Friday, July 15, 2011

Way More than Five Minute Friday: On Loss

I have always been somewhat self-deprecating.  Anyone close to me has heard me assert that there is always someone whose suffering is more intense, whose loss is more profound, whose stress is more unbearable. 

And that is completely true.  I think I've always had a healthy dose of perspective into the fact that everybody's got it hard sometimes.

That being said, it has always been difficult for me to allow myself my own negative feelings.  When asked, I'm always fine.  I try not to complain or be perceived as "needy" in any way.  I certainly don't want anyone to worry or to be bothered by little ol' me.

But as I've grown, and yes, aged, I've come to understand that it is also important to be honest about where we are, with ourselves, with God, and with each other. 

It's important to acknowledge how He's working in our miseries as well as our sunshine-y days.

I remember back when my marriage was ending and things had been, shall we say, dramatic, for what already felt like forever, and the bad just kept coming in waves and the good was increasingly hard to find, and I sat all alone one morning and actually announced to myself that this was a big deal, that my stress and pain and yes, grief, was real and it was okay for me to own it.  I literally gave myself permission to be devastated and admit that I was not strong.  I told myself it was okay to allow the tears to fall and to receive the kind words of support from those who loved me.

It's odd that even in some of my darkest days I didn't feel entitled to my own pain.

Now I'm not sure how much of that is some kind of crazy on my part, and how much of it is just the way I'm built, so to speak, but mainly I guess I'm just someone recognizes that we all suffer. 

And many of us have lost preciousness that we were certain we could not continue without.

And yet we continue...

For one miserably extended period of time I awoke day, after day, after day...certain that I couldn't do it again.  I was positive that I couldn't pack the lunches and face the friends and do the job and wipe all the tears without fracturing into a zillion pieces. 

And yet I did.

I kept crawling out of bed into the light and doing what needed to be done.  And as often as possible I crawled right up into the lap of The One who would never leave me and would always take care of me, and I allowed him to give me strength, and courage, and discernment, and faith...and Hope.

So as someone who would rather talk about all the happy, all the time, here I am, publicly telling you that I am someone who has lost things held dear.  Among them?  I have a complicated relationship with my dad and I was rejected by my husband. 

Two things that are surely very tall mileposts in the journey of this girl's heart, which in turn splintered off into many, many other losses...and yes, they are heartbreaking and yes, I suppose, irretrievable.

But what I've learned is quite possibly worth all the rest of it.

Because when I lost what I valued most
I gained what I needed most.

And when the dreams I had for myself were all ruined 
God gave me better ones.

He gave me lovely dreams full of beauty, and grace, and redemption...

I have lost relationships that to this day I wish I could have back, and I could ruminate for a really long time about the dear, sweet people I miss and the bittersweetness that comes from the remembering.

But my prayer is that my life is a testament not only to the healing that God can do in a heart that asks for it,
but also to the restoration of a broken life. 

Because no matter what the loss, the losing isn't really the end.

It's just the beginning of what can be a breathtakingly precious journey with Him.

And I say this with certainty...As much as I would love to have every bit of it back, if I couldn't keep all the beautiful wonder I have gained in the process I would have to stay right here...right where I am.

Thank you, Jesus!

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