I have started to see similarities in the "grief" cycle. (Stupid name.) I know what to expect as I am climbing up out of the pit, and I also know what to expect as I slide back down. Fortunately, the times in between are farther apart and sometimes not as painful.
At the top of my pit, I am able to be most things to most people. I can plan a menu, shop for groceries, and this time around I can actually fix the food. I can plan my children's school lessons, and this time actually make sure they are doing them. I can make all of the appointments I have put off in the past 2 months and actually get my kids to them. (Although I cannot seem to get Ashlee to voice lessons on time.) I am not sure what mindset I was in when I arranged for all of these appointments, but for the next 2 weeks, we are booked solid! What was I thinking??? UGH!
At the bottom of my pit, I am completely worthless. But, I have an extremely forgiving family who pitches in to take care of the needs of the home when I cannot. At the bottom of the pit, I know about faith. I know what it is, I know all the scripture that comforts, I know it all....I just can't REACH it. And that I cannot figure out. For some reason, just knowing it all and believing it all doesn't get you out of the pit when you want out. But, on the way up out of the pit, the Word starts to feed you again.
Jacob has been on the minds of my kids lately. Isn't that typical??? On my good days, they are having bad days. Their grief doesn't seem to last as long. S&J have both mentioned him several times. "J" will just say "Jacob Levi Phillips" and then go about his business, almost like if he says his name, he will remember. "S" and I had this conversation before church yesterday:
"S" - I wish Jacob were like us.
Me - What do you mean? (I really thought she meant, you know, alive.)
"S" - I wish Jacob was vanilla like us.
Me - Well, God made Jacob just the way He wanted him.
"S" - Yeah, God made Jacob chocolate and made us vanilla.
She is still trying to grasp the whole "Jacob is with Jesus" concept. So hard for a 4 year old. Right after Jacob's death, she asked where he was...here is the conversation:
"S" - Where's Jacob?
Me - Jacob is with Jesus.
"S" - We like Jesus, don't we? (She was very serious, just making sure Jesus was okay for us to leave our baby with!)
She is so funny sometimes. We used to go to the mall and she would blurt out "MOMMY! There's a chocolate baby just like OUR chocolate baby!"
Enough of that. God has shown me several things this past week. First of all, I have to stop worrying about my kids. I am concerned that their mom is useless and their teacher is worse! How can I biblically train them if I can't even do the laundry??? They are going to miss out on so much during these pits that they will never recover. (Okay, that was a little dramatic...I wasn't that good a mom before!) Anyway, God just said to me as I was driving home one day, "You trust me for you, don't you trust me for your children? I will take care of them. They will not be scarred by this." What was I thinking??? AND...what a relief! I don't have to do it all by myself.
Secondly, sometimes...okay, A LOT of times, Satan throws these thoughts into your head that simply are not true. I was thinking about all I have learned and how much my family has grown in Christ since Jacob died. It came to me that maybe if we had worked harder before, Jacob would have been saved. Now, you see, I don't truly believe this way when I am "normal". My not working my part of the "plan" had nothing to do with Jacob's death. Jacob's death was going to happen on August 23, 2008, no matter what I did. I could have been smoking crack like his bios or I could have been Mother Theresa. It didn't matter. His days were numbered before his birth. BUT...God used Jacob's death to teach and grow us through the circumstances. Not because we didn't learn in time, but because He was still teaching and growing us. Jacob's death was not a punishment for us.
As Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "God will never lead you anyplace where His grace will not sustain you. He'll never place more on you than He'll give you grace to bear. When the path in front of you seems endless, remember, the day is coming when all suffering will be over. When you stand before Him, the tears and sorrows of a lifetime will seem as nothing compared with His glory. That’s when you’ll say, “His amazing grace has brought me safely home.”
I am changed. My husband is changed. My family is changed. I have been a Christian since I was 5 years old, never questioning my God. I knew about Heaven and wanted to go there eventually, but I have come to a different conclusion in the past few weeks. I want to be in Heaven....NOW! But, although I miss Jacob desperately, he is not my reason for wanting to get there. I WANT WHAT JACOB HAS!!!! That's why I want to go. Jacob has no pain, no sorrow, no hurts, he is sitting at the feet of Jesus and I WANT TO BE THERE, TOO!
As my faith wavered in my pit last week, God spoke these words to me:
"The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn't believe His promise to care for them." Psalm 106:24
"Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise." Hebrews 10:23
1 week ago