There has been a streak of days now—two, maybe three, where I’ve just felt off. Surely, you know what I mean. These are the days when waking up is accompanied by the nagging desire to crawl back under the soft sheets and drift back away to some far off land only to wake up again later (whenever later may be) feeling rested. These are the days that make laying my life down for my kids and serving my husband feel nearly impossible. The end of my thread is frayed for some reason and all of the unexpecteds feel as though they get me just under the skin enough to forget the soft, love part altogether. I’m telling you, it’s a string of days like these that make me want more than anything to sneak away and call my mom. To ramble on and on about the details meaningless to anyone but her, and to cry a little, or a lot, but to be heard nonetheless and cared for in the minute details that I don’t even understand or always count as significant.
It took over a year before my urge to call her began to fade. Our sudden loss of her stole the breath from our lungs, and left us doubled over, as though someone had just punched us in the gut. All of a sudden the waters felt deep and swift, pulling us along this path we wanted to fight, but as soon as we picked our feet up to begin swimming upstream, we were swept away into a whirlwind of grief.
Four years later, and I’m maybe just now coming up for a breath. Maybe I’m just now able to speak of her without crying alone later on.
In this stream of consciousness, I’m not sure what lead me down the path of speaking about my mom, but I must say, it is in losing her that I’ve been drawn into the melancholy side of myself that I was not acquainted with on the same level before losing her. Maybe it takes walking through a season when you have to give everything in you just to survive, that makes you able to understand grace all the more. It’s helped me to give grace in the missed phone calls, in the strewn together dinners, in the inability to speak up, in the nights of binge watching Gilmore Girls, in the quick glances that say more than one thousand words could, in the questions asked to avoid being asked, in the prayers only uttered in silence. I’m able to spot the survival-mode in others more quickly and give grace, knowing that sometimes it takes everything in us to just get out from under those sweet, soft sheets in the morning.
Hearing things like, “everything happens for a reason” or “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or “God has a plan” sometimes makes me want to throw up on people’s feet. When you’re hurting, the last thing you want to hear is that the loss your world revolves around currently is just a tiny drop in the ocean of God’s swelling sea of sick plans for you to come to the light, so to speak.
Loss is all around us. It’s in the blood spilled on the concrete unjustly, it’s in the lives laid down for our protection, it’s in the hearts of our friends whose unspoken dreams are hovering just out of reach, it’s in the bride’s eyes as she walks down the aisle without her father, it’s in the pain of a life lost long before it was truly gone, it’s in the child’s eyes whose hope is dwindling. We have to know how to offer our hearts in condolence. When the light feels stifled from our view, when it feels as though we’re in need of a deep drink of fresh water, may we grow up in the cracks, and begin to see that sometimes life doesn’t make sense, and it hurts beyond repair, and our fragile hearts bleed here, but the rain can seep into the smallest cracks. And while it falls out of the darkest of clouds, it has the power to bring forth new sprouts of life. Hold fast, dear friends, if you’re hurting or if you’re learning to love your hurting people. May Jesus come near quickly like a “swift strong tide, taking the darkness from the night.”
End quote taken from Tow’rs song entitled: “Swelling Sea.”