Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Struggle and Passion 2014

Wow, I feel like it's been a long time since I've sat down to write an actual post. I think I've been busy, although I'm not sure with what exactly. But I mean, let's just jump right into it. This past week has been really hard emotionally. I have no idea how to explain the condition of my heart. "Empty" is a definite. "Broken" for sure. Other than that I'm all over the place. I have glimpses of happiness... Keep in mind "happiness" is not the same thing as "joy." I feel like "joy" is something totally out of reach right now - like it's at the top of a mountain 10 times the size of Mt. Everest and in another galaxy. I think my heart feels cold right now. Bitter. Maybe even angry. Like I've been stolen from.

But at the same time, even with all of these negative feelings and emotions, I still don't doubt that God is sovereign and that He is good. That's definitely harder to say right now, but I know I still believe it with all my heart. I don't doubt that He is going to work all this together for my good and His glory. I think my anger and frustration come from the question, "When?" How can losing her be good? Whatever purpose He is trying to accomplish, couldn't He have accomplished it some other way? Why by taking my Mom?

In Rick and Kay Warren's sermon series "How to Get Through What You're Going Through," Rick points out that there are several stages to the grieving process.

1. Shock

2. Sorrow

3. Struggle
the "why" questions

4. Surrender
stop asking and start submitting - the only path to peace

5. Sanctification
when God starts bringing good out of bad - when God makes you more godly

6. Service
when God takes your greatest pain and turns it into your life message

Grieving can't be pinpointed and turned into a formula. No two individuals will walk through grief the same way. But as I look at these stages, I think I'm consistently moving between sorrow and struggle. I didn't think I would really deal with "struggle" again. I thought I had moved past that when she was still here and her health was majorly declining. I was angry. I was boiling. I thought I had processed all these questions already. Nope. Here I am again...

I'm not disappointed in myself for being angry. I realize this is normal. It's all part of the process. I'm thankful that God knows my heart. I'm thankful for His patience. I'm thankful for His loving kindness and His mercy. I'm thankful that He remembers that I am dust.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from Psalm 103:

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in
steadfast love...
As a father shows compassion
to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to 
those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:8, 13-14

This past weekend David and I went to Houston, TX to attend Passion 2014 - a huge Christian conference led by some pretty big names in the Christian world: Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, and a few others, all dedicated to worshiping and pointing toward Jesus Christ. We went with our friends Cameron and Laura, and we had a blast together!

I went to my first Passion Conference in 2006 as a senior in high school, and have been hooked ever since. I talked about it so much, in fact, that my Mom got hooked with me. She attended every year since 2007. She has been my Passion buddy. So this year was obviously quite a bit different, and there was one thought I couldn't get out of my head the entire time. Mom and I have always described Passion as "the closest thing you can experience to heaven on earth." You see, thousands and thousands of college students from across the nation and across the world travel to meet together for one weekend to worship Jesus Christ. And when I say thousands, I'm talking like 64,000 people were there last year. That's a TON of people. And when you put them together and lift high the name of Jesus, it is a glorious sight and sound.

Well, Mom is in heaven now. And I here I was at the very place we described as "the closest thing you can experience to heaven on earth." I couldn't stop thinking about her. My heart was an open wound constantly reminded with the fact that she's gone. She's there and not here. In one sense, it's a beautiful thought to think that she is worshiping the same God face-to-face that we are worshiping here. But in another sense, it's gut-wrenching. More than anything, I would rather just be there with her. I would never ask her to come back to this wretched earth.

Sometimes I think that if someone slung a sledge hammer at my gut every 10 minutes, every single day for the next 2 years, that would feel better than missing her so deeply and moving on without her. Oh, how I wish life could just stop. That I could lock my doors and run away.

I realize this post has taken a very depressing turn... soooooo I would like to close with a few pictures from our weekend. I am thankful that David and I were allowed the time to get away for a couple days with our friends! Our 20-plus hours in the car and constant chatter and laughs were good for my soul.

Cameron, Laura, me and David
The big red "X" is for the End It Movement.
There are still 27 million slaves in the world,
and our generation is seeking to put an end to it!
Oh, you had no idea? Check it out HERE.
Friends!
Me and my love
Oh, just at the #1 TCBY in America! Booyeah.
Our first time in the HOV lane. Yeah, this was a big deal.

Still choosing to say...

"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."

10 comments:

  1. Praying the Lord places a new song in your heart and mouth. You are covered in prayers. Thank you for being real, I loved that you said you aren't disappointed in yoursellf for feeling this way. God is already working through you with your story.
    I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. (Psalm 40:1-3 NIV)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. I love those verses! Looking forward to the Lord working that in my life!

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  2. Jordan, praying for you guys all the time.

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  3. Jordan, I don't know if I've ever commented before but I came to your Mum's blog from Kelly's Korner. And I've been praying for you all ever since. I read your post this morning (my time) and then I read this post - http://dianawrote.com/2014/02/fiercely-brokenly-proud/ - and although Diana is writing about losing her baby, I bet you can identify with the concept of wanting Heaven to have visiting hours. I am the daughter of a lady who lost both her parents before the age of 6 so I know what it is like to grow up with a Mum who wishes and wonders and who would have wanted more time with her parents. God Bless you and all of your family.

    Michelle from Australia xx

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    1. I will definitely have to check out the blog. Visiting hours in heaven really would be wonderful! Thanks for your prayers!

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  4. So sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost mine at (what I assume is) about your age. Even now, going on 40 years later, I can be brought to tears in the middle of a hymn that makes me think of her. They are not tears of grief or longing, but tears nonetheless. I like to think that these emotions are God's gift to us. He has created us with feelings. Otherwise we would be miserable, useless people. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. He allows both, and sometimes they go back and forth and even overlap. Don't be ashamed of your emotions. You had a mother worth mourning for. What a blessing. Healing is a process which takes time and goes at varying rates. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly to be your comfort and your portion from day to day.

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    1. Thanks Sue. Rick Warren talks about the fact that we have emotions and can grieve is what sets us apart from every other creature in the world. We are created in the image of God. I love that! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I didn't find your post depressing. Rather honest, raw and I am encouraged by your transparency. I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom and pray for God's comfort and strength as you journey through all the stages of missing her and the heartache that brings. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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