“Now what?” is a question I have asked myself often in these early days of grief. As Ray and I have tried to process what has been the greatest emotional roller coaster of our lives thus far, as the reality sinks in more at the most unexpected times, and as life around us continues to move at a very busy pace as always, it is a question that has gone mostly unanswered beyond addressing those daily necessities. In so many ways, Sam has kept me grounded in a routine, and subsequently grounded in my own body.
I’ve sat down with my bible at a complete loss as to what to read; driven by an intense need to be in God’s presence. Beyond the wealth of emotions and questions I bring with me, there is an urgent feeling that if sense is to be made from losing Dylan then it is to be made at the feet of Jesus. I am so thankful for the very real people within the Scriptures that grieved openly. They have given me the freedom in many ways to grieve honestly with Jesus, trusting that He is big enough to handle the weight of it, believing that He grieves with me.
Psalm 95: 4-5 says, “In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.”
This is my strength for today: that God holds the highest, the lowest, the most uncertain, and the most stable points of my life and experiences in His hands. Whether I feel as though I am drowning in the sea, secure on dry land, lost in the depths of the valley, slugging it out on the climb, or celebrating on the summit, He holds me. Furthermore, He has promised that I will not be overwhelmed by these things. Isaiah 43 is full of beautiful promises and reminders of God’s faithfulness to us, especially in moments where we feel overwhelmed by the waters, fire, depths or desert. Reminding me that, though I may feel overwhelmed, God reigns over His creation, makes a way where there does not seem to be a way, and is faithful to His promise to keep me securely in His hand.
Let me be clear: the truth of God’s sovereignty does not negate my grief. None of this is meant to gloss over the very real pain of all of this. There are no religious cliches that can suddenly make the loss of my child okay. Not to wade into murky theological waters, but I am unconvinced that God willed this loss, or any loss of life. I believe it breaks His heart; everything within His character works for life, redemption, and restoration. However, the truth of God’s sovereignty, the reality that He holds the heights and depths in His hands, gives me a safe place to grieve, to question, to weep, even to rage. The truth of God’s sovereignty empowers me to grieve; giving me the authority in Christ to reign over the emotions and thoughts that threaten to overwhelm me, so that I can process them, appropriate them, and communicate them.
Thank you for bearing with me as the blog has become an outlet to process. As always, please be reminded that I’m no authority on theology or biblical studies. Take this, hold it up to Scripture, seek counsel, and then, as one of my favorite pastors says, “Take the meat and leave the bones.”