May 11, 2007

I feel like I am crumbling.

My prayers have been reduced to three simple things:
1. “I trust You.”
2. “Please help me.”
3. Declarations of who God is — “You are faithful,” and the like.

I know they are fairly basic prayers, but they count. And somehow, they seem to be the most significant things that I can say to God right now.

The prayer room has become somewhat excruciating. I cry so much that my ears hurt. Most days I wake up with incredibly puffy eyelids. I’ve even cried at work a couple of times.

I feel like somewhat of a failure as an intercessory missionary right now. A very small percentage of my time in the prayer room is focused on our corporate prayer focus or my other prayer commitments. It’s mostly all centered on me right now. Me and my pain. I can’t seem to get outside of it.

Somehow, this last week has been much more difficult than the first couple of months since my mother’s death. Who knows, maybe it is shock wearing off. I think it has more to do with the fact that my mother’s death is not something that I can simply adjust to and move on from. The ways in which this daily impacts me are just growing larger. At first, it had been a few weeks since I last got to hear my mothers voice and enjoy her sense of humor. It had only been a few weeks since I got to hear her heart and share mine with her. Now, it has been a few months. It just gets longer and longer. And those things have become no less meaningful to me.

Losing her will continually impact every turn of the rest of my life. There are countless moments and milestones that she will not be a part of… that is, apart from the lingering impacts of her life.

I miss her so much. I miss her calls and her emails and her voice and her laugh and her smile. I miss her excitement at giving people gifts. I miss her insights and perspective. I miss finding random notes in my phone that she left when I wasn’t looking… simply to tell me again how much she loved me.

I’ve finally decided that it is time to talk to a grief counselor. So… we’ll see what happens with that. It has come to the point where I really can’t walk this out by myself.

As untrue as it may be, I feel unseen and alone. Most of my friends don’t know HOW to be there for me… and thus, they are not there for me as much as I might think that I want them to be.

My relationships feel strained. I have observed this in the last few months: Contrary to what I might have expected, lesser painful things do not impact me less because of the simple fact that they are so miniscule in comparison to the pain that I am bearing daily. Rather, I find that the pain has an amplifying and multiplying effect. So, if a friend does something that hurts me, I feel it very deeply. This has required many difficult confrontations in order to continue to walk in healthy relationships with some of my close friends.

I really want to take a break and get away for a little while. I feel so completely overwhelmed right now. My room is a TOTAL disaster. And, as I said, I feel like I am crumbling right now. I don’t know that it would actually be possible for me to take a break like that right now. I certainly don’t have the available time off. And if an exception were to be made, I imagine that the window of opportunity has passed. On top of that, I have my new commitments at the bookstore. I would hate to come on board and then suddenly jump ship like that.

I don’t understand it. But I guess I shouldn’t expect to. I have those moments where I look at myself and go “What’s wrong with you?” I think that I should have it together more than I do. That I shouldn’t be so debilitated by something so “small”. But it is what it is. And there would surely be something wrong with me if this didn’t hurt like it does.

So… there you have it. That’s where I am and that’s where I have been for the last week.



  1. praying for you

  2. you’re in my prayers

  3. I don’t know you, but I’m praying for you.

  4. Christine, I have been reading your blog for some time and have been praying for you and your family. I thought about you and your mother a lot during our Mother’s Day service at church today. I prayed that God would give you a megadose of comfort and peace, that the pain would not overcome you and that you would feel His loving arms around you. Grief has no timetable and no two people can walk it out the same way. I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time in your life. Please know that you are in my prayers.

  5. friend, don’t think anyone wishes you would just “get it all together already”, not that you said we did, but it seems like you feel a certain pressure to do so. pain is pain. and you’ve a good reason to be feeling it and finding time to heal from it. i cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a parent; i’m not very close to mine, so i imagine it would be somewhat different, but nonetheless devastating. to see that you haven’t completely lost it and you had a pretty good relationship with your mom, well, that’s a miracle to me.

    i am praying for you, too, for you to find rest in the Lord and to be able to literally calm down your soul and hear what he’s saying over you right now, singing over you, even… may he come and mend what he has torn, heal what he has wounded, and may you trust his leadership in the midst of it.

    christine, i thank God for you. all of this–it’s going to be worth it…

  6. Christine, There really is no timetable. I lost my day on April 5, 1999 and my sister on May 8, 1999. I still have a very rough time. You do learn to live day by day. My pain and hurt are just as real today as it was then. I didn’t understand my best friends pain when she lost her dad a year before me but after I lost mine I knew exactly what she was feeling. I was very close to my dad much closer than I am to my mom. My sister was 13 years older than me and had been married since I was three but we still had the very close sister relationship especially as I got older. My advice to you is to take you time to cry and grieve. Just remember that God is with you as you walk through this.

  7. Dearest One,

    1. I think you already know this but those prayers are core, essential, powerful. They are, in fact, so much better than the crap folks tend to pray. Silly girl. You’re praying just the right things, prayers that He longs to respond to, that He is responding to, prayers whose answers are ushering in the Kingdom and changing the world. Imagine how much better things would be if we all spent more time declaring (with conviction and the raw truth of necessity–i.e., from a place of not only knowing but needing it to be true) the character of God, crying out desperately that we trust Him and have no where else to turn, begging for His help. Sit and figure out what the opposite of those actions is and you have a picture of the world as it is and the Church in her current pitiable state.

    2. Even in your professed weakness, you are such an encouragement to me and make me so proud.

    3. I’m pretty broken right now myself (yeah, I know that I’m writing a month after you wrote, but I’m okay with that). I won’t go into it except to say that I am grateful just for your presence, but also for the graceful way that you articulate these things and for the positive conviction that you inspire in me just because of the way that you are living your life.

    I love you. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Maybe I’ll be caught up on the blogs by then. Maybe not . . . .

    Um, I think I’m gonna go cry. That’s a good thing, as far as I can tell. It sucks, but it’s good. That’s a common predicate these days: “it sucks, but it’s good.”

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