I Don’t Want to Do This…

I’ve gone silent for a while. And now, here I am trying to put honest words to the last several months and to what happened in my heart and mind yesterday, on the first Sunday of Lent.

In June it will have been two years since my Momma passed away. I expected that “year of firsts” to be excruciatingly hard…and it fully met my expectation. But, I thought the second year might could be a nice, steady progression of better and better. I had read how grief has no timeframe…how it will hit out of nowhere and you’ll feel like you are back at the beginning of that first moment of deep loss. I had hoped I could “handle” it better. I thought I was handling it better. Less tears means “better”, right?

Grief has continued to hit me hard this year. Counselors will say that you have to “feel” it to heal. But I seem to have gotten stuck in an unhealthy cycle; I think I’m going to allow it…the gigantic hole of pain hits…I cry a bit…and then I just stop…I can’t go there…not now…I want to feel BETTER, happy…I’ll think happy thoughts…I’ll clean out the pantry…I’ll scroll FaceBook…I’ll watch TV. I just don’t want to cry anymore. I’ll deal with grief later…maybe later…

In looking at that list of things that I do to avoid grief, it’s obvious how much time I spend alone doing completely unimportant things (except for maybe the pantry, it was pretty bad). But, it’s just that groups are hard, reading anything inspirational is hard, praying is hard….and it has become obvious….I don’t do hard. I want easy…I want comfort…I want to feel happy and warm and fuzzy. Honestly, I want my life back the way it was… when Momma was here and all of the warm fuzzies and laughter came so easily: when I didn’t wake up thinking, “I don’t want to do this day” and lay there reaching back for last night’s dreams trying to find her there…was she there?… I don’t want to do THIS!

And then….this first Sunday of Lent. Sitting in that pew yesterday morning, the silent procession, the solemn prayers, the entering of this “wilderness time” with Christ…I kept thinking, “I don’t want to do this”. In the past, I have always had such an expectation of knowing Him more in the slowing down and the sacrifice of this season. And here I was…..wanting to do anything but talk about the cross…about being alone and tempted….suffering and pain. Let’s go back to His baptism and the sky opening…the dove descending…the naming of who He was and how beloved…Suffering is too hard…someone please say “ALLELUIA”!

And I heard in my heart…on that pew….”Will you not suffer with me?” and I wept…a bit.

And then I came home, fixed lunch, walked the puppy, scrolled FaceBook, sat on the porch with my husband, talked with our youngest daughter on the phone… until it was time for another service at 6:00…

This was a Taize’ service; a sacred time carved out for contemplation, silence, and worship. The church looked beautiful, warm…such an invitation to just “be still with God”. I started to crumble at the reading of Psalm 139…”Lord you have searched me and known me…are acquainted with all my ways…Where can I go from your presence?…If I climb to the heaven you are there….if I make the grave my bed, you are there also”….IF I MAKE the GRAVE MY BED…YOU ARE THERE ALSO! Had I just crawled in head first and made the grave my bed? Where along the way did I pull the covers over my head and start to think I was in the “bed” all alone? The tears began to flow…

Then there was a time in the service where we were invited to go to different stations around the sanctuary for prayer and worship. I was circling around to get in line to light a candle when this beautiful, heartbreaking icon on the floor completely captured me. I fell into the chair in front of it….and completely broke. I felt a call to repentance like I have never felt before. Somewhere along the way I had gotten a little bitter….felt alone and betrayed. And somewhere I decided I did not want to suffer. And in all of that, I lost sight of how HE suffered…how He was betrayed….and I forgot about the call to “the fellowship of His suffering”. I felt shame…and I heard him say to my heart, “Will you not suffer with me?”….and I said “Yes”…and I wept and wept…

The old thoughts tried to creep back in this morning as I opened my eyes…”I don’t want to….”

But, I caught myself, and said, “I don’t want to ….forget You. I WANT to do THIS day WITH You”

My friends, if it feels like the grave is your bed, know that you are NOT alone…Christ is there, also…Where could you go, that He is not already there???

Published by: Mishelle Phillips

I’m an empty-nester mom from Franklin, Tennessee. I live with my husband of 25 years, Richard. I am blessed with friends and family who love me, encourage me…and talk me into doing stuff that scares me. Over the years I have shared my writings with them and they suggested I start this blog. So…. here it is. I offer it with one hand over my face, peeking through my fingers as I click on the word “publish” … hoping with all my heart you find something meaningful here. Mishelle Phillips


8 thoughts on “I Don’t Want to Do This…”

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I, too, have had thoughts similar to yours, but I just remember that God is ALWAYS with me, in my heart and things become clearer to me.


  2. I think loosing your Mother is one of life’s hardest things. Thank you for sharing this…my Mother has been gone for 6 years and it does get better. I no longer think the negative thoughts but I remember the great times, memories and love we shared. I take comfort knowing she is with our Heavenly Father and someday I will be there with her. Think of the happy times and tears still come but they are bitter sweet. She has reach the goal to be with God. Rejoice in her faith and lean on God to carry you through this journey. ❤️🙏💕


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