Oceans Between Us – Jenni Cockerham *
Almost exactly 2 years ago to the day I penned these words*. It is a mini memoir that was written mostly for me. But it was written with others in mind…those who have had hard histories…who were struggling or disillusioned with life…or God. I think I have spent the past few years spiritually disoriented…after having spent the past few decades so very clear.
I had not picked up this “book” in 2 years–I had forgotten it held some real treasures of truth. In it–I tip my hat to my French teacher, my young life high school friends, my Indiana roots, and to another woman who wrote the introduction…recognizing we (and our stories) are all part of a grand moziac. If this post nudges or stirs you to read it…(or more importantly) share with someone who needs it…then please pass it along. I am so very convinced it did my soul good to put the words on paper–but I am still very much finding they ring true for my life today. I have learned that disillusionment leads to transformation. I am looking forward to walking through the next few decades seeing life through a different lens. Transformation is not to be feared but embraced. Therefore we should not shy away from the disillusionment, the feelings, pain or disappointment…we should welcome them and walk with them. If we don’t, we will find other ways to eat, (or not eat), drink, drug or shop them away–but this leaves us fat, (or too thin), drunk, high, and highly accessorized–keeping up with the Jone’s–yes–but still as stuck as we started. Here’s to where you are from where I am and where I’ve been. With all my love to all of you on this Transformation Tuesday.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,
2 thoughts on “Oceans Between Us…”
Jenni, I followed your journey to adopt. And the heart-wrenching pain of NOT bringing those babies…your babies…..home. Can I ask you a question? How do you heal a broken heart? How do you move forward when God has ended relationships that you thought you would carry or have with you in this lifetime? How do you ease the ache? How do you wrestle with harsh truths? And face (day after day after day) the painful reality that on this side of eternity….those children will not be under your roof? How do you keep inclining your heart to God? How do you learn to trust again? How do you let go of pain and embrace life? How do you not want revenge or vindication in your human flesh? How, in all honesty, has God worked your situation of losing your children for GOOD? Does time ease the ache? Do you still have moments where you just want to thrash and lash out? I am in the season of heavy burdened loss. And I am lost in the pain.
Oh my. How did I miss this post? Forgive me. So my strongest response to your initial question is that I do not believe we ever fully “heal” from catastrophic loss…we are either transformed or destroyed by it–but we again–this side of heaven we are never fully healed. We walk with a limp…or experience an “amputation” where we will learn to survive but are never the same. Healing implies full recovery and this is simply not possible with catastrophic loss. I learned this from Jerry Sittser whose book “A Grace Disguised” had a lot of nuggets of wisdom but this concept delivered the most powerful punch. I also appreciated a “Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis and “Is God to Blame?” by Gregory Boyd who asked a lot of these questions and worked through their own answers in response to their own grief. To be honest my heart was not always been inclined toward God…and I even felt a silence or absence from him as Lewis describes: “But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.” There are MANY of my blogs filled with confusion, anger, and deep sadness…expressing this very emotion/confusion. I do think one of my strongest held beliefs is that we live in a VERY broken world and that God did not end the relationship (in the parental sense) with our kiddos…evil did. There is a very real brokenness in this world that is woven in to the fabric of our society. There was corruption and a broken system and 2 innocent children were caught in the cross-hairs. God does not and never did intend any of this for “his purposes” or “our pruning”…He is just as grieved by how things went down as we are. But because He is loving and kind…He is not–and will not–be a puppet master messing with and intervening and twisting and turning things. You see there are very real people with very free wills who did very corrupt things. And just as I don’t want God messing with MY free will–he cannot and will not mess with theirs. Heady conversations–and just because you were so kind to ask these questions I WILL write a blog to more fully unpack them. But time does ease the ache. And yet…dear one…I am not the same nor will I ever be. I am changed…(transformed) and more fully aware of this broken place we inhabit…which makes me incredibly compassionate and sensitive to others who ache. I will say that my “pain arc” was a long one…as you will read in my most recent blog…and so I would encourage you not to rush it. EVERYONE wants us to rush it. I so so wish I could have caught this message earlier–but pray that wherever you are there is the tiniest place of light…or a smile every once in a while that brings warmth to your soul.