I said at the end of my last post that I no longer was angry with God over the m/c, but I should probably mention I still did have some anger at IF. The anger wasn't really towards God or anyone else, just anger at the situation. I have never really grieved IF itself until now and anger is part of every grief process. I also found myself getting easily annoyed and irritated with people. This may have been somewhat caused by my hormones going a little crazy, but whatever the cause, the irritability along with just general anger over IF was causing me to have to fight the urge to yell at random people in the commissary (military grocery store for my civilian readers), at the movie theater, and basically any place else I went. At this point I felt like God was telling me to step back from things, that I needed time alone with Him to heal. Initially, I had tried to jump right back in to my ladies Bible study and had tried to venture out with friends. I knew church itself would be too painful so I hadn't even tried to go back to church at this point, but I was also feeling really guilty about that decision. About this time I came across this post on Beth's blog and the Lord really spoke to me through it. She said,
“Right now God has me tightly in the palm of his hand protecting me and loving me, and asking everyone else, except for the people HE has chosen, to please leave the room so that he can bring the young girl who is “asleep” back to life. I am the young girl asleep right now, and in due time, I will rise with a new and vibrant life, and what a story we will have!”
She wrote this based on the following passage from Luke.
When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child's father and mother. 52Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep."53They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" 55Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up... "
I believe these words were meant for me. It also confirmed something else the Lord had previously revealed to me. I have been reading from "My Utmost for His Highest" since the end of last year each morning. On the morning of January 13th (which was when we found out Johannah had no heartbeat) before I went in for my doctor's appointment I remember thinking this exact thought before I read that morning's devotion, "I wonder if God has a special word for me today." And this is what I read,
"Have You Ever Been Alone with God?
His solitude with us. When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship - when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us."
Whoa, that didn't sound like anything I wanted to hear right before my first OB appointment. And so at the time I brushed it off thinking surely God must mean this for some other time or better yet for some time in the past. But it was meant for this time and He told me to go back and read it again. I did not go back to church, I stopped attending my ladies Bible study, and I stepped back from social outings. I should mention that I did not completely shut myself off from everyone, I still attended my small group Bible study, I still met with each week with my grief counselor, and I still kept in contact with people through blogs and emails. But I began to spend more time with the Lord studying the Bible, praying, and listening to worship music. As I was obedient to the Lord, He began to reveal things to me. The thing about grief is that it doesn't go away, it will wait for you. When you experience a new loss, any unresolved grief from previous losses will pop right back up, "Hey, remember me? Yup, I'm still here." The Lord showed that there were other issues that still had to be dealt with. He has been taking me through a healing process by working me through the first of these issues. He has shown me that I need to surrender it all to Him, every bit of hurt and pain and allow Him to use it however He chooses. I can't hold on to it anymore. This process has only just begun, but already God has brought about tremendous healing and truly set me free from some things. I don't know if this would have happened if we had not lost Johannah, so as much as I wish we had not lost her, I am thankful for how God has used it for good.
I would not say I am fully healed, but there were a couple of things that God really used to bring about a great deal of healing. One of these is meeting with a grief counselor from my church on a weekly basis. I think I will write a separate post on this because I have much more to say about this. The other thing that helped me a great deal was to hold a service for Johannah. I know this might seem like a weird thing to do to some people, but it was so healing for me. I may write about this in more detail later. The morning of her service I was able to write her a letter to say good-bye for now. Having the service and writing the letter really unlocked the tears that were needing to come out. The day after the service is when we went to the beach and wrote her name in the sand (see picture below). After this I was able to have some good cries and I definitely felt such tremendous sadness over our loss. When John left for Peru on the 13th my plan was to take time alone to grieve some more. I spent the first 3-4 days after he left alone to allow myself time to grieve, but I was surprised that I didn't need to cry more than I did. I wouldn't say I am all cried out, I still miss her all the time and I know there will be hard times ahead, especially around her due date. But I think I have reached the point of acceptance of our loss. I was able to go back to church the past 2 Sundays and I started to go back to my ladies Bible study (not sure about this one yet). So this pretty much sums up things up until this point.