It’s that time of year again. The weeks leading up to the anniversary of Rachel’s birth and death. It’s hard to put into words that someone who’s never lost a child can understand what this time of the year means for us. I’ll spare myself the time and effort to do so, because in the end, they still won’t understand. Physically, I can’t sleep. My mind feels entrapped in a time warp of trauma that occurred over the span of just a week almost 5 years ago. My family walks on eggshells because I am the gumpiest, nastiest person to be around. All the family demands on me give me too little time to rest and breathe through the sadness and hurt that I feel ever so deeply. I hate how this loss has changed me. My husband hates it too.
This year, feels a little different. My focus is divided….pulled in two different directions and I have a new loss to deal with. My grandmother, Marvel Abercrombie (Nana to me), passed away somewhat unexpectedly a few days before Thanksgiving. Erin and I got to spend the entire month of November with her. A blessing that I’ll never thank God enough for. One of the most influential woman in my life, gone. Just like that. It still doesn’t seem real to me, but I feel it starting to sink in. I’m so grateful Erin got to spend 3 wonderful years with her and get to know her, love her and feel blessed by her.
In hindsight, Nana’s passing is somewhat of a blessing this season for me. I have not been able to focus on both losses much at all. I have just started focusing on my grief for Nana, which has kept me distracted from the sorrow that I still so deeply have for Rachel.
I expressed this to a friend the other night, but felt my words weren’t very clear. It sounded very confusing, even for me.
I had just returned home from Nana’s funeral and spent the evening out with friends from Church. Since we moved last year, we chose a new church to attend known as Maranatha Grace Fort Lee (MGFL). MGFL is very Gospel centered. A great place to be for anyone. People freely speak non stop about what God is doing in their lives and how they can advance the Gospel to their friends, family and co-workers. All a very positive and encouraging place to be.
To be honest, my relationship with the Lord has been, very poor, for the past 5 years. It’s been extremely hard for me to mend things. Spending a month away and immersed with my family and the Anglican Common church in Gig Harbor(St. John’s) reminded me of how beautiful God is. Just an hour service with only a 15 minute sermon is so deep and significant, but only if you really understand the liturgy. The new priest, Father Eric, has done a fabulous job at bringing the focus of the Gospel back to St. John’s and you can see the results of their labors. His wife Cynthia has done an amazing job at teaching the Children who Christ is and why we worship God the way we do. It’s amazing when your 3 year old understands what “the light of Christ” is and why we have communion. It was very fulfilling to me.
Returning home, I felt like I was in shock a little. An adjustment period if you will. As I had fun catching up with friends, laughing, and talking, a moment made me turn in for a bit. Everyone around me was speaking of their amazing God in every sentence. I felt out of place. I just wanted to have a conversation without using the word God, Gospel, Jesus in it. And I realized at that moment I will never get that from these people at MGFL! These were the words I expressed to my friend in the car. (I’m sure she was really confused, slightly offended, and weird-ed out by me all at the same time) The response I got was: “pray about it.”
As I sat in my bed that night, preparing to fend myself off the nightmares that were sure to come, I realized something. (something that I’ve always known, but this moment was the epiphany) I’m the one that is broken. I’m the one that needs Christ. I’m the one that’s lost. They love God so much that they want to share Him with others, even fellow believers. They love God so much that they can’t not talk about Him. Seeing how these people act and react to Christ every moment of their lives made me realize I am so far from where I need and should be with Him. I just hope that I am able to get there, with His help, and without the guilt of my loss I feel when I think about it.