On Grief, God, and Wrestling with His Goodness
Grief is like an arduous zigzagging hike.
Just when we think we’ve crested the mountain, there’s a sharp curve that lengthens the trek and forces us toward another step. One necessary if we ever want to reach the top.
… And walk in victory.
But, sometimes taking the next step feels like too much. Like we just want to look away from the curve or beg and plead for it to go away. Because we don’t want to face what will once again trigger our grief.
Sometimes we get angry in an effort to avoid it. Or fill our lives with to-do lists a mile long. But what we often fight are the tears that lead to surrender. The surrender that gently eases us into the waiting arms of the Faithful One. The One we resist leaning into – resist trusting as the One who holds all the pieces of this complicated puzzle together.[bctt tweet=”Surrender gently eases us into the waiting arms of the Faithful One #grief #hope #MomentsofHope ” username=”lori_schumaker”]
My personal grief isn’t the loss of a loved one from this world. I didn’t lose my child. She is still here with us. But with time, we lose another milestone we dreamed she’d someday accomplish. We lose the wholeness we prayed God would grant.
It’s backsliding instead of forward motion and it triggers the grief all over again.
Friends, I’ve looked away, endlessly busied myself, gotten angry when there was no need, and begged God to take it away. Maybe it’s part of the process of trusting to another degree. A part of the preparation for another season. Maybe it’s simply my own stubbornness because I want to fix it. I want to find the treatment, the therapy, or the answer that will solve all of my child’s struggles.
But maybe, because my heart is aching so desperately for her healing that a little piece of me is wrestling with the God whose character I know and have experienced as GOOD ALL THE TIME.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him –Psalm 34:8
Yes. Wrestling with the truth of His goodness and the fact that He hasn’t chosen to heal my child yet.
So in the wrestling, I hold back, not leaning into the One waiting there to ease my broken heart, but instead allowing frustration to overwhelm my soul and steal my joy.
I allow it the liberty of blinding me to His goodness displayed around me.
I miss the joy in those moments where her eyes and mine connect on deeper levels because I’m wrestling with how few those moments are.
I miss the fullness of laughter in our home because I’m wrestling with what the next moment brings.
I miss a good night’s sleep because I’m wrestling with the calls and plans I need to make the next day.
[bctt tweet=”Are you wrestling with the truth of God’s goodness and the fact that He has yet to answer your prayer? #hope #grief ” username=”lori_schumaker”]
The wrestling continues until I come to the end of me. With the tears pouring out, His Word in my hand and on my lips, God and I come heart-to-heart. He’s there. His mercies new every morning. His faithfulness never-ending.
I lean in, easing into the rest He provides. I know He’s capable and somehow, some way He will make a way.
Now grief has once again completed a cycle.
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:16,19 (ESV)
Featured #MomentsofHope Post
When I’m in the midst of grieving, I easily allow false guilt to take up room in my mind and heart. Guilt that says I’m not good enough because I can’t find the answers or fix the problems we are facing. It’s an area the enemyloves to attack and if I’m not careful and intentional, I forget God’s truth that says my worth is not in what I can accomplish. My worth is simply because I am His. A part of His family and created in His image. I forget that I am #ChosenandWorthy! (Catch all the posts here!)
So, of course as I was reading through all of the powerful hope-filled posts linked here last week at #MomentsofHope, I was drawn in by Dr. Michelle Bengston’s, Whose Opinion Counts?
I spent many years listening to wrong opinions. Too many years, in fact, not really appreciating what God said about me. I lived too long believing that God was mad at me, and that He needed me to be perfect in order to love me.
What if we decided to no longer let the enemy destroy our identity and dealt with the issue of self-hatred? What if we stopped giving so much credit to the opinions of others, and cared only about the One whose opinion counts? What if instead of going down the road of comparing ourselves to others we stopped and said, “Father, I’m about to beat myself up, but before I do, why don’t you tell me what you think of me? How do you see me, Father?”
Take the time to read this post, friends. Her blog is a place where the hope flourishes. It’s in her writings, her life story, and in her passion to see others lead hope-filled lives. And then when you finish, be sure to bless her back with encouragement done the #MomentsofHope way ?
