The gloomy day in October reminds my mind and body of so much pain and hurt I’ve experienced. But this October is different. I’ve felt this before each year that passes. It’s not fresh, but it’s still present.
Grief comes in waves, yet such a steady flow. This feeling makes me bend and at times it feels as if I could snap but God some how helps my heart to bend the other way.
I’m writing this not because I am burdened and weary now, but because I have been and the feeling of the October days reminds my heart and mind of that weariness. I wanted to sit down, with a clear page to write how I am processing and feeling because I am thankful that I am able to do something like this and know that my story could encourage one that reads this. Maybe you are having a hard time catching your breath.
The leaves begin to change and the excitement for the cozy season is always anticipated, but so is the fear of the unknown. Burdened and weary of trauma and the reminders of all the grief we’ve felt.
I’ve learned something since experiencing grief. It’s a muscle memory. The moment you’ve experienced deep grief, any form of grief reminds your body of the past grief, and naturally you’re reminded of all of those memories.
This year I’ve voiced my fear to God. But I also don’t feel fear when I am speaking to Him about it. It’s almost funny actually. I laughed today when I said, “God, my body is weak right now and I feel burdened and weary physically,” and laughed as I said it. Almost like he was sitting with me and laughing too. Just like the pages in Hind’s Feet on High Places,
““The Shepherd laughed too. “I love doing preposterous things,” he replied. “Why, I don’t know anything more exhilarating and delightful than turning weakness into strength, and fear into faith, and that which has been marred into perfection. If there is one thing more than mother which I should enjoy doing at this moment it is turning a jellyfish into a mountain goat. That is my special work,” he added with the light of a great joy in his face. “Transforming things —to take Much-Afraid, for instance, and to transform her into—“ He broke off and then went on laughingly. “Well, we shall see later on what she finds herself transformed into.”
― Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet on High Places
I think about that quote a lot because my relationship with Jesus since starting with my suffering has taken many turns and gone up and down many mountains and valleys. But there came a point where we started walking this three leg-ed race in sync and I wasn’t trying to pull my own way or make Him drag me. Now, when I fall..He gets down with me and picks me up and we are able to laugh together and keep going. My burdens and my weariness isn’t shocking to Him. He isn’t thrown off by it and I’m pretty confident now in voicing how I’m really doing and He’s been pretty straight forward with me in what I need to ask, do or say.
When people ask me, “How do you get close to God?,” “How do you deal with anxiety,” “How do you stay consistent in your relationship with Christ?”
I struggle answering those, as I’m sure most people do. I’ve never been one to have a formula, or have a specific guide on “How to.” But what I do know is that it wasn’t my own doing. I hit the bottom, I was in utter darkness. I saw the light, and I couldn’t turn away from Him. If I went the other way, I wouldn’t be here. I had to choose Him or my life wouldn’t be where it is now. It was absolutely necessary for my mind and heart. No strength of mine could do it on my own. I’m not that strong on my own, but with Him, my strength and boldness feels like David approaching the giant with stones. He had absolute confidence. David was prepared in Him. Not even his own brother believed he could do it, and thought his intentions were off. But David knew he could face this Giant as he was prepared from his days shepherding and keeping wild animals away from his sheep.
How often has God prepared us through our days where the burdens and weariness felt great, but the times the Giant is preparing for battle we walk forward with confidence knowing we’ve been in dark places before and can knock that baby out with 3 stones. That’s how I feel since facing a couple giants.
I remember after one specific huge legal meeting I had, I walked in without fear. Almost numb feeling I felt so peaceful. It felt as if I faced 3 Giants. I walked out with my chin higher and I remember going to the grocery store after and saying to my mom, “I’m taller. I feel taller.” Because the boldness and strength that God poured within me to fight those battles created my tiny 5’2 self to feel like more of a Giant than the 3 I faced.
Your Giants haven’t prepared with God by their side like you have the ability to and your burdens and weariness can catapult you into God’s arms to prepare your heart and mind for battle. & As you do, you might find yourself laughing alongside God for the preposterous events set before you.
I get down on my knees every so often and thank God for trusting me with the little He’s given me (and again when that trust grows to be larger), and I also have since thanked Him for the pain. He kept his promises and all of those I’m seeing before my eyes.
But, I’ve openly wept before Him as I’m overwhelmed by His graciousness of even giving promises, and it’s too much to fathom that He is also fulfilling them.
And in my humanity, although I see the fulfillment and doubled over blessings of what was lost, I still mourn what I’m missing. & I tried many times to hide that in fear God would see me as ungrateful. But Jesus reminded me he traveled for days to see the family of Lazarus even knowing he died and would come back to life. He wept. With already knowing the fulfillment of the miracles to come. He knows the ache so much. He also reminded me that of course I miss wholeness. Wholeness in Him is His intent for His creation.
So we weep together, and we laugh together. And you can do that too.