It’s been about 3 years since the time I found out my mom was dying… a little over 2 and a half years since she passed away… And just over the past few weeks have I realized this: “whoa… I’m actually okay”.
The hard thing about grief is that it’s a very long and slow process. It’s something that you can’t really choose to be done with or speed up. It’s excruciating… yet it’s absolutely necessary when you experience trauma.
And as you go through grief, you spend many days and many nights wondering, “When will I stop thinking about this? When will I stop feeling this incessant pain? When will I be able to go about my day and not continually think about my mom? When will I feel normal again? How can I ever even trust God again?”
I spent years wondering when thinking about my mom wouldn’t sting anymore… And I don’t know how long it’s been since the pain dissipated, but what I can say is that I just realized that the sting is finally gone. I still love and cherish my mom dearly… but I no longer feel that torturous angst and resentment at God for taking her from me. Now, what I do feel is beyond blessed to know that she is with Jesus right now (which is far better than being here). And tremendously grateful that God gave me such an incredible mom to have had for so long.
And now that I’m on the other end, I’ve learned a few things about God and also about motherhood.
- God loves me more than my mom loved me.
I can’t even recall how many times I sat there crying thinking, “no one will ever love me like she did.” And amidst the sorrow of those moments, God whispered to me, “I love you more than she did.” God is always with me… even when I don’t feel him there. His love is perfect & complete… not lacking anything.
- Joshua has been a huge part of my healing process.
Many people said to me that I would probably “re-experience” the grief of losing my mom when I had my own child and became a mother… but that ended up really not being true for me in the slightest. Having Joshua must have been the final (& one of the most significant) pieces of my healing… through becoming a mother and learning what maternal love feels like, I now know the love of God on a whole new level and have learned to trust him even more. Beyond that, motherhood has taken on a completely new meaning. I love hearing the word “mom” now… because I get to be one! And it’s the best.
And all of this has come up for me recently as I watch dear friends experience their own journeys through grief. I really don’t like looking back on that journey because sometimes it truly feels unbearable… but on the other end, God promises to meet us there, just as he met Moses and the Israelites in the desert. God is always there, even when we don’t feel him.
“I’ll be honest: the hard places can seem unbearable. It’s dark and it’s scary, and even though I know God said He will never leave or forsake me, sometimes it’s so dark that I just can’t see Him. But then the most incredible thing happens: God takes me by the hand and walks me straight out of the hard place and into the beauty on the other side. He whispers to me to be thankful, that even this will be for His good.”- Katie Davis