Through another's eyes


I had an interesting conversation with someone over the weekend.  I was a little taken aback at first, even a tiny bit angry.  As I've pondered it over the last few days, however, I have to wonder if God is trying to tell me something.

I walked away from the conversation feeling like I was being judged.  Someone with a limited look into my life basically expressed that I wasn't letting God carry me through my grief, that I was (apparently, not very successfully) trying to get through it on my own.  It wasn't done in a mean or malicious manner, and frankly, I'm having a hard time truly believing that was the intention.  Nevertheless, that is how it came across.  (I come back to some of the very best advice I received not long after Kristen's death...Listen for what people MEAN, not necessarily to what they SAY.)

It's very hard to know how I'm supposed to act.  I've spent the last 17 months being bossed around by my emotions.  They have been so raw and so overwhelming, I feel like I haven't had much, if any control over them.  There are days I feel like I'm doing better.  The "crushing" days are fewer and farther in between.  They've turned into moments (sometimes very long moments) rather than days.  There's an ebb and flow to my grief, but it never fully recedes.

I have been letting God carry me.  Goodness knows I certainly can't make this journey on my own.  Maybe my reliance on my Lord isn't apparent to anyone else.  Even with Him, I am sad --beyond sad-- that I don't have Kristen with me right now.  I miss her to my very core, and I will until I draw my last breath on this earth.

God is still very much right here with me.  I talk to Him throughout each and every day and am doing my best to listen more intently.  I've wrestled with Him over forgiving some family members for some very deep hurts.  My grudges are gone, but those tender spots still sting sometimes.  I would have never gotten to that place without Him!

My pastor cautioned me months ago that people would be watching to see how I respond in the face of the tragic loss of my daughter.  I've known that, and I've done my best to be the person God intends for me to be.  I want nothing more than to allow Christ to show Himself through me.  Perhaps this glimpse through another set of eyes will help me to look deeper into my own heart.


Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

It's funny how others sometimes feel qualified to offer an opinion on how to walk through grief...especially when they haven't walked where you are walking. And, even if they have experienced the loss of a child...they are not on YOUR journey. I like that advice to listen for what others mean, not what they say. Good advice.

I haven't been getting around to my blog friends lately, but wanted to pop in to check on you in the wee hours of this morning when I am awake from the dreams and the missing. Praying for you tonight...

Michelle Karr said...

I think we have to be careful about putting the "Christian" face on grief. Yes, others are watching to see how you deal, but that doesn't mean that you have to be perfect and happy all the time. We are to be real; showing our bad moments and saying that it is hard to rely sometimes, but I will moment by moment even if I am crawling while relying on God. It is so different for everyone. Relying on God even looks different for everyone! You are doing great! If the comments are bugging you that much, then pray about them and see if God is wanting you to see something in them. He may be trying to get you to see something down deep. (((HUGS)))

Jennifer said...

My sweet friend, What I am about to say is not said to appease you, but truly what I see. I think the person that told you that is completely off base! I think you are walking this path very much hand in hand with God and when he is not holding your hand, you ARE allowing him to hold you! I think your "friend" has probably never been where you are before. Maybe their intentions were wonderful and well meaning. I do not know! I know you have been such a blessing to me. You have been a shining light for Christ through the most difficult thing a parent could ever do. You have allowed God to use Kristen's death just as He sees fit.
Kim, do not for one second allow this to bring doubt into your mind. I know what your preacher told you is right. People are watching to see how you cope as a Christian. My dad told me the exact same thing. We are Children of God and because of that He does provide abundantly in our storms. That does not mean that we will not suffer and have bad days or moments. It does not mean that we should not grieve. That is unrealistic to even contemplate. Even Jesus wept when His friends were grieving the loss of Lazarus. He wept knowing that He was about to raise him from the dead. He knew that Lazarus would have life again but he hurt for His friends hurts. I think He weeps with us now. There is no timeline for your grief, Kim. Sometimes I so wished that "well meaning" people would just keep their well meant thoughts to themselves. You are an amazing example of Christ's love and compassion. Love and hugs sweet friend!

Julie Schooler said...

You are touching many lives with your blog. I admire you for your strength. I can't even imagine the emotions you still go through on a day to day basis. When you write you blog,it always reminds me that he is always there for us! You have touch my life with you words and have made my faith stronger, and i THANK YOU for that! Love ya!

Kristie said...

The idea of being strong for others is a sad one. I value your honesty Kim, just like Job and David. You are amazing at sharing the truth of your grief and your struggle. God shows us our weakness and we can recognize our need for His strength.

To pretend to be strong is to almost invalidate the value of the weakness. It's better for others to see you as you are, hurting, grieving, missing your sweet pea, than for them to think you are so strong that you must be so close to God.

Being close to God does not mean we feel no pain. That's a false view of the Christian walk. To hold on to your faith the way you have, has been a witness, your grief is not the witness, your need and that you continually go to God, that's what I see is the most amazing witness about you.

Love you friend...

mrsnice777 said...



Shelly said...

I attended a funeral yesterday that brought back so many raw emotions from Kristen's funeral. I feel like one can never fully grieve. Don't you think that if you complete the "grieving process" than your growth on earth is complete? Grief will always be a part of you, but your words are what will set you free. Keep writing, Kim! That is your true gift and it touches so many, many people...more than you know!

Love to you and your family

Shandrea said...

I think that whoever you were talking to may have meant it in a way to be helpful. But the fact is, if you haven't been through it, you truly can't understand it. I've been told at times that i need to give it over to God. But what they don't understand is that there are so many layers to this grief, this pain , journey that it is easier said than done. I try everyday to give it all over to God, and at times I succeed (i think those are the days that i feel lighter and happier and can smile ) and then there are some days where I am just down and I can't get myself up no matter how hard i try. I said all that to say this, as long as you know that you are doing your best, that you are giving God what you can when you, as long as you know that he is with you, working on you helping you, then that is all that matters. ((HUGS))

Jo said...

I saw your post and thought I would drop by your blog. Honestly my heart aches for you every time I come here, but I know God is using you in ways we will not know this side of heaven! I have never experienced what you are going through, but I did loose both my parents five months apart from each other when I was in my early 20's. Then many years later Mike's father passed on the same day we buried my dad. And when Mike's mother passed she passed on the same day as my mom did. They weren't my children so I know it is different, not even close, but sometimes I still feel the pain and it has been too many years ago! So I get it. It's a journey. Though we all take different routes we have the same travel buddy. And like the footprint poems says when there was only one set of footprints in the sand it was then that He was carrying us, some well meaning people only see one set of footprints in our tears, ours. In reality it is in those tears, our weekness, that He is best able to do His work in us. So you just cry girl....when ever you want and let people see just how wonderfully He made you, and what works He has in store for you!

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