Thursday, August 12, 2010

Distracting Distractions

I've learned about myself that I constantly look for distractions from the grief of losing Lauren. Sometimes that means I want to move, so I look for new houses. Sometimes that means I want to shop so I either hit all my favorite websites to browse or hit the mall. Lately, it means I rearrange furniture and swap out home accessories! I'm sitting in my rearranged living room (quite pleased with myself about how it turned out I might add) wondering why I try to be distracted from the hurt. I have a friend who hurt, rather who got hurt, so badly and she determined early on the face the hurt head on. She's a champ - I'm ducked in the corner somewhere. Nice.

As a mom who's home a lot, I have to be wise about where my energy goes. I have a husband who needs me, two girls that need me and friends, job responsibilities, etc. that need me. It's hard to distribute the energy I'm given every day between these legitimate demands on my time and person. When I spend lots of energy distracting myself, I can ultimately get distracted by the distractions and use my energy to fulfill some lesser needs than the truest and most important needs around me.

In the middle of all these needs and my attempt to be distracted from my own hurt, I'm left with one question - does it take more energy to face the pain or to distract myself from it? I think on each day the answer to this question varies. I do know that unresolved conflict, unforgiven hurts, and unaddressed bitterness can suck the life out of a person like a shop vac sucks water out of a wet basement. Distracting myself very well may be an okay defense mechanism that allows me to hurt in spurts and not just all the time, but I am not allowed (in my opinion) to short-change those around me (a.k.a. my family) in an attempt to be distracted from my own hurt.

I read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 this morning about God's grace being sufficient for our weaknesses and Paul boasting in his so that Christ's power could rest on him. The truth is, I don't want to hurt. I would prefer this whole grief thing just disappear. But that's not reality and turning my back on it will only make it linger longer - and that doesn't sound good either. Not wanting to hurt is evidence of my weakness. Evidence that I would rather avoid the emotional journey than grow through it. Everything in me wants a wand waved and my family's lives restored to the way things were before we lost Lauren. What would we miss? Well, truthfully, a lot of hurt, but more than that, opportunities to know God and to live with His power rested on us. If I really believe that God uses ALL things for our good, than this is one of the things He will use for good. So, next time I reach for the arm of the couch or pick up an ottoman, I'm going to try to ask myself if I should just get on my knees, confess weakness and reach for the arm of God instead.

1 comment:

  1. When my dad died unexpectedly when I was 24 I couldn't even begin to process the grief. I used to imagine that my grief lived inside a shoebox in my heart and I would open it up every so often and let a little bit of it out so I could deal with it. I figured eventually I would go through all of it, but just a piece at a time. And eventually I did. It took years, but I came to peace with it. I think we often don't respect grief enough or give it enough time or attention. Praying for you as you walk through the grief.