The other day we went downtown to visit the National Archives. We saw the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Very moving.
I cried, unashamedly.
My boys think I am silly, especially when I cry in public. They thought so that day. Even the friends we were with did not totally understand the depth of the emotions I was feeling.
Neither did I. It just hit me–the blood, sweat, and tears that went into this document coming to be. The hours of intense living that went into the whole idea of freedom. The greatness of a God who allowed a little upstart group of people to have Providence.
The guard told me that lots of people cry. He said, “It’s your declaration. It’s your country.”
I feel that way about my grief journey.
I feel that way about my life journey.
The American Indian proverb says, “Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.” (I looked it up to make sure I got the wording right.)
I still cry over Keith. Not every day. Not in predictable places and at predictable times. I may always cry at those unpredictable times.
It’s my declaration. It’s my grief.
It’s not that I am ignoring the grieving. I have waded in with both arms open and have embraced it. It is just a long, involved process. Like learning to walk again…or run…after an amputation.
It’s not that I am weak. I just have these tears God gave me, this pain God gave me. I am not wallowing in it. Embracing is not wallowing…at least it doesn’t have to be. I am exploring, testing, growing, changing — all because of this pain. And I thank God that He loves me enough to give me this chance to refine off some hard edges and become even more His child.
We all have stuff we are going through…we are all on a journey. Mine just happens to be a grief journey. But we are all being refined in the fire.
We just have to allow ourselves to be refined. And that sometimes is the hardest part of the journey of all.
Another old saying says, “God loves us just the way we are, but too much to let us stay that way.”
Praise be to God!
Even for the Refiner’s fire…especially for it!
For you, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance. – Psalm 66:10-12