Last Sunday, I did it. I went back to church. If you know me at all, you know I’m a Jesus-lover, worship-dweller, service-oriented person. So this topic may seem kind of silly at the onset, but bare with me.
I haven’t been to church since we found out Clara’s heart had stopped beating. Not because my faith was questioned. Not because I was angry at God. Quite the opposite actually. I leaned harder into my Savior than ever before with the loss of our Baby Girl. I proclaimed His Truth and His Grace and His Mercy over and over because there was no way I was letting Satan take even more from me at that particular moment in time. I knew God would take the tragic loss of our Baby and bring beauty from those ashes, and He has proven faithful in that time and time again over these last two months. Being open about our loss has allowed me to serve others who are silently suffering, not ready to share their loss. We’ve started a little project called Clara’s Grace to serve others who are struggling and hurting. I’ve seen Him move in big ways and little ways, and I’m anxious to see what beauty He brings about next.
So why the hiatus from my church family? Why this break from worship? My church family lifted us in ways I couldn’t imagine when we lost Clara Grace. They made sure we had meals for the next two weeks. They sent care packages. Our pastors reached out to us and offered prayer and services. Our volunteer dates in the kids ministry were immediately covered for the rest of the year without us having to lift a finger. Oh yes, our church family served us with the humbleness of Jesus. It was beautiful and humbling and filled out hearts with so much gratitude.
But the truth of the whole matter is- I wasn’t ready to face all the people. I wasn’t ready for the sad hugs, the questions, the physical “loving on.” I wasn’t ready to answer the questions of how I was doing or politely reply to the well-meaning words of those who said the wrong thing not knowing what to say. (PS- there is nothing you CAN say in situations like these. Simply saying “I’m so sorry” is all that’s really needed ❤ ) I wasn’t ready to face those who may not have heard yet that our Baby Girl had passed. With our past two miscarriages, no one really knew. They were early, and we hadn’t shared we were expecting with many. But it’s different when you’re 16 weeks along and starting to show.
I wasn’t ready. And that is perfectly ok. Grief knows no timeline. It’s an endless ocean of calm and waves. Sometimes the tidal waves come out of no where, and sometimes it’s a beautiful scene of remembrance. Grief is forever unanswered questions and constant faith in a forever God. I knew I would know when the time was right for me. I knew I would know when I was ready…and so did God.
He started planting that little seed a few weeks ago so that when I found out my Boys would be celebrating the end of VBS in church last Sunday, my heart was ready to go. God orchestrated this beautiful return of allowing me to slowly see our dear Friends in Christ each night as we brought the boys to and from VBS (which ironically, or not so ironically, was the perfect theme- Shipwrecked) so that when Sunday came, I could simply focus on worshipping the Lord.
I feel like this post is all over the place, and I had a hard time writing it but felt like it needed to be said. Healing after a tragedy can only be done with grace and time. I knew if I rushed back into “normal,” it would catch up with me all too quickly. As I’ve navigated these waters steadily with my eyes fixed on Him, I’ve found He’s put me right where I need to be when I need to be there. So whether for you that’s church, a Mom’s group, a volleyball team, a family reunion, a book club, or something else, take your time, my Friend. Grief knows no timeline. Whether you’re feeling tossed among the waves, like you’re drowning in the tide or sitting on the beach remembering all that was lost, your grief is part of your story…and your story’s not over.