My four-year-old has a way of making me laugh. Take yesterday, for instance, when he got home from a five-day stint at his grandparents’ house. One of the first things he said to me was that Daddy had to stop the car so he could poop in the grass, and then the bugs came after his poop. And you have to imagine the emphasis he puts on the word “poop” to really appreciate his story. “And the bugs came after my POOP and ate the POOP!” I was so glad to learn this right off the bat.
My four-year-old also has a way of making me crazy. This actually started around age three, but I’m not sure if four is any easier. It’s just that darn independence they begin to assert. You want them to gain it, but the conflicts and arguments that ensue along the way can make me feel like I’m going to lose my mind.
I am also learning that having a four-year-old around while you are grieving puts a whole new dimension on the emotional toll four-year-olds normally take. I am so grateful for my husband, for his kindness in sweeping the children away from me when I can’t take another second, and for his job as a teacher, which means he is now home for a few months and I have as much respite as I need. I originally thought summer would be an ideal time to have a second trimester, but the tables have turned and I am seeing that summer is going to be an ideal season to grieve.
Today (Day 7) I dug up some more of the weed-ridden garden while the kids played outside. As the morning went on, I began to feel terribly guilty for my lack of patience with my children. I really just wanted to stay in my own little world with my shovel and my clippers, but they kept interrupting. And the voice of guilt accused me, saying I really didn’t deserve any more children. After all, here I have these two living ones, healthy and beautiful, and I am nothing but impatient and selfish toward them. And grief hit me hard again.
There are just days like this. Tomorrow will probably be easier. My husband is so gracious toward me. Just like Jesus. He is eager to serve me and eager to have compassion on me, and eager to remind me that our son drives him crazy sometimes, too. He doesn’t condemn me for the way I am feeling or for the sin that is revealed in me. He is a living example of Christ’s love for me. I am so incredibly blessed.
This morning I thought about reading the book of Job. I got a page into the introduction and was moved to tears by this passage:
“The author (of Job) is concerned about the triumph of faith in a time of suffering. To this end his hero succeeds. Job can triumphantly declare, ‘I know that my Redeemer lives’ (19:25). Job’s resolve to love and trust the one who seems to attack him as an enemy is evident throughout.” (ESV Study Bible, pg. 870)
And I just felt like, this is it. It’s not like it is easy to trust God when you know doctrinally that suffering is allowed and even ordained by His hand. Job expresses his feeling that God is his “enemy” because of how much he has suffered. But he is resolved to love and trust Him anyway. “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (13:15). And I just felt that yes, I will have days where I am angry or bitter about what we have suffered, but by God’s grace, we will not lose our resolve to trust Him. Even if I feel awful and have untrue thoughts of God, I can see that the Holy Spirit must be at work if I still have a resolve to persevere. If my heart accuses God of wrong on one hand, but abhors the thought of leaving Him on the other, then I should rejoice that I must truly be His child. I should rejoice that He will continue His good work in me, that He loves me, and that He is forgiving of my foolish unbelief.
Maybe it’s strange to be writing so much in the midst of grief; I don’t know. This is just me. If I don’t process through my theology, I lose sight of what’s going on. I wish I didn’t have to write about this, but, perhaps somewhere along the way, someone else will be encouraged in their faith, too.