It happened again today. A sudden welling up of emotion surprising me. I don’t know why since I have always been a complex emotional maze. But this time was different. That tear-filled mountain that picked the moment I was on the phone with the doctor’s office to erupt.
Sucking down hard, I urge myself:
“Pull it together—where is THIS coming from?!”
As I process further, I begin to understand something that has taken me years to see. It is the root of grief over my mother’s death that brings tears in these moments when I feel alone—as though no one in this world can possibly understand me.
I realize that, in my mother I had the person who understood me the best and pursued me the most. She loved me in so many seasons when I gave nothing back. So often, I failed to understand her love because it came in a broken form. But, I cannot remember one time that she held that against me. She continued to pursue me, encourage me and spoke every love language to me.
A couple of months ago we would have celebrated her 69th birthday, but eight and a half years ago, after a courageous battle with a vicious cancer, she went Home forever.
Since then, there have been a myriad of times that I have missed her, yet, in the missing, I have struggled for what it is I miss. I’d say, ‘I miss the card she would have sent.’ ‘I miss the welcome home meal.’ ‘I miss her humor trying to brighten my day.’ And the list goes on until I say ‘I miss everything about her!’
As I came to this understanding, somehow I feel freer. My grief has a name. A shape. I now possess an understanding of why certain things make the loss felt so deeply.
And as that ache rises I have an opportunity to respond in ways that move the grief past an emotion that pulls me deeper into myself. I can open that ache to the God who loves me and who gave me this mother to lead me to His great love.
I can soften to realize how He has pursued me and cared for me through all of the others who have loved me. There is the father, sisters, brother, friends, mentors, teachers, students, and many more. And now, my own children too–who all weave a tapestry of love—love for me. There is the husband and partner in all of life who pursues me when I feel the least worthy of it.
It is these tears of grief, then, that can become the waters of new life.
I commune with He who is Altogether Good and Lovely as I lift this aching root high in praise and thanksgiving.
In Grace and Beauty all His own, he creates a tree of life out of a root of grief.
What is the root of your grief? Will you ask Him to show you? And tear by tear transform it into a source of inspiration and freedom and Life?
I am praying this very thing for you right now.
By Abby, Fan the Flame