Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Really loving her

I used to think I loved my Mom.
Now I believe that I genuinely thought I loved her, probably actually did a smidgen, but largely just needed her.  I received her love as a child, guzzled it down.  Which is fine and dandy, but now I'm twenty six and slowly bumbling out of the heavy sweater of childishness.  {I'm growing up even as I'm growing younger.  Maybe by the time I'm fifty I'll know the feeling of being a little child.  Childlike without the prison of narcissism}

God gave me lots of chances to really love her this year.  I tried.  That's a whole other post.

Grief has a really obnoxious way of uncovering the heart when it's most naked.  Exposing disease.  I realized that I wanted my mother here WITH ME even more than I wanted her happiness.  And God's plans?  Screw it, I need her.  Here and now.
{I need her to believe that I'll finally get married and have all those kids and see all those beautiful    dreams and prophecies, the ones that are soft and frayed from daily praying, actually materialize into gloriously messy reality.  I need her to explain her recipes.  She never measured.  I need to tell her about Micala's wedding and Aaron leaving for grad school and my job imploding in the same three days, how well friends have loved me and how people can say really dumb things.  How I've hidden and tried not to hide, how I can't even talk to one of my closest friends on the phone because I just can't talk.  How my heart has finally been beaten into submission but I'm afraid I've beaten too viciously; it doesn't work very well now.  How I'm worried about not being worried that the old burning ache to see China worship has been covered in ashy sediment.  How I saw the ocean, saw the mountains, found a new artist and a new musician, that it all poured life on my soul.  How death is now a personal enemy and I feel power coursing through me when I sing, "Death where is your sting?" I know the devil hates it.  I have the authority to lord it over him, ha!  I will always keep singing.  If I can't today, I will tomorrow.  Just because of Jesus and lots of prayers.   How I've written ten songs this year, but too many of them are slow and in the key of A.  How I have no f-ing idea where my life is going.  How I'm in the mists; like when we hiked rain forests.  How darkness comes early and winter is breathing heavy like a wolf.  How days are bathed with the sheer exhaustion of being alive.}

A few months back I was hovering, wandering about the water cooler at work with an empty head and brimming eyes.  A coworker who had lost his Mom when he was about my age asked me something about name badges, and I stared stupidly up at him, a couple tears bleeding out.  He roughly gave me a side hug.  Advised me to remember that whenever I'm feeling selfish and want her here, just to remember how happy she is up in heaven.

I sniffed self-righteously and thought,  It's not selfish to want your mommy.

That's true.  Death is an obscenity to which we were never meant to become desensitized.
I've also argued with God since then, bringing up how hard Mom fought to stay on this earth.  Clawed for life.  Even with so much death around her, she would not acknowledge her dying body but fought the good fight.  But I know that she is adoring heaven.  I believe that she has assignments from Jesus that she's partnering with Him in, and also that she's part of the great cloud of witnesses.  If God is all around, maybe she's not as far away as I thought.

I hope that one day loving someone won't mean letting them go.  It will mean vowing to hold on, hold close.  {And even with Mom, I am not letting her go.  I am letting myself live.}

But at least for now, loving my mother, loving my friends, etc. means blessing who God has formed that person to be.  It means blessing them to go where He leads.  Even if it's not where I want them to be.  Even if I need them here, closer.
I get to love them the way God has given me to love them.  It's just frustrating that so often this means bitter, freezing pain.
{The buck always stops at God's character.  Always.  He's so brave that way, letting the root of every accusation slowly trace its way back to, Who do you say I am?  Because, naturally, he could have changed his plan so that my mother didn't die.  Just like he could have prevented so many things.  It's a gauntlet thrown down by the devil and God too--Will I still trust him?  Do I still say that He is overflowing with loving-kindness?}

But now I have the chance to really love my mother.  Not for what she can do for me, but to just LOVE HER.
To bless God's taking her.  To twist my lips into a half-smile after doing another batch of weeping when I think of her dancing.  I hear the overtones of her laugh sometimes, feel the life of her smile.  Her obstinate joy that conquered lymphoma.  I love her by getting up and living.

After all, she's only as dead as Jesus is.


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