Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A paradigm shift...

In life I don't think it's uncommon for people to grow and change in their beliefs and faith. Ones outlook on life changes in relation to or in response to their experiences, events that occur and simple maturity. It wouldn't be living if we didn't change.

I'm not opposed to change. To quote my mother, it's the only thing constant in life. I am however, somewhat resistant to it. I like things to stay the same. The weather. My weight (if I can get to a comfortable weight!). My mood. The mood of others. All of this relates to my love of stability and structure and routine. I don't like the unexpected. Happy surprises are wonderful. But even those can be unnerving and disappointing sometimes. And I like to be in control of the change too. (Go figure).

In the past year there have been changes in my life that I haven't been happy about. Changes that have affected my outlook on life. And my faith. I know and believe that God is working in our world. And I want to see those things and believe in that. But when change that shakes one to the core happens, it is difficult to look at the world in the same way as before that change.

It's been almost 8 months since Nikki died. And it tears me apart to type that. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her and miss her and feel anger toward God for not healing her. I am not a person who believes that God takes people from us. I know bad things happen and it isn't the result of some greater plan written down before we were born. But that doesn't help with the anger and resentment about her being gone. Or how to reconcile that she is gone with my faith.

One source of comfort and inspiration I have found is the former senior pastor at our church. He is battling cancer again. He had lymphoma in 2008 and it was found to have come back during one of his routine check-ups. I am amazed at his strength and his faith as he battles this disease. And I am disappointed in myself at not being able to be as resilient. After all I have not suffered with this. Just with the loss.

I came across this piece of wisdom on a blog I follow. It is maintained by a woman who lost her husband to cancer.

"Every day is truly a gift. The day after isn't guaranteed. Life is precious and uncertain and too special to be wasted."

And isn't it the truth. We don't know what tomorrow or even the next hour will bring. And it is wasteful to waste the time we have when we should be doing what we love and being with those we love. And approaching the world from a place of love and peace and grace that can only come when we fill our hearts with these things. And that is so hard to do when we live in a world filled with so much loss and senseless violence and selfishness and greed. And so many other things that are useless. It often seems that the evil and profane and sad things dominate our society. They certainly dominate the news!

I have for a long time lived in a bit of a bubble. I don't want to know about a lot of the things that are happening in the world. It saddens me. And often does for days. So I don't watch the news and I rarely listen to anything other than public radio and only certain times of the day. I protect myself from what I don't want to know. And while this may seem rather naive it often seems to be necessary for my own sanity and self-preservation. And what has been so difficult since Nikki died is protecting myself from the grief and sadness that her absence has brought. It's not possible to do. And thus I am forced to learn to deal with this. And it's so very hard. But it is changing the way that I live each day. And for that I am thankful.


Janet said...

Heather, this is such a thought-provoking post. I totally understand what you are saying. I have wrestled with the same issues...grief, anger, anger about the grief...the whole works. I don't have the answers, but know that you're not alone. Thanks for sharing your heart!

jillconyers said...

Well written Heather. I'm betting your post would ring true in some way for almost (if not all) of your readers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

noeliaevangelista said...

Heather, this is such a wonderful post. I like your honesty and how you reflect on things you can't quite fully understand. I know how you feel as I struggle with the same things. How can God allow suffering, how can the innocent suffer (child abuse is the worst and most despicable thing to do) and all those evil things that happen in the world. I too try not to listen to the news because sometimes it's too much to bear and I feel like my heart is bleeding, truly.

We don't have all the answers but it's ok to question and to seek.

Feel my hug today and know that you are a very special friend and woman.

emily said...

You are being resilient. You are grieving. A process that effects each of us in different ways and at times similar ways....sadness, anger, questioning.... This was a powerful post. You are resilient in that you are allowing yourself to grieve - you are letting yourself feel the not-so-fun feelings, you are taking care of yourself, your family, playing with your little boy. You aren't freezing and feeling immobilized. And even that is ok and part of the process sometimes. Change is so hard. Sending your big hugs :)

jillconyers said...

Just checking in to say hello :)