Posts Tagged ‘grief’

I am a lover of symbols. When I’m going through a season, I like to have a reminder of it. It also serves as a way of having stories to tell when my children ask about a particular piece.

In this desert season, I’ve been particularly interested in what it means to grieve. I looked at some Victorian mourning jewelry, but that didn’t seem exactly my style. Then I found a neat website that lists symbols of grief. It may seem a bit macabre, but I find it comforting that there are established symbols for this sort of thing. In any case, I decided that the knot would be my personal symbol for this season because it represents resurrection.

Now I needed to decide what sort of jewelry. For some reason, the thought of a necklace and a bracelet felt too much like being shackled to grieving, and I didn’t want that. I decided on a ring, a ring with a knot. Sounds complicated, I know, but I guess that’s why I love Etsy so much. I found a neat ring and ordered it, but the artist was delayed due to Hurricane Irene (totally understandable).

My ring came yesterday. Actually, she sent two because of the delay, which I thought was awfully kind. I find it interesting that yesterday Jesus asked me to take a step into the desert, and yesterday this symbol of grieving came to my house. Coincidence? I think  (k)not.

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This is Grieving

*Sorry if you got an update earlier. I wrote a longish, wistful post that WordPress ate in the 6-second interlude between tagging and posting.*

I’ve always sort of ignored Father’s Day. Since my own father has been out of my life for almost twenty years, I just haven’t paid it much attention. Of course, I woke up this morning knowing it is Father’s Day. I have a husband who is father to our four kids. I have a father-in-law, and even a stepfather. And somewhere in the world, I have a father.

I’ve been listening to Katy Kinard a lot lately. She’s got a song called Here that says, “And I’ve been falling in the open sky/It’s been hard to even breathe/I’ve been waiting for a father’s love to carry me, to carry me.”

It wrecks me every single time. It causes me anxiety, because I’m just starting to admit that I long to be fathered. I know that God placed that desire in my design, but it’s still a Big Scary Thing. Why is it so hard?

One thing Jesus has been telling me is that a father is meant to be a safe place, a tower of strength and protection. My father was the opposite of all of those things, and because of that I stopped believing that anything like security exists. That I’ve never given my heart to anyone since. That I don’t actually trust anyone.

My father abused me. He harmed me in ways that his leaving actually was the better outcome, and yet I still wanted him around. I used to think that that made me sick, that something was wrong with me, because who wants to be abused? Who wants that person’s presence anymore?

But I think now that the desire to be loved is so strong that even an unreasonable facsimile is preferable to total abandonment. Which tells me that my longing to be loved is ingrained. Which tells me that my God placed it in me for a reason. Which tells me it wasn’t my fault.

It wasn’t my fault.

I told Him what He was saying and how I was feeling were painful and a real downer. He agreed, but told me that this is grieving, and that it is powerful and necessary and beautiful.

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families” (Ps 68:5-6a)

And that’s all I remember from the post that was lost. 🙂


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