Tuesday, January 28, 2014

There is Hope Beyond the Bend

Twists and turns in the road of life can be both a blessing and a curse.  In some ways not knowing what is ahead is helpful for it shields us and can prompt us to live in the moment.  Yet, in other ways, it can be agonizing not knowing what lies ahead.  These bends in the road remind me of the seasons of life.  As the fifth year anniversary awaits just around the corner, I'm feeling the confliction rise within me.  There is an unsettling in my spirit.  It's as though I need to be shaken and sifted through the grief sieve yet again.   Every new stage of grief begins with this unsettling of spirit.  I can remember these times of growth and the pain that accompanied them.  How can it be five years already?  It has been one bend at a time.  Oh those early days of grief were so engulfing.  Surviving each day, week, and month took every ounce of strength.  Standing at beginning of the path of life looking at the daunting road ahead without my baby was devastating.  Where did I think I would be in five years?  I couldn't even fathom it.  I couldn't see past that first bend, nor did I want to.   Yet, gingerly I took a step forward, and at times a step back, each moment propelling me towards the next bend.

And here I stand at this milestone, looking back on this crooked road.  What a journey of pain mixed with joy, brokenness intermingled with healing, and a heart once filled with discord has been beautifully woven into harmony.  As I look ahead, I can see the next bend.  This year will be the first year that I will work/teach on her 'dates.'  Every year I have simply guarded Valentine's Day and March 3rd by not working or taking on engagements on those days.  This year will be different as I am working both dates, and so begins the shifting yet again.  I am wrestling with the opposing emotions and caught in this delicate balancing act.  Part of me is so thankful for the healing that I've experienced and the strength that has been borne of the pain and hard work of grief.  Yet, parts of me resist the change as it means I have moved forward, and find myself around yet another bend.  I see others around me caught in battles that rob their lives of loved ones, and my heart breaks.  I know the pain of starting over and the overwhelming feeling of looking ahead at the next bend in the road with no strength left after running on empty for so long.  Yet, just as Christ held me when I was running on empty, I know He will hold them too.  No matter how dire and devastating your situation, He will be there to give you the strength to move one step further.  If you are in such a place today, I want to encourage you that this is not the end.  Hold on to that hope.  When all else fails, and you've come to the end of yourself, hold on to hope.  If you are feeling like you are at the end - take a listen to this song titled "This is Not the End" by Gungor.  It has inspired my heart and reminded me time and time again of the hope of heaven.

Every year I choose a verse to by my theme verse for the year.  This is my 2014 scripture - to find my hope in HIM all day long. Psalm 25: 4&5

Show me your ways, Lordteach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
 and my hope is in you all day long.

Blessings on each one of you dear friends and family.