Grief. It’s a word frequently used in adoption speak. All sides of the triad experience it in their own unique ways. My own personal grief has been a stumbling block in my faith on more than one occasion. As I wrote once before in a quote from the movie We Are Marshall, “Grief is messy.” For me, in so many ways, I have found that to be true. In fact, my grief has made my faith messy at times.
While reading my Bible recently, which is the Women’s Devotional Bible (NIV), I came across a devotion near the end of the book of Isaiah. The title, “Grief Work,” spoke to me. It wasn’t my scheduled devotion for the day but I read it anyway. God turns the pages of our Bibles like that from time to time. Written by Mary Jane Worden, author of Early Widow, speaking about the death of her husband, I found words of comfort, of understanding and of hope.
I am convinced that God has built into all of us, in varying degrees, the capacity for an appreciation of beauty, and has even allowed us the privelege of participating in the creation of beautiful things and beautiful places. I think it may be one way God brings healing to our brokenness, and a way that we can contribute toward bringing wholeness to our fallen world.
There have been times, in my grief, that I have lamented every last thing about my life. I have cursed friends, family, loved ones and myself for the despair that sits in the deepest pit of my soul. I have cried into pillowcases, punched pillowcases and once ripped a pillowcase. I have felt hopeless. I have felt helpless. I have felt lost. I have felt abandoned. I have felt angry at God. No. I have felt very angry at God. Abandoned not just by humans but by God.
And so why do I sit here, writing about God, my relationship with Him and other subjects of faith in direct relation to those feelings of abandonment and anger? Every time I feel that I have hit the rock bottom of my ability to cope with these emotions, God brings me something or someone new. This series, in itself, has been a catalyst in even more healing in my life. Through writing this particular series, I have been given God’s grace and abundance in the form of comments, conversations and e-mails that never would have happened otherwise in my life.
Through my grief, through my sorrow, I have been shown light, life and hope by my readers and friends. In my brokeness, even in the pits of my own grief, I have learned that by working through some of these issues in plain sight, I have helped another birth mother come to terms with her own faith and how it relates to her adoption journey. Does that make my own grief go away? No, not a chance. Does it give me hope that my grief will someday be resolved? Not really. Does it give me faith that God works in our lives in so many ways that we can’t even begin to understand the amazing complexities of everything He is doing? Definitely.
I grieve. Daily. I’ll say it. Even though I put my faith in God that my daughter will be safe and loved, my heart aches and hurts for the life I have lost as her daily parent. It’s the truth. And yes, on my harder and darker days, I get downright mad at God. (To be honest, I mostly get mad at myself but, in the end, it’s basically one anger in the same.) Yet, I’m learning, as I continue to press forward through processing this grief while simultaneously pushing further into exploring my faith that I am not alone in my grief. God has his hand on my heart. He is showing me good in my life through the lives and words of others. That good doesn’t erase the pain caused by the fact that my daughter doesn’t know me as “Mommy.” Nothing will ever replace that pain. Yet, I’m learning, through His grace, that there is still room in my life for good.
I can grieve and rejoice at the same time. I can’t rejoice over my grief. I’ll never, ever stop missing my baby girl. Yet I can find things in this world, including things that involve my daughter, to rejoice in which is, yes, different than rejoicing in or because of my grief. I can be happy and sad. I can rejoice and grieve. I can hope. And I can walk with my Savior until this Earthly pain is no more.
Read more in the series of Faith and Adoption:
7. I’m Praying for You. 2.18.07
6. A Psalm for Darker Days. 2.11.07
5. Talking to My Pastor. 02.04.07
4. Praying for Your Placed Child. 01.28.07
3. Where is God in Placement? 01.21.07
2. Unwed Pregnancy Woes. 01.14.07
1. A New Series. 01.07.07