We mark time’s passing with celebrations and remembrances, and as we do we take stock of where we’ve been, what’s been gained and lost, and what we hope for in the future.
Spent time this morning with Riley and Heather. Riley turns 12 today. He’s such a precious, sensitive, strong and gentle soul. He is my only biological grandchild, and we share a special bond. I can’t say that I feel any less connected to Riley than to Noah and Heather. They all have my heart in its entirety. I spend lots of time pondering this life of mine and how so much of it I wouldn’t have chosen, yet I can sing with complete sincerity of The Lord’s goodness recognizing that without every step of this journey I wouldn’t know His love and mercy and grace so intimately. So many times I’ve prayed for my kids to be shielded from what hurts, yet I am reminded that hurt sometimes yields necessary growth and humility. How to even begin to find words for all of my thoughts and feelings about the last 12 years makes me tired and reveals the truth: words are inadequate.
Shopped for new school shoes for Riley today. Leaving the store we saw a teenage boy who looked so much like Keylon. The already gaping hole from Noah’s absence today was looming large and then the reminder of the other one gone just now a year, and I could just sit down and cry. Grief takes my energy away quicker than anything else – grief and loss; unchosen. Reminds of older griefs and losses still sore when revisited…
Makes me think back to times we had rather not remember when things went the opposite of what we had hoped for; when unnecessary and unimaginable harm broke in and broke us all. I did not know the kind of faith I was going to need to survive the days, weeks, and months to follow until there we were in the day-to-day battle for peace. It still astounds me that a heart that desires peace above all else can encounter so much strife, but we can’t live inside a bubble. By design and necessity, we are connected to so many people, and when we open our hearts to loving others we are opening to share whatever life brings to them.
Hurt has taught me compassion. It has taught me humility. It has taught me forgiveness. It has taught me resilience. It has taught me the depths of genuine love. It has strengthened me in my resolve to keep moving through the days with hope despite criticism, gossip, or accusations. It has caused me to account for what is unknown in any given situation. It has also taught me there is only one truth.
The good part of looking back is finding God’s Hand of loving-kindness making a way for a better life for each of us. He has given us laughter and play and lots of growth. He has healed so much of what was broken. He is faithful, and we are His.