And hello 2020!
I rarely, if ever, write from a place where I’m in the thick of something. I usually am open about struggles in my blog posts, but only on the other side of whatever I struggled through or learned. This post is different because for the past 7 months I’ve gone through a lot of grief and have had a tough time reflecting on 2019.
So 2019, this is your ode.
(By the way, I’m talking about the grief of having something taken away from you – something that was incredibly significant and gave a lot of purpose. I don’t want to go into detail here!)
While I may be in a better place than I was from the end of August to mid-November and now have words to put to my feelings, I’m still really struggling with grief. This season I’ve been really down and haven’t had the same energy or positivity that I usually have and it’s been hard. I’m the “positive friend” that bounces back from and avoids any sort of negativity or what feels like negativity. I’ve been this way since I was a little kid – it’s a huge part of who I am. (I’m a classic Enneagram 7 – sue me.)
But this season was the first time in the 23 years I’ve been on this planet that I let myself go through the motions of life sucking and not feeling like I have to shove sunshine in the way of grieving. It felt like the floor had dropped right out from under me. It was scary, and it hurt. At first I set an expectation on myself of how I should grieve and for how long. I became so frustrated with this process and eventually had to let go of those expectations and let God work in me.
Friends, I can still have joy and hope. Neither come from my personality or anything like that, it’s all from God. Only God can show us what joy is when we feel like things will never look up. I feel like now I understand what Phillipians 4:7 is about, because, despite being really down, I get what the “peace surpassing all understanding” really is. I can have peace, joy and hope regardless of what kind of day I’m having. It’s been a process to come to terms with that, and I’m still working through it. But, hey, the journey is just as important as the destination!
God has shown his kind, graceful and joy-giving self through my parents, friends (especially the ones who sit with me and help me get “out of my head”, not tell me to “just have faith” or “just pray”) music, scripture and desiring to grow through grief.
I have more freedom than I thought because, while I can choose to let life suck in this season, I can also choose to see that life as a whole can be really beautiful – in all of its brokenness.
I do feel like I’m coming out on the other side of the heavier part of grieving. Sometimes a new layer of the grief process shows up… but, dang, I’m gonna give myself some slack. I’m resilient and trying really hard to do what I can to be present in the now.
We’re all trying in this life, and trying to make sense of all sorts of crap. And there’s a lot of emotion, pain, anger, sadness that comes with it, but darn it there’s so much beauty on the other side.
I recently came across a verse from Lamentations on Facebook Memories that I posted a few years ago that feels super relevant to these past 7 months:
“For no one is abandoned
by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion
because of the greatness of his unfailing love.”
So 2020, please don’t suck. And keep me in your prayers as I find out that the next chapter of my life is going to look like and really trust God and know his goodness daily.
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,