This week we are taking about guilt and joy.
Some moments and days the guilt was so overwhelming I could barley think of anything else. My husband preach to me and I preached to myself trying to bring comfort in this area. I wrote posts like this one trying too get out of the pit of guilt. I can't put my finger on an exact moment of healing, where the voice of God pardoned me from this gripe of grief. I guess it was a slow process of hearing it was not my fault and reading scriptures about God being in control.
I remember one particularly bad day, I was wailing and crying that I had killed Jonathan. My husband cupped my wet face in his hands he drew my eyes to his and whispered '"Tesha you don't have that much power....God is in control of our lives" I completely dismissed this and went on a campaign of examples of mothers that had in fact endangered the lives of their children and they had died. Jimmy must of been so weary at this point and wondered if his wife that was once full of faith would ever return.
I would not allow myself to be comforted in the area of Guilt. For a long time I wanted to feel the sting, the pain of guilt....somehow it was almost easier than the pain of Jonathan's death.
Sometimes when I would see his little urn sitting in our bedroom I would become slightly hysterical....wailing....I can't believe all this happened, I can't believe he is dead. Sometimes the pain and the guilt of blaming myself, felt safer that tiptoeing into the territory of, WHY God? I mean if I knew I did it my Jesus could still be good, it was my fault not his.
I read a blog post about a mommy that dropped a TV on her young daughter when she was moving. The little girl died. I remember thinking how awful this mommy must feel, so guilty. But did I think she was guilty, NO of coarse not. It was a sad accident and as I reflected on it I concluded, that ultimately God was in control. He could have saved that little girl but his plan was that it was her time to come home. I think this is were I began to think God is in control of Jonathan's life. HE knew, HE planned, HE gave and HE took away.....but could I still say, "blessed be HIS name"? I read the book of Job many times in utter disbelief. How did Job have such faith and love for God when he had allowed Satan to sift him so violently? How? Why can't I?
I allowed myself to ask the hard question like, why? I let God lead me to scriptures and help me work it out, then I would preach to myself again. (If God is good, Why) What can I say, I tend to listen to myself best:) God did meet me, he did help me work out some hard things in my heart. He began to really speak grace to me. It is so different when you read or hear about grace then when you LIVE it. Once you have lived Grace you are never the same.
Over time the guilt begin to lessen, it was still there but it did not dominate my thoughts. Joy began to ease back in. At first I could only take joy in small doses, there was also guilt over joy and smiling. I thought, I can't smile and laugh my baby is dead, his ashes are in a box next to my bed.
My husband had a dream and in the dream he saw Jonathan. Jonathan hugged him and said, "Tell mommy I want her to be happy" This voice from Heaven was confirmed because my S-I-L emailed me to say she felt she had a message from Jonathan and it was that he wanted me to be happy. I believed it with all of my heart. I believed Jonathan was supremely happy and he DID want me to be happy also. The problem is, a lot of thing are much easier said that done. So now I know Johnathan wants me to be happy but that dose not take away the relentless sadness.
At this point I often struggled with weariness and depression and felling guilt not only for his death but for the sadness as well. It seems like a vicious cycle of grief. I had a kind of secret fear that if I was happy then everyone would think I was over Jonathan and I could never return to grief again. I thought people expected me to go in a strait line of healing and if I didn't they would not let me go back. I mean if I am happy and smiling today and sobbing tomorrow won't they think (I thought she was doing better or past this already)?
I shared this fear with my husband and he so wisely said, "Who cares!? "Who cares what anyone thinks, you have walked a path very few have endured and you alone know where you are. It's OK to let yourself be better and it's OK to let yourself go back....just keep going!"
I also thought my healing and joy would take me far away from Jonathan and I would lose a part of him by healing and laughing. I got a strong revelation at this time (safe in my heart) that Jonathan is mine forever just like NOTHING can change Jesus's love for me NOTHING can change my love for Jonathan. I must keep living, loving and forgiving.
SO that's what I decided to do... some days, laugh and smile and some days cry. I jokingly called my blog bipolar, you just never know what you will get. That has been my life a lot this year. Although I have gotten better in the last few months at controlling my emotions.-- I could of written that last sentence with complete confidence, except for the fact that I spent a couple days this week in bed in a mess of tears.
I still have moments of guilt and intense sadness. Moments when the pain and grief stabs straight through me. A lump rises in my throat and hopelessness is at hand. But then, oh then, Jesus comes to my rescue, whether it is a friend that prays for me or a scripture that speaks to me. Jesus finds a way to renew hope and I do my part to contend for healing and joy.
I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.