Where Can I Find Rest?
In grief, nothing seems to be what it used to be. Even something as simple as sitting feels different.
One day, I walked down the staircase in my home to sit in the corner of the basement where I could be physically lowest and most removed from the world that had seemed to go on without me. As I sat, my body had the odd sensation of continually traveling lower. Sitting was more like sinking. I felt that I was being lowered, though I was not moving. As this was happening, I could also feel my heart pounding even though I was attempting to rest. Every strong pulse sent me a perceived level lower into the ground, the subbasement, the earth.
The hole in the earth that had been dug to hold my baby daughter's dear earthly frame had been deep—farther into the ground than I had expected prior to her burial. Not many days after she was put into the earth, while sitting in my basement, my body felt like joining her.
First becoming a mother made me yearn to be able to go through her experiences with her in order to “be there” for her. But in this case, I could not. My body reminded me of the desire at every possible opportunity. So, sitting was not normal. My inner grief was physically felt. Sitting was being lowered into the earth; sitting was sinking.
Yet, I do know that when I feel I am sinking, I get to choose the figurative chair upon which I sit. And if I choose my chair wisely in grief, I can choose a chair of true rest. I can collapse into a chair that absorbs the downward pulses. I can choose a chair that steadies me, one that will never let me ultimately sink. There is only one foundation that will not sink—One unsinkable rest for my soul.
There is only one God, the One whose nature, attributes, and character are revealed in the Bible.
There is only one God who is capable of rushing us into His presence at death. There is only one God who created us out of the overflow of His own perfect joy for His own pleasure. There is only one God to whom we belong, who has full rights to us in every way. He does not exist in our imaginations. We know this. Yet, at least for my heart, becoming sidetracked is easy. He is real quite apart from you and me. He is not the God of my making. And I am not at the “center of His universe.” He created me to know Him as the center of my life. All creation exists to glorify Him. We depend upon Him; thankfully, He does not depend upon us. He is who He is, unchanging from eternity past to eternity future. There is but one existing God who is all-controlling, all-knowing, all-powerful, infinite, good, perfect, living, true, and more.
This incredible God is the God of our rest. He made us to intrinsically benefit from His nature and character, though He did not owe this to mankind. He graciously is the giver of peace and rest.
First, I feel at rest this instant to remember that I am not in control.
I do not need to “hold it all together.” I do not need to map out this journey of grief that still lies ahead for me. I do not need to be in control because, well, I can look at that paragraph describing God above again. He is in control, not because I want Him to be or because I asked Him to be or because I decided He was. He is. He is. He undergirds my very existence and He substantiates my being during every minute of life. When I declare Him sovereign in my life, it is a statement of submission to the reality that already exists, not a statement of permission that I give to Him. Exhale. Relief. He is in control. Rest.
Second, I feel rest this very minute to be reminded that I do not give my child’s life her meaning.
I do not need to search for meaning within myself or within the world to feel me and mine have purpose. I do not need to be the one to give meaning to my child’s life who has gone ahead of me. I do not need to try to do that hard work of supplying or creating this meaning because God already has. All things are for Him; all people—made in His image—exist for His glory. My daughter and I are alive for the purpose of His worship and joy. This magnificent God of all beautiful perfection—I get to exist for Him and my child gets to exist for Him. Exhale. Relief. He is the meaning of my life and my child’s life. This puts into restful context the ways in which I remember my daughter. What is done in her memory—this is all a reflection and celebration of the joyful meaning that my child already deeply and completely has in God.
Third, I feel rest this very minute to be reminded that though sorrow may have clouded my view of God, He has not changed His view of me. When the day comes that I could see God’s attributes more clearly—no longer had difficulty remembering His goodness—He was no less of Himself than He was before and He was no less for me. My thoughts could never diminished who He is and who He desires to be to you. For my limited view of God, He gives me His mercy. He is not any less good today than He was ten years ago or will be ten years from now.
Will you see the rest this moment in knowing that He is in control, that He is the meaning of your child's life, and that He is unchanging? He is unchanging for you and toward you—perhaps you feel like you are also sinking. Rest on solid Him! He is our Father who actively cares for us, and supports our souls in suffering.
The "Feed Your Soul" blog series takes the bereaved mother through Scriptural doctrines, which are beautiful truths preserved through the ages by God’s sovereignty to be food for her soul as she grieves.
This post was originally published at Hope Mommies.