I John 3:18

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

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Your Tears are a Means to an End, Your Pain is God's Project. (NO!!!)

*We talk so much about how deeply we miss you, and that's because we love you so deeply.  We miss you on birthdays, holidays, and other big milestones that keep getting passed throughout our lives.  You always poured so much of yourself into us.  As a very special person once pointed out to me, you were always good at making those around you feel special.  This coming Saturday is your birthday.  February 7th.  More than words can express...we wish you were here, so we could celebrate you.  We'd make a big deal about you, reminding you how loved you were (are).  If you were still here, that's exactly what would be on the agenda for this weekend.  Momma, you are so missed.  The following post is not only in memory of you, but in honour of you.  I miss and love you so much.*

God takes everything bad, and makes it good...and the same will happen with your grief.
God's timing is perfect, so trust that He let it all happen for a reason.
God is trying to teach you something.
It's in your pain that God is using you for others, so just trust the "plan".
All the tragedy is happening to get you to a "deeper" place in your life.
God is allowing the tragedy to happen to you, so you can help others...

***As if God uses our deep, miserable, dark, aching grief as a means to an end.**
 I have heard phrases like those listed above countless times over the past few years.  I know so many other precious humans who've heard the same things.

May it never be!  May we never see our grief as a way to "polish", or "mold" us into something. 
May we never view grieving people as projects!!!
May we never, ever, ever, ever, ever cast aside another person's sorrow as a "stepping stone" in their
faith, ignoring the very real and obvious emptiness death leaves them with.

When one is given grief, it lives in every moment.
Grief is now.
Grief is here.
Grief is raw.
It fills your Tuesdays, your Sundays, your afternoon coffee, your morning yawn. 

May we all stop looking in on someone as they ache from the inside out, thinking and saying, "Well, God is trying to teach them something."

Maybe, just maybe.......God wants to teach you how to hurt with them.
Maybe that's the lesson.
Maybe it has more to do with you.
Maybe it is to teach you empathy, love, compassion, and feeling.
Or maybe.....it just IS.
NO lesson at all, for anyone.
NO big scheme to pull you into a "better" you.
Maybe the sorrow is just here.
Maybe we just need to learn to live in the darkness, the uncomfortable silence, the sadness, the tears, the loneliness.  Maybe, just maybe.  Maybe we can learn to just *sit* with one another 
through the pain.  Maybe God meets us in our pain, and hurts with us...

Living with grief is not something people choose.  When we've lost someone we love, it happens TO us, not BECAUSE of us.

If God is so macabre to have to inflict heavy pain on us to teach us some "lesson", then I want no part.

I believe God is much more loving than that, my friends.

Putting my heart, tears, and sorrows into writing...then binding them all up in a book, are not ways to say, "Hey, look what good came of this!".... 

May it never be seen that way!!!

One of the reasons I write about the hellish world of living with grief is to meet other humans in their own grief.  Maybe to open their eyes about dealing with it.  Maybe to just help myself.  Maybe to open someone else up to helping their loved one carry that grief. 
But never, NEVER, as a cheap way to eclipse the Deep Sadness I carry in living without my Momma...

That is a cheap way to view life.
That is a cheap way to view death.
That is a cheap way to view grief.
And that is a cheap way to view God.

Everytime I've heard words uttered like the clichés listed above, I want to say, "Yeah, you're right.  God let my Momma die early, tragically, unexpectedly, hellishly, all because I needed to learn a lesson.  My Daddy needed to learn something.  My sister needed a lesson.  My Momma's siblings, her friends.  Though it's an absolutely egotistical way to view life,  I'm so thankful God did that, aren't you???".......though I've never actually said any of that.  But sometimes, it takes a shock like that in someone's ears to get through to the cold things we often say.  Don't repeat things just because you've heard them, words are important. 

I only considered publishing some of these pieces of myself after thinking of all the other people who reached out to me in their grief, because grief is pure hell.  And when you're alone in it, it's worse.  And when someone is telling you empty things about it, adding their own theology to it, and telling you you're "doing it wrong".....well, I am unable to even describe how damaging that is.

May you realize in your grief that it is never meant to be a means to an end.  May you know your hurt is real, it is deep, it is raw.  May you remember that God meets you in it, and doesn't cancel out your pain with a cheap cliché.

May you always be free to grieve.