I John 3:18

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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Grief, Love, and Wine.

Talking about my own grief is never easy.  It is nearly impossible to find the words at times. Even when I sort of stumble my way through, there's always the remembrance that so many people will be judging me.  It's true, we all do it so often...whether we judge other people, know they are judging us, or even judge ourselves.  We can be so harsh towards one another. We can be so hard on ourselves.

One big, huge, GIGANTIC thing I'm grateful for is a Momma and Daddy who raised my sister and me to be ourselves.  I remember my Momma telling me to speak up, and make sure I don't let people push me around.  It was probably because she knew me well enough to know I'd need to hear it.

(Quick story...)
I recall a time when my heart was broken years ago... (teenage love affair broken, that is).  I was a mess, crying, and did not understand why someone would hurt me so badly.  I knew she and Daddy were upset, too.  I just noticed this look on her face, one that would protect me from any dragon in sight. She told me a few days later that she had this urge to drive up to my school, find that boy, and just fill his mouth up with gravel!!!  I remember laughing, because it was so ridiculous.  Although, I loved feeling that protected.  Now, looking at my sweet son, I feel so badly for whatever young girl(s) comes along and breaks his heart.  No, seriously, I feel bad for her.  Because if you know me, you know I will throw down when needed!  ; )

Back to my original thought. 
She always nudged me in the direction of myself.  She urged me to be true to myself, to take care of myself.  It's what every parent wants...we want our child to be who they were created to be, we want them to thrive, and we want them to take care of themselves.  My parents both felt, and Daddy still feels, that same way.

Ironically, I now use her words to take care of myself, while I grieve her absence in my life.

It has been so freeing to talk and talk and talk and talk and cry and talk about my grief.  True to myself, I guess, because I talk.......a lot.  (Ask my husband.) It is so important to me to grieve freely, because grief helps us trudge through the deep sludge of moments and days when we just miss our loved ones.  Some days are just thicker with grief, heavier with sadness.  We can't quite put our finger on it, but it's just there. 

I write so much about it because it helps me.  I also write so much about it because it is so precious to me to try and give you who grieve that same freedom, to keep going through your days, knowing it is perfectly acceptable, even admirable, and even a form of worship.  IT IS. 

My grief hasn't taught me some grand lesson in life.  It hasn't brought me to some deep place of thought.  It hasn't helped me "heal myself". 
That, I believe, is the great hole in our thinking about grief.  We so often look to be healed of our deep ache, to be healed of the emptiness that now exists in the place of our loved one.  But here's the thing, if we strive for that.......the emptiness will still be there.  They are not coming back.  My Momma, she is not going to walk through the door and come have lunch with me on a Sunday afternoon, though I wish so badly she would! 

I have a feeling that God knows that...I kind of sense that God knows our grief will still be there.  The hope we have, our faith, whatever name you want to put to it...what makes it so important is that there is ***SO MUCH ROOM***. 
Guess what?  We can all walk there, carrying all of our grief, and see a Jesus who doesn't try and shush our grief for one tiny second!!!!!!!  Instead, He may just let us be who we were created to be...He may just want us to be ourselves.  Being true to the grief we carry is being ourselves. 
Maybe after seeing Jesus in that light, we can all scooch over and make room for one another, even when we don't particularly feel like hearing anymore about how much you miss your Momma who died when she was too young, leaving you as a new Momma yourself, and you just want to talk to her for a day. 

Maybe we can find Jesus when we sit down and say, "Here's a glass of wine, tell me your story, and I'll tell you mine."

Maybe if we can make room for that, we can make room for the deep love that resides alongside grief.  Maybe we can find Jesus in one another while we make room for one another's grief.

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