Thursday, 27 February 2014

He makes all things beautiful in His time........

Twenty six years.......the words that left a moments silence, as we gave a knowing look of a 'thousand words' during my skype call with my Dad this morning......  how is this ever possible? You could hear it although it wasn't spoken. But it is. Its mind boggling honestly and so hard to put it on into words. 'I miss her' doesn't come close. If you're reading this, then I need you know I write because I love her and want to share a little something of her with the people in my today......and by whom I know I'm loved, and who will allow me to process what this means at this point in my mark this day. The vivid memories leading up and on this date even tho I was just shy of five at the time, are still crystal clear. 

I sit here in this moment pondering over the my journey to this day. It's kinda actually amazing to look at the trail and way it interweaves.... Years pass between all the events that make up life but because they were walked by one particular set of feet they instantly become linked.  This last year, the most recent season of the journey, has been one where all that I had known up to this point in my life, was shaken up and turned upside down!!! Kinda like a snow globe when you shake it! Some things stay in place but almost every tiny thing has felt and looked different. What I've come to realise, it's not dissimilar to what happens when someone was there one day and not the next, just like the journey I was thrown onto as a cheeky five year old girl. Only this time, it's not like someone died, or some shocking trauma occurred, no, but the process of my mind and heart, as I've moved through the days and months has been kinda like grieving. Moving across the atlantic, there were certain expectations I held, knowing full well that things would be very different on this side of the Atlantic ocean. It has shocked me, as I had never imagined, not even for a second, the heart wounds that would be opened, over things I thought were unrelated.  I had had no expectation for the longing, the ache of missing Mum deeply on a daily basis, and how it would strike so strong again or that I would dig through the deepest parts of my heart and be forced to allow my heart to ache, to let the lid off the pot and cry like I've not cried in a long time. I had no idea that this distance I've walked in the physical, from all the things I've known, would once again highlight the depth of the loss that day we said goodbye to her and our lives were changed forever. 

It brings a slight smerk to my face as I write, how so often we can know theories in our heads and yet when things actually outplay in our own lives,  its not until you look at it with the gift of hindsight, that we actually recognise whats happened. Like walking through loss in one area of your life, causes your body and emotions to respond in certain ways because sub-consciously they recognise this place because they've been there before. It's not foreign. It's actually familiar and your body almost goes into auto pilot, taking lead off the triggers that have been set off somewhere in your past. And yet it wasn't till a couple months ago that I could name this and identify what was going on internally for me. This moment was kinda awesome actually because at this point I could give myself permission to embrace it and accept that I wasn't actually loosing my mind!!!!!! (seriously people I actually started to wonder!) But getting to this place, that its ok, that this move across the atlantic, would translate into something very different in my heart. The fruit, of this journey, however painful or joyful any part of it would be, would bring further transformation of my heart, and in turn be multiplied into so many areas of my life. And thats a good thing, and something I wouldn't trade.

Someone recently said to me 'at least time is a healer', just as many have said, to people they know who are hurting. And I kinda get it, and why its said, I do. However, recently whilst reading a book, a friend wrote, something she wrote hit the nail on the head and helped me understand, why this phrase has so often left me feeling annoyed.  She wrote so eloquently that 'time doesn't mean it hurts less, it just hurts differently'. The truth is that God is our healer. However His healing doesn't mean that in one second, that at the snap of His fingers, everything is perfect and 'thats that' - sorted. No. NO! He cries with us as we tread through the trenches of these place in our hearts. He doesn't get bored, or try to speed us up, or tell us to get over it. His heart breaks. He walks beside, gently nudging, compassionately empathising, loving on us, teaching us to trust Him more so we will let Him in, with invitation, even further. He wants more for us. He wants restoration in the things we can't see a way through. He promises love. In fact, He is Love. And His 'more than enough love' is lavish enough to fill and flood all the places that there are no words for. To carry us when the ache of loneliness is to much. To be tangible in the very real moments in any ordinary day, like when I wish I could just call her, like I see friends doing or when things are hard or there's something to celebrate or I just need a good ol' cup of tea and the sound of her voice. In these very 'pang' moments as I call them....... He's there. AND He gets it. And because of this, He not asking me to get over it, rather He knows asks me to trust Him because He has the perfect navigation for each moment and longs for me to trust Him enough, to give Him my hand, so He can lift my foot and help me step down my path of healing.  Trusting isn't easy. I guess I've come to see it as an action...... its takes effort and tears and sweat and guts and sometimes repeating words that I'm honestly finding hard to believe are truth, but I know from the faithfulness of God are..... it words and action and believing when you can't see through the cloud. And right there in that place, He a resounding peace mixing into our ugliest messes..... and eventually if we let Him this peace is whats sounds above all else.  He is the One who wants to turn whats been stolen from us, and in return find a way to orchestrate a redeeming path to lead us onwards in our journeys. He loves us too much to leave us stranded, not moving. His love for us, mixed with our pain, allows Him to shape us to be more like Him, when we allow Him into those very places that no one has ever seen before. And I absolutely love, like LOVE Him for that. I simple could not imagine how to walk any part of this life without Him in it. 

So all this to say, despite the fact I would honestly give anything for just one more day with Mum, there is comfort in knowing that she loved this same amazing God deeply. She walked her journey in His hands. She gave her whole heart to Him.  And even if I try to imagine what she faced in the last months of her life, as she contemplated leaving us here on earth, I know that the only way she did that, was to bury herself into Gods arms, to find peace in the fact that He was in control and had the world, her world, in His hands.  That she was His and He was hers. And today, nothing changed on this front, because this is true for me too -  I am His and He is mine.  Peering over photos and lingering over the memories, I am beyond grateful knowing that the same God I wrestle with, the same God that shows an unimaginable, unconditional, lavish love and is my rock of strength, the same One who carries me on the hard days and celebrates on the good, is the very same God that mum got to run her race with. On both her care free days, and in the days marked by pure heartache, she never veered away from loving God with all her heart, mind and soul....... even as a small child I saw such a quiet strength of character and a deep steadfastness, that now I know only comes from knowing Jesus. And as an adult today, I cherish the journals she wrote, her own penmanship, where she wrote her talks/sermons that God inspired her and empowered to give because it just confirms and highlights the passion she had for loving Jesus so much, and she heart of wanting nothing more than people to love Him too!  Believe me I've no doubt she struggled, had her bad days, will have doubted at times and life certainly wasn't always easy and she wasn't perfect - non of us are (!) but this legacy, this heritage that is mine, the example of how she choose to live, is one that inspires me to keep going, to run after, never give up on, running after all that God has me to be. 

So in fact I am thankful today.  I miss her. My heart aches. The tears still flow. My Understanding of all this isn't something I'll ever achieve because how can the whys ever be fully understood. I have to leave them in the hands of the only One who does. And yes I'd give anything for another day, to hear her voice and see her smile. Ugh.... I truly would. But one thing that is in my that I can choose today, to not be robbed of thankfulness........thankfulness for everyday I was given to be with my beautiful mum here on earth, thankfulness for the amazing heritage I have in being her daughter and thankfulness for the faithfulness and passion of her walk with Jesus, that still has an impact today. 

What a lady. One I'm lucky enough to call my mum!