We are honored to have Katie M. Reid writing for the Dance With Jesus Birthday Beach Bash and Blog Tour today. She is a tightly wound woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, four children and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography she encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life.
Grace Found in Grief
Empty arms ache—whether you are waiting for a baby, saying goodbye to grown children or standing at a graveside.
Just the other day, as we were driving home from camp, we had to make a quick stop for water and a bathroom break. That’s when I saw it—the restaurant that my husband and I had gone to after a horrible loss.
It will be two years ago this November. I remember choking down my burger—knowing I needed to eat something, but the task felt next to impossible.
I am usually a delayed griever but this time the ugly cry forced itself to the surface about an hour after the event—in an unpredictable mix of sobs and groans.
I had to get the pain out or be suffocated by it. I had to release the emotions somehow or get taken under by a dense fog of pain.
Almost forty-eight hours earlier, we had been called to come get our long-awaited adopted son—after seventeen months of waiting to be chosen by an expectant mother.
We were ecstatic. I was geared up on an emotional high and could hardly contain my excitement.
The drive to the hospital seemed to take an eternity. Finally we arrived, with a soon-to-be-filled car seat and a stocked diaper bag in hand; hope bursting at the seams.
We were met by our social worker, but her expression did not match our elation. Something was wrong, but I did not want to accept it.
Turns out the birthmother had second thoughts and had returned to the hospital, just before we arrived—conflicted about her decision to place her child for adoption.
This was not happening. I would not let it!
Denial. The first stage of grief.
I stayed on the bench in the hospital lobby, thinking things would change if I remained. It was similar to the story of Jacob wrestling with God, “I will not let go unless you bless me” (see Genesis 32:36).
But as the minutes ticked by the difficult situation remained.
I did not understand how God could allow this to happen. We had waited so long, we had exercised a great deal of faith. He knew how this was going to turn out.
Did He really think we could make it through this pain and still trust Him?
I had my doubts.
The situation felt impossible.
As we returned home, with a full diaper bag and an empty car seat, I felt numb. Just the night before our friends had bought gifts for this sweet boy—once thought to be son, now stranger.
Grief is rarely viewed as a gift. It is not tied-up in a neat bow. It surfaces at the most inopportune times. It takes us off guard and spits us out. It threatens to capsize us and take us under.
But, somehow, God throws us enough of a lifeline to keep our head above water. Sure, we may be sputtering and spitting, but we can breathe—even just barely.
As I look back on that devastating day I can see His grace there amidst the grief.
The grace didn’t change the outcome but it sustained us when we felt like we couldn’t go on.
It was there as we reluctantly told our children that their brother was not coming home.
It followed us in the coming days as we put one foot in front of the other and continued to wait for God to bring us another.
It was there when we didn’t lose our faith but kept holding on to a mustard seed-sized portion, somehow.
I am here today, because of the grace of God.
I did not give up due to this amazing grace and the prayers of many. I am the mother of another, a miracle given four months later, because of the grace that God provided in the unraveling of life.
Will you reach out and grab God’s grace for you today?
You may feel like you can’t take another step, but, I promise, Jesus is right there ready to cover you, hold you and lead you through life-giving steps of grace.
He is acquainted with grief (see Isaiah 53:3) and He is indeed able to do the impossible—able to keep you close when you feel like you are falling apart.
Have you accepted His help for your hurt?
Have you trusted His salvation for your sin?
Have you made Him Lord over your life?
Have you gone to Him with your grief?
Today is a great day to receive the free gift of grace! Contact Susan, myself or a bible-believing friend or pastor for more questions about beginning a relationship with Jesus.
It is an honor to be a part of the #DanceWithJesus Birthday Bash, as we remember Kyle’s life and move from grief to grace with his mom, Susan, and her book, Dance With Jesus.
Head on over to my blog and be entered to win one of two copies of Dance With Jesus.
P.S. Susan is giving away $100 for Kyle’s birthday. See the details below on how to enter:
Join the social chatter about Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace for YOUR chance to win $100. What would you do with $100?
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
1-Post a book cover photo of Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook (YES, this image COUNTS!)
2-Include hashtag #DanceWithJesus
POST NOW! I’ll notify a winner on August 31.