Thursday, October 30, 2014 THE worst traveling companion....

Sometimes, I get a little overwhelmed by all that can be crammed into the waking hours of one day. Today ran the gamete of emotions and experiences and my brain continues to buzz at a pretty high frequency. Sandwiched in-between sending email, unpacking supplies, meeting with community partners and school district staff…racing from one part of the city to the next…shopping, shopping and more shopping…all in preparation for opening the new YouthCity program next week, today I attended the funeral of a dear family friend. I love my job. I love everything about this new opportunity and I don’t even consider these tasks real work…it’s just part of the stuff I get to do…but this afternoon while I attended this service…my heart and soul soaked in a much needed infusion of light and truth and perspective.

Like many in attendance, I was inspired and uplifted by the life and death of a twenty-eight year old man who just lost a harrowing battle with Leukemia. He did not shrink! I was reminded of what it means to be part of a community as a chapel was full of people who emanated love and support and respect for his young widow, his loving parents and his faithful siblings took off work, silenced their cell phones and simply poured out their love by showing up and being present. There is something sacred about the process of mourning with those whose hearts are breaking and I so needed to be apart of this reflective process today. The service ended with…

Be still, my soul: The hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last

….Oh, the cycle of human development and experiences…it’s not an IF disappointment, grief and fear enter your life…it’s a when…why is it that some wounds heal quickly while others take years to process through. This sacred and often hellish refining process comes in various shapes and colors and sizes and without much effort each of us get a customized collection of challenges all designed to stretch and shake and burse and rattle us to ultimately determine how we will respond…. what will we do with that we have been given. This isn’t entirely a religious concept…it’s a life concept. Last time I checked, I don’t think anyone independently signs up for the personal disappointment party and yet somehow we all seem to end up there.

What I loved and so needed to experience and perhaps even remember from today was the whole…sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored…bit. Why is it so stinking difficult to hold on to that part of the process when you are slogging through the muck of life. When it dark…and I mean pitch black…why do we so easily forget. I consider grief to be THE worlds worst traveling companion and I’m pretty confident that in time each of us…and sadly more than once in the span of our lifetime…grief and pain will show up and get comfy in our lives for a season. If grief joined me on a road trip it would not only eat all of the red vines, it would demand soul control over the radio AND AC and switch channels and temperatures far far too frequently, it would demand frequent and inconvenience pit stops and it would most assuredly provide inaccurate and misguided driving directions….and then take no responsibility for sending me way off in the wrong direction. Plane and simply grief sucks! Like I hate that it’s part of life and yet I’m learning how to not only recognize it but I’m learning the important role it plays in this human experience.  

Today, I was thankfully reminded that in time…and with hope…and thanks to love…and only when patience and forgiveness have been applied….when change and tears are past….things will feel safe again and sometimes a greater sense of peace and safety are experienced…Oh, this process…how I wish I could hold onto the realness of each phase just a little tighter so I’m better prepared for the next round. Kinda wish that these type of “ahh ha’s” could be ordered at Costco and yet so grateful I was able to press pause on the daily grind long enough to sample some of the sweetness that always follows the ending of a life.  Tomorrow starts early and my to do list is LONG. My life is full and I’m blessed far beyond what I deserve…I’m even a little grateful for for the dark days…I’m sharing…because I’m hoping I can hold on to this feeling…just a little bit longer...they say it takes a village to raise a child…I think it also take a village to heal up a heart….So, thanks for reading…now go hug someone….

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