It was a startling revelation.
After Grannie's death, I no longer walked side-by-side with Jesus. Somehow, I had focused so much on Grannie being in Heaven with God, that I did not perceive God as walking with me on earth. Don't get me wrong -- I still prayed for other people. I interceded for them and for myself. I asked for big things and small things. I thanked Him for the blessings that He had clearly brought into my life. On the surface, it didn't seem like anything had really changed.
Intimacy. There was very little intimacy between us.
It's hard for me to feel entwined with a God that I picture residing in a realm that I really cannot fathom. I did not consciously put Him only in Heaven. It's just that I had spent so much time concentrating on Grannie's new space that I forgot about how He fills my own. Right here on earth.
The last week or so, I have found it difficult to access my emotions. For two weeks, I've Skyped with my dad. We've talked a lot about Grannie and he'd always end up with tears flowing from my eyes. For some reason, I could not cry with him. The tears simply would not come, no matter how much nostalgia or sadness welled in my my heart. I had shut down a part of my heart, perhaps because I had so much of my regular life with which to catch up, perhaps so that I could concentrate on the grief of my children, perhaps because I was simply tired of emotion. Or, perhaps, all of the above.
I am grateful that God transcends all boundaries, real and imaginary. I'm grateful that just because I put Him in one realm, He didn't abandon me in mine. On Friday, I went to bed dismayed with myself. I realized that I had lost much of my desire to be with my children. I had turned inward so much during the grief process that I could not find peace except when I was alone. Everything seemed to tax me beyond the burden I could bear. So, I called out to God and threw up my prayers to Heaven.
Help me desire my children. Please motivate me to show them how much I love them, how much I appreciate them, how precious they are to me. I am empty. Please...please fill me and help me see beyond myself.
I woke up the next morning able to love. In fact, I had a long meeting at church on Sunday and couldn't wait to be with them again. I even interrupted their rest time (unprecedented!) to go hang out with them on Abby's top bunk where they had been playing (nicely!). I still have moments of impatience and I still treasure the stolen moments of peace, but a piece of my heart has been put back in the right place again. My broken heart is healing and it's not due to a God sitting in the clouds, working from afar. It's because of a Jesus who walks beside me every moment of every day, who is there whether or not I acknowledge Him.
I remember praying thanksgivings on Saturday or Sunday night and feeling slightly shocked at the work God had done in my heart. It's not like these things hadn't happened before, but it was the first time it had happened since Jesus had become impersonal to me, since I had drowned out His presence with my grief. As I was processing all of this last night as I lay in my bed, I imagined Him sitting next to me. I started talking with Him instead of just to Him. I accessed the part of my heart where I stored my deep missing of my grandmother and I cried a little. I let go of some emotions that I had stuffed deep into the reservoirs that lie in the heart. It wasn't overwhelming, just another part of life after someone I love passes away.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran