It doesn't seem so painful anymore. Until it does. Until it all comes back and it really hurts and you can’t help but be upset. You can’t help wanting to throw a fit; like a child. ‘throwing the toys out the cot” they say. You don't always get your way in fact almost always but sometimes you know we wish that we could, we sometimes want to take control because it makes us feel powerful, it makes us feel in control and oh we feel that we would write a better story.
It’s been four years since my dad was killed in a car accident and it has been a lot of crying, healing, hard questions, growth and transformation. I would be lying if I said there aren't times that I am feeling like I would still rather be who I was even if I've grown from it because at least that would mean I had him back.
I sometimes distance myself, I numb, I think that food, excessive tv, youtube clips or social media; something - anything will help me feel better and I won’t have to deal with it but then I look back up after hours and hours or empty packets and although it felt good, it felt better - it comes back much much worse than it was before.
I’ve had my good moments, my ‘I’m so much closer with Jesus’ moments and those have been incredible and wonderful but I've also had to do a lot of searching of myself, of God, of all of this.
Questions about why it happened and at one point I had the mentality as much as I hated it that I would get that this was a part of God’s great plan for me. That He thought that my dad didn't quite make the cut for the plans and future God had for me.
It hit me later that bad things do happen that are outside of God’s will, that people do perish and in this world we have free will. I believe with all my heart that God works everything together for the good, but He wouldn't have to do that if everything was good, so that means that there is bad, we see it and hear about it everyday.
It healed my heart so much to realise that yes God did allow it to happen but He didn't allow it to happen when my dad decided to go and collect paint that day, God allowed it when He created people and gave us free will because love isn't love if you don't have choice to return that love.
My Ouma (grandma) a few days after the accident saw me crying, she came up to me, sat down and touched my leg. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and through gasped out words the words I had in my head ‘why?’. Why did it happen, the farm, our farm, dads dream. It was starting to bloom, we had moved into the house the day my dads accident happened and thats what it was, it was a freak accident. It was one ‘normal’ day in august, it was two days before my brother and I were to fly home.
There was another time we were all sitting in the garden with family and friends days after the funeral and I heard a motorbike zoom by and for about ten seconds I thought that it was my dad and so I jumped out of my seat and I spun around only to see that it was a worker on my dads motorbike who was in charge for the day. I looked down and saw the faces of my family while they realized what had just gone in my heart. I saw it in their eyes to, this isn't fair, this shouldn't have happened, this isn't how this story was supposed to go.
My therapist once said to me that she thinks I have a healthy perspective on it all, she said that some clients go to the extremes. That some have a horrible way of remembering, that they have nothing but apathy for the person that was in their life. She said that the others have a ‘godlike’ picture and they elevate that person because they take those happy memories and they merge a picture of all the wonderful parts of that person.
She said I had a ‘healthy’ way, that I remembered dads faults and his beautiful parts of his soul and his beautiful parts far outweighed his bad pieces.
I had my mum and a few others say to me that they think I handled it best, that I handled it well. That because I worked through my emotions and talked about dad that somehow I had a better way of grieving
I don’t say these things because I feel like I have it all together, I really don’t. No of us do - I simply share it because no one does it well, no one has the best way. In this life we simply journey along this path called life in our own way and we cling to the hand of Jesus in the midst of it.
And yes he has been that place for me because as I'm sure you well know when the rug of life is pulled out from under you, you tend to stumble and fall. And after a number of attempts you get back up again and say okay I can do another day, it’s okay.. I'm not alone.
But its been hard wrestling with all of it, it’s not like the first few months, or even year that I would wake up in the morning thinking that life was ‘normal’ and then like being punched in the gut and stabbed in the heart I would remember that..no.. life wasn't normal anymore. Yet people still went on with their lives as per usual with the ‘be strong’ and the ‘I’m thinking of you’ comments swung to you in hopes they would land on the pad of your heart and make you feel better.
But thats not the wrestling anymore. I know dads not here anymore. Its not quite so painful, but its still there and that scar can still feel like its been poked, that your heart can still feel jarred and like its bleeding all over the place.
In some ways I know God to be a Father, the one I never knew I needed and in not having dad here it makes it more real and more personal. But you know somedays all I really want is a hug from my dad, a real life bear hug from the man I adored and sometimes feared for reasons I still don't know. He loved me so well, and encouraged and inspired so many and still does to this very day.
Why I am telling you all of this? ..Well because I want you to know you're not alone. We all have questions, doubts and hurts but I promise you there's no greater comfort than bringing all of it, all of your broken pieces to the feet of Jesus.
It’s hard and horrible that our closest times with Him are often the hardest parts of our stories. In which we wish we could rewrite or have them be tossed out all together, but through this mess I've been made to taste what Christ is to me.
There were and still are miracles that surround that time in my life and I couldn't be more thankful for them, I still miss my dad, I always will. I still cry and weep and kick and scream but i feel safer to do that than ever before, in the presence of someone who knows, who sees, who whispers relief to my soul.
I’m still here, you're still here, we’re still doing this thing called life, with all our questions and untold thoughts. I've learned He’s not afraid of my questions, He wants me to come with them and tell Him all and then like He so divinely does - He lavishes us with His love.
Oh sweet friend, He is so compassionate, He suffers and cries with us. The word passion actually means ‘suffering’. I find it incredibly messy and beautiful that our Saviour and Lord steps into our mess, pulls us in close and says ‘I know, me to. But you know what - you’ve got Me and thats where you find your joy, your strength, your hope.'
Just surrender, you're not alone. Just be held, be held by me. You don't have to muster up faith, you simply have to come to my feet and gaze into my eyes, I've always been here, you can come to Me, I long to be with you, take me by the hand, lets walk through it together.