Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death. I went to place flowers on her grave, and to remember. All day long I have seen her smile and heard her laugh – the way it was when she was happy and well.
I have been reading through my journals from the last two years. I am a little unsettled by what I have written, and yet every word, every line, really happened. My journals carry raw truth and uncensored emotions that are sometimes painful to read, for I thought I wrote only for myself and no one else. In hindsight, I realize I have been writing with the type of transparency I had hoped to find in my mother’s journals, but did not.
I cannot believe that so much life, loss and healing has taken place in so little time. As I look back through the pages, I am grateful that I serve a God who specializes in the impossible and that the only hurts He cannot heal, are the ones I won’t admit.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said,
“Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.”
I have found this to be true. Having to begin again, while questioning everything I had been holding on to, has been the most difficult. I am learning that when everything is falling apart, when life is seemingly slipping through your fingers, it can take more strength to simply let it go.
A person who is drowning cannot be helped until they stop struggling. Even though I thought I would sink into the depths of grief, it was as if God quietly came up behind me, lifted me out of the water and gently laid me on the shore.
I believe that when we let go of our need to know the outcome, then God can do his best work in us. We are finally out of the way. I had to be willing to lay down my idea of how things should be, and fully put my trust in His timing and healing.
I now know God does this, not because of who we are, but because of who he is: The God of healing, restoration and grace.
Here is what I wrote last year:
In the midst of trouble, surrounded on every side
Panicked, overwhelmed, perhaps frozen in fear;
It is here, in the center of chaos,
Where faith matters most.
God finds us here:
The heart of the storm, not the shore-
It is here, our boat rocking,
Waves high and splashing over the side,
That He stretches out his hand to calm the raging sea;
And in the stillness, we are safe, once again,
Embraced in the arms of our loving Father.