Healing, like Grief, is not Linear

I sat with my anger long enough, until she told me her real name was grief.”

Boiling hot water poured over lemon juice with a teaspoon of local Maui honey, a cup of cozy to welcome in this chilly spring morning. My top covered in a sweater, my legs wrapped in a fleece blanket, just enough exposed fingers to be able to lift said drink to my lips. But I’m getting ahead of myself, it’s still scorching. Whisps of steam rise ever so steadily from my ceramic mug. Wind humming and hushing as fragmented gusts blow by; our little kitchen window, my connection to the dark windy Saturday that’s ever so slowly waking.

I’ve been mulling over the words to this quote I came upon years ago, as I was doing grief work. “I sat with my anger long enough, until she told me her name was grief.” It’s a quote that’s been listed as “author unknown” and more recently attributed in Google searches to C.S. Lewis but I’m not sure I believe that without seeing the exact reference. It’s not in my collection of quotes by him, but yes I’ll credit it to him if I find that to be accurate. Anyone?

You probably know this about me already, but I love poems. The bite-sized ones that pack a punch. The kind that keep you up at night or jolt you awake because they speak of something beyond this world, a taste of Heaven (or Hell), the deeper unspoken truths of the heart brought to light through poetry. Man, poetry can be so beautiful. Poems by Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poem, E.E. Cummings shaped my childhood.

This quote does that to me. It beckons me to pull back layers, to read between the lines. It reminds me that beneath my anger – my pain – there is so much grief. Words I find both hopeful and sobering in various life seasons, a reminder to pause and process through the weighty emotions that tend to show up and sweep me off my feet during a challenging time.

One unique blessing of this season of intense nightly pain, is that it’s given me the opportunity to write and journal more. I now have the time I so longed for in other seasons. I’m up throughout the night and while I wouldn’t choose this path, I get to choose how I respond to this time.

I’m responding with writing.

I’m responding with showing up.

I’m responding with doing grief work – allowing this current physical pain to remind me of my need for Jesus, my despair without Him, and in some very unique way, this pain speaks to the pain that I’ve carried over the course of my life – experiences and emotions that I’m dusting off, pulling out from the darkest corners of my soul and releasing to the Lord, to be used for His glory.

It really sucks, being in pain. It’s really depressing to not be in control of my body. I’m acknowledging the hard while setting a timer on my thought life. I can sit here for a moment (or an hour) but then I get to choose what happens next. I can choose prayer, and living faithfully. By the grace of God, I can choose healing. Even if it’s not linear. Even if it’s not very tangible in the moment. Even if I don’t see the fulfillment this side of Heaven (but I’m praying that I do!)


6 thoughts on “Healing, like Grief, is not Linear”

  1. I love that quote whoever wrote it. But it makes sense to me. Grief in the fact that you are in pain and not able to enjoy life. You know they say unresolved anger leads to depression. But I think if we take all our pain during this lenton season and offer it up to our God he will show up for us. Maybe not in the way we want but in the way He wants. God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Continuing to lift you up in prayer. Praying for God’s healing upon you. So thankful that we have God to lean on for His strength during really hard times and when grieving. Love you, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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