I used to think mourning came only with the death of someone. Someone dies, you go to a funeral, you cry and grieve because you miss that person. But in this season of my life I have realized that mourning comes with different circumstances. As I sat reading the Word of God, searching for words of comfort & strength, I realized that I am in a stage of mourning.
We have been home two weeks from the hospital. It's wonderful to be in our own bed, looking out at Waimea Valley and absorbing the quietness of our neighborhood. I feel safe and calm as the morning sun warms me. The only sound I hear is the oxygenator machine pumping a steady flow of oxygen to Brooke's ventilator. It disturbs my peacefulness with the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh sound it makes. And I realize I grieve and miss the complete quietness that I used to sit in each morning. I mourn for that quietness. Silly isn't it? To grieve for blessed quietness, a quietness where I could close my eyes and it would clear my mind and calm my heart?! But I do and it's OK! I am grateful for the oxygenator but I still miss the peacefulness.
I mourn for the independence that I had before all this happened with Brooke. Before the trach and the ventilator, I could go for a walk and leave Brooke for a few hours alone. I used to say then that we didn't have spontaneity in our lives but I mourn even for those days where we could at least go out for a few hours together as a couple.
I mourn for the days where the words ventilator, tracheostomy, oxygen saturation, suctioning, etc. were not in our vocabulary. I mourn for 8 hours of sleep! I mourn for a future I had all planned out! How absurd is that!
I mourn for the days where ministry filled our hours. Being an active part of our church instead of being at home every day and every hour. I mourn and mourn and mourn.
So here's what I've learned about mourning...mourning can be exhausting. It zaps your strength and could occupy every thought you have if we allow it. But it is necessary too. When you mourn you allow those normal feelings to be felt so you can then deal with them and move on. BUT you don't want to dwell in the land of mourning. If we do dwell there then the depression sets in and we will begin to isolate ourselves which will then spiral us down deeper into the depression. An ugly cycle.
So what should I do? Ok for those who know me you'll be saying at this point, "this is where she goes to that book again-the Bible". You're right, I went there for you see I learned a long time ago that God's Word is the only thing that will sustain, strengthen and comfort me. So I decided to see what others in the Bible did when they mourned, and God took me to Naomi in the Book of Ruth. I'm glad God took me to Naomi cause I really like her as she is so transparent! Naomi mourned for what she had lost. She lost her husband, her sons and her way of life. She doesn't hide her feelings, she shares them but she also makes a crucial decision. She decides to go back to her homeland, which means she was also returning to her God! She chose to return to where she could once again seek her God and worship Him. Naomi taught me it's not about me but about God. My life is to be centered around worshipping and magnifying God. I learned I need to turn toward God not away from Him. My mourning could discourage me so much that I could choose to cling to it rather than cling to the Great Comforter.
Naomi taught me through her concern for Ruth that my focus is to be on loving God and loving others. I need to change my focus. As I reach out to others my own mourning will be healed. But how can I do that God if I can't leave home? I don't know, but I do know that when God thinks I'm ready He will show me.
I don't want to waste my sorrow for God has allowed this in my life for a reason. I don't know the reason and even if I did I don't think my small mind would be able to comprehend it all. But I don't want to miss what God has for me through all of this. After all, I have more days behind me than in front of me and I don't want to waste even one.
I know there will be moments I will slip back into the mourning - probably by noon today! But I do hope that what God has taught me this morning will help me to ride that wave of grief triumphantly!
So for now I will cling to, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" Matthew 5:4.