Now of course I am aware that this is not what I was named at birth.
I am also aware that this is not the name God calls me.
But I feel this ever so slightly every now and then.
It’s in the details… in the nuances of incomplete interactions. It’s in the way I’ve been mid conversation with a woman and once her child (of any age) walks in the room, the conversation they begin washes over the one we were having. To the point where I go from part of a conversation, to watching a conversation–and they never realize that they’ve completely dropped the original topic at hand. It’s in the way I can walk away from this dialogue completely unnoticed. The moment isn’t malice on their part. They don’t love or care for me less. It’s just a matter of priority.
It’s in the way that had I not been married or gained a few best friends, I could go weeks or months without hearing anyone ask if I’m doing okay. It’s in the way I can see family once a year–only if I pull a gathering together. Again, not because of any resentment. It’s just immediate family, work, obligations are time and life consuming.
It’s in the things that haven’t occurred in so long. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been invited to the movies, nail salon, a meal, or an adventure with an elder member of the community. I have been invited to other things and I have benefited in other ways however there’s a gut feeling that spells out “You are important, but not the priority.”
To be honest, it’s just one of those things attached to the cross you bear when you lose a supportive mom (or close family member/friend). It becomes your obligation to fill your life up, to not invite yourself to other people’s family hangouts (just to fill the void), and to console yourself. It becomes your responsibility to sort through and evaluate your own thoughts because it’s just not something anyone will think to ask you about. Questions like: How is your heart? What burdens are you carrying? What ever happened to the ones you said you’d let go of? Do you want to take a walk and get ice cream? What is God teaching you? Do you need anything?
Things like receiving a real hug because she just knows without me saying anything that I need one. The familiarity, priority, and attention to detail all seemed to be swept away with her soul that day.
Of course, I’m living and well. Of course, God is the void filler. It’s just odd to be reminded and know at your core that you are undoubtedly experiencing a new quality of life. And that you can’t get the old life back on this side of heaven.
If you are reading this and the one you’ve lost is a friend, family member, pet etc. I would like to pray for you. If you feel any of the things in this post, let us go before the throne room of God together. I’ve learned that many people don’t perceive grief as something you must make a decision to move past daily. It’s often viewed as something that should bother you for a season, or perhaps for a year, but you’re largely expected to heal and move on. You can almost be rushed to get to the “fond memories” stage of grief as though pain 10 years later is “immature” of you. No pain is immature. No ache is a sign of immaturity. Nor does it mean you haven’t healed. Even a healed bone fracture is painful to walk or move with. It’s just the process of something going from broken to better–including your heart.
Thank you for being the Father who names and calls your own children. It is written that you are a Father to the fatherless. However, you are everything to anyone who has lost someone. You are the shoulder to cry on, you get the aches that occur when we walk by that person’s favorite place, you can read our fake smile when we see their favorite food or snack. You are aware of the memories that involuntary rise to the surface–some of which feel good and some of which almost seem to peel back scar tissue we were sure had fully healed. God, you are with us when we are otherwise lonely. You are our invitation to life and life abundantly. You are our mommy/daddy and daughter/son date. You are what we need. You and your Word ask the questions that you’d once empowered our loved one to ask. You are who we need to endure. You are the one that breathes life and hope into us when we have none left. I pray that you’d pour out motivation. Oh God, please give us identity outside of the half-hearted interactions we may encounter. Whether it’s that all of our birthday notifications come from our friends being on social media–rather than actually remembering. Whether it’s that we feel misunderstood being the only one in our friend circle who’s lost this particular type of family member. Whether our grief hasn’t lessened, we haven’t been able to come to terms with our lost, and we haven’t gained any understanding from the situation. Lord, where ever we may be right now, please meet us. Fill us. Help us to identify with the Truth that pours from your Spirit, not the lies of the deceiver. Help us to see that our identity did not die with that person. Our worth and purpose were not also cremated. No, you’ve called us to press on and press in to you. Lord, help us. Lord, help us. Lord God, please help us.
In Jesus’ name, we pray Amen.
P.S. This song is refreshing if you listen in a quiet place with your eyes closed.
If you’d like to connect or pray some more I would love to -> firstname.lastname@example.org