Today is better than yesterday. I didn’t want to get up yesterday, and face another day without Jenna. It seemed easier just to sleep in. When I did get up, I walked around with a dull ache gripping my insides all day – Jenna is gone.
I knew from the beginning that the hardest part of the journey would be a few months into the thing, when other people’s lives pick up their normal routines again while mine is changed forever. It takes a while for the reality of things to sink in too. Some days it still seems so unbelievable that Jenna won’t be coming back to us. We will go where she is, but it seems so long to wait.
Hubby has encouraged me to look up and rejoice that Jenna is with Jesus, and I do. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” he reminded me. Jenna is with Jesus and I will find her, not in the past, but in the present by looking to Jesus. It is all true, but as hubby himself concedes, there is a fine balance between living in the past and keeping memories alive. I am still trying to find that balance.
A friend wrote a song for hubby and I and sang it at church on Sunday. I will post the lyrics on my blog when I get them from her. It is called “Dancing in the light”, and talks about how sorrow lasts for a night but joy comes in the morning. We can lay our sorrows at the feet of Jesus and dance with joy – and I have had moments where this has been true. I danced spontaneously to the song in church on Sunday whilst my friend sang. It was a precious moment and once again, when I am in the presence of the Lord like that, I only know his peace.
It is the day to day wrestling with my soulish emotions and my very real and to-be-expected grief that is difficult. This is no easy road and I would be fooling myself if I thought it was. Days like yesterday throw me into the arms of my Jesus though and I asked him yesterday to come and help me to grieve healthily, and to walk this path with me.
I have done so much bible study on ‘the wilderness’ experience and ‘darkness’ and the place of suffering in our christian walk prior to all of this. (Some of the studies are in my blog archives.) I have the whole thing down in my head and I could preach sermons on it. I am sure that it has formed a bedrock of scriptural understanding in me, without which I would have been left floundering right now. It is easy though, to have an arm’s length understanding of a scriptural principle, and much harder to actually walk out that thing in real life. I know God is full of mercy. I know he knows what he is doing. I know that the plans he has for me are plans for good and not for evil, to give me a hope and an expected end full of his glory. Yet it is hard to see beyond my own struggles at times.
I told the Lord last night that I feel a bit like Job, who said: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye seeth thee.” My previous understanding of trails and suffering was a hearing-of-the-ear understanding. Now, however, I need to see Him in the midst of everything, and I believe I will. I believe I will come out of this with a far greater understanding, no, a knowing of his faithfulness and his presence that is with us even when we make our beds in hell. (Ps 139)