Do I Measure Up?

How can I measure how far I’ve come in this grief journey?

Distance traveled or hours endured?

Do I set my heart next to that of another grieving mother and see which of us has managed to piece together more or less of what was left after losing our child?

I want to be able to give myself a grade-to place my experience on a ladder of “success” and determine just where I rank.

That sounds ridiculous, and really, it IS.

Yet I am constantly bombarded with cues that declare: “You need to be making progress;” “You need to get ‘better’;” “You need to ‘get over’ Dominic’s death;” “You need to ‘move on'”.

As a stay at home mom, I’ve lived most of my life in the shadows of behind-the-scenes support to my husband and children.  My hours were spent doing necessary tasks rarely considered “amazing” or “noteworthy”.

So I had to learn not to measure my worth based on what others thought I should be doing but instead on whether or not I was living in obedience to what God had called me to do.

My list of accomplishments is short, but my living legacy is large.  My children are my curriculum vitae:

You are our letter, every word burned onto our[a] hearts to be read by everyone. You are the living letter of the Anointed One, the Liberating King, nurtured by us and inscribed, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God—a letter too passionate to be chiseled onto stone tablets, but emblazoned upon the human heart.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 VOICE

As a bereaved mom, I’m now living in longer shadows.  Shadows I never imagined. Shadows I would never have chosen.  I can’t see the end, I can’t mend my heart or undo the sorrow and pain.

I often feel like a failure because I can’t point to the “good” from this terrible tragedy.  I often feel like I don’t measure up to the standard of a victorious Christian life.

We love a good “beauty from ashes” story.  We send videos viral when they illustrate that the human spirit can conquer any challenge when someone is committed to success and refuses to give up.

The underlying assumption is that we are always in a position to declare victory or understand endurance or measure strength.

But  we aren’t.

Some victories are invisible. Some strength unknowable.  And some endurance won’t be revealed until our last breath.

So I am learning again not to measure my worth or my progress by what others think I should be doing or feeling but instead on whether or not I am living in obedience to what God has called me to do.

I don’t have to be an “overcomer”  to be worthy of God’s love and care.

I don’t have to declare “victory” to enjoy His grace and mercy.

All I have to do is rest in His perfect, faithful love-leading and guiding-guaranteeing that I will not fail, because my “success” doesn’t depend on ME, it depends on HIM.

coming home to the truth

 

 

 

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

4 thoughts on “Do I Measure Up?”

  1. Even without it be a conscious thought, we tend to compare ourselves to others. Weight, status, car, earning power, successes, failures, kids, etc. On and on it goes. Unfortunately, it also happens in the world of grief, not only by us comparing our journey or progress to others, but others comparing our journey and progress to someone else, to some story they’ve heard or book they’ve read, or to some standard they simply apply to us as “where we should be” or “how soon we should have moved on.”

    I remember the first time I went to a Compassionate Friends meeting just a couple of weeks after Jason died. The leader asked me to share my story. After I did, one gal commented to me, “Oh, you’re just a baby [in the grief process]” and the conversation turned to other things. It was really odd. I had come to the meeting for help in understanding what I was going through, but even those who had walked a similar path before me seemed to have an opinion of my journey and where I was in it. I felt judged and put in my place when I really needed kindness and understanding. We need to be kind to each other, tender-hearted, non-judgmental. Most of all, we just need to be kind and non-judgmental to ourselves and allow ourselves all the time we need without comparison to anyone else.

    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Always on point just when I need to hear from you! You have NO idea how you have helped me through the last year plus a few months. When I am at my lowest, its as though you see it and post something. You have no idea how much finding and reading your posts have helped me in my lowest of times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this. It does my heart good to know that the blog is helpful to even one person. That makes the commitment to keep showing up worth it. I pray that you receive the strength you need for each new day and that you feel the Father’s Presence close to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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