We’ve been quiet the last few weeks online, but they have been filled with lots of activity. There’s been some crying and some pain. There’s been some fun and some laughter. But there has been a lot of missing Bennett. We are discovering that the hardest moments are the surprise ones.
The moment you do laundry and realize you are not washing his clothes…
The moment you realize you’re on the first road trip without him…
The moment you don’t have to order food for him…
These are just some of the unexpected moments when grief has hit.
But there have been some sweet moments God has blessed us with too. Megan and I were able to get to New Orleans by ourselves for our 10th Anniversary last weekend thanks to some great friends who watched Davis and Reide. It was a good time to enjoy sleeping in, shopping for some things we needed around the house and also visiting the Mississippi River. I never knew that the Mississippi River would be so special to me. But that is where we scattered Bennett’s ashes. He loved it while we were in Memphis and our family will always be connected to it.
While we were there, Megan and I also had lots of time to share how we are processing Bennett’s passing and what we are learning about grief. I know there are lots of you out there that are experiencing grief either over Bennett and/or other things as well. Our heart is to be able to share with you here what we are learning about grief. Perhaps it will help you move forward or even know how to support someone you know walking through grief.
One thing I shared with Megan is that I’m learning that God is the God of Grief. We easily ascribe to God titles such as “God of Peace,” “God of Love,” or “God of Joy,” but we rarely consider the fact that God grieves.
But He does. He grieves over our sin, the brokenness it caused in His creation and the suffering that His children endure (Ephesians 4:30, Genesis 6:6-8, Exodus 3:7). He is every bit the God of Grief that He is also the God of Hope. As I realized this I heard the Lord speak to my heart.
“Ben…I was grieving over Bennett long before you ever were. I’m not joining you in your grief. You are joining me in Mine.”
Let that sink in for a while. I did. I didn’t know what to do with that at first! This was God’s grief before it was mine and He has invited me into it to share in His sufferings. It is here in the sea of grief that I understand Hebrews 12:2 more clearly.
“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3
Jesus endured the cross and The Father willingly endured grief because of the joy that can only be found on the other side. Grief is not bad. It’s not fun…but it is not bad. It points the way to hope and joy. A good friend who is a chaplain in a local hospital told me yesterday that grief is the absence of joy. He’s right and I believe God invites us to walk through the suffering of grief to teach us how to choose joy. Megan and I are learning how to bring joy to the place where there is none just like Jesus brings hope and the worship of the Father to places where there is none.
There is a lot we are learning right now and we will probably post several times in a short period and then take a little break. We love you all and the chance to pass on what we learn as we walk this road. Thank you for continuing to pray for our family and know that we are praying for you too!