The grieving process is murky business. There are so many reasons why this is the case. For me, I was already in a grieving process regarding several things in my life before my Mom passed away. Her death has helped me process and let go of some other things in my life. I am learning that choosing joy, choosing Jesus is worth every bit of pain. Just recently, as hard as things have been for me emotionally, God has been so good in helping bring healing in the letting go process. Sometimes, he uses one pain to help heal another.
A few things that I have let go of are my ideas of what my family would look like, as well as a relationship that I know I will never have again. In the past, I thought that I had done a pretty decent job with “letting go”. Looking back now, I realize that in letting go of one thing, I had picked up an expectation of what would take place after this happened. Each time I would feel more turmoil because I thought that surely change would occur in the way that I had envisioned it. The process felt like a battle. Certainly I did not have control issues. But as we become more honest, each of us has our own set of control issues.
This past weekend I finished a journey. When I say I finished a journey there should be a significant “hip hip hooray!” I know that God is up in heaven smiling proudly and my Mom is doing a victory dance (yes, we would do these either in person or miles a part). I smile just writing about this thought. You want to know why? Because this journey that I finished is really a beginning. It is a journey that my Mom cried over, prayed over and yearned for. I finally have an understanding of letting go with the intention of not picking anything up in that process. Not having control is actually a very freeing experience when you do it in the correct way.
So this weekend, I reconciled things deep within me. God has done something miraculous within me. As I have given up and let go of this hindrance to my heart and soul, I no longer am pinned down. It is a wonderful feeling to continue on a journey of forgiveness while not feeling tied down to what was holding you back. I cannot fully describe how this feels as I thought that I would only feel this way when reconciliation of the relationship occurred. I am still in awe.
I read a quote the other day about forgiveness that truly pertains to what I am talking about: “Forgiveness might not mean that a relationship is saved but it certainly frees and saves you.” I would have to say that this has been my journey. So many times I was told that I did not forgive a person because our relationship did not go back the same. I battled with this so much because I chose to forgive this person on a daily basis. I had owned up to my part and I had attempted to talk and address issues in order to move forward and heal. I never admitted to doing everything correctly or perfectly. I lost track of how many times I said that I was sorry. The song “Unloveable” by Plumb pretty much sums up how I felt. I still can feel this way.
I got to a place where attempt after attempt to restore this relationship just turned into a constant wound that never would stop bleeding. Part of this was my own fault because I should have known that no matter how much I tried I could never force someone to love me back and have a relationship with me. See, there’s my control issues right there. I wanted to be loved by this person. I thought this person understood how much I loved them and wanted to enjoy life together. I thought this person wanted the same as me. But I was in denial about the fact that I was being rejected simply because we were two different people. I should have let go in the beginning.
My Mom was pained greatly by this. I have had to work through feelings of anger knowing she died without ever seeing this relationship reconciled. I remember nights my heart was so broken and the pain ran so deep that even my tears were trapped. Through the grieving process of my Mom, I was surprised with the feelings that arose within me again about this relationship. Questions of why, disappointment and the yearning for this person to be my friend rushed my heart once again. There I was learning how to reconcile and forgive again. Thankfully with Gods grace he has never stopped teaching and refining me.
He has been a part of this painful journey, allowing me to bleed while getting dirty with me in the mess because of how much he loves me.
There is something truly extraordinary when we reach a place where we have worked through much of the mess. Healing comes flooding inside in a surprising rush. This is what I have experienced. As I have continued to let go, this time around, God has helped heal the pain in my heart. What a relief! Victory dance!
I cannot deny how God has used one person in my life so significantly. My husband has helped me more than I could ever ask of anyone. He has listened to me process time after time. He has held me as I cried. Sometimes full body crying I might add! He has encouraged me to keep on forgiving. He has prayed for me. God has used him to show me that letting go does not mean giving up. Letting go allows you to choose freedom and joy.
This time around, the chains that held me down, the pain, has been broken from me and I can dance a victory dance. Freedom!
Experiencing this brings such relief to my aching soul. I feel cleansed. I feel like I am a different person.
Thank you God for all that you have done! Thank you God for making a way to freedom.
Somewhere up in heaven, Mom is dancing and cheering.
Ultimately, knowing that God is pleased with me matters so much more.
I am choosing Joy!