After months of wrestling, I still find myself confronted with the question of "Why?"
Why did this event have to happen? What is the purpose of this pain? The pain that is in my heart; the pain found within my grief. The pain that is associated with the specific event of losing my spouse, my love.
I've been able to move forward and navigate life gently, I think, somewhat successfully. I still find great joy in the little things: birds flittering in the sky, waterfalls, shoes, adventures, etc. And the big things: deep friendships, writing, my job, what God is doing within me, etc. But even an optimistic person such as myself can still get sideswiped by the pain and hurt that weaves within a grief journey.
Over the past few months, I've learned how to predict the grief patterns within my emotions, much like a seasoned weatherman specializing in grief storms. This makes it easier sometimes, yet still some storms hit with little warning. For example, just yesterday, when sorting through books, I found both a sweet card Josh wrote me years ago and notes to the last sermon he shared in March last year (listen online).
This particular discovery floored me as his hand-written "big idea" stated, "How far will we go?" And although it was from John, it was pasted in Job of all places! Ugh!
Settling in for church online today with a fresh bout of grief lingering still, I laughed slightly at the message that seemed perfectly timed, yet still hard to hear. The title: "There's Purpose in Your Pain."
In my grief processing yesterday, I asked God this very question, "What is the reason for all of this? I just can't see it."
I so badly want to find the purpose, thinking at times if I can identify the purpose, it will help me feel better. But would finding the purpose take away my pain? Probably not, but a piece of me hopes so and therefore strives to solve a problem I can't solve. I am tired of tear-stained pillows and emotional storms blasting into my life. Bleh.
What's the solution? What do I do?
In a way, the answer is: nothing. But really, it isn't nothing; it's everything. The answer is to keep trusting and keep taking steps forward in my relationship with God. Easy right?
As I continued to wrestling with this concept throughout the day. I paused for a few minutes beside a beautiful flowing stream and honestly shared with God that "I want there to be a purpose to this pain."
His response: "It's not your job to find the purpose. It's your job to trust me."
Continuously, in my grief, the theme of trusting God and his timing shows up. I want to buck up against it but at the same time, I cannot move forward without it. If I circle back to the hand-written words from Josh's message, the question of "How far will I go?" lingers.
How far will I go when it comes to trusting that God does indeed have purpose for this pain?
How far am I willing to go with this whole trust thing?
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.