These were my thoughts very early on. I was so engulfed in my grief and I could not feel anything but intense sadness over the loss of my daughter. Not even the presence of God. I was self-absorbed in sorrow. I was doing anything just to get through the day. I knew everyone was praying for me and my family. And quite frankly, early on, and possibly still, that feels like the only thing that sustains me.
I was telling a friend of mine about this yesterday. So I was led to read more on this topic and decided to blog about it.
Here’s what stands out to me about my question of where God is in my pain. With the help of 3 Psalms, I’m better able to understand.
1. God is Omnipresent-with me in my troubled times
2. God is Omniscient-you know all that I think and feel. You see my grief.
3. God is Omnicompassionate-you know I’m crushed. You see it.
…and so through these 3 Psalms, I’ve come to sort of understand that God is at work in my pain over losing Michelle. To paraphrase Corinthians below. What we see and feel here on Earth is only temporary. What we don’t see or comprehend is that our life eternal in heaven will be glorious.
God allows trials and suffering to occur in my life for one purpose only. And I’ll selfishly admit that most times I feel this cross is way too heavy to bear. But then I look at my Pieta statue. And I see the pain in Mary’s eyes as she holds Jesus. And while I didn’t get to hold Michelle as she died, I am in tune with Mary’s feelings. Just much more humbly. Because Mary raised a King. Keith and I raised an ordinary girl, although I believe she was extra-ordinary. But I digress, it is sometimes through the difficulties and the pain that He can take and shape us into the best that we can be. It’s His plan. It’s His will. Thy will be done, Lord.
And so here is the bottom line and it’s what I told my friend yesterday.
*So one day shortly after Michelle died, I was thinking. Where is God? They tell me he stands right by us in our pain and I don’t feel him at all. Then it was literally like a lightbulb moment. Where was God, Patty? Really? I had to ask myself that? All of a sudden I knew right where God was as I grieved so terribly over the loss of my sweet, sweet girl. He was in all the people! Every meal being delivered to our door. Every loaf of banana bread dropped off. Every photograph shared with us. Every story written about Michelle. Every bow. Every single bow tied up! Every picture painted by artisans. Each donation made so that we can continue to operate her scholarship fund. The many cards that come in the mail…still. The flowers left for her at the cemetery anonymously. And I could go on and on endlessly about the acts of kindness shown to our family. Please forgive me if I’ve left one out. They are far too numerous to count. Yet each very special and precious to me. The important thing for you to realize is that it’s God coming to me in each and every one of you……and whether you knew it or not….you know it now. YOU are doing God’s work in my grief.*