Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Good Grief?

Today is Tuesday May 15 2012. It's been a while since I last wrote; a lot has gone on. April 25th my husband had a job interview to maintain a property in Rialto; it went good. The next day, Thursday, we met with the owner of the property who offered Ryan a deal we couldn't refuse.....free rent at the location if he maintained the 40 units there (3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 1340 sq. foot townhome). Ryan left Friday to go fishing in Bishop, came home Sunday at noon, we went to look at the property we would be living at, left at 2pm to go on vacation for my 30th b-day, came home Wednesday, and moved into our new townhome Thursday....on my birthday!

So, it's been a busy couple of weeks vacationing, moving, and settling in. Still don't have internet so I'm writing at my mom's house right now. Moving hasn't been very easy on my body and frankly, while I love having my own place, I haven't been feeling very well. My body just doesn't like all the lifting and going up and down stairs. It all happened so quickly that I don't think I've even had time to process. Today I feel okay, although I woke up with a bladder infection and had to go get antibiotics......hey, what's one more thing.

I don't have a lot of time to write this post so I'm kinda rushing it; not really what I want to do but I miss writing and I finally have the opportunity. Oh yes, before I move on to the title of this post I wanted to give you an update on Cross Tuition. So far we haven't received any new donations to help with this semester's grant but I am still praying that God will bring us some Champions. I have had a couple of people say they would pray and I'm very grateful for that support.

So, the title. Good Grief? On Mother's Day my daughter, Emily, performed in a 40 minute musical at church called LIFE IS GOOD. It was such a great lesson and I really took a lot from the performance. At one point some kids were discussing whether or not life is full of good or grief. They come to agree that it is filled with both and that perhaps in our grief God creates good.

What a reality check! When I take a glance back on my life and consider all the times of grief I have experienced in my 30 years I see that God always made good out of it. When I look back at the time when I was in 3rd grade and was molested by my great uncle I see things from a different perspective. At that time I felt alone, scared, betrayed, afraid, dirty...yes, dirty, ugly, judged, and guilty. I didn't see God grieving with me, I was alone in my feelings and forever changed. I would never see men the same or trust them the same. I could no longer be comfortable around older men, not even my own father who I was very close to before this. The world was seeing inside me past my skin and I just knew they saw an ugly, dirty little girl that for some reason, although I didn't know why, was to blame for what happened. I was robbed of my innocent self image and my security and trust in men.

For some time now when I've looked back at my experience I always see something I didn't see then. I see Jesus sitting next to me and crying. He is sitting with me on my bunk bed to my right and grieving with me. He is so sad that I don't see Him, that I don't see myself the way He sees me. He is crying for my pain and so badly just wants to take it away; why didn't He? But there is something else that I see now, He is not taking the pain away because my grief is good. Good Grief is the grief that God uses to eventually heal others, bring compassion, mercy, love, understanding, and wisdom. Yes, today I still grieve my experience in the fact that it truly shaped a part of my distorted thinking towards myself and men that God is still in the works of transforming for His glory. Yes, I grieve still because I believe that I may have thought very differently in my middle and high school years in regards to what love is and how to receive it. But, bring me a child who suffers as I did and God can use my grief to bring compassion, love, comfort, truth, understanding, wisdom, and GOOD to that child. I wish there was someone like that for me back then.

I do not wish what happened to me upon anyone but if it does, I am here. You are not alone, ugly, dirty, to blame or guilty. I understand, I grieve with you, but most of all......and this is one thing I wish I knew then, Jesus grieves with you. He is close and although you may not see it, He catches each tear and will not let them go to waste. He will use your grief for good. Have hope in this and rise because you are beautiful. You are loved by the God of all creation and He will do good out of your grief.

So, would I take it all back, would I change what happened if I could? Yes and no. Yes because a part of me was taken away that day. The human condition, sin, stole something from me. I don't even know exactly what that thing was.....I don't remember what was taken because I was young and I haven't experienced that part of me since. I just knew then that something had been lost. I wish I knew, I wish I could find it and experience what it feels like. Yes, a part of me broke off that day and has never been truly reattached. Now for the "No" I wouldn't change it. While a part of me was taken God wasn't about to keep this "space" empty. He built a "prosthetic" in it's place. A part of me that wouldn't be there if this hadn't happened.

The part that couldn't share this with you. The part that wouldn't be talking about my daily life with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Strangely, my experience also brought forth a boldness and courage to share intimate details about myself. I am an open book.....just ask anyone from my family, and I remain vulnerable to the masses. While this does have it's drawbacks I can't image the love, support, opportunities, experiences, and so on that I would have missed had this "prosthetic" part of my personality never been there. Truly my grief was made good and I still have more time to see the good that will come from my grief.

I have many more experiences of grief, just as everyone else does, that I could share but I need to get going so, I'll leave it at that experience for now. Just remember, in all your experiences of grief, God will make it Good Grief. This is my hope, this is what I can hold onto when I grieve in my physical pain from Fibro. This will be good.


  1. It's been quiet without you guy's here. Ive missed seeing the grand kids every day, but I am glad you guys are out making it on your own. So glad you are able to post again. I really enjoy reading them. Keep it up. Love you, Dad.

    1. Love you too dad! I need to write more often....I really enjoy it, just been distracted lately.

  2. Natalie, That was just what I needed. I missed the kids' performance because I was singing in the other service but the point of God using grief for our good is such a good reminder. I sometimes wonder why I had to deal with a husband who abused us and was unfaithful for so long. I never dreamed that my life would turn out this way and I'm so ready to get beyond this limbo and find a life of blessing. But you reminded me in your blog reminds me that the grief, the loss, the limbo, all of it can be used for our good because our Father promises it will be. I'm praying for you. I'm so blessed by how you are using your journey to encourage others.

    1. Pam, first of all I want to thank you for being vulnerable with me and sharing something so personal. While I am sorry that you must have to grieve right now I am so very blessed to hear that you are encouraged by my blog. This is exactly what I wanted....for at least one person to be encouraged by my story and what God is doing with my life. Thank you again for sharing this with me. My prayers are with you and your family.