My grandpa has been gone now for 9 months today. But I can still feel the sorrow as if it were yesterday. I can still smell the sterile air of the hospital room. I can still taste the salty tears. I have this wonderful, dreadful gift...my mind. I can recall things vividly & quickly. Even smells can trigger memories. I hate it. After someone is gone, all you have are memories. I wish I didn't have them. Some find comfort in it, others are haunted by them. I can recall memories at the drop of a hat, and along with them, come the emotions & feelings. I have another wonderful, dreadful gift...I feel things very deeply. I hate it more than I like it. I wish I could turn them off. But when I do, I miss the good parts. It's a constant battle.
I love Christmastime. But I wish I could skip past it this year. I know there's joy wrapped up inside every sorrow but I'm just tired of looking for it. Lately, joy feels like a pretend world to me. I hurt on the inside, searching for joy, but there's nothing I can find. I know...I know...Jesus is our joy, be grateful & give thanks in every season. I know, I get that. Indulge for a minute though. I have found some joy in this last season. I have. But God...he's the only one who knows how painful & broken & heartbreaking this last year has been for me. And sometimes the more painful part is waiting for God to bring the redemption for all those things that have been dead and gone.
2015 was a year of dead things. Dead dreams, relationships, trust & people. And I have been desperately asking God to not let that follow me into the next year. His word says goodness & mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. It sure hasn't looked like it. Waiting for the redemption hurts. I barely made it into 2015 before things started falling apart. Seriously...nearly an entire year of brokenness, death, pain, loss. And my fear...is that it's all for nothing. My fear is that I'm actually waiting on nothing. I've never been in a season this long before. I've never been in a season where pretty much everything around me & in me was broken. I've never been in a season where it is rare to go an entire day without fresh tears falling on dry ground. Sometimes it's my tears that got me thru a day of grief that I didn't know how to release.
But somehow...I've made it. Somehow, I pushed thru. I feel this thing like 2016 is the beginning of the best days of my life.
Which is scary bc nothing is different...nothing has changed. I have the same dead end job, same church, same roles, same family, same broken friendships. And if my reality is supposed to be what God says even if it's not what I see...that's a painful place to live. It's where I've lived. Lonely and broken. Longing for dreams and promises to come...but I'm left wondering.
Crumbling under the weight of dashed expectations, delayed promises. It plain sucks. I've been reduced to begging God to just show up for me. Begging him to do something...anything. The silence is killing me. He tells me I'm walking on the ground of the miraculous...but it all looks ordinary...unchanged. It all looks the same. I wanna believe that I heard him...but it all just sounds too good to be true. Why would God want to restore something that means so much to me? Why? I desperately don't want to be wrong...not bc I want to be right...but bc I want to know that I've really heard him. Does it make sense that someone who can so clearly hear God for others also struggles with believing they actually are and can hear from him for themselves? Does that make sense?
It feels like this...sorrow upon sorrow.
And for an entire year almost...I've hid from my family, the tears that I've cried. I've buried my face in pillows, laundry piles and loud music to cover up my pain, my cries. I've gone on long drives alone to cry and pray so that no one at home knew that I was struggling. And the place where you should feel like the most comfortable, the most safe, the most able to let it all out...I couldn't. why? Because no one except God can understand the season I have narrowly made it thru. Only He could bring me thru. No one gets it but Him. Because sometimes, He is the only one who really knows how we feel.
So what's "The End"? It's moving on even though prayers have painfully been and remain unanswered. It's promises that will be left hanging in the balance. It's deciding to keep moving even though everything in me SCREAMS at me to give up, walk away, let go, call it quits. The End means there's a new beginning. The End means I can expect something to start. I will kiss this year goodbye with a sloppy wet kiss, let it go with open palms, cry over it probably until 12:01am on January 1, 2016. But after that, it's over. 2015 will be done and gone. And I'm praying that a new slate, a fresh clean start awaits me and the ashes that haven't been made beautiful yet will be. I'm hoping that the ruins that are still just rubble will be made glorious. And I'm believing, with all I feel I don't have left...that my God is a restoring God. Where 2015 was full of heartache, I'm prophesying before I even get into 2016 that it will be full of healing. Where 2015 was full of mess, I'm believing for 2016 to be full of a hope-filled message. And where 2015 was a year of things being lost, stolen and destroyed, I'm speaking in the language of miracles...that 2016 will be a year of things found, hope returned and life restored to all the areas that are still dead.
"And now to Him...who is able to do far more than we even ask or think or imagine..."