Job 3 and Honesty

After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.

“For sighing has become my daily food;
my groans pour out like water.
What I feared has come upon me;
what I dreaded has happened to me.
I have no peace, no quietness;
I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

Job 3:1, 24-26

I’ve been told that you can expect the grieving process to happen in waves, that it’s not linear.  And so far for me, that has been true.  There isn’t just a gradual diminishing of pain, from Susan’s death until now.  There are times when I feel like I’m doing okay…then there are waves that hit.  When I am deeply, deeply sad.  Which are okay times too – I don’t want to try to push away the sadness, pretend to have it all together and appear normal.  We try to rush everything in our world, but I know that the grieving process takes time and I am perfectly fine with that.  This is happening with the kids too.  They are doing pretty well, considering it all – they have their moments, their “waves” too, which tend to come at different times than mine.  And we help each other through.  I’m just trying to communicate with them that however they are feeling about their mom is okay, it’s right, it’s normal.  They need space and time to work this through too.

This passage in Job really speaks to me.  It is a shockingly honest chapter, Job 3.  Because there are a lot of us who wouldn’t admit to thinking what he says out loud.  I have a hard time saying it out loud too – mainly because I don’t want people worrying that I’m going off the deep end or whatever – since what he says would earn him a nice trip to the hospital today.  (So, just so you know, I’m not going off the deep end when I say this)  When the wave of grief crashes in, I have felt like him.  Like I don’t know when this feeling is going to end.  I don’t know how life is going to turn out.  I’m not sure how to live without Susan.  There are moments when I’m not sure I want to.  (Again – I know how this sounds, I’m just telling you what it feels like in the moment)

He says: “Sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water.”  Yes – that is it.  Job nails how loss feels.  There are days when it is painful to breathe.

And then I look at our kids, I read the Scriptures, I pray, I experience the love and care of our friends and family, and I know that somehow we are going to be okay.  The wave recedes.

But if I can be honest like Job for a minute, I don’t like the “being okay” that doesn’t include her.

Just so you know, I’m not fishing for sympathetic comments here.  It’s just that when I read Job, I resonate right now.  It helps me to get these thoughts down.  I’m actually feeling stable and grounded and looking forward to this week – in fact, there are some things I’ll share with you later this week, hopefully, that are pretty exciting.

For now, I’m amazed and grateful that these words of Job are in the Scriptures.  Maybe because it is comforting to know that other people, even in the Bible, centuries ago, felt the way I feel, and made it through.

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8 Responses to “Job 3 and Honesty”

  1. Kara Says:

    We love you, Jerel, and it’s comforting for us to hear the honesty in your blogs. Thank you for sharing how you and the kids are really doing. Your openness blesses us. Your love for Susan inspires us. Your blogs make us examine ourselves. Thank you.

  2. Cyndi Says:

    I agree with Kara, the honesty in your blogs are completely amazing. The emotions you are feeling are so raw and the wounds are so fresh, yet you are sharing them with the world. I could never imagine what you are feeling because I have never experienced it first hand, but reading your blog allows us to peek into your feelings, your hurting, your healing process. I hope this blog is a good expression of your healing process because for those of us who read it, and continue to pray for you and your children. I feel this may help someone down the road, reading your feelings and seeing that it’s “normal” to feel certain thing.
    I’m so happy to see how many people you have praying for you and your children. It’s amazing how God sends people into our lives, some so close we can confide many secrets to, others to rejoice in time of happiness and help in time of need, and yet others are only sent into our lives to lift us up in prayer.
    We are praying for you.

  3. Charlotte Lennartz Says:

    Thanks for your honesty Jerel – your transparency through all of this has been been amazing – you really don’t know how much you are mnistering to others through your pain. WE love you and those kids and would do anything to help!

  4. Joan Callahan Says:

    I had not read Job at the time of my loss, but resonate with amazed and grateful. I am amazed and grateful that I can remember all you describe yet sit here with just gentle ache and peace. Honestly sometimes those waves were tsunami size and feeling as if there might not be land left, but here I am. God’s love is profoundly full of grace and love. I like Kara’s comment on examination…it is a gift so thus my gratitude for the day. Blessings on the the next minute, day, and week for all of you.

  5. Wendy Rusk Says:

    Jerel
    Please go online and view the sermon Will Oswald gave at Journey yesterday….He spoke of Susan.

  6. Sharon Says:

    Jerel,
    I don’t know you, but feel like I do through my friend, Diana Hosse, and through the gift of your ability to express your feelings so intimately with us. I have been reading this blog for 30 days or so and you have already changed my life in ways that I can’t even describe. In my own life, I’ve experienced the richness of grief and depths of the darkest pain in a different way and am so grateful that you have the gift of writing about some of the feelings I’ve experienced. I felt alone for so long (like no one would get it……I thought I was drowning or going to drown, felt I being knocked over by the biggest wave and yet, you have made me feel that there wasn’t something “wrong with me.)” Thank you!!! I experienced a heartache that was so deep, as though my heart was bleeding and would never stop and I thought it would NEVER end…….I would cry out to God and beg him to explain, give me an answer, tell me. (sometimes in the shower, alone, screaming out by myself or in silence)………then, this peace would come over me, as though I was on top of a life raft, floating in the calmness of the sea. I couldn’t believe it, honestly.. I didn’t have an answer for my grief and still dont, but would then feel the sun would shine in my heart for moments and it was then I knew God was carrying me on his shoulders. So I understand your waves and the fact that grief is not linear…..it can be perplexing, beyond words……like God gives you respite from it and then wham!!! Hello!!!!!!!! I often told people that I felt I was drowning (someone here wrote about a tsunami and I didn’t have those words to attach to it). I can’t even imagine your pain, yet you are giving me words to attach to the pain I experienced. I also understand and felt it so poignant that you describe the “being there” of others. Enough said. Thank you and may God continue to give you the gift of being able to share your intimate feelings, the permission to grieve……..the richness of your grief and healing with us, if only…….FOR YOU!!!! Your healing is important and a gift. Susan is so proud….this I know!!! How can I thank you????

  7. Curtis Martin Says:

    I like that you are not OK with a “being OK” that doesn’t include Susan. That–simply put–just HONORS her, and your honesty, Jerel, honors God and yourself as well.

    Your perspective on the need to not rush grieving is refreshing as well! I pray that God will surround you and your kids with His people–that are always available to just journey with you guys–no matter how the grieving is being experienced–or when. That we can just learn to lean in–even if we get it wrong at times–being OK with the reality that some losses will always be grieved–and should be. Another way to say it–some people leave such a mark on our lives that they will be missed, and celebrated in that grief.

    Thanks-again-for sharing your thoughts

  8. Michelle Harrison Says:

    Jerel, I have not posted a repsponse to your blog everyday, but I am one of those “friends in the ashes” who is thinking and praying for you and your family each day. A positive of technology is that you get to take us on this journey and we are learning so much from you that you can’t even imagine. So as “friends in the ashes”, we say prayers as a family before bedtime and my children, who know Chris, are lifting your family up in prayer each night.

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