Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why is it so hard?

...To walk away from a loss?

That was the question Pastor Randy asked me this weekend during the sermon. 

It was part of looking at the story of the children of Israel being led into captivity.  To have 'lost' their home, their identity, their traditions, their freedoms… loss after loss, divided with the 'important' people  taken and the poor and weak left behind.  We may not know 'exile' as the children of Israel- but we know loss.  We know separation.  It may be permanent loss-or may be temporary.  It make come sudden or come on slowly.  It doesn't matter if it's death, or divorce, broken relationships, loss of something precious, such as a job, or even a dream.  Loss effects us all.

Why is it so hard to walk away from a loss?

Ren & I have talked about that so often.  Since Leisha died, we now understand why some people experience a loss and never seem to be able to move forward again.  It's as if their feet get positioned in cement and to move is literally impossible.  Even though we were trying to take next steps, so often it felt as if we were in mud up past the top of our head and not only could we not step, we could not move, we could not see, we could not breathe.  That's how paralyzing it can be!

Why is it so hard to walk away from a loss?

My friend, Patty, shared with me afterward that the reason she finds it hard to move forward is that this place of grief is "the closest place to the last time I was happy".  To move forward means to walk away from our happy place. To move forward means  moving toward uncertainty, the unknown.  To something that holds only a hint of goodness- but we can't imagine it at any level.  I remember thinking 6 years ago, how can we ever be 'happy' again?  God you promised that your plans for us were for a future and a hope- ours just died… how will things ever be good again.

Yet here I stood!  6 years to the month later, so keenly aware that I was speaking as someone who was moving forward.  LEISHA'S HOPE was a huge step for us!  It felt life- giving! 

But It is hard!  When tragedy happens a core place inside of us dies.  Everything we believe about ourselves,  past, present and future are suddenly in question.  Everything we ever believed about God is now under a microscope- scrutinized by our definitions of what a 'good God' looks like if he allows this to happen in our lives.  Our confidence wavers- therefore, so does our ability to trust that we know what the next step is, even if we did have the ability to take it.

Jerry Sittser says in A Grace Disguised  that 'it can be good' again.  Life can find it's joys.  It's different than you dreamed before, but it can be good.  I can say that too- because God is good!  I know I didn't always feel that way.  There were many days I sat on His lap -beating his chest till I couldn't even breathe any more.  But in the end, the beating stopped, the tears came.  And I was still in his lap.  I fell into his chest and there found such comfort. 

I don't know what the future holds!  I wish I could say I am unafraid.  But I feel fear very strongly.  I know that God- even being good- is not safe (as they say about Aslan in Chronicles of Narnia). He definitely doesn't do his 'God thing' in the way we would often want Him too. But there is no where else I'd rather be than following Him, being carried by Him!  No matter what happens, He is the only place I will find comfort and healing, strength and courage, vision and purpose!'s to that next step!  How about you? Would you go for a walk with me?

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