Grief, it lays thick on this Servant Girls heart today. I cross the border and drive Stateside to do my groceries. As I push the cart inside the store with my one year old daughter who has the nickname “Dutchie” I realise something. I’m grabbing items off the shelves for the last time.
My season in North America is coming to an end. I grab a peanut butter jar and try to push the sadness away, I choose the smaller JIF (a peanut butter brand) and head to the next aisle. Up and down I go until I have all my items and head to the cash register. I give a fake smile and make small talk with the Attendant.
I pile groceries into my trunk and use the drive thru to get my latte, the thought of not having Panera Bread in Australia nearly tips me over the edge…ok not really.
I cross back over the bridge, finding my way to the uniformed guards, show my passport and drive up the expressway to find my road. As I pull up, I see my old farm-house, humble and white. It reminds me of Anne of Green Gables, I smile at it but feel a pang.
You see this house hosts memories. It’s the first home my husband and I bought, ours. I packed my bags and went to the hospital last Fall and brought my little Canadian named Lacey Drew home with me. The kids, they have a tree fought built in one of the nine maple tress in our backyard. I often see the Pastor I call Husband take his coffee and a hot chocolate out back and sit in that tree house with his little girl of eight years, the two of them stealing a moment as they watch the sunset over the fields behind our property and who can forget the ice rink that was made by Ben and the Pastor I call Husband? Late nights and early mornings in the cold making it ‘just right’ for a little gathering we had last Winter.
Memories, grief and just plain sadness overwhelms me. I tried so hard to keep my heart tough when I arrived here in Canada. I knew too well from leaving a little church in south of Sydney that it rips your heart it two saying Goodbye to those you love, but alas a group of Canadians who have become our overseas family have made their way straight into my soul. I weep as I write, so very sad at the thought of a big truck pulling up into my driveway next week and packing the contents of my home. Part of me wanting to rebel in this moment and just scream “No God, choose another Servant Girl to the unimaginable.” It’s like a thick cloud sitting heavily on my shoulders.
Why is stepping out and following God such a sacrifice?
I think of Jesus in the garden before He went to the cross. Obviously this isn’t even close to what He did, what He felt, but I’m glad He understands my heart. That in this moment, He leans in and whispers “Do not be afraid for I have plans for You.” He sees the pain, knows the angst and I don’t have to say a single word to explain. He just gets it, gets you in your moments.
You too might have grief going on, the type where deep sorrow trickles into the depths of your heart and a fog keeps you suppressed. There is a time for everything so don’t rush as grief is healthy. Give yourself permission to work through its process. It will move you through a dark tunnel to the end where you can see light, but don’t get stuck. If you need help then reach out.
Don’t be ashamed if you do need some extra support.
True courage can be attained when we strip back protective layers to our state of vulnerability. It invites authenticity into the relationship exposing our bare self so the ‘raw you’ can be seen. But it begins with stepping out…Go on.
May the following words make your brave and encouraged.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Love your Father in Heaven.