I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Heavy Hope, and Carrying Darkness.

The soft, hopeful, lit up days of Christmas are heavy upon us.
Yet so many moments are hard, hopeless, and dim for one living with grief.

Five years is nothing.
How can this be?  That seems like such a long time.  I had a toddler when she took her last breath.  Now I have a sweet, independent, amazing, beautiful, intelligent, adorable, eight-year-old boy.  Still, somehow, it seems like only five days.  Five moments.  Five hours.

Five years.

I have learned to navigate through the darkness.  I have learned to own up to all the grief I will always carry in missing my Momma, yet still make it through the days I have been given.  How could I not?  It pushed me into a quick reality check of how precious our days are.  It jolted me into realizing how precious my family is, and beckons me all the more to pour myself into them with every day I am given.

I have learned to walk through the despair.  I can’t tell my story without telling about her, and losing her.  It is now a part of who I am.  How could it not be?  I am from her.  Her blood flows through my veins.  I am her daughter.  And like her, I am a mother.

I have learned that time doesn’t heal the pain of losing a loved one.  How could it?  To say that about a living, breathing, loved one, cheapens life.  Time doesn’t heal this kind of pain.  I’ve only learned to walk through each day carrying the darkness.  With His mercies, His comfort, and the comfort from those who love me, I hang on to the breaths I am still given.  I have realized they are a gift.

It will always be heavy. There will always be this dark cloud of grief surrounding me.  That doesn’t mean I stop living, it means I live all the more.  That is one way I honour her.

Yes, we are wounded, heavy-hearted, sorrowful, often lonely, and tears flow in abundance on some days.  And those tears don’t even do the heart justice!

But He also said we are blessed.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

Though I shake my fist at Him still, He holds me just the same.

This hopelessness I carry is born of hope.
This sorrow I carry is born of joy.
This grief I carry is born of love.

And though this may be hard enough for others to read…trust me, it’s even harder to write.  But I know I’m not alone.  And I write about this hard, indescribable thing called "grief" because it is, indeed, too heavy to carry alone.

For those of you living with grief, I write.

If Christmas does anything, it reminds me of the darkness He was born into.
“After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”  Matthew 2:9-10

*Without the darkness, they would have been lost.*

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