Monday, November 26, 2012

Grief is like an onion

In beteeen a New house, kids, renos, crocheting (funnest winter hobby) watching ' lie to me' with my hubby, and making hair clips I just haven't had time to blog!

Last week we were in Portland, the city that I love!!
Gosh I love that place.
Kevin hasn't met our Portland family yet and I desperately missed them. Desperate is an understatement.
My heart would literally ache everytime I thought about it. And Kevin was soo sweet to take time off work so we could go and visit my sweet family and friends!

The love that he showed me on this trip was Just one example but I see more everyday why God brought us together. He is above and beyond the man that I need!. Not that life is perfect as ill soon explain but my goodness, that man loves me!! I think his goal in life is to make me happy and I can't argue there:)
Isn't it sweet how much love heals? Though u do NOT need a man to discover that. Jesus' love is deeper and quenches far more of our empty places than any human on this earth.

I have been so crazy emotional the last few weeks! And I'm not even pregnant - which would give me an excuse right? because I would prefer to have one.
Have you heard that grief is like an onion? Layers keep coming off and there is always more underneath. And, each layer usually makes you cry:-/
Well I was pretty sure my onion was peeled, chopped, served and done away with, not all the sadness but the pits, the deep heavy, heart wrenching pains!
Oh. was I wrong.
The last month I was sad all the time, though life was pretty perfect. Great man, wonderful kids, lovely house - everything I wanted, needed, craved - all mine, yet the tears still made their way onto my cheeks. I know u know what I mean.
I asked myself over and over, was i being ungrateful in some area? To some extent I suppose I was. But even deeper I had an inkling that my grief was creeping up on me again, but I didn't know why. I say creeping because to be honest I don't welcome it. I hate grief. Hate should be in BOLD.

I felt like I was pulling an emotional ball and chain, twisted around my ankle. And it was getting heavier.
I was restless for God to answer me, to tell me what my heart why my heart was in turmoil.

I prayed lots and lots and God told me to wait. EVERY time I have had an emotional 'ball and chain' so to speak God always brings me through and I knew he would here. I have been here before and thanks to Jesus' sweet faithfulness I completely trusted that he would work this one out too. Never does he fail us.
I prayed these verses into my life while i waited and prayed some more.....

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" - Psalm 139:23 NIV
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer" - psalm 19:14 (I was so emotional i had to pray my mind wouldn't go crazy on me - it's easy to get hung up on ANYTHING when you are emotionally broken)

And I chose JOY. My heart friend Bonnie who also lost her first husband around the same time i did reminded me of this. And It worked. My joy comes first from Jesus - layed out on the cross, my sins poured upon Him, my punishment TAKEN by Him, Him who loves me so so deeply, my debt was PAID, my chains are GONE. How can that NOT bring joy?

Make Jesus your source of joy:-)

Then i felt it as the weeks wore on.... rising up and up.... The answers were coming.... So thankful!
Know what it was? Guilt. I felt guilt. Ugh. Guilt for moving on with Kevin and with life.
Then that led to realizing I still carry Preston with me alot, but not always in a good way. I can't explain that one here.

I discovered that i didn't know how to move on without bringing parts of my past with me that I should leave behind.
And then I heard what I didn't want to.

"Go to The Grave."
I have never visited where Preston is buried. Never.
I had my reasons and they weren't bad at all, I shouldn't have gone until I was ready.
But I felt this was where God was leading me and I knew I had to wait until I got there before He told me why.

I asked my mentor, my second mother and friend Lori, to come with me. She came the night he died and she caught many of my tears, my angry words and my hurting heart. Not that she was the only one. But I knew it had to be her to come with me.
The day we went was cloudy, but it's portland, that's like everyday. We get there and guess what? we can't find the grave!!! No joke. I am feeling pretty lame about this moment. But Preston couldn't care, im sure he would have made it into a joke. thus I have to say I didn't feel painfully bad.

Finally we found it. As we stood there, it was so evident he wasn't there. this wasn't for Preston at all. I didn't feel his presence or anything not that i thought i would, in fact it was still weird.

But I had business to finish and dang it!! I was gonna get it done! Lori asked me how it felt to be here, "Sad" I said. "weird" and then she talked and I let her talk and I loved it. As she talked I prayed God would speak through her. And he did. I love Him so much.

And God completely rescued me and softened my heavy heart. And I knew exactly how God wanted me to move on.
She said, "Tara, maybe God is trying to show you that this will always be with you, maybe your onion won't ever be finished (sounds funny, but it's true). And that it's ok to always be with you.
As she said that i really was OK with it Bc God was showing me how I would manage it.
I had been angry that I would always have triggers that brought me back to my old life - to the accident, to missing Preston etc.
I was mad that I was feeling sad when life was so happy.
It was stealing my smiles.

The verse on Prestons' grave is,

"To Live is Christ, to die is gain"

"To live is Christ..." that's it. I need to live my life and USE my past to glorify God with it (aka giving God the credit and magnifying Him) that was easy to do when I was IN the midst of my pain but when its behind you and the majority of your deep grief isnt as intense its harder bc much of u wants to move on and let the past remain there.

As i have been meeting new people and telling our story (two kids, a new husband and all just doesn't add up - i can see it in ppl's eyes when i talk, they wonder how that happened and so i tell...)
But i had been getting emotional about it - in my heart. And it was ruining my day after i talked about it. Again, anger that triggers were effecting me so much.

But standing at the grave that fell off. All I have become through this, all I am, has been Gods transforming work in my life, isn't that worth bragging about!!?

So I left the grave, after many tears and THANKING God that I even had the chance to know Preston, and all who I became through knowing him.
So since, when I have had a trigger I have just said my thanks for my past and the moment passed much quicker:-)

Lori (my other Lori) told me something that another man at church had prayed the week preston had died. He said, 'isn't it great that Preston isn't looking down on us grieving, but that he is looking up at the Father praising Him?" ummm ya, that's absolutely incredible. He wants us to move on!
And what a great life I have to move onto!! I have a husband that is crazy for me and i for him!! and boys that I'm wild about!!
A God who constantly pursues me and meets all my needs.
I only hope I can live a life worthy of Him. Living in thanks Bc of all he has done.

I hope this was encouraging knowing that God redeems and heals ALL!!!!!! Our souls but also our everyday struggles.


Anonymous said...


karen carpenter

Nate said...


Your Montana Friends: Nathan, Kallee, and Tuf

Lisa Kirkes said...

You are such a wonderful writer, you express yourself beautifully. Thank you for your willingness to share your life and to be vulnerable. I may not face the same circumstances as you, but God uses you in sweet ways to teach me and minister to me. I am thankful for you, although we have never even met! Blessings on your continued journey.

Whitney said...

Hey Tara,

Thanks so much for sharing your journey so honestly- you are beautiful and I am confident that God will bless you for your faith!

p.s. my Texas blog on the side is now donezo and I write on!

Anonymous said...

My dear sweet Tara
Thank you for are such a blessing to me. Your honestly and trust in the Lord is so awe-inspiring to me. Know that I pray for you and your family. Praying that God continues to show you His grace and love.
Love you friend!
Laurie Jeub

Caroline said...

Tara, I loved reading this post. Your words are always an encouragement to me and again, I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet you before we moved away. :0)

Josh and Laurel Eddleman said...

Thank you for writing Tara. really. this is such hope and good news that God knows you so intimately and isn't afraid of the dark places in you or in me. And He goes in there and makes them not dark anymore. God, you are so good. Thanks for sharing His beauty in your life. love you!

Maureen said...

Thank you for sharing. He is at work in you and it is evident.

Maureen in Eastern Washington ;-)