5 Years

Chuck reminded me last night that today is my 5 year blog anniversary.  It's rather humbling to have a 5 year blog anniversary of a blog entitled "Full of Joy" on a day when I feel not-so-full-of-joy.  I want to be.  I want to have a joyful heart.  I want to choose joy in the midst of sorry because I know my hope is in Jesus.  My Savior.  Now is the time when I'm supposed to be joyous in the midst of sorrow, right?  And like I said, I want that.  I want to be that girl.

My soul seems to be at war with my brain.  The big brain vs. soul brawl of 2011.  My soul says to weep, mourn, wail, and let it rain.  My head says to get back on the horse (OK, dumb illustration because the only time I attempted to ride a horse at the tender age of 10, the stupid said horse tried to bite me.  I've never been back on a horse since.  I sat in a mini-van with the mom of the birthday girl for the entire party.).  Or at least to jump back into my normal routine.  But when my soul tries I am plagued.  Destined to stay home, which really is where I want to be.  I find relief in being in my own home, not having to face the common public.  Not yet.  I'm not ready.  It's just too much.

What I'm trying to seek God for right now is this:  God, is it OK if I take a backseat on life right now?  It is OK if I remain secluded in the safety of my happy home with my Love?  Or do I need to dive back into the reality that is my life?  Or more accurately my old life.  Life today is very, very different than it was 2 months ago.  Life as I knew it will not be the same.  Maybe I'm just not ready to face my new life.  My changed life.

What is at the top of the list of things I'm learning is that losing a baby is a looooong PROCESS.  I read that on a medical website, and wish I had been prepared sooner.  I'm still struggling physically.  Not wanting to freak out those stray few male readers, I'll omit the gory details but I'm tired of the physical toll.  Tired of the pain, tired of taking Advil like candy- when it seems to have the same effect that candy would.  Gone are the days of Percocet.  Oh sweet Percocet how I miss you.

I feel bad being a downer.  I honestly do NOT want to be the black rain cloud girl.  I just don't know how to be real and honest without coating it with sugar.  It would have to be fake sugar.  I'm reading a fabulous book "Choosing to See", written by Mary Beth Chapman.  Her husband, Steven, writes the foreword.  In it he says, He (Dan Allender) talked about how for many Christians, sorrow and pain are seldom embraced by those experiencing it but rather "often denied or swept under the spiritual rug of 'God's sovereignty'."

I am desperately trying not to sweep my sorrow and pain under a spiritual rug.  I am trying to navigate my way through the quicksand and keep my heart open to that still, small voice.


Grief is a tricky beast.  I'm not sure I even want to try to describe it, but I'm sitting here typing so there must be something inside this writer's soul that needs to work it's way out.  Is describing grief like mixing oil and water?  Because oil and water can not be mixed.

A few weeks ago, my personal D-day actually, I was at a Pot Luck.  Chuck and I had been pretty excited about it.  I was in the kitchen of a friend's house mixing up the dressing for the Oriental Salad I was going to serve.  Since we don't own a salad dressing shaker (what the heck would that be called anyway?), I always use our Margarita  shaker to mix dressing.  It called for EVOO (Mom, that means Extra Virgin Olive Oil).  When I went to wash the shaker out, the oil would not- could not- be moved.  I scrubbed and scrubbed and used really hot water.  But, no.  The oil stayed put.  I stuffed it in our bag and went on with the Pot Luck as usual.

Now this is a strange component about grief.  I'm thinking about that Margarita shaker and the oil not mixing with water.  And it was that very same Pot Luck where I started bleeding- which led to the loss of our baby- and had to leave early.  That very same Pot Luck when every time I think about it, I want to burst into tears.  And every time I think of that stupid Oriental Salad, I feel sick to my stomach.

So we returned home with instructions from a nurse to rest, and be assured that the baby would be OK.  Of course I began scrubbing that dumb Margarita shaker again to try and get the oil out.  Another component of grief:  people do the strangest things.  Like scrub Margarita shakers to get the oil out.  Because really people don't want to pay attention to the doom residing in their soul, choking them.  They just want to scrub.   In the end, a paper towel did the trick.  Until I moved on to the actual salad bowl and found more oil.  I gave up.

So why try to describe grief?   Especially when it's like attempting to mix oil and water?

I'm certainly not looking for sympathy votes as I write.  I'm not.  So many other people are grieving, too.  I just want to tackle this beast of grief.  What is it?  How is it taking it's toll on me?  On Chuck?  Grief is so different for every person and has so many different faces.

For instance, Chuck and I both lost our very first baby, our only offspring.  But the way we have handled it has been as equally different as being male and female.  How can I lie in bed, suffering- crying the morning away into my pillow, while he goes to work and tells people he's doing "well"?  It's because grief rears it's ugly head so differently in so many different ways for every different person.  My way is not better than Chuck's way and vice versa.

That's all I have to say for now.  It's time to go heat up left overs for dinner.  And Lord knows it won't be anything to do wtih EVOO.