The end of 2011 was bittersweet.
My husband’s family was forced to say goodbye to an amazing woman this month…a classy gal I (and many others) called Aunt Janie. Her battle with cancer began in February and ended in December as she said her goodbyes to friends and family and waited for Jesus to come and take her hand.
As I sat with her a few weeks before she passed away, I asked her how she was doing with God…I wondered if she was angry or upset at Him for the path she was now walking. Since it was a path that left her in much pain and trapped in her bed after having lived a life of full of being always on the go with independence and exercise…to me, it wouldn’t have been surprising in the least if she held a bit of bitterness in her heart…in fact, I guess I kind of expected her to say that she did.
But instead, I was caught off-guard as I watched her eyes fill with tears of joy as she spoke words I will never forget, “Oh, He and I are juuust fine. My only regret is that I have to wait so long for Him to come and get me.” The smile that lit up her face re-ignited something inside my own heart…and made me realize that when the end comes and we are faced with the reality of leaving here for there, no love or pain can compare to the sweet joy of knowing that HE is coming.
I needed that…because just as her light was dimming on earth, mine was dimming from somewhere deep within.
Somehow…for some reason I don’t quite understand…I pulled back from God. Pulling deep inside my own self-made shell, I’d let go of the Truth I’ve always turned to in the times of uncertainty. In the back of my mind, the real-ness of His love and desire for me echoed out against the dullness I seemed to cling to…and yet, even in knowing that what He offered was so much better than where I was, I just couldn’t let go of the bleak to grab hold of the light.
But then came the magic of New Years Day. Like it or not, the offer of a fresh chance screams out in the midst of celebration. We wake up on the first day of a new year with thoughts of “it can be better than it was“…and vow to not let go of the changes we hope to make.
And so, in honor of tradition, today begins my walk back into life.
I am vowing to pick myself up by my bootstraps and begin to live again, even while still not sure I am ready to let go of the dark corner where I have made myself comfortable for so long. But one thing I am aware of is that sometimes one must walk the walk for a while before the reality of Truth can invade enough to make a difference…and my march in the right direction began as I sat in our church’s service this morning, my heart leaping up in response to our Pastor’s call to stand in the gap between our Lord and a world that needs His love.
My legs may be a bit wobbly…but I am standing again for the first time in a long time…and that is enough to make a difference in my world. So I wish a Happy New Years to all of you, my blog-world friends!! May it be a year that leads us all upwards and onwards…
Looking up, as always…