I stood in the kitchen just staring at the coffee pot. “Take Joy my King, in what you hear, may it be a sweet sweet sound in your ear.” Completely overwhelmed my mouth broke out into worship. The way my children stared and smiled gave me a peace that they understood. The only thing I could do was worship. I’m not one to sit and complain, it’s just not who I am. But there are moments, people, things that completely overwhelm me and in the middle of my kitchen I can only sit in gratitude to switch my thoughts and refocus.
When my late husband was still here, I looked forward to him returning home from work so we could unwind our days together. So we could encourage each other. There is a reason in marriage two become one. And in his absence, I feel half of so much gone. So I learn- I learn to live without him. And it’s hard. It’s hard being two parents, having no one to encourage me. Having no one who fully understands our family dynamic. No one to stand up for me where he once did. And on the tough days when I have no one to discuss my difficulties with, no one to input their wisdom- I find myself in the kitchen breaking into worship.
The last 14 months I have been pressing into the Lord and grief and finding hope and health in the midst of complete turmoil. I believed life could be beautiful again, and IT IS. Do I still miss my husband? Yes. But We are finding happiness because we choose it- Every single day. Which means stepping away from things that suck joy from us. I love writing, but continuing to write only about the grief made me feel like I was grabbing that comfort blanket. Because it’s easy to be sad, it’s not easy to choose joy. It’s work to constantly refocus, to love life again. But it is worth it. So I decided to not write as much. And what I did write was on Instagram, under pictures. Captions that may have nothing to do with the picture- but glimpses into my heart, my hope, my life. And I realized the people that followed us shouldn’t be left here. To only hear the story of grief. So I want to take them along our story of jubilee to. The good and bad days.
I quit writing our #800beautifuldays recently. Every night before I would go to bed I would write a day on Instagram and it reminded me that this 800 day story comes to an end. While it is beautiful to remember, and grief can be comforting- that’s all it is. At first telling our story was therapeutic. But by the end- it was a daily reminder that in the blink of an eye, so much can be ripped from us. And this is our story. And I want to make the rest continue to be beautiful. And that means learning to live life in a state of jubilee- even when it is bitter.
So I’m inviting you along side that. I will probably be blogging more frequently. They may be short glimpses of my heart. Moments of gratitude. Worship to our faithful Lord. Poems of boys running in the yard. They may be glimpses of what hard days look like. Or what it looks like for us to find jubilee in life’s simple delights. It won’t be how I wrote before. But, I’m inviting you along.
Because on the other side of grief is life waiting for us to take another chance….
You can subscribe (or unsubscribe if it is too much). But words, rejoices, stories .. That is what sings to my heart… And if you’re here- probably sings to yours. I’m learning writing is “my thing” and I love sharing it with you.
Recently I read the book 1,000 gifts by Ann Voskamp and wrote this:
I was telling someone recently how thankfulness pulled me through my grief. How, although I am devastated Fareed is not here, I am thankful for the person God has shaped me into after the tragedy. That it took something so heartbreaking, for me to understand and see life the way I do now. God knew every detail. Even the way he would bring life in a season of death. That friend pointed me to this book. And on page 35 (iBooks) the author references the story of Hezekiah, and Mannaseh. “Just that maybe.. Maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.” And I told that friend that I’m learning what it’s like to be thankful when Gods plans don’t seem right and when I’m walking in the unknown. And well this book helps put words to those feelings, to my heart shift. To better explain that which I already feel.
I’m super thankful for that friend. And super thankful to be halfway through this book.
And on a really hard day last week I wrote this:
You would think I’d be used to it by now. The hard days, the days he was so good at conquering, the days (he had no idea) he was teaching me how to live without him. I remember vivid conversations of the seeds he was planting in my heart. The strength and wisdom I now carry with me, his words that have kept me going this last year. His reminder to always choose Joy even when the world is tearing you down. We faced a lot together in the short time we had. He taught me so much. I’m so thankful for the part of his heart that will always remain in mine. And just Maybe I’m not meant to get used to the hard days. Maybe I will always long for him to be here too talk things through. Because I refuse to let life leave me bitter. He loved my optimism. Maybe the hard days are really sent to remind us of the best days. And how every day is beautiful. And once upon a time this man chose me, and we had our very own fairytale.
I look forward to walking this journey of Jubilee with you.