Writing this blog has become an outlet for me as I process the loss of my daughter. It carries the hope of not only transforming me but others as well. I enjoy the process of producing the blog. I find comfort here. So, I was surprised this week with how much I’ve struggled to write the blog.
In fact, I’ve spent countless hours searching for the “perfect” topic. I’ve scrapped drafts of two different blog posts. And, I’ve struggled.
Then it dawned on me. Sometimes, the struggle is real. Sometimes, we just have to give ourselves a little grace. Sometimes, we need to refocus. Sometimes, we need to re-center.
I’m really good at doling out advice. But, this week, all of that advice applies to me.
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activities celebrating Brooke’s memory. Her birthday was June 12th. On the same day, Professional Women of St. Tammany awarded two scholarships in her memory. A few days later, the Southern Yacht Club held the second annual swim-a-thon in Brooke’s name.
I’m tired. Not the kind of tired that can be wiped away with a nap. Rather, the kind of tired that settles in your bones. Can you relate?
This time last year, I was reading A Case for Hope by Lee Strobel and journaling about the scriptures that he highlighted in the book. What follows is an excerpt from my journal in June of 2017 – just a couple of months after the accident:
A Case for Hope – Day 10:
“For I know well the plans that I have in mind for you – oracle of the Lord – plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The “letter” (scroll) containing this verse was written by the prophet Jeremiah. The scroll was addressed to the elders of the people exiled in Babylon. The essence of the message is “don’t waste your time in exile.” Even while in exile, God continues to lay a foundation for prosperity, hope, and a future. These are His plans for us.
This chapter of Isaiah seems to confirm my belief that my focus must remain on hope. The trickier part is to move from trying to focus one’s mind on hope/ a future – to living with hope. Truly living.
When does the day come when it no longer feels like living in a shell? When will the shadow be cast out? As I write that question it dawns on me that shadows are only seen in the light. On cloudy days, the shadow can’t be seen.
On the harder – cloudy days – the pain settles in a like a misty fog. On “sunny” days when the sun peeks out from the clouds, the shadow is still there. When I catch a glimpse of it, the shadow overtakes everything.”
Fast forward back to the future, what have I learned in the past year?
- God’s plan for us is one of hope.
- When the plan results in loss, hurt, or despair, it’s not God’s plan.
- Hope doesn’t mean that all will be made (my version of) right on my timeline.
- Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Hope is the firm foundation that paves the road between this life and eternity.
- Hope is what assures me that not all of our days will be misty and blue.
- Hope is the thing that destroys death’s power.
- Hope is the guarantee that one day He will wipe away every tear.
- Hope is the promise that eternity will overshadow every hurt of this world.
- Hope doesn’t disappear on cloudy days.
- Hope is the motivation to pick up the pieces and to try again.
- Hope is the place where we can seek solace when the struggle is real.