16 July 2020

What to do with all this loss.

When we were in Kansas, we spent as much time as we possibly could with a family that is so precious to us. All of Anna's wedding dreaming and planning and re-planning has been shaped by this virus. As her wedding day grows closer, she has had to give up dream after plan after wish, and while she bears it all beautifully, it is painful. 

This wedding will only happen once, and it will NOT happen the way she had always wanted. No where close to what she'd always planned. Won't even include most of her dearest people. In such a happy, prayed for, long-awaited season, and the the gaining of a godly and wonderful husband, there has been so much loss...for them and for their families and their friends.

I keep trying to fix the same-storm, different-boat situation with my sister. Fragile and rambunctious Mayah cannot travel. Nor can she be around people who have travelled. And I can't get to her without traveling.  No matter where I look, there is loss of her and her sisters...and it is weighing me down deep these days. I MISS my family and I am far from all my homes and I. can't...I can't FIX it.

Our dear friend is about to undergo major, scary surgery, and with covid afoot, she faces the table alone, family waiting in the car.

There is LOSS coming, friends, for this new school year. Lots of it. Even before it begins, there is loss in every possible plan.

There is a list of loss you are experiencing that I don't even know about...loss of babies, loss of plans, loss of dreams, loss of hope, loss of parents, loss of friends, loss of finances, loss of stability, loss of time you can't get back...and you may be bearing it beautifully, but it's still painful.

The only time I've felt so similarly overwhelmed by loss was by the loss of my mother.

It wasn't a one day loss, the day she died.

It was forever loss, again and again.

I lost her, that day, to meet Matt, ever. I lost her at my wedding, at my graduation, at our commissioning. I lost her phone calls, her help, her advice, her food, her comfort, her friendship, her forever wisdom. I lost grandma holding my babies. I lost grandma knowing my children. I lost mom that day and every day and every day still.
Sometimes I bear it all beautifully, and sometimes I ache too deep for words, but either way, it is painful, and unfixable.

Months after mom died, I found the only solution that has ever truly transformed loss, and I'm relying on it again as of late.

What to do with all this loss? 

The losses are too great to bear, these ones. I can wrestle with them endlessly, but they will overcome me. I cannot emerge from them without bitterness, without pity, without anger, without darkness. I will not be able to survive them, nor redeem them, nor bear them.

So I name each one, I describe them, I painfully handle them...large and small, and physically put that loss on Him. 

Lord, I should be squeezing my nieces next week. HERE. 
Lord, my mom should be here for this, do something with this, please.
Lord, I needed a good goodbye from Haiti. Best of luck with that one.
Lord, this is NOT supposed to BE like this. Here you go.
Lord, this is as broken as it could possibly be. Merry Christmas.

And when I give it to Him, I GIVE it to Him.

I ask Him to smack my hand should I attempt to take the loss back, and He Does. How often the Holy Spirit graciously reminds me that I am trying to wrestle back what I have already surrendered, in trust.

What does He do with them? I don't even know. I guess that's not my problem. 

I just know that He takes it.

I know He doesn't wrestle with what to do with all the loss. I know He is not overcome by them. I know He bears them, holds up under them, cares about them.

I know they don't turn Him sour, break Him bitter, or resort Him to pity. Perhaps they make Him angry, true, but HIS anger...it is just and right and purifying. His anger I can trust, unlike my own.

I know they don't diminish His light, not in the least, in fact, the darkness of loss, though He weeps when we weep, isn't even dark to His glorious light.

Somehow, sometime, someplace, He redeems them. 

Sometimes, I see it. Most of the time, I don't.

But trusting what we canNOT see is what this faith journey is all about.

I can't reverse the painful chop to Anna's guest list, comfort myself with the delightful squirm of sweet nieces in my arms, can't sweeten the loss of home for my children with visits to water parks or museums or zoos or even find a church home, can't watch a friend's children so her husband can hold her hand as doctors prep, can't propose a pain-free plan for all the complicated messes of a new school year.

What to do with all these losses?   

Give them to Someone Else. 

Create an empty place, instead, and THAT He fills with Himself.

Unlike so much else right now...that is something I can handle.

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