Grief drenched me. From the windows of my bedroom on the second story of our home on our 640-acre ranch, I could see the sky morphing from daytime to a water colored twilight.
The master bedroom glowed with purple hues.
My husband Justin, who always generous and thoughtful, had excused me for the evening. I could hear the acquainted sundown clamor. One of the college children was home to help. Our 14-year-old daughter would help too. The three youngest, our two adopted toddler sons and our infant foster daughter laughed, hollered, and then one of them began to cry. Dishes clapped, a chair scraped across the dining room floor. All the normal sounds heard on any normal evening in our normal lives played out like a recording.
Tonight wasn’t normal.
Having just learned we would begin the transitioning of our foster daughter to her birth home I was a wreck. Make no mistake, I have championed her momma, I love her. She is my friend, she is a good mom. Still, this sweet child has brought nothing but joy and laughter to our home. She is delightful. For the last year, she has been a cherished part of our family.
I was slain with grief.
And so, I ignored my instinct to remove my mascara. I was not interested in protecting my 800-count white cotton sheets. I needed to cut loose and grieve. My phone buzzed alerts on my nightstand, I didn’t move. I just cried heaving sobs and blew my nose, repeatedly into a tattered Kleenex… eventually crying myself into a deep slumber.
Later, sticky eyes pried open to a pitch black room. I reached to my side for Justin, he wasn’t there. I picked up my phone and tried to make out the time.
And then… I remembered. Grief washed over me again. Safely alone I said it out loud, “God, I am so sorry I lost it. I am so sorry my faith is so weak. I am so sorry for…”
Mourning a loss?
I sat up, my head pounded. My nose was efficiently slammed shut. “No, I am sorry… “
That you will miss that baby girl?
That your relationship with she and her momma are now irresolute?
That your work, work you love, is ending?
I reached for the lamp on my nightstand and switched it on and then opened a package of makeup removing wipes. I wiped my face and continued to attempt to repent for… grieving.
In my sorrow, I had convinced myself I was somehow lacking. And, in my hurt, I had managed to negate the gift of tears. In my uncertainty, I had belittled my role as daughter of the Most High, having every confidence that stoic patented me faithful.
Let me comfort you.
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I kicked off my shoes, removed my earrings and in a most artistic fashion, removed my bra without so much as unbuttoning my blouse. I switched off the light and heard Justin’s muffled snores coming from the family room.
Thank you for Justin.
And thank you for the children.
Thank you for the gift of tears.
I yawned and my lungs burned with the fatigue of grief. Hot tears escaped my weary eyes. Yet I knew, this was not a sign of my unbelief. No, this was a sign I was blessed among the mourning and loved and cared for as the weary. I lamented the times I had missed out on being fully loved and favored for by my Father in Heaven, somehow believing the lie that grief was indicative of a lack of faith.
A lie from the enemy.
I do not doubt the Father’s love. No, I do not question His devotion to the baby girl I have loved as my own. And, I do not believe He will not continue the good works he has instilled in her birthmother. Why would I feel that my heartache counts me less than devout?
My breath steadied, and I felt myself slipping back into the comfort of His blessing, rest. Good Father, Mastermind, and Creator of tears, laughter, and all emotion, every state of being and every stage of life. He blessed me with these life-affirming emotions, no longer will I consider they somehow nullify the gift of my salvation – the majesty of faith – faith that counts me worthy.
Thank you, Jesus.
Grief… a celebration of a loss. A love, worthy of a party.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1