That quote has been rattling around in my mind for a couple days. I have no idea who said it originally, but it’s accurate.
I think back a time when grief broke me. I see clearly moments when I snapped hurtful words at those I loved and times when I avoided communication, disappearing behind my own veil of insecurity and pain.
I remember a moment at church several year ago when a greeter said, “hello,” and I responded, “you don’t have to say hello to me. I’m not new.”
As soon as the words left my mouth, I wanted to scoop them up and swallow them back down. I knew what I meant as a joke, had a bite of bitterness to it. I was raw with overwhelming sadness as my mother slowly died of Alzheimer’s. Because I was helping my Dad care for her, I wasn’t able to be involved at church like I had been for years. I felt unusable and forgotten. What I needed was a hug, but instead I was a prickly porcupine who pushed those around me away. I was that hurting person who was hurting people.
During that time, I walked away from friendships and hid in my house. I didn’t have the energy to make any effort to leave, to talk, to reach out. The grief weighed me down. And I lashed out when touched. Some of those friends I lost forever. Others walked through the pain with me. My life looks very different than it did before my mom got sick. And I’m finding my new life I’d a good one too. I can smile and laugh. I have new Tuesday knitting friends, and monthly lunch dates with my oldest friend, two new prayer partners, my steadfast Moms in Prayer friends, new ministries like Fostering Hope and my faithful Life Journal group girls. I’m finding that God was with me through every minute of the grieving process.
and I’ve realize that sometime experience gives you perspective. I used to get angry with “mean” people.. now my first question is, “are they hurting?”
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have any patience for those who are cruel. But I do try to give grace to the prickly. There is a difference between the two. And my grief has taught me to tell them apart.
is there someone in your life who is hurting you because they are hurting? Is God asking you to stand beside them through their pain? Or Are you the one experiencing pain? Can you see how God wants to fill the void left by others to bring newness into your life?
Only when we have experienced brokenness can we find wholeness.