Hi there. My name is Sarah and I blog over at Life and Grace. Robin asked me to share what balance means for me in my current season of life. There are a few unique circumstances in my life right now that make balance a bit of a challenge.
For starters, my husband Josh is in his final year of nurse anesthesia school. The program is incredibly rigorous and a twenty-four hour day leaves him just enough time to fulfill his school requirements and hopefully get a good night’s sleep. That leaves all the duties of home and family to me.
And then there’s my son, Micah. He’s two … need I say more ;). He really is a sweet boy and I love being a stay-at-home mommy to him, but two-year-olds aren’t exactly low maintenance.
But I think the most unique circumstance in my life right now is dealing with the grief from losing my daughter, Evie. Evie died just four hours after she was born due to some genetic anomalies detected at her twenty week ultrasound. She was born on November 8th and went home to Jesus shortly before 3:00 am on November 9th. Living with the reality of that loss colors all aspects of my world these days.
So I think balance in the midst of true heartache is what I’d like to communicate today. What is it like to watch the world keep racing by when it feels like yours has stopped? I don’t have all the answers, but there is one thing that has helped me immensely in the past several months.
I have been reading a great book called Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love. It has been absolutely instrumental in my healing process. One of my favorite things about this book is that it often compares a broken heart to a broken limb. Let me explain …
If you had broken your arm or leg no one would dream of asking you to go on a ski trip or be offended that you weren’t able to participate like everyone else. Putting pressure on a broken limb too soon can actually slow the healing process or worse — reverse the healing that has already occured. Any medical expert would recommend resting that arm or leg until complete healing has taken place.
The same is true with a broken heart. Losing someone close, especially a child, is like having a piece of your heart ripped out. It will certainly take time for emotional healing to take place. Putting too much pressure on yourself to keep up with life or maintain the relationships and responsibilities you did before your loss can be counterproductive to the healing process. Just like the broken limb, broken hearts need to be rested and treated with care.
With my home responsibilities and the weight of a grieving heart, I try very hard to be careful how much I put on my plate these days. In order for healing to take place for me, I need a lot of time to myself, a lot of time to process my own thoughts and emotions. If an event or activity seems like an overload, I say no, even if I would previously have said yes without hesitation.
That being said, one principle still holds fast in my mind: Do not withhold good when it is within your power to do so (Proverbs 3:27). There are still many opportunities for me to reach out to others while still within my current comfort zone. I can still make meals for people, send encouraging notes, purchase little “thinking of you” gifts, even schedule a play date or coffee date every once in a while. I don’t push myself to reach out in the same way as before, but if it is within my ability to brighten someone’s day, then I will.
If your heart is hurting right now and you are struggling for balance, let me just encourage you — take it slow for a while and allow yourself the time to heal. Don’t withdraw into a dark place, but do allow your heart the space it needs. Remember, you wouldn’t run a marathon the week after breaking your leg; what events are too much for your broken heart to handle?
Balance changes in every season of life and for the season of grief, balance may look a lot like space, time, a lighter schedule, deep introspection, and giving yourself a lot of grace and patience. Healing will come a lot faster if you embrace it, not fight it.