Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Hard Thanks

Death came to call this week.

When it left grief and pain hung in the air, and life seemed scarred and hardened.

As I look for sense in madness, for love where it was rejected, for reasons where they are hidden unto eternity, I cry. From sobs to lone tears to that ugly cry that makes your face contort, your nose run and your eyes ache. Each tear a plea to Heaven.

With the sting of death (why do they say is more of a whap or wacking or slap or a stab...definitely not a sting) we turn to remember a life well lived, usually. To reach back into time passed for memories that will narrow the chasm of eternity. For memories that remind the heart of what love filled that now empty hole.

Instead as my family begins to process our new normal we have been met with moments of frustration, regret and rejection.

How painful the sting of death is when the bitterness of rejection is poured on the wound!

I continue to meander my why through the pages of "One Thousand Gifts", finding challenging honesty and incredible truth in the poetic language. 

Perhaps what amazes me more than the book is God's timing in the steps of my life and the pages in my hand. As I head into each chapter I find that week I will be practicing the concept. As if everyday becomes an application step of the words that I draw in like a deep breath the night before.

And as I read the words, "The hard eucharisteo." (the hard thanks or thanksgiving) I began to ponder what that looks like. In the times when life is hard, painful, dark, lost....what does giving thanks look like? What does being present in that moment with God look like? And could I do it?

Little did I know by the end of the week death would knock, rejection would stab and my world would tilt in a painful limp that changes perceptions and bleeds pain.

But it did. It has. And here I am.

My own list of 1000 gifts sits open on the kitchen counter. Waiting. The pen lays upon the page ready to record a my thanksgiving, a gift, a moment with God.

Faced with the raw truth of my anger and hurt I didn't know how to give thanks to God.

For what?

And while I was still pondering the 'for what' question I felt the urge. The tug. The Holy nudge in my soul. As if God himself whispered in my ear, "For what? Come on now."

For what...

81. a voice from my past
82. family
83. the promise of heaven
84. a hug and sweet words whispered
85. snuggly little boys
86. dancing, twirly little girls
87. homemade dresses
88. prayer of friends
89. a clean counter
90. little girl giggles
91. tiaras, feathers and princess moments
92. "I love you, mommy"
93. a whisper to my soul

Even as grief and pain linger in the air, I look for the joy. It might be little. It might be quiet. But it is here. And being fully in a moment with Jesus means taking in all the blessings...even the ones that hurt along the way, the ones we don't understand, the ones that leave us slackjawed and heart aching.

Father, I can't begin to understand all that has unfolded in our life and our family in the past few days, and You know that I am hurting. Thank you for the blessings that You continue to pour into my life. Please help my family in these days and weeks that start back to our new normal, help relationships to be restored and Love to shine out of this darkness. 


Kissed by the Creator said...

Oh Wendy, I am just beginning the book and for Lent I am going to make my list! I read your post and my heart aches for your loss. When I am at a loss for words, I just pray. So... Dear Lord, I ask you to comfort Wendy...allow the Holy Spirit to blanket her with peace and cradle her heart. Lord give grace and mercy to all who are involved in their grief. You Lord know their pain you are healer and restorer, in YOU we put our trust. In Jesus Name, AMEN

Becky said...

I'm so sorry, my heart hurts for you and I know you don't know me, but I will remember you and your family in my prayers.

Rae said...

I, too, read about the "hard eucharisteo" and thought to myself "I don't think I can authentically do that..." and then was faced with a death that put me in the place where I could at least try. Hard, hard, hard. May God meet you in the places you give Him thanks, and pour his abundant grace and peace into your places of pain. (Have you read the chapter on lament yet? If not, skip ahead to chapter 9 - there are some good words in there that have helped me approach gratitude in the midst of loss).

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I'm sorry that The Unwelcomed Guest has visited your home. One day, there will be no more death. For now, receive the prayers and love from other believers who encourage you to keep on. <3

Fields of gold said...

Your continued praise and gratitude are beautiful. I'm so sorry for your pain and hurt. I pray the heart of the Father reveals the reasons and His peace to you. Love, Sam

Terri said...

I'm so sorry for your pain and your loss. Praying that you feel God's comfort and peace in the coming days.

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

Wendy, I am so sorry! I can truly say, I understand, as I just walked this path in January. You don't walk it alone, my friend. You are NEVER alone. I don't know how far you have read into the book, but there is a chapter about seeing God in the rear view mirror. Sometimes, it's only as we look back, it becomes plain to us and we see Him. The hardest, and I mean THE HARDEST thing in the world is to unclench that first and receive the hard thing and say, thank you even though I do not understand! I'm praying for you as you walk through this. He is the one who will bind up your wounds and heal your broken heart!