“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4 NIV).
This morning as I type this entry, I am amazed at the radical difference between my state of mind and heart last week - and up until a mere 24 hours ago! I don't know for sure what was going in "my universe" but I felt as if I had hit a wall, or was surrounded by some huge barrier from which I could not escape. No amount of prayer - and there was a great deal - could relieve the tremendous burden I was feeling. I just felt - not attacked per se - like I was in some sort of struggle which I could neither define nor overcome.
Friday afternoon my mom's ashes were interred at the cemetary. It was a beautiful, sunny day here in Richmond, but my heart was gray and dreary--and I felt that way all week! Saturday morning, it was is if I had been washed clean, set free, uplifted and unchained! I now think that the unsettledness and heaviness could have been empathy with the struggle of my mom awaiting her final send off to heaven -- at least symbolically so. That's probably not very sound theology. I know her soul immediately left her body when she died on March 11, but I (and I beleive other family members have felt) as if her spirit was lingering since that time - interacting from a place between 2 realms - to comfort us, guide us, direct us, help us let go of her physical presence.
I can't help but think that the symbolic finality of her burial ended a spiritual struggle she was dealing with -- and I felt as well. Perhaps it was only my own hesitation to let go of her--my own defiance against the cruel hurt of bearing the truth that she is gone from this world. I wasn't present at the interment, but my dad told me it was a nice day there and the ceremony was lovely. My sisters, brother and brother-in-law were with Dad as they buried mom. I was there in my thoughts with them - watching the clock all afternoon - thinking about what was happening and knowing how hard it was to have such finality.
The incredible vastness and intricate interweavings of the universe -- earthly and heavenly realms - is so much more apparent - and awe-inspiring now through this experience! I know without question that Mom has "intruded" into my little part of the universe more than once since she died! I have felt a change in the air pressure surrounding me - or a slight breeze or sunburst. I don't believe these instances are due to my naievete - rather they are real and undeniable! Heaven opens up a million times a day to allow its saints to interject themselves into the earthly realm.
Last week my business came to a screeching halt - literally no returned phone calls or texts, to responses to emails and nothing I did or said made a lick of difference. I had a sense of foreboding and doubting my decision to start the business. Beginning Saturday morning, my phone "blew up" and customers and potential team members have called, texted, emailed me!
My spiritual life took a nosedive too! Yes, I know the two are related - and I cannot/will not ever succeed without a healthy spiritual life! My prayers felt empty, and seemed to be ineffectual. I begged God to lift the weight I was bearing. But God knew I needed to bear the grief and have only the grief upon which to focus. I didn't like it - never will - but I was instructed that I must allow myself the space and time and thoughts that surely will be required to move through the grieving process.
As I stated previously, there is no shortcut through the grief. I had tried to "push it down" to move on with my life. Perhaps that was the weight I felt! Perhaps it was my own reluctance in fully embracing that my life must go on in spite of my profound sadness.
In the end it is about submission. I don't like that word - and the act even less! It was - and always will be - about submitting to God's will, His plan, His wisdom, knowledge and desire for us and our lives. We don't have to like it - probably won't. But it is an absolute necessity if we are to thrive and flourish in this life here on earth! We must submit to God. That truth is one with which I will struggle until the end of my days! But I am so grateful to know Jesus assures us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?"
I rejoice that one day I will be with Mom in heaven and she will be so excited to introduce to Jesus and the saints there with her.
Blessings on your journey,