As I have tried to navigate through the grief and tried to help my children through their grief I realized something....Grief is messy and unpredictable and different for everyone! It is different depending on who you lost. The thought processing, the crazy emotions, what brings comfort...even the loss itself is different. It is different losing a spouse or losing a child, it is different losing a sibling verses losing a parent. It is even different losing a parent young or losing them as an adult. There is also a big difference between a tragic death and a long term sickness. They are all extremely painful - none of them are any easier than the other but they ARE different.
Today I am processing a few thoughts...they are difficult and I only share them so you can understand this type of grief. Each grief includes a loss. My children are dealing with the fact that their father is going to miss important things in their lives like Taekwondo Tournaments, graduations, marriages, grandchildren....and it hurts. They miss his humor and his wisdom! They miss having him to go to when....Mom has had enough and is making them clean their room! (He would always come into their room and help them.)
But today I am processing who I am and who I am not. It. is. hard.
1. The two shall become one.
23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh.
Gen 2: 23-24
It is like a part of you is gone. You have to relearn everything! It is a type of "emotional" Physical Therapy. I have had to learn to laugh again, to hold a conversation and even how to tell a joke or story without him. I have had to learn to navigate a crowd without him and even go to church without him being in the pulpit. Parenting, homeschooling, even opening a jar, changing a AC filter, grilling...all this is so different now.
We functioned as one. It is like losing an arm or leg. You have to learn to live all over again!
2. Dreams have to change.
We had dreams. They included each other! Everything we did - we did for the future of US! How do you dream now...what are my goals now?!? All my "why's" are gone! I was now making plans with out him. Oh! How I hated that.
But in this, God was so good because I may have to plan things without his presence but my plans are for him and for the call HE had on his life and the call he sowed into us! We represent Wade Ivey and that is so comforting!
3. The Knowing.
A marriage relationship is intimate. No one knows you like your spouse does. There is no one else who you feel so comfortable around. Your heart is safe. Knowing someone like that and being known like that...there is no comparison. It makes you feel alone all the sudden. It is a deep loneliness...a loneliness in crowd of people...even your children can not replace that.
I have had to lean hard on Jesus for this. I have had to re-train my thoughts about my relationship with Jesus. He knows me far better that even Wade did and He is here and He is showing me how to rebuke the loneliness! Thank you Jesus.
4. A Shared Identity
Mr. and Mrs. Wade Ivey! I loved that! I was a "Pastor's Wife". It was my title! What and who was I now? Last week our church hosted an event called, Gateway Conference where pastors form all over the world come to be rejuvenated, trained, refreshed and empowered! I stood in the foyer and wept. "That was me.", I thought, as I saw each pastor hand in hand with their wives walking in dreaming and hopeful!
I cried...who am I? At that moment, I could almost hear Wade say it..."You are a blood bought, born again, Spirit-filled, Spirit-led child of the Most High God!" I could feel God's strength well up in me. I am so thankful for the man of God I was given and I am so thankful He discipled me and taught me who I was in Jesus!!! I am complete in Jesus!
Why do I share all this?...because it is so hard to understand these things until you walk them. I had held the hand of so many, as a pastor's wife, who were right where I am today. I thought I knew...I though I could sympathize...but there is no way to know unless someone shares. So I share with you because I think you need to know.
Grief is different for each person. Don't look for perfect answers or try to explain God. It's okay. Just listen and pray and sometimes hold your friend. Have grace for their grief. My kids and I have to constantly remember that our grief is different and the graces we need are different as well. We refrain from being offended and we choose to love and let each other process. Jesus has been so faithful to fill our home with His Spirit. We have felt the power of the Comforter! We are healing...we are learning and we are growing.
Thank you Jesus for all you are doing. Thank you that we will be okay. Thank you that your promises are still Yes and Amen!
God is Good, God is Able and He loves Me!!!