Really? Jubilee.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately on who I am becoming as a person. When you are shattered into a million pieces you are bound to be glued back together and look completely different. When I chose my blog name last January, I debated many different names. I kept coming back to the word Jubilee, “a season of celebration.” That is what I was in. A season of celebrating my life as a wife and mother. I started to get a little upset. Why this word? This was only fitting for a few short months. My all knowing God should have given me a different word. Fast forward a couple minutes. I started thinking about the current season of life. Just two days ago my favorite author Shauna Niequist’s new devotional landed on my lap. I thought back on one of her quotes I read before my blog “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” I was savoring the sweet. I had no idea how bitter life was about to get it.
My husbands death shattered me. Everything I thought to be true and secure in the world was now a complete question. I was now a solo parent of two little boys, something I never imagined I could do. Life as I knew it was gone. My friends changed, some grew closer others further. The Gospel became real to me. The stories were no longer about things I didn’t relate to. They were about me. A widow in need of a savior, in need of hope, in need of love. I’m not the person I was 10 months ago, at all. It would be quite difficult to even compare the two selfs. I’m growing and I continue to grow.
I googled a biblical definition of Jubilee and found this, “In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.” I believe my growth this year as a person could fall close to that definition. You see, some things aren’t as apparent as we wish them to be. My circumstance is not one of Jubilee. It is the exact opposite of that definition. I have been in a season of mourning. My God though, he is celebrating. Celebrating his reunion with my sweet husband. Celebrating the person I am becoming here on earth. I liked the person I was before Fareed passed away. But, I love the person I am becoming since the tragedy.
I don’t mean to say I’m amazing in some sort of way. I am just more alive. I love with a bigger heart. I am more generous because I have felt true generosity. I am more patient, a better listener. I notice the smallest details I never stopped for before. I see beauty in moments that I once let pass me by. I appreciate the tribe of people who have held me. I know the importance of your own happiness. I have come to accept that you may be the juiciest peach but some will never like peaches. I see the gospel and life through an entire different lens. A humbling one to say the least. I could go on for hours of things that have changed. Isn’t that the joy of having a blog? I have many more posts to help catch you up.
So where am I? I’m learning to be in a constant state of Jubilee. I’m learning to celebrate life, and the goodness of our Father in every season. I am learning to celebrate the sweet seasons of my life, to be thankful that they were given to me. I am learning to celebrate the bitter seasons of my life because they help me grow and savor the sweet that much more. Above all, I’m learning that seasons can be both, Bittersweet. That amongst the pain, the growth, the long days, and sleepless nights- there is still good. My children still sing. The sun still rises. That although my husbands death is bitter. God is a redemptive God. He wants Sweet for me.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without the Love I shared with my husband. I wouldn’t be who I am becoming without the tragedy of losing him. I may have only been given 800 beautiful days, but because of them the rest of my days will be much richer. Because of him, I have learned that life deserves to be lived in Jubilee. A season of celebration.

One comment

  1. Lisa says:

    Shelly, you show show much wisdom, so much compassion, so much strength. You have grown into a woman I greatly admire. I watch you bless others. I thank God for you in my life

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