No more walls, please.

Another blank-slate post.

I am not happy with myself at the moment. I am in a funk and I seem to be perpetually doomed to always waste time instead of pressing in and applying myself to the things I know I ought to do. It is the story of my life and it is nothing new. It is mind-numbing to sit here in front of my computer screen and read, read, read.

I read all the updates on the blogs I follow on my google reader (that has been a nice time-saver), I read my email, I check to see the latest status of the video camera I bought on ebay and am anxiously awaiting, I pore over Jenna’s pictures, I read the news…and when I am done I often check my reader and emails again in case something has changed. In short, I squander my time.

I don’t want to deal with reality. It is painful. The knowledge that Jenna is gone and won’t be back hits me hard sometimes, and losing myself in my computer is an escape.

I have been giving God a quick wave hello every morning, and a much-too-short-to-be-meaty time spent reading my bible each evening. I know that he is the well-spring of life and the source of every thing I need, including that soothing balm for my cracked and bleeding, broken soul. But I seem to have thrown up walls around me that keep him at an arm’s length. Faithful and kind as he is though, he has been sneaking past my defenses and I can feel him wooing me and beckoning me to return.

Pray for me, please. I would hate to waste this opportunity to know him better and to learn to lean on him in this wilderness.

I am not sure that I always know what is going on in my own heart. Perhaps I am mad at God for letting Jenna leave us. I love Him dearly and I would hate to admit that, even to myself. But it is honest and real and I know God values that. The psalmist said: “He requires truth in the inward parts.” Perhaps I am keeping him at an arm’s length for fear of what might be unearthed if I should let him close and pour out my heart to him at this point. I don’t know. I do know though that I want to take the plunge and throw all caution to the wind and just let him overshadow me. I want to take shelter under his wings again and I want him to birth something in me through this.

The boys and I had a good conversation this evening. My middle boy talked about the fact that God took Jenna because “he wanted her with Him.” I have a problem with that sentiment. It is not a good enough reason for me, because Jenna’s leaving caused us all so much pain and God is not that fickle. I explained to the boy that there had to be a more substantial reason than that, and that God often uses our difficulties for his kingdom purposes. I was trying to think of a bible character to illustrate this point when the youngest piped up and mentioned Joseph in the bible. He had such a rough life – but it was all in preparation for him to become a saviour of sorts, not just to the then known world, but to his own brothers who had forsaken him and sold him into slavery. I told the boys I hoped that this trial in our lives will have the same effect.

A sweet and very well-meaning friend and I had a conversation recently. At first she was surprised to learn that I was struggling as deeply as I was with my grief. I suppose to the casual observer I seem to appear perfectly normal and people who have seen me express my faith and trust in God think I have this thing beat. Not so. Not at all! This is a long-haul thing.

My friend then expressed her belief that Jesus will heal me in his time and restore everything that was lost, just as he did with Job. Truthfully, I am struggling particularly with the idea of restoration. No-one could ever ever replace Jenna, but my heart longs for another girl, a bit of pink in my life, a toddler to tickle and hug and kiss. A daughter to share that special mother-daughter relationship with. I can’t have any more babies – medically speaking. I don’t believe adoption is open to us because we are not US citizens. It seems a hopeless case. But God!

As for healing…my friend’s concept of healing is total freedom and release from the sense of loss that came with Jenna’s passing. I had an inner debate about writing down my thoughts about this. I don’t want to sound dramatic. I don’t like drama, and I am always one to understate what I mean, rather than to use superlatives. But, I don’t think that kind of healing will ever come in my lifetime. This is not a disease that I need to recover from. Something very central, integral to me, a part of my heart, is gone. It will be missed until I see Jenna in heaven again. Time, like my pastor says, will buffer the sense of loss a bit so that it is not so deeply felt all the time. But it will still lurk, underneath the surface, sometimes popping up a bit to remind me that I love and miss Jenna and always will.

Well, my sweet readers, if you have made it so far, thank you. Thank you for letting me pour my heart out so openly and for all your encouraging replies. You all have no idea how much they bless me! May Jesus bless you all and give you a hug from me.

Oh…by the way, I have updated the Jenna page and written down some memories of her there, if you’d like to check it out. 🙂

14 responses to “No more walls, please.

  1. I follow your story about Jenna and I don’t know what to say.

    I have two boys and my hubby’s sister has two boys and there used to be a girl but now she’s gone and it’s all boys on that side of the family.

    And we love those boys more than our own lives but 12 years later there is still the echo of that little girl. And it still hurts.

    You will never be “over” this, but one day there will be more laughter and fewer tears. And the memory of her will remain strong.

    Your family is in my prayers this evening.

  2. I agree. Some hurts won’t heal on this side of heaven. Yes, it will get easier, but like you said, it’s not something that you will be cured of.
    I appreciate your honest openness. It helps people like me, who still struggle with grief, understand that we are human. And even though we love and trust Jesus, the hurt that we feel is very real to us, and that doesn’t take away from our faith.
    I love that you ‘celebrate’ Jenna and share her memories and pictures with us, and keep her story alive. Too many people (friends and family) would love to “keep it under the rug”, for fear of bringing up hurtful memories. But anytime someone tells me “I was thinking about your mom today”, it brings joy to my heart that someone other than me is thinking of her too. 🙂 (she committed suicide)
    As for the possible anger towards God, well, I think he can handle our anger…cause he knows underneath ALL anger, is just a hearting heart. And I know that he hurts with us in our pain. I too put up walls from Him, cause if I turned around and faced him, a wave of deep pain would come pouring out, and I was afraid of that. So it has been a slow journey to experience a God that mourns with me, that is sad for me in my loss, that cares deeply for my pain.
    Agian, thank you for you posts, they are very encouraging and food for my soul in my healing journey. Even though our grief is for different reasons, it still is very helpful.
    My prayers are with you today.

