I've heard grief described like the ocean. You are out in the ocean and sometimes the water is really calm, peaceful even. You could just float and look at the sun and feel warmth and peace come over you. Then there are the times when there are a few waves, you know the kinds you just sort of float with. They aren't so bad. You can deal with them. Then there are the times when the waves seem to just keep coming and pounding you, even to the point of pushing you under the water for a few seconds. You think you might even drown because they are so rough. The ones that are the worst are the ones when you are enjoying the calm peace and all of a sudden a huge wave crashes down on you.
I can honestly say that is one of the best descriptions I've heard for grief. I know it is so true because I go through the ocean everyday. Some days it's calm and even enjoyable. I can enjoy my life, feel the sun, enjoy God's glory, laugh, and even think of Alexis and smile. Then there are the days when I see a baby girl or twins or hear Alexis' name and I just sort of bounce with it now (those used to be hard waves). Then there are the days when I just want to get in bed and cry until the pain stops. Everything makes me sad. I get angry and yell (usually in my head), "WHY ISN'T SHE HERE?!?!?!?!?!?!" It feels like wave after wave beating down on me. I just want to get out from the undertoe and back on shore but I can't do it. I can't swim hard enough. Then there are the times when things are going okay like before and all of a sudden a huge wave crashes down on me and I just lose it. I don't know where it comes from. It just hits me so hard. That is usually followed by lots of rough waves.
The great thing about this analogy is that God created the world and He created the ocean. He created it huge and magnificant. He knows that the waves are going to come and that they are going to come hard at times. He knows everything that we go through. He knows how we feel. He understands. If you look in the Bible there are a few key stories that go along with this analogy that bring me comfort.
Moses and The Red Sea - When Moses was freeing the Israelites from Egyptian rule, he got to the Red Sea and God parted it so they could get through and be free. The Egyptians were taken out. Sometimes I just need God to part the waters so I can just go through them without being overtaken.
Jesus Calms the Sea - When the disciples were scared of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus calmed it. I know that I am scared of this storm in my life. I wonder, "Will I get through it? Will I make it?" But I know that Jesus will calm the seas.
Jesus Walked on Water - Jesus walked on water (the Sea of Galilee) to get to the disciples. No matter how rough the water gets and even if I feel all alone, I know that Jesus will walk on that water to get to me.
There is a great song that gives me so much comfort when I hear it or sing it. Here are the lyrics. There is also a link to hear Selah sing that and I Need Thee Every Hour (another great song for life).
When I think I'm going under, part the waters, Lord
When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea
When I cry for help, oh, hear me, Lord and hold out Your hand
Touch my life
Still the raging storm in me