I have found this remarkable gift, of walking in the fullness of God’s joy daily. I am blessed beyond measure, to have His presence.
But the remembrance dates hit and I am reminded of what was, or what could have been. I begin to miss the laughter and joys. I am reminded that it could have been their 36th wedding anniversary, or that He would have been 5 years old now, or that this father will miss his daughters graduation. The dates come and you remember that there is a wound there. It does not mean my joy has been robbed or that it is gone. But grief and sadness are a part of healing and life.
So how do I move on beyond the thought and the sadness? How do I make sure that the moment of memories or recollection, stay a moment of grief and not overtake my whole day, week, month or year?
Truly for everyone, the process will be different. In the beginning of my journey, I took my grief and wrapped it around myself like a big blanket. If I held on to it, I could allow it to become a part of my identity. I did not want to let go of being wounded. I was wounded darn it, I was hurting, I was depressed, robbed, broken-hearted and I wanted to hold on to it. But there came a time, when I realized, I no longer wanted this heavy weight over me any more. I no longer wanted to be carried under the darkness. What had once been a comfort and a way to hold on, now was a burden.
I know some times when we do not have life fall into place like we had planned, we blame God. We don’t want to run to Him for our comfort, or to remove the blanket of sadness. But run to Him I did, for He was my life line. I learned how to trust. I learned how to walk boldly to His throne and declare my heart. I learned to sing and dance despite the moment.
So what happens when those ‘anniversary dates’ come around each year? Do I allow my joy to be robbed? Or do I sigh, acknowledge that God is still God and has done amazing things despite what has passed? I still hurt over loss, but it does not need to be my every day. Yes they would have been married 36 years, and we could have celebrated as my whole family as I always dreamed, and Yes, he would be 5 years old now, working with me in his homeschooling and discovering kindergarten things. If I let my grief begin to consume me again, then I am robbing those that are left behind, of all of me. My joy, peace, strength and energy are gifts to offer my family and friends now. I am done allowing them to be robbed of those gifts.
You will grieve and your time may have only started. But when the aching, life sucking grief is gone and only a small wound of emptiness. I encourage you, on those ‘anniversary dates’, don’t pick up that full pain, the gut wrenching stillness and all the burdens that go with it. Acknowledge the pain is there, and press on my loves…. press on~