“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”–Romans 8:38-39
My friend Lindy shared this Scripture with me the other day and it couldn’t be more perfect. When 2018 started, little did I know how hard and heavy it would be. First my dear friend Ben died, then a beloved seminary professor Ralph, then Ben’s brother Aaron, then my friend Rachel, then Stephanie, then our dear family friend Jim and finally my beloved Grandpa Wilbert. It seemed I would just catch my breath and then I’d learn of yet another unexpected death. It was all so much!
In the midst of it all, I’ve learned and experienced the great cloud of witnesses. I won’t soon forget many colleagues and friends gathered around our friend Bens urn as we commended him to God’s care. I also won’t forget standing around our friend Rachel’s casket as I had my arms around more friends.
I’ve learned over and over again what grief is. Grief is a broken pair of sunglasses, a hymn and so many other things. It’s an unopened Christmas card/gift. It ebbs and flows. Grief changes us too. I love this quote that Lindy also shared with me.
“I had my own notion of grief. I thought it was the sad time that followed the death of someone you love. And you had to push through it to get to the other side. There is no pushing through. But rather, there is absorption. Adjustment. Acceptance. And grief is not something you complete, but rather you endure. Grief is not a task to finish and move on, but an element of yourself–an alteration of your being. A new way of seeing. A new definition of self.” (Gwen Flowers)
I’ve been changed this year because I knew and loved these dear souls. I am seeing things with a new set of eyes. Because of this, I am so ready for a new year. Ready to leave 2018 behind and ring in 2019 which means I’m ready for a new one word.
I often pray and ask God to lead me to my word. This year I had several words that came to my mind. But when I knew my word was my word, it was so clear. God definitely led me to my new word.
My new word for 2019 is heal. Now I know I won’t heal completely from this years losses. But my word will hopefully help me to continue to evolve and see life differently from all these losses. Heal will help me to continue to grieve when I need too.
Heal also will come through the people and places I surround myself with. Luna has been such a gift and a joy. I know she will continue to be. I’m also so incredibly blessed by the people God has placed in my life too. People who have held me in my tears and rejoiced with me in my joys too.
Healing also I believe will come in trying some new hard things; like respite foster care which I truly believe God has called me too. Living out God’s call for my life hopefully will continue to heal me too.
2019 will be more than a bandaid, but will be the healing I need; the healing that only comes from our great physician; God our creator.
I am linking up with Kelly, Mary, Sue, and Kristin this week!