Joanna ZuidemaComment

“Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement.”
– Albert Camus


March has been tough, guys. It's been broken, beautiful, and incredibly heavy all at once.

We’ve walked through a lot of big days this month, with each one carrying its own unique weight and all of them coming alongside the fresh grief of Mom’s death in February. March holds the anniversaries of Norah’s birth, life, and death, her celebration of life, her burial, and the day we learned of mom’s diagnosis.

Like I said, it’s been heavy.

The intensity of each of these anniversaries ripples out, touching the days before and the days after. The memories radiate through my bones, each experience burned into my being, as ever-present as a scar or tattoo.

The balloon release at Norah's burial.

The balloon release at Norah's burial.

It’s amazing how the body carries grief and pain; every cell remembering, your subconscious straddling two worlds – then and now.

I feel it in the anxiety my body carries – being tense and exhausted from simply existing. Look up a list of physical symptoms of stress and I’ve had a solid 13/10 of them over the past few weeks.

Emotionally it’s been unpredictable and intense, feeling everything – bitterness, jealousy, rage, longing, sorrow, guilt, joy, peace, happiness, anxiety, fear – all at once. Trying to navigate and manage this wild tornado has left a few of these emotions coming out sideways (a temperamental washing machine is not, in fact, the end of the world, nor has the day been a complete disaster when one tiny portion of a pile of plans goes awry).

It’s been patience and grace that have carried us these last few weeks – Lane and I being extra patient with and having grace for each other as we both navigate our own unique cocktail of emotions, while also being patient and having grace for ourselves.

This is the reality of grief and loss – it’s hard and that’s ok. It’s ok when sometimes ‘simply carrying on’ is the biggest achievement of the day.

There’s a Psalm I’ve been spending a lot of time in during the past two months: Psalm 143. In fact, this Psalm is now above our coffee maker and I read it every morning as I make Lane coffee (I’m trying to learn how to be a morning person, and this is my step 1). The entire psalm resonates so deeply with me, written by a weary soul crying out to God.

Psalm 143:6 says “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”

Beautiful things happen when we invite God into these tender, broken spaces. When we’re able to rest in His presence we can go from desperately holding on to being held. He can be the welcome rain to whatever 'parched land' we find ourselves in.

But inviting Him in, allowing his presence to enter into this mess isn’t a magic button where suddenly everything is unicorns and rainbows. It may simply mean a deeper breath, a pause, a moment of rest on our journey forward. It may simply mean knowing that He sees, He understands, and that we can relax our tight grip on life ever so slightly.

It may simply mean that He is here.
And right now, that is enough.