The Suburb Woman
Not Right Now
Posted on August 16th, 2015

I’ve been needing to write about what I haven’t wanted to acknowledge… I’m sad AND angry. 

I’ve never done well with either emotion. I’m a fixer, I fix things. I’m also not a fan of pain. Who is, I guess. I’m most notable for building walls around my heart and if my safe places no longer feel safe then I just go inward. Honestly, right now I want to hold on to the love and all my beautiful memories of Michael and feel nothing else. 

And who am I to fixate my anger on? Michael for leaving? It is something he would’ve never chose. Doctors who treated him? I’d be lying if I said I haven’t gone over details again and again in my mind wishing I had done this or caught that… but I know in my heart we as well as his team of medical professionals did all that could be done. 

Angry with God? Well, that’s where I’ve landed for now. 

It is well documented through my previous writings all the ways I held tight to the promise God was in everything and all that we were going through. I’ve wrote confidently He would not waste a hurt and won’t leave us alone. And that’s all fine and well until your hope no longer has a heartbeat and you find yourself explaining over and over to your son how God didn’t give his dad cancer. 

You also find yourself planning to be away for Christmas and New Year, thinking of all the firsts coming up and how to protect yourself and insulate your kids from as much as possible, when you realize – it’s not just “the firsts” – it’s every day… Drinking coffee in the morning, sitting in one chair with the other one empty on the patio, swimming alone in the pool on a Sunday afternoon, stopping yourself from sending a text or making a call, preparing a favorite meal, reading a book, donuts with dad, the laughter of a family at meet the teacher, a sick child in the middle of the night, hearing a song… the list is endless. 

And I’m right where I never wanted to be… raising two children on my own and not having someone to share it all with. And when the smoke clears who can I blame for all this pain, heartache, fear and loneliness? It becomes the only one I believed who could have kept us from it… and HE didn’t stop the runaway train.

Yet in the midst of it all, I’ve never read my Bible more than I have in the past eight months – daily the last two. I listen to nothing but Christian radio and I pray my go to prayer almost continually, “I trust you Jesus.” I’ve consumed theology books trying to understand why I believe, work through my doubt, and try to manage the anger and sadness that is like a fog off the coast that rolls out during the day and back in at night. 

Ironically, the message I keep getting is… be angry, be broken, and then be redeemed. 

I’ve cried at some point every day for the past several months in the midst of some moments of joy. Has my heart turned away from God because I am wounded and believe He is to blame? No, not completely. But these past few weeks I’ve had moments I’ve wished I could.  

Even if I’m mad at God, I try to remember Michael never was and he was the one dying. I keep thinking back to him reminding me this life is but a vapor and then it’s gone – but where we are going is eternal. He was the one who lost his ability to read, to write, to walk and to talk. Yet, he kept smiling. So, why can’t I take comfort in that? I keep feeling like I’ve been robbed.

I’ve also found the way I “hear” God is reading the bible, through music and devotionals. This week I heard a song on the radio I liked and when I went to iTunes I heard a completely different song by the same artist with exactly the words describing how I feel. That’s probably not an accident. One of the lyrics of Jason Gray’s, “Not Right Now” says: “Don’t tell me when I’m grieving, that this happened for a reason. Maybe one day we’ll talk about the dreams that had to die for new ones to come alive… but not right now.” 

Then, my devotional this week ended with the story in John 6 when Simon Peter replies to Christ at the Lord’s Supper – “Lord, to whom would we go?” The author writes: “Sometimes what God seems to say about Himself through our circumstances is just too hard. We want to turn away. The temptation is to say in our hearts, what does it matter? God is going to do what he wants anyway. Why should I pray? Why should I trust Him when he has allowed the worst thing I can imagine to become a reality in my life? How can I love a God who would allow this to happen? We are left with a choice – turn toward Him and cry out or turn away and alienate ourselves.”

Amen and amen.

Michael gave me an incredible gift when he came into my life. I learned what it meant to truly trust someone, how it felt to love someone unconditionally, how I should be loved by someone, and to have confidence in myself. The beauty of all he gave me has made his dying that much more painful. So, I’m very broken and I’m angry. 

However, knowing that Michael’s life continues beyond the grave and in the presence of God is the only comfort I can cling to with confidence and in time I do believe my suffering will be redeemed.

Just not right now…

Lyrics to "Not Right Now" by Jason Gray:

You could see the smoke from a mile away
And trouble always draws a crowd
They wanna tell me that it'll be okay
But that's not what I need right now
Not while my house is burning down

Tell me if the hope that you know is true
Ever feels like a lie even from a friend
When their words are salt in an open wound
And they just can't seem to understand
That you haven't even stopped the bleeding yet

Don't tell me when I'm grieving
That this happened for a reason
Maybe one day we'll talk about the dreams that had to die
For new ones to come alive
But not right now

While I wait for the smoke to clear
You don't even have to speak
Just sit with me in the ashes here
And together we can pray for peace
To the one acquainted with our grief

I know someday
I know somehow
I'll be okay
But not right now
Not right now
No, not right now

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