Real Pain, Real Peace

I have put off writing this because, as much as I feel the need to write it, I don’t know if I can truly put into words what it is that I want to say. I’ll start off by saying that this will be a conglomeration of thoughts which have probably been swirling around ever since the crash.

Real pain. Real peace. Has that been the struggle going on inside of me ever since I found myself in the hospital faced with the fear and then the verified, unthinkable news that tragedy had struck our family?

Well, certainly I have known real pain. Comes and goes–mostly comes, and at unexpected moments. Like finding a DVD cover which fell out of a cabinet and being struck with the memory of the day when we were at a Goodwill store–in Rochester, Minnesota, I think. While I looked at clothes and AnnaLeah looked at books, Mary looked at DVDs and found that delightful movie, Follow Me, Boys! While it was a good and pleasant memory, and I’m so very glad that I have it, at that moment it stirred up pain in me.

Follow Me Boys cover

The other day, Vanessa asked me (out of the blue), “Does pain fix sadness?

Me: “Well. . .?”

Vanessa: Runs off to play. . .

I don’t know. Will the pain which I am going through eventually “fix” my sadness? Is the pain a process–or at least a signal or indication that a process of healing is taking place? If I were not feeling the pain, would it be harder to complete that process? Will the pain ever lessen?

I have also known real peace in this season. It also comes and goes–seeming elusive. Comes mostly when I am focused on the promises of God–in word or song–like the song I sang at their funeral, In Christ Alone. I really believed it then and I believe it now. It just seems in stiff competition with the real pain.

Read a book the other day–a novel by Lisa McKay. One paragraph jumped out at me. It was an apt description of this very dilemma, maybe not perfect and I have not totally wrapped my mind around it, but I wanted to share it. The book’s characters had just sung It Is Well With My Soul.

“I remembered that the writer of the hymn had penned this just after his four daughters had been confirmed drowned after their ship went down. I breathed deeply against the now-familiar tight ache in my agony. The hymn writer, Spafford, and his children, Mani and his parents. Real pain and real peace. It felt like trying to marry two mental magnets; the closer I tried to push them together, the harder they resisted my pressure.

   (p. 166, My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay)

Then today, while Vanessa was resting and recovering from a tummy ache, I put another DVD on for her to watch–another one that Mary had found at a Goodwill store: Veggie Tales, How to Draw.

Vanessa (5) loves arts & crafts and, like I had discovered when I had followed its instructions some time ago, it is quite good at helping even novice artists to make a pretty good replica of the Veggie Tales characters. So I was pleased to see her engaged in the process:

Vanessa's Madame Blueberry drawing Veggie Tales How to Draw DVD cover

Vanessa’s Drawing of Madame Blueberry 3/28/15

Previous Post of Mary’s Veggie Tale Drawings:

Real pain that Mary and AnnaLeah are not here to draw with Vanessa and that they are only a memory–nevermore to be in this earthly life.

Real peace that they were a part of our lives, that they touch our lives even now, and that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have promised to be with me until I can one day see AnnaLeah and Mary again. In His presence. Joy Unspeakable.

AnnaLeah and Marybraids and giraffe 011

getting farther away patch of blue

2 thoughts on “Real Pain, Real Peace

  1. Love you my friend. Thank you for putting into words, what I cannot imagine. I know that God will use your grief to lead me and others through seasons we cannot yet see.

    1. Thank you for allowing me the room to voice my real pain, for hearing my keening cry and encouraging me to carry on.

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