Saturday, June 8, 2013

Let's Just Be Honest Here


It's hard to believe all that has happened in the past seven days.  Let me just say -- this week has been full on.  One of those weeks that is a hinge between "before" and "after," and nothing, nothing feels the same.

I never imagined that over half of Made's early bird spots would be sold out by now.  I never imagined that the registered students would already be forming a community of love in our Facebook group.  And (since we're being honest here) I never believed that anyone would want some heart-child-creation of mine like the Made students have wanted this course.  Thank you for that, those of you whose own hearts leapt and said yes!

I never imagined that on Tuesday a friend would message me to say that her baby had died before he was born, died inside of her, and that I would fly to be with her and stand in the pain and meet her sweet son and hold her as she cried when she did the things that no mother should ever have to.

I never imagined the way this would make my own grief over Eve feel so raw and new.  I have cried more in the past few days than I have in the past few months.  And really, it was needed.  My grief had scabbed over while there was still hurt that needed draining, and this has reopened me not only to pain but to healing as well.  This is hard, and good.

I never imagined that witnessing my friend's loss and grief would stir up the courage to lean into this thing that's been on my heart for over a year but that I've been too afraid to embrace.  Seven days ago I would not have believed you if you'd told me that my heart would be saying "yes" to this strange calling this week. 

And (hang on, we're switching gears here) I never imagined how hard it would be to try to hang on to my faith when my husband lost his.  It makes me feel weak and my faith feel paltry that his decision for atheism would rock me so profoundly.  That his choice would feel so much like death in my heart.  I turn to God's word for comfort, and find it cold and hard.  I am trying to enter in, but it feels like banging my head against a wall. 

I never imagined that all this things would converge with my anxiety and as a result that I would find myself unable to go to bed for four nights in a row (and counting . . .).  That this would stir up my eating disordered tendencies that still lie nested in the recesses of my brain.  That I would feel so profoundly old.

I don't know how to wrap all this up in a neat bow.  Probably because that's impossible, although that fact doesn't stop me from wanting to try.  I believe that Jesus is bigger than my self-doubt, than my God-doubt, than my pain and fear and shatteredness.  But some days -- days like this one, that falls at the end of an uninmaginably beautiful and terrible and terrifying week -- it's hard to see that belief as anything more than flimsy smokescreen of desperate self-delusion. 

But telling you these things feels like praying.  And if God is the God I believe he is, than this is enough.  This is prayer, and worship, and enough and enough and enough.  Even though my heart is too tired to hold onto that hope.

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Are you interested in exploring the intersection of art and faith?  Then the Made online course might be for you!  Come adventure into the creative heart of God with us this fall.  It's not too late to get your early bird registration prizes!

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  1. Thank you for sharing all of this so honestly, Beth. Sometimes sharing with others is the only prayer we can manage-- sometimes having others pray for us is the only prayer we can manage too. And I think that's okay. When my son was hospitalized for three months I refused to pray because all I could do was scream and say hateful things. I just wanted others to have faith for me. I couldn't muster it myself. You're not alone.

  2. Oh Beth, some of it I had picked up on. Some of it I had no idea. And it makes my heart ache. I know you don't know me (a Made course member) but I'm sending some gentle hugs your way and praying.

  3. ohmygosh THIS. people always say "oh, thank you for being so raw and honest" but never have i so deeply identified with your raw and honest. the not-wrapped-up-in-a-pretty-bow version of honest. REAL honest. not the "i've figured this out in some way, so i am okay sharing it." no, it's like THIS. IS. ME right now, in all the celebration and desperate grief and doubt and weariness. i love you even more for all of this. thank you for writing, friend.

  4. oh, sweet Beth, the rawness here pouring out of you is wrapping around us here. you are treading on holy ground, in the pain.

    i love you, sweet one.

  5. I am so blessed to know your beautiful vulnerable, raw self, because it helps me know mine more fully. Thank you.

  6. Beth, thank you for sharing the hard things.
    These sentences ring with so much truth for myself and anyone living in grief..."My grief had scabbed over while there was still hurt that needed draining, and this has reopened me not only to pain but to healing as well. This is hard, and good."
    Praying for God's comfort to soften, to become alive and warm for you quickly.
    Much love to you, Beth

  7. <3 Your faith, sweet friend, is NOT paltry. Cling close to God; He will give you strength and peace.

  8. This may sound funny to say to someone I've never met--but I love you, sweet Beth. I stand in awe of you. There are no easy words here. In times such as these, I hear Leonard Cohen's words about cracks--they let the light in. You, dear one, are bathed in light, even when all seems dark. Praying for you right now, for peace, for your burden to dissolve like mist in the warmth of comfort. xoxo

  9. I have just read this post and your post about you being present with your friend losing her son, and my goodness Beth I wish I could just hug you in real life. This from your post about sacred ground was probably the most beautiful thing I have ever read, yet the most painfully accurate description of losing a child... "Because that calm in the storm of grief is so short-lived, and all too soon the bereaved mother is shoved back out into the world where everything feels so harsh and her heart is so raw that if feels as if she's walking around with no skin on and everything, everything hurts."

    I can totally relate to your faith being rocked... and how your grief feels raw again when someone so close to you watches their child die. You just begin to wonder how God can still be God... but somehow he still is. And at the end of the day he is the only hope we have. One step at a time. Baby steps. I believe God just gets it all.

  10. I am following you so closely on this blog right now. I can't help myself. I didn't experience the week you did but I just need to say that your writing about this week is touching me and my journey of grief too. The crust on the scab of losing my son is getting picked at also as I read. I am taking about it, sharing what you have said. And God is in the midst of it all... hearing, seeing, speaking, loving. I agree with Franchesca I wish I could give you a real life hug too. I wish I could call you up and ask if we could go for a coffee or something just so I could hear you pour out more of your heart. And maybe you would let we poor out mine.

  11. Standing with you, holding your hand in silence. <3

  12. Beth,
    I am so moved by your outpouring of words here. Praying with you in the midst of this sadness. Please know that God has you. Psalm 139 has been my lifeline these past few years. Thank you for your heart.

  13. When I sat alone in the mental hospital, I opened my Bible even when the words just looked like letters set down beside each other. I had opened my Bible for a lifetime and I didn't stop just because my mind was mush. Somehow, incredibly, by a miracle I heard God deep inside--Psalm 91. Praying it for you today. Remembering the power of God's Word to heal. Love you from afar and knowing that this will change---life moves on. Grab hold of Hope for yourself, for Jacob, because of Eve--- and love the Best Husband Ever like you never have. I believe in you.

  14. Praying for strength and renewed HOPE!! Just no adequate words but know you are being cared for by so many.

  15. Life. It tosses you around and flips you over and slams you down, just to pick you up to the sky and do it all over again. The one consistency in it all is that HE is there, in it and through it. I had years....YEARS...10 of them, when I didn't pick up the Word at all. And after I did again, it was hard sometimes because I just stared at the pages, not taking anything in. When I feel that way now, I just put the book up to my chest, wrap my arms around it, and lay still. It's like holding Jesus as close as I can because I need Him so much. You are so loved my dear!! One moment at a time. That's all you need to do. Big Hug!


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King