Monday, October 27, 2014

The Unhealed Present

Lately-- and likely because I'm in a new place-- I've been missing my dad a lot. I've been feeling his absence more palpably, more painfully, and I've been wishing I had a real, live, in-the-flesh father to call or text or talk to about my day. I've been craving that eye contact, that hug, that time spent together where he tells me I'm doing a great job, and that he's so proud of me and that he's excited for this new chapter of my life. 

Sometimes when this pain comes on I think it means I'm backtracking in some way. As if the healing I received in the aftermath of his death is somehow slipping through my fingers and suddenly I'm fourteen and a mess again. But this week the Lord reminded me that the pain of loss is not something we 'graduate' from-- it's simply part of life on this side of eternity. He reminded me that the brokenness I feel is not cause for shame or embarrassment, but rather a reflection of the reality that in the here and now, things are broken and some longings go unfulfilled. In the here and now, some daughters lose their dads. 

And this week the Lord also reminded me that even in the unhealed present, His grace is sufficient.  Even in the pain of loss, the brokenness of my particulars, the unfulfilled longings that are part of reality on this side of His presence-- He sustains me. He fills the gaps. And He reminded me that it's in those very places of unresolved grief and longing that I feel His kindness most gently, His grace most powerfully, His love most keenly. It's in precisely those places of need where I discover, He is enough. 

There's no shame in the longing. But in the midst of it, He holds me up. 

What does your 'unhealed present' look like? How have you experienced God's kindness to you in the midst of it?


Bob Tate said...

Dear Hannah -

I lost my Dad back in January 1994; I was in my thirties then; so a lot older than you were when you lost your dad, it has been over 20 years since I lost him, and I can only say that there will always be days when you will just simply miss your Dad, and wish you could give him a big hug, and for me those days still come now and then. God is kind in that He helps me not feel that way as often as I once did; but I think even if I live to be 100 there will still be those days when I will think of him and wish I could spend just a minute or two with him again...



M.A. Keena said...

Your honesty gives a part of me permission to feel what I'm feeling as well. God is present even the unhealed parts. Thank you for sharing this :)