My time on the island is drawing to a close, and while I’ve sat with friends and reminisced, soul strolled the beach and remembered the wonderful life Jim and I shared, I’m looking forward to getting home. Yes, the grief still visits, but it has softened. I’m leaving here in peace. It’s a peace that has come with time, but it has also come with growth. God’s Love has grown me in ways I can’t even explain over the last year, which has made this visit all the more transforming.
“ There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
(The natural rhythm of the seasons applies to our lives and knowing there is a natural rhythm, a “time to weep and a time to laugh,” gives us permission to let go of perfectionist expectations of our lives. It lightens our burdens by giving us hope for the future in the midst of trial and prepares us for times of struggle – until the day comes when there will be no more winter and no more tears. ~Sarah Phillips)
We can’t have just one season, one life of endless summers….on this chilly, windy, autumn October day, 4 years and 3 days since Jim died, I’m accepting and embracing my season and I’m going home.
Merciful God, We praise you because you know all things, see all things, and remember us. Thank you that we can depend on your presence with us in every season and situation, that each time has purpose and meaning. We are grateful that each season is orchestrated by you, even the harder ones. Help us to see your hand and guidance in our lives as we go through changes, the highs, and the lows. May we grow in trust and persevere in the valleys. How great you are, oh God, for being so intentional to care for us in every season. For even when things seem glum, your light continues to shine on us in mercy and grace.Amen.
First, let me say, I Love October. Autumn is my favorite season. The colors. The smells. The crispness in the air. Pumpkin everything!!!Still warm temperatures. But then you have the other side of October.
It’s the anniversary of Jim’s death, his deathiversary has arrived for the fourth time. There’s no outrunning it. There’s nowhere to hide from it. My favorite season also transports me back to that day four years ago that I learned what it was to grieve, really grieve.
So much has happened in those four years, yet some days it feels like Jim died yesterday. It’s hard to believe that my life could go on without him, but somehow it has. Without him I had no idea how to exist. But bit by bit, I’m coming to a place where I’m realigning and I’m moving forward. I’m throwing away all preconceived ideas of what I thought my life should be looking like four years later.
Instead, I’m trusting that God has each day of my life perfectly planned out for me to the day that I depart from this life.Today, I’m turning my grief to blessings by remembering that God is guiding my steps.
“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
Father, Thank You that there is healing in Your presence. Fill me fresh with Your Spirit and renew my heart and mind in Your truth. I release my sorrow to You, and I ask You to fill every void in my heart with Your peace and love.Thank You for my Jim’s life on this earth and the time I had with him. I know I will see him again in Your timing. I choose to give You honor and praise always. Thank You Father for healing my heart. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen