I have another blog, but I find it very, very difficult to post anything. Everything just seems so trivial now. My life is colored by grief. How can it not be? My son was here for 16 years. He was standing here in the kitchen making his lunch just before 7:30am on the morning of July 29, but gone forever (this side of Heaven, anyway) just an hour and half later. A GriefShare video mentions not letting grief become your identity. It's such a slippery slope, however. I've been climbing and falling a lot lately on that slope. I've been wrestling with trying to discern the difference between losing a child as my identity with it defining me. We have things in our lives that have shaped us and made us who we are. Those things define us. Then there are things that are inherent like being female or having a particular type of personality or temperament. Those things are our identity. Additionally, when you birth a child and become a mother it's a fine line between letting motherhood become your identity and having it define you.
Thankfully, the LORD is our anchor. He is the tether on that slippery slope that keeps us from falling. Thankfully, God never lets go! Thankfully, truth prevails. Thankfully, God shows us how to deal with our sorrow, our burdens, our trials in His Word. I went to a Desiring God conference on Thursday titled, "The Works of God: God's Good Design in Disability." I felt drawn to attend, for one thing, because Nancy Guthrie was one of the scheduled speakers. She and her husband David are the hosts of the GriefShare videos that I watch weekly. Secondly, I believe that grief is very much like a disability. Losing a child is like losing a part of yourself, like losing a limb. In my opinion, the words "grief" and "disability" can often be used synonymously. I knew this conference was for me.
Going to a conference on disabilities isn't something one tends to gush over. The auditorium wasn't sold out or jam-packed with attendees. I mean, really, who wants to go to a conference that doesn't give you warm fuzzies or that reveals the tough questions and doubts you have regarding the hardships and trials in your life? In fact, one of the speakers remarked that it could really be called the "uncomfortable" conference because there is nothing comfortable about disability.
So while it wasn't a "breath of fresh air" type of conference, it was a deep, abiding assurance that God is there. He knows. He cares. His grace is sufficient for every single second. It was, as John Piper stated, a reminder to look beyond the causality of disability and focus on the sovereignty of God. Krista Horning, another speaker, gave an incredibly moving testimony. She spoke with the title "How I live with Disability" by reminding us that disability lies, but God tells the truth. It was a powerful message that will be available on the internet in a few days when Desiring God puts up the link for the conference on their website.
I am still processing the conference information, re-reading my notes, and seeking God for wisdom in figuring out this thing called grief and how to walk through this season of sorrow, trying to learn what 2 Corinthians 6:10 means when it says we can be "sorrowful yet always rejoicing..." I believe there is comfort in knowing there is a sovereign God who has a plan, who sees meaning and purpose in suffering, and who can make beauty from ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)
One of the conference speakers pointed out that although God asks questions, He doesn't ask them in order to get an answer. After all, God is all-knowing. God asks questions to reveal the heart. He also doesn't always give an answer to our questions,either, because He is the answer. I wonder if God hears me crying "I need You now" instead of my question "What for?" and "Why?"