#God, Family Life

Lessons Learned As Grief Grows

He Heals the BrokenheartedDelayed reactions are my thing, and I’m having one at the moment.

As some of you might know, Ryan’s dad, Rob, died a few weeks ago. I have been trying to be strong and holding it together for Ryan and Anaia and in the process not letting myself grieve.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. ~2 Corinthians 7:10 *

Now, it’s hitting me. One thing has been eating away at me for a long time even before Rob got sick. One day right after Ryan and I got married the phone rang. I answered, “Hello?” By the way, why do we do that? Like we want to make sure there’s another person at the other end? Of course, there is. We should answer the phone by saying something like, how’s it hanging? Or, hey buddy nice to hear from you again, or if someone is asking for money, oh it’s you still why do you always call when I’m eating dinner?

But I digress.

I answered, “Hello?” Rob replied, “Hi, it’s Dad.” Something came over me, and I was completely silent. I couldn’t say anything. I just handed the phone to Ryan who jokingly said to his father, “Linda thought she was getting a phone call from beyond the grave.” (My father had died a few years before.) To this day I’m not sure what came over me. Maybe it was because I was overwhelmed that he could saw me as his daughter. That I could mean that much to him. Perhaps it was me missing my father. Maybe it was a combination of them. No matter what the cause, I was completely silent. Rob never said that again.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..~Ecclesiastes 3:1

When Anaia came around, he always said: “it’s grandpa.” I always felt embarrassed and guilty for my reaction to his loving gesture. Now I feel guilty for not telling him how honored I was, and am, by him calling me his daughter. I let myself get in the way of a wonderfully beautiful thing, and I am so sorry, sad, guilty and regretful because of it. I loved and miss him much. I am blessed to have had him in my life, and Anaia is so blessed to have called him Grandpa.

I guess what I have learned from all this is never wait to tell someone how you feel and that you never know how much you mean to another. The way you see yourself is not always how others see you. I never dreamed that I could mean that much to my husband’s father and that I think comes from how valuable you see yourself.

I am so very grateful for you, Rob.

 

*For anyone wondering the difference between Godly grief and worldly grief, Godly grief asks for mercy and recalls that our sins go heavenward. It fosters the difference between regret and repentance. Wordly grief that leads to regret makes us feel sad and bad about our past sins, thoughts or emotions but Godly grief leads to repentance–which makes us turn completely away from the sinful thought or action. Regret is crying, feeling bad,  being burdened with guilt, getting it out of our system and moving on. It doesn’t lead to change. Repentance, does. It leads to better relationships and salvation through Christ. So in reading this, I nod in agreement with Linda. The lessons learned run deep. ~ Jennifer

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