Grief is a funny thing. It nags at you and hangs like a weight around your heart. Grief can make you shut down and numb over, living primarily on the surface of things, just doing the next thing that needs doing. And, in our lives there are a lot of things that need doing. If I take a deep breath and look at myself, I see the numbness of grief and I don’t like it. It’s ugly and I can’t seem to shake it off of me and I’m angry. I just don’t know at what I’m angry. Am I angry at God? No, but my feelings are hurt. God hurt my feelings.
Corbin has this cute thing he says when he gets in trouble; “Mama, I lost my feelings.” While I know he means that I hurt his feelings by getting after him, it touches my heart in the way he is trying to convey the message.
I, too, have lost my feelings.
My feelings are all over the board; off the board really. I go from highs to lows, east to west, longitudes and latitudes and just plain attitude. Again, I can’t pinpoint to what I need to address these lost feelings. Who do I need to talk to to work it all out and bring life to this reality? Thus, the numbness sets in and I think about what was, the people we were and the life we enjoyed living and I grieve. I suffer. We suffer.
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” (Phil.1:29)
Thanks, but no thanks. I will just take my happy, go lucky, Christian living. I’m not spiritually mature enough to be granted such a privilege. God, give it to someone else more worthy of such a cause. I don’t remember suffering being in the agreement when I opened the door to you. I didn’t check that box agreeing to those terms and conditions; or did I?
Ouch. It isn’t in our born nature to want to suffer and we avoid it at all costs. I mean, who really says “thank you sir, may I have another?”
I suppose we can bear suffering knowing and believing that His promises are true. There is a silver lining.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Cor. 1:5)
But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. (Job 36:15)
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.(Ps. 119:50)
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”(Mark 5:34)
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”(Rom. 8:17)
Silver lining. I was honored to find such a silver lining the other night; it was inside my child’s heart.
I have often been plagued by the question of how these circumstances are affecting Corbin. Does he sense that something is “off?” Danny struggles with fatherhood at times and I find myself having to step up to the plate and be the tough one along with the nurturing one. Corbin in his developing three year old ways, recognizes that Danny doesn’t have the ability to jerk the proverbial knot in his neck, so he tends to push the envelope further with Danny than he does me. It burns me up that he takes advantage of this, but moving back to my point. How does living with Danny’s disability develop foundations of person in Corbin?
Sunday night we were able to take Corbin with us to see The Gipsy Kings concert, thanks to our friends K and D who came along for the fun. It enabled us to spend some time as a family, especially since Corbin is obsessed with Gipsy Kings music. Seriously, he is.
Nonetheless, about halfway through the concert, after it was dark, a young couple about our age entered and sat at the end of our aisle with their handicap son. Their son was about Corbin’s age and was confined to a wheelchair. Being the active and observant little boy that he is, Corbin kept passing by these folks and I’m sure was working out this family in his little brain. He asked our friends K and D what the wheelchair was, what had happened to the little boy that he had to have a wheelchair and why. Heavy questions and he just kind of soaked it all in.
He’d watch the concert, sing along and steal glances at the little boy. Corbin had obviously made an impression on the other mother because she gave him a small stuffed lion. Corbin looked at it, clutched it and ran in my direction. I gave the obligatory wave of appreciation. But, what Corbin did next stopped me short and broke a bit off the wall of numbness.
“Mommy, I want you to talk to that boy.” he says. “Why, Corbin?” I reply. “Because I want to give him my necklace.” he answers.
Blinking back tears, I pick him up and hug him. K and D had bought a flashing, colorful light filled necklace for Corbin. Actually, they bought two because he broke the first one and cried wanting another. And, here he stands before me telling me that he wants to give it away.
So, Corbin gave out of his heart. He recognized a difference and gave a gift.
I found a silver lining.
As Kim Arnold writes what the Lord impressed upon her heart, the gifts are greater than the grief.
For this moment, that is enough.
Update on my nephew, Brett:
Thankfully, Brett does not have cancer. The cyst in his femur is a “shadowing” on the bone where it seems hard tissue and soft tissue meet. The doctor would like to see Brett in four months with a new X ray to see how the femur is healing. Thank you for your prayers for my brother’s family and specifically for Brett. Praise the Lord! Another gift in the grief….