Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grace in Weakness

I've thought a lot about how to write a post about this. I've literally started it and stopped 3 different times in 3 completely different ways. Then I felt a bit stupid for seemingly making it such a big deal. That's when I realized that's exactly how I needed to write this. I have become weak in my sadness over the death of my sweet dog Gracie and I have finally realized that that is ok. I have Grace in my weakness. (And yes that's supposed to purposely tie together) :) 

I know that many of you have told me just that. You've let me know I'm not stupid for my sadness, that it's normal, it just takes time and to let my grieving happen in my own time - but I'm stubborn. And that is how I grieve - stubbornly. I've also realized I guess that's ok too, because that's how it's going to happen. I will fight it, and then give in a little, and then fight it, and then give in a little, and then fight it, and then give in a lot and have a nice melt down. That apparently is my grieving style. 

I hate feeling weak or not in control, and grief is very good at making me feel both of those simultaneously and dramatically. Obviously no one likes to feel grief but I wonder how many people fight it and argue with themselves about how they handle it like I have been? Maybe a lot, maybe a little, I don't know. As I read over the many failed attempts at writing this post I'm so thankful I have stopped fighting myself and have begun to feel better because at one point I felt like I never would. Here's a paragraph I started but wasn't able to finish a month ago because I became too hysterical and stopped writing:

     "Part of the struggle that is maddening for me is that I’ve realized I am not patient with myself. I hate feeling down or basically anything less than wonderful. I despise it. And I try as hard as I can to get out of a funk when I’m in one. I don’t know how to get out of this one. I will just start weeping at the most random times. Sometimes first thing in the morning when I wake my eyes start leaking and it’s aggravating me. I’m so tired of feeling sad and in the dumps and want to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I can reflect on my amazing dog baby and not go into hysterics. I’m trusting God is molding me somehow even though I can’t see it or feel it. All it feels like is sadness and pathetic-ness. Two things I am not a fan of. Maybe I’m just learning that everyone goes through seasons of those 2 things and hopefully I can be more compassionate and understanding to the next person who feels sad or pathetic through whatever avenue that may be."

However, thanks to the support, love, and prayers of so many I have been able to open up, accept my weakness, and grieve over the past 2 1/2 months (how has it been that long already!?!?). It's been difficult to say the least but I've become ok with telling people I can't talk about it too much in public or I will melt down in tears, and when that inevitably happens anyways - I'm ok now with that too. I've become ok having a meltdown in front of my bible study girls and finally letting them know the real turmoil going on inside (thank you for accepting me in my weakness). I'm ok with having a full on balling fest on the night of my goddaughters baptism to her mother and grandmother (thank you Tif and Lisa for accepting me in my weakness). I'm ok with the fact that this has brought me to my knees and made me weak. I've realized I can't shove it away or even deal with it on my own and I'm so thankful I don't have to. 

I'm also so thankful to be able to see a positive in all this finally as well. Through this weakness and grief I have learned to become more sympathetic to others in their struggles no matter what they may be, and in turn not fear what other people think about mine. It doesn't matter what others think about my grief or struggle because it's mine. And when others are weak or grieving, even if I don't completely relate, I can understand their difficulty in being weak and grieving. Because grieving is hard work.

This statement of grieving is hard work is so ironic because it's one I used to absolutely cherish when I was dealing with the grief of infertility. I remember one of our pastors, Barb, saying you have to do the HARD WORK of grieving to get through it and allow God to work in you. I remember thinking that was so mind blowing and so amazing that YES grieving IS hard work!! I did have to grieve the loss of my dream of becoming a mother, of being pregnant, of so many things that infertility brought into my reality. So how I could forget this gem of information upon the loss of my sweet Gracie dog / first born / daily companion / best friend / guardian / love / comforter? Because of all those reasons and more. The loss of all of those descriptions made me weak and I wasn't able to do the hard work of grieving for a little while….and that is OKAY.

I'm not done grieving or healing from my loss yet but I am thankfully much farther than I was. I now know it's a process that will continue for a very long time. There will be ups and downs, but the biggest thing I've learned is that no matter how weak or strong I am about it in any given day - it is okay and God is still in control, and even more so, when I am not. 

'Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it [a thorn in my flesh] away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ -2 Corinthians 12:8-10


  1. Linds my dear, I can feel your grief as I did that night when we visited, AND I have been there for not only a son, but a MUCH loved companion heart was broken when she left as surely as any human. Let go , let God. It will all come full circle and you will find soon, only blessed memories as opposed to tears. God Bless.


    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! I appreciate your support, encouragement, and love so much. So blessed to have you in my life!

  2. My favorite line: "It doesn't matter what others think about my grief or struggle because it's mine." So incredibly poignant, and I am so so so thankful to God that you have come to realize this point, because this is the hardest realization of grief.

    Awhile back, I read this, and it really hit home for me, so I'm sure it will for you as well: “There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve — even in pain — the authentic relationship.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    You do not need to think twice that your "someone" was a canine, not a human, because she was, in fact your baby, and your love, and your everything else. God has made you such an authentic and beautiful soul through your love, and through your grief, in the loss of sweet Gracie.

    I love you, my beautiful friend, to the ends of the earth and back again.

    1. Thank you so much for your love and encouragement, always. You are so sweet and I appreciate you in my life so much!! Love you!!