"Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.
There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping,
for killing and healing, destroying and building,
for crying and laughing, weeping and dancing,
for throwing stones and gathering stones, embracing and parting.
There is a time for finding and losing, keeping and giving,
for tearing and sewing, listening and speaking.
There is also a time for love and hate, for war and peace." ~Eccl. 3:1-8
Happy Wednesday to you my bloggy friends! I'm so glad you decided to stop by. I hope today's message will give you hope and encouragement in whatever circumstances you may be walking through.
Where you are now, is not where you will always be. Change is inevitable, unavoidable, and certain to happen. Live long enough and change will find you, whether you want it to or not. Change can happen in the blink of an eye, or slowly, over the course of time. Sometimes change is good and much-needed, but many times it is painful and heartbreaking.
Do you ever look back over the course of your life to examine the changes you've gone through? I tend to do that a lot; probably too much. More recently, I have thought about how much my life has changed over the last few years; how much I have changed over the last few years. Change has been a constant companion of mine for a while now; one that, for the most part, has not been warmly welcomed either.
As many of you know, I lost my brother suddenly last May, which was/is one of the most difficult changes I have had to walk through. I remember shortly after the funeral, my mom had gone to stay with my aunt for a few weeks. I told mom, before she left, that I would take care of getting my brother's clothes and things washed up and packed away because she didn't want to see them when she came home. It was just too hard for her at the time. I remember standing at the washer, weeping as I was putting his clothes in to wash. I remember weeping as I was folding his clothes and packing them away in boxes. He was not coming back. He would never need those things again. It's been close to a year, but I still find myself feeling like it's just not real. My head knows it's real, but my heart just doesn't want to admit it. I wish I had just five more minutes with him, to hug him and tell him how much I love him. I miss him so much.
Just last Monday another devastating change occurred.....I lost my nephew to a fatal car accident. I am still in the shock-stage at this point; still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that he's not here anymore. I stopped by his grave yesterday and stood there with tears rolling down my face. I cannot believe he's gone. I kept expecting to see him walk in the house when I was at my mother-in-laws on Sunday, but he didn't. I find myself looking over at my in-laws house when I drive by, expecting to see his truck there because he visited them a lot, but it isn't. My heart just breaks for his mom and dad, and for his sister, who now have to adjust to life without him here. Their lives will never be the same. This is the type of change you never get over....you just try to learn a different way to live with it.
It's scary, and sobering, how quickly things can change and your life gets completely turned upside down. There are changes we go through that can alter the course of our lives in ways we don't fully understand, until we actually have to walk through them. Many changes happen in our lives that we have absolutely no control over. Those are the type of changes that I have a hard time with. The ones we can't control. The ones that rip your heart out. The ones that leave you broken and bruised. As much as we would like to be able to control everything that comes into our lives, that usually isn't the way it works. The only thing we really have any control over is ourselves and the decisions we make.
The things that have happened over the last few years have not only changed my life, but they have changed me. I am not the same person I was a few years ago, or even a year ago. There is no way you can go through heartbreaking changes and not be changed by them.
As I have been walking through the grieving process I have realized one very significant change in how I think about grief: Every one of us grieves differently. I used to think I had to act a certain way, and pretend like I was okay, even when it felt like my heart was broken in a million pieces. I am so thankful that I have come to realize that I am free to feel however I feel. No one can tell me how I should, or shouldn't, feel. What is right for one person, may not be right for another. I think that is one of the hardest things for us to understand. We need to allow each individual the freedom to grieve however he/she feels they need to, for however long they need to. There is healing in allowing ourselves to feel the pain and deal with it in a way that's best for us. Some people deal with it better when they have others around them, while some of us want more solitude and time to think about things. One way is not better than the other, and some days you may want to be around others more than other days. It's just a matter of what works for each individual. No matter how someone chooses to grieve, just remember to reach out and let them know you are there for them and that you care. You don't have to know the right thing to say because there is no right thing that will change the situation, just be there for them.
Even though many things have changed in me and in my life, there is one thing that remains forever the same.....God's love. I know, without a doubt, had it not been for His love, peace, strength, and comfort, surrounding me, holding me up, I would not be able to do this. I would not have been able to walk through all I have in and of my own strength. There were many times when I felt like I was alone and abandoned, but looking back, I can see that He was always there with me.
Let them know today, don't wait. Once a life is over, there's no going back.
Take every opportunity to leave a legacy of love behind. I promise, it's a legacy well worth leaving. Until next time my friends, be blessed.
Above pictures found at: http://www.fibrohaven.com/wp-content/uploads/Seasons_Change.jpg,