Just in case this is your first visit here and you have yet to tune into the #ChosenandWorthy series, you can find the posts HERE and then subscribe below so that you don’t miss any of what’s to come!
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Welcome back to #MomentsofHope! Thank you for joining me here each week to share the hope given to us through Christ. Whether your words come from a story that points to the full healing you have experienced in Christ, or its a story of the journey along the road to the healing you know He is working in you, it is giving hope to others. Your words matter and I am honored to have you share them here in this space!
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Lori, thank you for opening your heart here — I know this grief of wondering why and questioning God’s motives. Thank you for taking us to the place of realization that God is good and His plan is right, even when we are still in the midst of disappointment or mourning.
Lori, I feel your heart! Even in the midst of finding a long awaited diagnosis for my daughter and navigating the road of lifelong treatment, I wrestle with the longing for God to heal her and make a way for the normal life we want for all of our children. Just being an advocate for her treatment is often daunting, and the challenge to lay it all at His feet is a constant calling, and each instance of His faithfulness in her life and in mine serves as a continual reminder that He’s got her…even when it doesn’t make sense to me. Praying this same hope brings your heart peace during the difficult days friend!
Trusting His will in everything is life’s greatest challenge. One I wrestle with more often than I’d like to admit. But you are right . . . it’s the only way to true freedom and oh, how I want that freedom. Thank you, my friend. I feel like you wrote this just for me today. Blessings and big hugs!
I so agree with each person here; it can be so tough to really rest in the Lord and go to Him with all our griefs, but He is the God of ALL comfort; He is the Shepherd of our souls, Jesus is with us even in the valleys, and that reminder is the Rock that anchors us even in so much of the grief that is part of living in this world. He truly does lift every burden and make us free. <3 Thank you sister.
Beautiful. I love that you show your wrestling back and forth. And yes, guilt and not trusting can make us miss out on the little blessings around us. Thanks for this hopeful message.
Thank you for your posts it was “me too” moment. Grief is a funny thing it creeps up out of nowhere. The world understand the grief of losing a loved one to death but their are so many forms of grief. It is so important to recognize those losses. You really hit on a good one about milestones not hit.
Those milestones not hit are difficult and need to be mourned. When it is our child we not only mourn our loss but theirs as well.
I have had to learn how to put my busyness away and take the time to mourn. I too pray for a miracle in our home and for your daughter as well. I will never let go of hope hat but in the meantime I must learn how to grieve the many losses and count the tiny miracles and blessings along the way.
Thank you for your transparency here. I understand that grief–both personally, and professionally, for all those who enter my office in need of answers and sometimes the answers aren’t the ones they want, that any of us would want. But thank you for reminding us that we are safe to grief in His presence.
And thanks for the feature…may it bring hope to others.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails! Michelle
This is so good… and so hard… Just the other day, the Lord impressed upon me during a prayer meeting to pray for Unity – but before I could even begin, He quickly explained that He meant Unity WITHIN ourselves… ouch! I think we all struggle with this from time to time! But if we can walk in unity inside… it will inspire unity outside, and oh my goodness –it points us always back to how He is always good –even when we can’t (yet) see it!
Grief is complicated. I have walked that road as I dealt with my husband’s diagnosis with bipolar 2 disorder. It’s so important to acknowledge these feelings and process them. Thank you for sharing your story Lori. Praying for your family.
Praying and grieving with you, brave mama. Hugs
I was just wrestling with this myself, about how God is good even when life doesn’t seem good, so I am so glad I came here to link up today. Thanks for your openness and willingness to share in order to comfort and encourage others.
Lori- I get this so much! Knowing He’s good, but our circumstances still stink and we try to wrap our human minds around it. Isn’t this the essence of faith? Believing when everything in us can’t understand or see but trusting God no matter what?
I pray your daughter finds healing and the ability to master everything she sets her mind to.
Dr. Bengston is a joy and comfort to read. I enjoyed her book also!
Thank you for the much needed encouragement to walk in victory no matter what! I love you, dear Lori!
I’m praying for you today, Lori, to find great comfort, peace, and grace as you work through all of these emotions and issues.
Asking God to deeply encourage your heart!
You are a blessing!
Thanks for hosting. May God bless you and keep you.