I John 3:18

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I Remember Now.

It's been a while.

For a long time, I've wondered if telling my story in this life with grief is important, if it's necessary, if it's needed.  Honestly, I wonder sometimes because of the things I'm told (or not told) by others.  Other people have a lot to say (not say) about my grief.  Such is life, we all have opinions. Yet sometimes, it is because of what I tell myself.  So I intentionally didn't write for a season.  Because of other voices, because of frustration, because of many things.

It is difficult to walk this life with heavy grief.  It is difficult in ways that I can't truly describe.  It's often lonely, as I know others have felt the same way, we wonder if we are alone in our deep hurt.  We wonder if it's "time" to stop feeling this heaviness.  We wonder when it's time to stop talking about it.  Often, we have people in our lives who will flat out say or hint that they've had enough.  And that is their choice, I've learned to read between the lines and when to stop sharing that piece of myself with those who don't care to hear anymore. But the hard truth for the ones that live with grief is that it's never "time" to stop carrying it, it's just time to keep going and coping and finding new ways to navigate through life with the pieces of ourselves that are still missing.

As I sat through Church the other day, My Love said something that I cannot get out of my heart or head.  While speaking about those words from Psalm 13 (NASB) "How long, O LORD?  Will you forget me forever?", he said the following:

 "Sometimes I wonder if  God doesn't respond with the same refrain, 'How long are you going to forget?'  I don't believe God's response to us would be, 'How long will you forget me?'  I believe God's response would be 'How long will you forget yourselves? How long will you neglect to remember continually that you are children of God? How long will you forget that you are not powerless? How long?  You have a voice, you have strength, you have stories, you have experiences, you have the capacity to bring about the change you wish to see in this world.  How long will you forget yourselves?'  The Kingdom of God does not come about in this world simply through prayer, it comes about by seeking to be the answers to the prayers that we offer.  Not because we are the solution to all the world's problems, not because God can fix anything and everything through us, but because we have offered ourselves as the Body of Christ.  If we are a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world, then we will remember the God who demands that we remember ourselves, and what He has given us."

I forgot for a while.  I forgot those times when someone is told to shut up about their broken heart that is weighted with grief.  I forgot the times someone told another they need to get over it and move on.  I forgot for a minute that grief is such a mishandled, misunderstood, and misrepresented thing in our world.  I forgot for a minute how callous, brutal, and un-Christlike people can behave when the subject of grief comes up.  But people reminded me.  Whether it was someone telling me that they finally felt permission to grieve their Mother who passed away fifteen years ago, because they were made to feel like something was wrong with them for so long.  Or the sweet friend who reminds me that she, too, still wrestles with her grief.  Or the precious friend who tells me that she has no idea what she'd ever do without her Momma...and how in the world do I do it??  Or my husband on a Sunday morning, preaching on one thing, and unknowingly reminding me of a different thing... that my story is important.  I remember now.

I can't fix everything.  I can't solve everything.  But I do long to be a part of this Body called Christ...and I do care about you people so very deeply.  I can keep telling my own story, writing about my own story of grief that was handed to me---with no choice of my own.  I can try to have a part in helping people cope with their own grief, because that is my prayer for so many of you....
***That you know you are loved, you are not alone, and your grief is sacred, my darling.  I will keep seeking to be part of the answer to that prayer that I live out every single day.  And I will keep trying to do my part in this body, so long as I have a voice.*** 

I went to call her the other evening, My Momma.  She's been gone since December of 2007.  It's 2016...
I need her still, want her here still, and she is still gone.

That is grief, y'all.

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