I John 3:18

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sweet and Sorrowful You, You're Not Alone.

When I started writing about grief, this blog was a safe place for me.  I needed it more than I can describe.  When I took everything I had believed, been taught, and been told up to that point in my life....and aligned it with what was happening in my life---(happening TO me, not what I'd brought on myself,) nothing lined up.  Nothing matched.  Nothing meshed.  Whatever the word is that describes it, it was not jivin', y'all.

After all these years, I am still here behind the screen.  Venting, crying, laughing, documenting, writing, for whatever person who cares to read.  I have no idea why you would, but I appreciate it.

It is dear to me that anyone dares to explore the deep chasm of grief alongside me.  I find it beautiful, and many times it has spurred me on to keep writing.

I've been wanting to write about something that has been weighing on my mind.  I kept putting it off, mainly because I don't have the time I wish I had to write for days on end.  Life is busy, as we all know.  But I keep seeing it all around me.  I just want to share my two cents, for what it is worth.

There is this theology being passed around, I'm not sure what to call it.  I'm sure if you check the television, news, and every social media website, you'll come across some of it.  It marries positive thinking, positive words, and tosses in various Bible verses to support the cause.  Before I go on, let me just say that I am a pretty positive person, often cheesy, and I think most people would agree.  I'm not saying we have to toss it all out, but.......

For the family who is dealing with the unexpected loss of a job...
For the wife who has just been told her husband has only weeks to live...
For the child who was tragically left as an orphan...
For the family mourning the suicide of their loved one...
For the couple that cannot conceive...
For the one who has just buried their loved one...
For lives taken by the acts of a murderer...
For the child who had unspeakable things happen to her...
For those being treated with hatred, in the name of someone's god...
For the person grieving their loved one day in, and day out...

MUCH of this "positive thinking theology" has to be tossed out, immediately.

No, there is not always some reason for every horrible tragedy.
No, God may not be trying to "teach you a lesson" through this reprehensible thing that has happened.  (Oh, trust me, my husband and I have been told this countless times from countless people!)
No, sometimes there is NO answer for the suffering that has come your way, and simply will not leave.
No....dare I say?...God's timing is NOT always perfect!  We can believe in the goodness of God without making every horrible thing look like they all "happened for a reason".  We can believe that God's timing is NOT perfect, and that God is still sovereign.  They don't have to be held apart from one another.

Sometimes, life is NOT about dancing in the rain!

Sometimes, life is ONLY about screaming in the rain, shouting in the storm, crying in the sun, and mourning in the moonlight.

Please stop using cheap cliches/platitudes to try and diminish the pain we all know is often very real, ugly, and agonizing.
We are unable to move through grief if we are pretending, or being made to feel as though we should pretend, that it doesn't exist.  We canNOT keep moving through this life in an honest, real, and thoughtful way if we are constantly handed these empty words, plastered with the name of "god" on them, and being manipulated into thinking that what we are feeling is wrong, or ungodly.

Sometimes life is raw, unfair, rough, hateful, sad, empty, and maddening.  The good does not always cancel out the grief, regardless of how much we wish it did.  All too often, we must learn to walk hand in hand with both.

Sometimes I am so angry at God, and I tell Him.  Sometimes, I don't.  Sometimes I'm so angry that I ignore God.

Do you know what?  I wholeheartedly believe I am still a beloved daughter who is loved by God.
I bring my questions, frustrations, grief, anger, madness, and bitterness to Him......
And oh, so many times, I come away with NO answer, no resolution, no peace.

And that is OKAY.  I am okay with that.  I don't want to follow a God that cheapens this beautiful life by giving me a neat little sentence that wraps up all the reasons I have had any heartache.  That is shallow theology, and nothing I want a part of.

I remember being told so many things regarding the unexpected loss of my Momma.  I found comfort in my husband, because he'd quickly remind me the truth.  Sometimes by his words, sometimes by loving me through sitting with me as tears drenched my face.

I know some people don't have that.  I know some beautiful people are out there, they have no soft spot, they have nobody to encourage their grief, and they have nobody sitting and sharing in their pain.  You wonderful, brokenhearted, sorrowful people....you are one of the biggest reasons I write.  

We can use so many eloquent words, sprinkle in pretty positivity, toss in some chopped up Scripture, and throw it all in that big ol' pot.....yet it will still be tasteless, and lacking in sustenance. 

There are times in life when all we can do is taste the salty bitterness of our own tears, or the tears of another.  We can get through it, we will keep going, but we need one another.

Grief without honesty cheapens the beautiful gift of life.

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