Yesterday was a hard day.
Sunday morning started just like every other Sunday, the alarm clock blaring at 7:30am to wake me up, getting in and out of the shower, waking Geoff up at 8am, rushing through hair and makeup and then heading off to church at 8:35am. But this Sunday was different then the past few Sundays. We packed up the bassinet and Baby Bjorn, that David and Corrie let us borrow, to give it back to them at church, that was hard, but needed to be done. Plus, we were going to be at Sunday school for the first time since Parker's death. I wasn't really looking forward to this Sunday, at all, but God was near and Geoff was there to hold my hand.
We pulled up to church, Geoff ran in to get set up for sound check, and I quietly followed behind and sat in my pew. I talked to God a little. Asked him to help me through that day. Asked him to be with me during Sunday school and the rest of the day. I needed his strength yesterday more than any other Sunday because I was going to face a group of people that I hadn't faced in quite a while.
9:30 came a lot more quickly then I thought it would. I waited for Geoff to finish up with his worship stuff so we could go to Sunday school together. We walked into class, found our seats and got settled in. I felt so awkward being there. I wanted to get up and run out. I wanted to run to my car, drive off to Flying M and hide there until Sunday school was finished. I wanted to be anywhere else in the world. However, I knew that if I left and avoided those people that I would simply be denying myself the right to work through these hard emotions.
Here's the deal, I want everyone to hear this, if Geoff and I don't face these hard days, if we aren't around and in the situations that make us uncomfortable, then we will never be able to heal.
It's like this...
Say you have a nasty cut, I mean really nasty. You put a band-aid over the cut because that makes it feel better. You keep it covered because you're too afraid to feel the pain when you take the band-aid off. You protect your cut from everything. You put a plastic bag over your cut when you get in the shower, you favor it during daily activities. Eventually your cut never heals, it simply sits there and festers.
This is what would happen if we never faced uncomfortable situations. We have to rip the band-aid off. We have to let air get to the cut and it's going to hurt sometimes, but we have to let the wound heal.
So what does this mean? This means that we don't need people to be fearful of telling us things. This means that we need people to treat us like normal. What does THAT mean? It means treating us like Geoff and Rachel. Talk to us about life, things that are going on in your life. Ask us about ours, ask us about Parker, ask us how we're doing. Be ready for us to maybe cry, but also be ready to laugh with us. This is all part of healing. You can't protect us. We have to face life. We have to experience things that are going to be hard for us. We can't avoid this, and we shouldn't avoid it. The band-aid must come off and we must heal. If you are uncomfortable, then tell us. Talk with us, be honest with us about your emotions and we'll be honest about ours.
I say all of this because things happened yesterday, that I can't really go into very deeply, but things were done by people who felt they were handling it correctly; however, it simply made it hurt more. They thought they were protecting us, helping us, but they were simply holding the band-aid on.
I know I need to offer some grace here because many people have never felt the devastating loss that we have. However, it is important for them to learn. It is important for those of you, who may not know how to behave around us, to learn to simply communicate. Be honest with us. Be honest with us about not know what to say. The other day I had a member come into the credit union. He walked in and came right up to my desk and said "I have nothing to say and no way to understand what you're going through, but know that I'm praying for you." This touched me so much. I was moved by his vulnerability. I was moved by his honesty. He didn't try to use eloquent words or pretend to understand. He didn't try to empathize with me. He simply stated the truth. He was honest with me and that allowed me to feel comfortable with him.
I am not looking for people to understand what Geoff and I are going through, because I know that there are only a select few that truly do. I am not looking for people to have the right things to say, because that's simply not fair.
I am looking for people who want to be vulnerable with me. I am looking for people who are willing to learn. I am looking for people who to want to listen. I am looking for people who want to be around Geoff and I when we talk about Parker. That's what I'm looking for.
As I sit here writing this, there are only a few people, outside of our family, who Geoff and I feel we can be ourselves around. They know who they are. They are the people that have approached us, in person, have genuinely asked how we're doing and have seen our tears. They are people who have allowed us to heal by being honest with us regarding hard issues. They are people who we cherish and want to be around more. We hope this group of people grows. We hope that, with time, people will become more comfortable with us.
I just need to know how to tell these people what Geoff and I need. I need to know how to approach them. I'll figure something out, and when I do I hope the outcome is favorable. I hope that it will make things better and make things feel normal for them.
One final thought. A couple of days ago, my mother-in-law Vanessa gave me a verse and it has truly helped in all this. It's from Romans 5:1-5, here is what it says.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, becuase God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Praise the Lord for what he has instore for Geoff and I.
- Kirkland, Washington, United States
- I am a child of God. I am a follower of Jesus. I am a wife, momma, daughter, sister and friend. I love good conversation and hearty laughter. A good cup of coffee is always appreciated. Most of all, I desire to bring others into an experience with Jesus. One that will shape their lives and rock their souls for Him. Geoff is my best friend and amazing husband. Parker is my handsome boy who lives in Heaven. Norah is my bright star and bringer of joy. Tori is my overcomer and peaceful warrior. I live to show Jesus' love to each person He places in my path. I pray this blog strengthens you, comforts you and encourages you and that it MOST OF ALL causes you to want to get to know Jesus in a deeper level.