I would say that I met grief a little over a year ago now with the death of my father.
But that's not exactly true.
I think I was first introduced to grief many years before that as I watched my vibrant, successful parents become enthralled in health battles that they simply lacked the strength to fight.
I cannot count the times over the years I have backed out of their driveway sobbing because the grief of losing them even before they were gone was so overwhelming.
I do not believe for a moment that I am the only person on the face of the earth who has lived with grief as a constant companion. I also will not be so arrogant as to say my grief far surpasses anyone else's.
But the whole deal is, it's my grief.
It's that grief that has allowed me to remember wonderful things, to laugh, to smile, and to feel that love that I know that my parents had for me.
And in that sense grief became my friend.
It helped me on the road to healing, helped me to look at the positives in such a painful situation.
At some point, though, everything changed.
It has been that grief that has me wide eyed into the night, that haunts my dreams and colors my happiness.
That grief that allowed me to begin each day with the knowledge that I had lost but I had also gained had turned on me becoming a vicious enemy instead of a tender friend.
And there reached a point when I realized what had happened to me because of this great, consuming grief.
I realized I was broken.
I was a broken person. I may have looked ok on the outside, and I went through the motions of living, but there was something so wrong.
I lost my ability to feel the things I was supposed to feel anymore without the color of grief staining everything like the sun trying to shine pure through a stain glassed window. I could see the brightness, but it was discolored through my pain.
And I thought about David facing the loss of his son, on the floor, crying with sackcloth and ashes.
Until they told him that his son was gone.
Then he cleaned himself up, he ate.....he went on with his life.
It became time for me to pick myself up and go on.
It became time for me to put the long night of weeping behind me and realize it was morning, and time for some joy.
That thing that I thought was my friend to help me through a difficult time became my enemy that wanted to remove any happiness from my life, remove any laughter.
Without me even realizing what had taken place I had allowed this grief to almost render my vessel useless in its brokenness.
Oh maybe I wasn't broken in two, but there was such a crack in my life that even when I would go to church and get filled back up it would all run straight back out.
Here is the wonderful part.
One day I got back on that potter's wheel and God took my brokenness and He REMADE me. All of those imperfections that made me unusable were folded back into the clay in His hands and they have made me an even better vessel, one that has many more uses.
That enemy that wanted to destroy me played a part in making me stronger than I have ever been, opened up a whole new ministry for me and gave me more determination than I ever thought I could have.
I have MORE to go to Heaven for now, because someday I can dance on streets of Gold with my Daddy and he will have BOTH legs, and I can worship beside my Mama and her body will be whole again.
And all the pain, all the grief, all the loss will be worth it because there will be someone else there that has been touched through my circumstances.
No, I'm not the only one who has lost. But, no one else has gained what I have gained.
I know my grief will reappear as long as I am in this earthly vessel. But that's OK.
I have another friend Who is bigger by far than anything that comes up against me. And He is willing to fight for me when I am too weak to fight for myself.
He is my family, my closest Friend. My Life, My Love, My All.
*Thanks to Bro. Marc Wood for obeying God tonight. I began the blog before church, and I knew when I left it up that it was meant for me to finish after. What a blessing tonight was for me.*