  3. Hey Sumi, I know what you mean about wasting time. I know I do it too. I don’t really think it is wasting time though. My heart can only handle the pain in small quantities so I find myself going through times where I feel it in an agonizing way and then I retreat into my walls of numbness for a while. If I felt it all of the time to it’s full extent I don’t believe I would be here anymore. You are right about the pain too. It won’t ever go away completely but who would want it too? It keeps our children in our hearts and it refines us into pure gold. Thank you for the kind words about Sunday. I am really struggling but it helps to know I have people praying for me. I will be thinking of you too. You are strong, Sumi. Strong enough to know you are weak. Even when we retreat from Him, He follows us because He loves us.

  4. Sumi,
    I think many of us put up walls when we are hurting, not intentionally. Just as a way of taking a brief break from doing what we know we should be doing. I’m just as guilty of that myself. I think I would worry more about you if you weren’t angry, I think it is part of our humanity to be angry about things that we can’t control. I’m not saying that you should let anger simmer but acknowledge it and then give the Lord time to heal that part of you. I know that you won’t be whole until you reach heaven and hold Jenna again but you can reach a point of living life without being in so much pain every day. I know that you are having moments when life is happy but they will be more prevalent as time passes by. We pray for you every night, my children love to look at Jenna’s photos, thank you for sharing them with us. Many hugs and prayers for you. Just a quick thought~ there is not a manual to tell us how to deal with such grief as loosing a child so young. I do believe that once you get it heaven the Lord will show you what he did with your sacrifice. Think how much harder it must have been to watch his son die on that cross for us, a bunch of sinners. I remind myself of this when I dwell too long on what has happened since having to leave my older children and hate the fact that they don’t love the Lord like i do. You are dong a great job in spite of everything Sumi. It will come in time, you will be renewed and not need to be in ‘hiding’.

  5. It’s so hard to know what to say…….I don’t know the pain you are feeling, I imagine it’s very, very hard. My heart just sinks for you, I’m so so so sorry you are having to go through this. I love reading your stories about Jenna and I love looking at her pictures. She has a way that captures me when I look at her. I pray that today you will find strength and joy in your Lord. I pray that his blessings will overcome you today. I know it’s hard……but keep your eyes on Him. Much love and prayers!!

  6. ..God, only God, can ‘handle’ our complete just have to read the Psalms to know that…you keep on telling Him…baring your heart…He will bare His for you..
    (((HUGS))) Sita

  7. I feel the same way sometimes..that I’m squandering my time.

    Tell God your hurts Sumi…tell Him everything. You may be ashamed at first, but the fact is we are His children. He loves us, He knows we hurt. He is there to listen. I agree that the void of losing a child will probably never be completely gone this side of Heaven, but hopefully the pain will ease and God will provide you a sense of peace.

    Much love to you…

  8. I really enjoy your pictures, Sumi. I want to celebrate the time you had with Jenna with you and be there to pray you through the ache in your arms.

  9. I had never seen this passage before and if I did, I completely overlooked it. (We’ve studied other parts of this Psalm). Jesus unveiled the eyes of my heart to see the revelation in it to the extent of adding music to the words . . . I’ll share the song with you soon after I work out the tweaks:

    My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
    And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. Psalm 55 vs. 4-7

    I never thought of wandering off to find REST in the WILDERNESS. Go figure. I guess it’s true that’s where Jesus is – outside the camp. I’m not sure how this applies to where you are – maybe it doesn’t, I just felt like sharing it with you.

  10. Sumi, this has been a hard year. I have read your blog but not commented ofter because it’s hard typing through the tears. People I’ve not met, ones I don’t know well, ones that made me angry and ones that I’ve loved have gone – 2 to be with Jesus (Jenna being one) and the other 2 I don’t really know.

    Anyway I wanted you to know that I think of you, and the others who’ve loved these 4 well, and pray for you (the family as well) often. Many times God will bring you to my mind and I lift you up to Him. But trying to put the jumble of emotions together into coherent words is difficult. I am so glad that we serve a God who knows our hearts and doesn’t need us to form words so that He can understand. I’m glad to have the assurance that even when he’s comforting you in Florida He’s also up here comforting hubby’s family, in Louisiana comforting my FIL’s family and in Maine comforting my uncle’s family.

    Praise God for His Risen Son!!!

  11. Bless you, Sumi, for your honesty. Thank you for giving us the honor of experiencing your whole heart.

  12. I got lost in the internet for a while too. Then, I KNEW I had to moderate my time. I just had to otherwise I would just disappear.

    I have given this a lot of thought, and while I think your friend may truly believe healing means a freedom from this pain, I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be pain-free while on this earth. I think the pain will lessen. I think there will be days, maybe even weeks when I no longer ache with every fiber of my being. However, I KNOW I will always have a day when I just hurt. I believe it is the nature of the loss of a child. I know Brien’s grandmother still has days of longing for the son she lost in 1964. For me it is unrealistic to think I will someday be completely pain free.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I understand what you are saying. I get it. And, know, the pain DOES lessen. I never imagined I would be *here* almost 10 months out–pain-free more than aching. Just keep your faith and your friends, Sumi. The rest will come.


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