Sunday, November 27, 2011

An empty chair

Our Thanksgiving was o.k. I had picked up my mom on Wednesday and she stayed with us until Friday. We then visited my grandma on Saturday. It was a long drive, but I was glad to get the chance to see my grandma again. She is 88yrs. old. With the lack of snow, we really felt we needed to take advantage of the driving conditions and see her now instead of late spring. I also got to see two of my sisters and my uncle, though briefly.

I am convinced that I could not have gotten through Thanksgiving without my mom here. Our Thanksgiving meal was excellent, though I did forget to make the stuffing! I put the turkey in the oven the night before and it was FABULOUS! I believe I have found a new turkey baking tradition. It was even moist left over!

I had wanted to avoid eating in the dining room, but the way things all came together, we ended up in there after all. And amid the chaos, the distraction of toddlers, and the saying of grace, the empty spot where Matt used to sit did not go unnoticed. An empty chair that was once occupied cannot be ignored.

Dh and I cried together before going to sleep. It was a relief to have the day over with. In all truthfulness, I was more than ready to be done reading all the Facebook posts about what everyone was thankful for. When one is grieving and so caught up in one's own loss, it is downright difficult to be thankful. It's not that I'm not thankful, either. I know full well how very much I have to be thankful for, but the pain of losing my son overshadows, for a time, the thankfulness.

It took me until today to realize, too, why it's been so difficult to voice thankfulness. I guess I didn't want to admit that I was angry. And even less willing to admit with whom I was angry. I was mad at God. I have been angry for a few weeks. I have questioned how it's possible to trust a God who hurt me so. I have wondered at my passive faith, wondering if I even had faith, and wondering if I would ever have it again. But I was reminded today of how good God is, of how He loves me, and of how He has provided for us during this most difficult and darkest of times. I was reminded of His character. And I was reminded of how small I am. In a way, I have been acting a little bit like Jonah. And in the words of a Steven Curtis Chapman song, "God is God, and I am not."

I was also reminded of hope. That some day, there will be joy again. I don't even necessarily have to believe it. I just have to keep trusting Him. This week I have frequently envisioned myself being carried by God. I have no strength of my own, yet I have feebly struggled against being carried. I realize now that I need to stop resisting and, instead, cling to Him as He carries me.

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