Giving Myself Permission

May 19, 2007

The greatest strength of my first month of mourning the loss of my mother was the fact that I was desperately crying out to God. Second to that was my firm decision to give myself permission to be weak… to mourn, to grieve, to cry… to be less than functional.

(Well… an incredible community and the hope of the resurrection also fit up there somewhere in the top two. Yeah… try to figure that one out, I have four things in my top 2 things I had going for me in the time directly following my mother’s death.)

As was probably highly evident in my last grief-related blog, I suddenly stopped being gracious with myself. I have identified a couple of reasons for that sudden change of attitude, but placing blame isn’t actually all that helpful. So we won’t develop that theme. Let’s just leave it at: I stopped giving myself permission to grieve and be weak.

That was a bad turn of events. So… we are back to plan A again. I am human. I loved my mother deeply. Her death means devastating loss for me. It is ok to be weak. It is OK that it hurts and I am feeling pain. It is ok that I cry a lot. It is ok that I am relatively dysfunctional at times. It is ok if I need to ask people for help. It is ok if I don’t understand every detail of what happens to me.

So… here I am: wounded and hurting and trusting the Lord. My future is secure. My Father is faithful and good. He has good plans for me. His leadership is perfect. My King is about to take over the world… really soon. And when He does that… things are going to look really different around here. Goodbye sorrow and shame and tears and pain and death and wickedness and injustice and darkness. Hello life and joy indescribable.

I don’t understand what is happening, but He does. And He is ok with the fact that this is more than I can handle on my own. Actually… He likes the fact that I can invite Him to help me. He’s the humble One who loves to serve. And so here I am… being ministered to by the Ruler of the Nations… the God of Creation.

My life is actually pretty stunningly good, when you think about it. My mom is gone. That hurts a lot. I miss her terribly. And I will continue to miss her and mourn and grieve. Jesus wept. He gets it.

You may have noticed this, but I seem to be on an upward slant right now in the roller-coaster of this whole grieving process. I really like these ascending times. I think the week and a half prior to mother’s day were my lowest valley/trough if you were to chart out my emotional well-being and stability up to this point. And I am not about to declare that they will continue to remain the lowest point. I have no idea what lies ahead of me.

But I do know this. God is good. And He isn’t going to leave me. He will not forsake me. His grace is sufficient. His grace was sufficient during that incredibly difficult week and a half. And look… I still love God! His leadership is perfect. He is trustworthy. Steadfast love and faithfulness. I will overcome.

I just let out a huge sigh (seriously, you should have heard it… it was great)… Praise the Lord.

OK, now I am yawning. I actually need to go to sleep right now. The desire to write just kind of hit me when I was getting ready for bed. And I decided to go with, rather than fight it. We’ll just call it part of the grace that I am giving myself as I walk this thing out. 🙂


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