Sunday, January 27, 2013

WWY Overcoming Guilt ~ Embracing Joy

This week we are taking about guilt and joy.

I have experienced lots of guilt since Jonathan went to Heaven, at first it was paralyzing and consuming. I was convinced I killed him and desperately wanted proof or to hear the audible voice of God to say it was not my fault. The doctors told me it was not my fault but it was not good enough, I wanted to hear it from God.

 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. 
~Jeremiah 31:13

My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. 
~Psalm 38:4

For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. 
~Jeremiah 31:25


Denise said...

May you be sweetly blessed.

The Heart's Hunger said...

Dear Tesha,
I know you've shared your grief and sadness in this post, yet somehow I was very glad to read it.

In so many ways, in the 'dealing' of grief- I understand.

I cared what others may think of me, and I surely could not bare if someone thought that I didn't care anymore about children if they believed that I was 'finally' over it. ........... LONG into it, I realized that since the Lord looks upon my heart HE would know just how much the issue of children were dear and heavy on my heart- and with that, knowing only HE could deal with it, only HE would be the One never intimadated but, and only HE could perfectly minister to me as I walked through the "shadow" of death- and how sweet Jesus is that HE never hurried me through and sometimes HE even slowed me down before moving along. Soon the grief in a way became something sacred between me and Jesus. I wanted my husband to understand me into the very, very depth of my soul, the sorrow that was there... but, he couldn't (and sometimes this made me angry), but my husband who is my protector and my guard, wasn't able to do this- but every inch that he could make way into my feeling he did it without reservations. Jesus is all that I am not, that my husband is not, and my friends are not, and onlookers is not.... and He met me- some days it felt like I needed to endure harder when 'more' faith was needed, and on those very precious days in my weeping I could feel Him- almost, almost to the point of 'seeing' Him.
then I realized that I had to let others go, release them of my hostage of wanting them to keep alive my mourning with me--- they just have no way of doing that. Once I realized this (and it was a process to let it go) my anger was released about this too.
This is not to say that we don't have those friends who truly weep with us and rejoice with this- we are blessed to have a person like this, if we do.

Tesha!!!!!!!!!!!! I've rambled along here... maybe I made nonsense in some parts, and I am just going to click publish- and not reread (hope I made enough sense!)
With Love, Deanna

Leanne said...


Payton&Jake's Mommy said...

BIG HUGS my friend! I hope Jonathan's first birthday was kind and sweet to you. I'm so glad that joy has entered into your life. <3

Jennifer Ross said...

There are so many ups and downs in the first year after loss. Being curled up in a ball, covered with tears, and an hour later, laughter filling the room. It's strange that way, but then again, if God is our comfort, it really doesn't surprise me at all... He loves us that much! :)

I could visualize your husband putting his hands on your cheeks, and telling you "that you don't have that much power." That gave me a little extra boost! His helping you, will also enable you to reach out, share his wisdom, and help others. That is so beautiful...

Love you.

Betty said...

I'm so thankful that God gave you what you needed to find peace. My daughter had to visit me in dreams as well before my poor heart would be at ease. They are different dreams though. They easily stand out as something different. Each time I dreamed of her I immediately recognized it as something from God. Perhaps some day Jonathan will visit you personally, but still, what a gift!

Kim said...

Guilt is so powerful and overwhelming. I wish you never felt this horrible feeling regarding Jonathan, but I KNOW it is impossible. I am glad you are finding peace and Jimmy sounds so amazing!

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Tesha, thank you for sharing this battle with guilt so honestly. It is such a wrestling and so easy to buckle under the burden of guilt. I know the Lord wants us to be free and trust in fully experience His grace. He has to get us there through the struggle sometimes. Love that your husband spoke truth with and to you during the time of intense struggle with guilt. And, love the ways God continues to work in you...speaking truth to the enemy's lie.

So wonderful that He is showing you in various ways that Jonathon is happy and wants his mom to be happy, too. I agree!

Much love and continued prayers for you on this journey, my friend. Thank you for walking with us.

Catherine said...

Such a beautiful and heartfelt post! I can relate to SO many of your feelings. One day the guilt is over the loss, the next it's over being happy, or sad, or anything in between. I found the only way to get over the guilt was to give it to God and pray constantly for peace. I've come to realize that life isn't just about being happy. It's about experiencing everything -- joy, sorrow, guilt, healing, love, and beauty.

Love to you!!

Kyla said...

Who Cares?... That is what my hubby says to me! Who cares if they don't like the way we do something, it's their loss.

You always have such beautiful posts, I feel blessed to walk with you <3

Holly said...

"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."

Yes. Absolutely.

Kayla Yow said...


I always love reading your posts! They always make me think of myself! Just today, I asked my fiance if I could curl up in a ball in the bed and stay there for a couple of days! Thank you so much for sharing! Hugs to you!

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