Saturday, November 17, 2012

When the Flesh Recoils and You Reach to the Eternal

I am fortunate that, in my adult life, I did not get hurt by many people.

I'm not talking about car-sliding-off-into-ditch-hurt. I'm talking of old relationships-gone-bad hurt. 

Things said without voice, arrows slung at the heart and piercing a past I thought I could hold onto forever. 

I don't often lose loved ones without them passing on by death.

But tonight showed me that I am going to have say goodbye to a significant relationship, one that was with me since toddler-hood and was a very deep tie to my beloved mother. 

Due to pain on both sides, our relationship has been strained and though I have tried to reach out in various ways, the reaching-back has become less and less to the point of his arm actually recoiling. 

I never thought the recoil could hurt so much. It's so...intentional. 

There's nothing intentional about the losses I've had that has hurt me to the quick:

my Gramma when I was 15, her dying of a random heart attack on an airplane while taking a nap. 

my dear mother who died of lung cancer 

Those two people have been the biggest losses of my life. They loved me here on earth and they departed this earth loving me. 

This person loved me then and now the love has stopped. Been recoiled. 

Or...even if the love has not been erased, the deciding to not engage at all with me hurts the most. 

And I am hurt. I am angry. .I feel like a branch that somehow kept me close to my mother has now been cut off. I cried and I flailed. 

And then I watched some home movies with my husband because I needed to hear (and remember) my mother's husky, Chicagoan voice. I needed to see her sun-scorched hair and crooked tooth. That beautiful smile, nonetheless. 

 I needed to remember that I am still her daughter, even if the relationship with the other person has withered away. 

Certain kinds of love don't leave. 

It reminds me of God's love for us. And I wouldn't have thought about that at all prior to two years ago when I became a Christian. I can't fathom going through this kind of grief without knowing that I am unconditionally loved by a God who can love me more than anyone else on this earth 

My therapist said this to me last Monday: God loves you more than your mother did. 

That puts it into real terms for me because I knew how much Mom loved me. I felt that love so acutely that I can still taste and smell it, it was that palpable. 

But God loves me more. 

So instead of being angry, vengeful, hurt over the recoiling of love that hurt me down to the quick, I am choosing to focus on God who is the God of All Comforts. 

He comforts those who grieve. He comforts those who are depressed. He comforts widows and orphans. 

"He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord's favor has come,
and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory."
~Isaiah 60:1-7 (NLT)

And my hope resides in Him, now and forevermore.

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