|Amazing Photo (of Clementine) by Anjie Henley|
On days like today, I feel like a fraud because I can't quite get to the point of peace.
Friends tell me, often, that I've a calming presence, and twelve days ago, I wrote this comment on the blog of a friend in my real-life community:
Everything has two sides, like a coin. Every hurt is the dark side of a blessing. So, for example, if we grieve when someone dies, a relationship ends, we argue with someone, etc., we do so only because we first experienced love. The grief is proportionate to the love. This is not an excuse to dwell in grief; rather, it's an opportunity to allow the grief to flow through us while focusing on the love...the blessings...the reasons to give thanks. These things cannot be taken from us even if the person or relationship is gone.
When I wrote it, I meant it, having discovered it a few years ago, at the white-hot center of pain. And I still believe it; I do. But of course I find it easier to preach than to practice.
We didn't attend church this past Sunday; on Friday, I'd dropped Cade off at his dad's (knowing they'd leave for vacation the next day, and I wouldn't see Cade for over a week), and the rest of us had driven four hours north for the saddest of occasions. On Saturday, we'd stopped to see my grandma before heading home. The visit had gone wonderfully, but I'll be honest: it always takes my heart several days to recover from a visit with my grandma. I didn't feel like I had it in me, Sunday morning, to get to church. I made smoothies, quiche.
But the Sunday before last, Pastor David preached on peace, and, at one point, he read this verse, which has been playing over and over in my head: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27, KJV).
I'm not going to lie: I struggle when Cade's gone. It's not that I don't know he's in good hands, and I've been conditioned to do pretty well for about half a week. But about the time Night #4 rolls around, I start to get weepy and weird, and--by the time the week's over (because a week has always been my absolute limit)--I'm a nutbar.
This is Night #6 of 8. I'm barely hanging on. I don't feel like I can think, or write, properly. I'm desperate to have my boy back.
And then: does this happen to you? Most everytime I have a bad feeling, I feel guilty for having the bad feeling, so I have guilt to deal with on top of whatever the inital yuck. In this case, my heart is troubled in missing Cade, but chances are excellent that he'll be right here on Saturday, and I have loved ones whose little boys are in heaven, and who am I to complain? But the guilt doesn't make the misses go away; instead, it makes me feel even worse.
I baked a blackberry-apple pie, yesterday. It was fantastic. It was so fantastic I've already eaten the entire pie (minus the single slice Jim ate). And that's the peace the world giveth. That's the peace Satan offers.
I am experiencing emotional pain. My heart aches for my cousin; I think of her every-other second. I want her son back. I want my son back. I want my grandma back. And I want my cat (who went to live with a friend, today) back.
And so I want a cigarette. And a beer. And an entire pie in a day's time. None of it is good for me, and any partaking will make me feel worse, ultimately.
I need the Lord's peace. I know I need it.
More, later. Linking this mess with Michelle and Emily.