I want to know what lies ahead. I am impatient. I cannot see around the bend in this road called grief and lately it has really been frustrating.
I went on a road trip to visit my dear extended family “down south”. It was hard to determine if I was ready for this trip or not as grief has had a tight grip on me lately. Finally, I decided to go and my sister and I packed up her van for the long drive. We arrived at our destination, unpacked the van, and then went to visit our Aunt who lives a short distance away. On the way, we encountered a curve in the road that fronted a cemetery. It was such a sharp curve that you had to slow down or risk missing the curve altogether and ending up in the ditch, or worse yet, into the cemetery itself. We traveled this road several times during our visit and each time we approached that curve and slowed down, I stared into that cemetery. And my thoughts lingered there with those silent head stones. As much as I wanted to see the road ahead I couldn’t. The curve was too sharp. And even though I knew the road would straighten out, I couldn’t see it. And that cemetery reminded of my grief. And it happened…every…time.
That is how my grief journey has been going lately. I have had this urge to speed up, to get busy. Very busy. I am already tired of this thing called grief. I am tired of not knowing what my life is going to look like “down the road”. Every day I wake up and grief is there. Each night grief tucks me in. I am tired of every day having to do something in a new or different way. Everything I do takes time. Nothing gets done quickly. Nothing is familiar. Relationships feel awkward. I want things to be settled. But they aren’t. And then I wonder…will they ever be? As much as I want to speed up, to strive to make sense of things, to straighten out the crooked road of this thing called grief, I find that I cannot do it. So the grief remains. And then when I finally come to the end of myself, the still, quiet Voice takes over, urging me to let go of the striving. To slow down. To let go of trying to control the future. To slow down. I don’t know what my life will look like in three, six, or nine months from now. I don’t know where I will find a job…or which of my relationships will grow through this season. Again, I am reminded to slow down.
“I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.” Psalm 32:8
“The Lord will work out His plans for my life – for your lovingkindness, Lord, continues forever.” Psalm 138:8
He is with me. I do not have to do this alone. And so in the meantime, I learn to give grief the time and attention it needs. I let go of the tomorrows. And in doing so, my heart is slowly mended by the One who understands grief, who has the power to heal.
“He heals the broken-hearted, binding up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
And I learn to trust Jesus on a deeper level. And our relationship grows because I know He will be with me all the way. He is the One who will help me find my way. This gives me great hope. Hope that I will make it around the curve and the road will eventually straighten out. Not because I’ve made it so, but because He has taken me by the hand and has walked me through it all. And so the frustration dissolves and peace invades. Thank God.