Friday, December 18, 2009

Ambushed by grief

Today is our anniversary.  Today I got a root canal.  Today we are snowed in and can't leave for Kansas tomorrow as planned.  Today I was busy.  Today I wasn't planning to grieve.
Then why did the pain of the shots in my mouth cause my heart to ache and the tears to flow?  I think sometimes physical pain gives us license to release emotions we keep inside.  Yes, the shots hurt, but that's not why I was crying.  I was crying because whenever I hurt, I remember Anna's pain and it breaks my heart...again.  The doctor offered me a kleenex and kept asking if I was okay.  I couldn't speak, so I just nodded my head.  By the time it was over, I had stopped crying (who can cry for two hours?!)  It was just a reminder that grief is still my companion when I stop to remember how things used to be.

There is a story in Ezra that illustrates this dichotomy of joy and grief.  It takes place after the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed.
"But many of the older priests...who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this (new) temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.  No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping"  (Ezra 3.12-13)
We are rebuilding our lives, but there are times we weep as we remember our former life.  Having my blood pressure taken, giving blood, sitting behind a woman at church who is holding her daughter, are all things that trigger memories and cause me pain.  But "Though the fig tree does not blossom and there be no grapes upon the vine.  Though the olive tree shall cast its fruit and the fields shall yield no grain, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice IN THE LORD, I will be joyful IN GOD my Savior."  (Hab. 3.17-18)


Nikkie said...

Marlo~thanks for sharing this! The verse from Habakkuk is perfect. I appreciate your honesty and clear faith in the Lord to carry you.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post .I can relate in several ways.
As always, I want you to know that even though I never knew your Anna, I will never forget her ...I feel that I know her, and I look forward to meeting her one day .
Kim in Tennessee