Day in and day out, I pressed into the darkness, plunging East. Trusting. Hoping. Waiting. Believing (most days) that the sun would rise. And with it, the dawn of a new day.
I would have lost heart if I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
In that darkness, there is no end in sight. Still, God's Word is absolute. It is sovereign. It is true. His Word has the authority to speak light, to breathe life, to calm storms, to create something new…
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. (Psalm 138:1-3)
The dawn of a new day has suddenly arrived. Squinting, I seek to adjust to its light, my eyes stinging after so much darkness. In an instant I have a choice. One that my heart will instinctively choose... Do I reach up my hand to shield my face from the brilliance of the sun's sudden glow? Do I shelter myself from its hot burning rays? Or do I stand tall and brave, with arms wide open, face lifted high towards the burning fire? Do I bask in the sun's brilliance with unashamed worship, with bold and courageous joy?
I embrace the sun. How could I not choose life now? Now that the through has led me here, to this place of joy and renewed hope? When all of heaven, with Lynn at the forefront, surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses is cheering me forward, how could I turn away, and deny all that God has done?
It is for freedom that Christ has set me free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1)
So, I rejoice. But still, I grieve. My soul has grown. I embrace the new life of God's goodness and grace. But a chasm remains. A deep chasm where I journeyed in darkness, still marks my soul. But now, in the sun's warmth, in the coolness of the stream's drink, small shoots of green can come forth out of the dusty ground, blossoming into beautiful floral expressions of life, joy, goodness, and love.
Life after grief is not regular life. It is strange. It is different. It is extraordinary. Strange, rare, beautiful flowers grow up out of a chasm of grief. Flowers not known in other areas of life...
(Brent reminded me of this quote from Disney's Mulan, about a lily magnolia, "A flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.")
No person or thing in my life will ever take Lynn's place. No person or thing can ever fill the chasm that once nurtured a oneness with a one-and-only man. But plants can grow there. And the soul can grow to embrace new gifts, new blessings, new life…
So I am embracing life once again. In the midst of grief, I rejoice. I have come alive in the kingdom, my passions renewed and on fire. I know my path and am ready to walk in it. I am pursuing my ordination. I am publishing my first book - a compilation of blog posts through this season of grief. I would like to sing again. I would like to get my Master's degree, maybe several. And am waiting to hear about a job position... I am renovating my bathroom :). I am enjoying my amazing daughters. And I am loving yoga as exercise :).
A few months ago, I could barely keep myself alive, such was my despair. I had no passion or sense of joy, nothing to get me up in the morning.
Grieving may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
Praise God for the morning! And praise God for the night. Praise God for both.