weeks ago I began to truly process a reality about the Lord.
A reality that I have never before understood, and that as I grasp it more and more fully begins to undo decades of fear and anxiety and the genuine torment that those awful emotions create. A reality that is so clear in His word I don’t know how it wasn’t a part of my understanding of Him – other than the equal reality that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and that he wants nothing more than to keep us imprisoned in lies that prevent us from the truth of who God really is.
God is good. Always. In all things. And when things that are not good take place in our lives, He is never the author behind them.
That’s bold, you might think. That’s ignorant, you may say. That’s completely incorrect, you could respond. Or maybe if you are one who has understanding of this truth. You might nod your head and say, yes He is, how did you not know that?
Wherever you fall on the spectrum of possible responses to that statement, let me say this – it is true. It’s evident all throughout His word. Look for example at the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), where we are told that Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing…and then healed all who came to Him, offered forgiveness of sin, made clear His work of setting all who would receive freedom, free. Look at Isaiah 53 which outlines the intention of sending Christ here among us and describes how He paid it all, ahead of time, for us. It’s impossible for Him to pay for all our sin and disease, and then create it…
I’m not here as a scholar or theologian, but rather as a child who is coming to understand who her Heavenly Father really is. There are plenty of people who are more technically equipped to discuss the reality of the theology of God’s goodness, and I readily encourage you to seek out the insight they offer. My purpose in sharing this is the place it holds in the journey I am on.
The journey through these murky waters of pain and confusion is being made so much more clear with the understanding that I don’t serve a God who would cause, approve of, or plan my pain for any purpose. Turn it all for good? Yes, absolutely. Plan it to teach me a lesson? Never.
For me, this is life-changing.
It’s not at all how I’ve always seen Him and I’ve lived with such fear as a result.
With this growing understanding I can turn to Him in my pain. I can trust that He hurts for me and desires to comfort me. I can know that He is not okay with the tragedies of this world and that He has always been working to bring remedy.
And I can stop trying to understand why.
Which is the second thing it’s so important to me to share today. When you are experiencing a deeply painful and incomprehensible situation, the least helpful thing in the world is for someone to offer a reason. It’s like trying to tame a rightfully wild animal. It’s wrong and devaluing of all that animal is. It attempts to bring under human control something that never should be. And it does the same to our pain and the situation we are in.
Bill Johnson, who I deeply respect, phrased it this way in a sermon I listened to during these last 8 weeks: “Mystery is where your trust is proven. The life of faith and the life of trust is more than believing for a breakthrough. Sometimes the life of faith is to endure something you can’t explain and don’t have any control of. And both facets of the life of faith are essential[…]There’s a pressure to connect the dots and sometimes the dots just need to stay unconnected[…]Asking why doesn’t mean we’ll get an answer and sometimes leads us into make believe solutions[…]Protect your peace, and peace will protect your faith.”
So that’s where I’m standing, friends.
In the midst of a very dark season, I’m learning to not have to have answers in order to have peace. I’m slowly finding my way back. I’m believing this is still our hope grown life.
Where do you find yourself? Do you even want to talk about it (because it’s okay if you don’t)? Maybe if you’re like me, talking to the paper or the keyboard can be the first and best way to start processing. Whatever you’re going through, and wherever you are at in the working through of it, know I’m an ear on the other side of the keyboard, willing to listen. We’re gonna do this, friends. One step at a time.