June 28, 2010

I’ve been home from Florida for a couple weeks now. It was a wonderful trip but I wasn’t expecting to have such a hard time adjusting to being at home again. While I was away, halfway through my week I realized I hadn’t thought about the grief of my Mom and honestly, it was so nice. The break in tormenting emotions was such a nice reprieve. I could bask in the warm sun, watch my children play in the surf and could truly enjoy no sadness or gray tinged days.

On the way home I glanced at a lady an aisle over on the plane and she was wearing the same sandals that my mom had worn for months. They were a pair that were made for extreme comfort and had all the velcro straps across them for adjusting to your foot. I remembered when Mom bought hers and how they were so dressy and cute.  A year later she was still wearing them in the winter with socks because her feet were so swollen she couldn’t wear her other shoes. So many memories began to flood my thoughts and I blinked back tears and realized what I was facing when I would land in normal life again.

As we left the airport that afternoon, I felt the heaviness return and settle on me in a very tangible way. After every trip I always called Mom to tell her we were home and then over the next few days I would recount every detail to her. She always wanted to know it all; every adventure, conversation and the funny things the kids would say. She would study my pictures as if memorizing them to really put herself there with us.

There would be no phone call this time. No funny stories retold to her or pictures to go through. Just a feeling of longing to talk to her so badly that I could not shake. I was sinking. If you have ever been depressed, it is a scary feeling to know that you are emotionally spiraling down a dark hole but are powerless to change it or stop it. You reach for whatever comfort you can find trying to cheer yourself. You try to talk yourself out of it, reasoning with emotions and raw wounds. It doesn’t work.

I have found that in the midst of my grief, the one person I can run to for comfort is Jesus. If you don’t know Him this may not make a lot of sense but He really is real and when I bare my heart to Him there is comfort. The Old Testament Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be “Wonderful Counselor” and I am finding Him to be that.

I read a verse a few weeks ago and I continually go back to over and over. It has meant so much to me I thought I would share it. I know there has to be some of you that are going through a hard time too. Something you are powerless to control, but you are subject to walk it through until you see it’s end or it gets better.

Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,Your comforts delight my soul.

I have meditated on this. I love that God has comforts (plural) for each different hurt that we feel. His comfort is not just a neutral blanket of “comfort” that is the same for every hurt, every trial and every person. No, he knows what type of comfort that I need for every variety of problem that shows up each day. That in itself is comforting to my despondent soul.

I’m not saying that I read a verse or spend time with Christ and I magically come out of the hole of hurt and despair. I don’t get up from my chair wanting to skip down the road with a flower in my hand. It’s more like He pours resolve, perseverance and peace into me. He gives me a small measure and dose of Hope for the day. Enough to give me an extra smile for my children and an outlook that someday the pain will lessen and I may want to pick a flower and skip. So if you are reading this and you have a dusty Bible on the shelf, pick it up and open to the middle of the book. There you will find Psalms. It is filled with words for a weary and depleted soul.

If you read something that helps, please post it and share it with me. I am all about gathering words of comfort right now.


Disclaimer:I want to make sure that everyone understands that I really am doing well. I am just working through my grief. I have ups and downs as I go throughout my days and I am just being real on my blog. Because this is what real life is all about: the good and the bad, the happy and sad, the joy and the pain, the satisfactions and the longings. In the midst of it all, God is good all the time.



5 responses to Comfort

  1. Karen, this was so good. I don’t have anything to add (surprising I know).

  2. Karen,
    I cannot relate to your grieving since I have not lost a parent yet. What I can tell you is from talking with people that have lost parents what you are feeling is very normal. What is exceptional though is that you know God in a a very personal way and he holds your hand every step of the grieving process. I don’t think you will ever stop thinking about your Mom when you see items that are similar to things she had. If you did then you would have lost your memories. I remember something your Mom use to always say, Things that happen to you in life will either make you bitter or better. This is one of those things that I believe is going to make you a better person. God has a special plan for you and is preparing you for the task he has in store for you. Please do not ever stop having a open and pure heart where you can express your feelings, pain or happines in this blog. Your openness is something not seen by most people but wished for by many.

  3. Thanks Kenny!

  4. Karen,

    I am sorry to hear about your mom. I feel so remiss in not checking in on you more often.

    If it’s any consolation at all…9 1/2 years have passed for me in Jacob’s loss. It DOES lessen with time…you will NOT lose your memories of your mom…Jesus IS the Wonderful Couselor! He was always and continues to be with me when the times come that something will spark a memory. Grieving is a PROCESS…it takes time and He brings those to us when we are ready to move forward in the process. Each step brings us closer to peace and when we get to spend eternity together again.

    Praying for you, my friend! Call me (816) 674-3869 anytime 24/7/365

  5. Hi Karen,
    I just discovered this post when I followed it from facebook. I appreciate what you wrote about your mom. I can tell you that even though my mom died 14 years ago this month, I have tears come after reading this and thinking about her. God is our strength and shield and He was so real to me during that time of caring for my parents and now having my husband disabled and being his caregiver. Our trust and faith in God deepens during these times of hardship like no other time. He teaches us gently to trust Him and get our comforts from Him and His Word. I don’t mean that I don’t feel His closeness other times, but during those hard times you cling like you never have before and you find trusting brings calm and peace and love to cover your hurts.
    I think as I write this that we are glad that our memories stay fresh. It would be sad to not sense the loss even 14 years later.
    Love you and thank you for being so open.