Take Heart. // Be Still, My Soul.

The third and final blog post that explains the motto of my blog.

There are certain things in our lives that come and turn our world upside down. One day, we’re alright. The next day, nothing is the same or ever will be. With hands hovering over the keyboard and eyes already blurring, this post has been in the back of my mind weighing on me for the past while. I could try and brush it aside and prolong getting to writing it, but I know even now that if I try to sleep and turn off the lights, I will find no rest.

They must’ve thought I was so strong.

Repeatedly offering when they got themselves together enough to be their escort up to the front of the crowded chapel to see you one last time face to face. I would walk them up with my arm about their shoulders, half hugging and half guiding them until we reached where you lay. But it wasn’t you. Not really. You were gone and what was left was just a shell. It’s just a shell, Delynn, just a shell. And then when they’d had their time and choked back tears as they whispered their final goodbye, I would take them to your family and share condolences. And even after doing it for my third and last time I still would’ve shared condolences with them a thousand times more because I knew how much I missed you and could not imagine the weight of their grief. That was the first time I met your mom and it wasn’t at all how I wanted to meet her. What an awful way to meet your friend’s mom. My God, help me.

They must’ve thought I was strong.

But in reality, it took every fibre of my being to swallow down the breakdown I felt coming. The one that made me want to jump in front of the procession and bring it to a halt, and demand that God give you back right then and there and that the fact that this funeral was happening at all was totally ludicrous.

You were so alive and now so gone. Never has a bright sunny day been so lifeless.

Everything I knew or thought I did, broke. The girl who barely ever had her feet on the ground didn’t understand because now she’d finally landed but didn’t like reality so much.

The ultimate reality of this life is that it ends, but everybody pretends like it’s something that’ll never happen and then when it does, they’ll do anything to claw the curtain of denial back in front of their face. People will start to rationalize that you’re obsessing with death, they’ll say you’re a pessimist, that you’re morbid, or tell you to stop talking. Which is sort of ironic that they think you’re obsessive when everybody asks, though not always out loud, what happens afterwards and where do we go. They’ll start with condolences, then gentle urgings to move on leading to more insistent urgings to accept it and move on as the months after draw out. Then comes the worry from a loved one because you’re still not moving on and when they gently suggest you see a therapist and you can’t help but agree because it’s 5 in the morning and you’ve seen this hour too many times. In other circumstances, others sometimes even joke or laugh, but always with a degree of hesitation or uncertainty. Or sometimes, if your grief is too much, they’ll treat you like you have leprosy because your grief makes the reality all too real that they’ll someday be in your shoes.

It took from March 25th to the following August to recognize the glimmer of daylight that shone through the life stories of my peers. Their stories were different than mine, but what they didn’t realize is how dang resilient they were created to be to have overcome their trials and tribulations. And so for the first time in a long time, I dared to see God working through the lives of others again. I dared to trace His grace in their lives as they talked about mountains and valleys, drawbacks and victories.

I am grateful for your life. I am grateful for what you taught me in the half of a year I was blessed to call you friend and mentor. That half of a year has forever altered what I hold sacred at my very core, and you have taught me more in that half year of life than I feel like most could ever teach anyone in their whole life time. And as my throat aches from gulping down the tears I’m fighting back but I know are inevitable, four years later, I’m still grateful for what I’ve learned from your passing. I’m so grateful to God for those times that He has totally wrung me out for the betterment of myself and those around me, from total strangers to the most recognizable faces. I praise Him for teaching me that there is nothing more glorifying than loving on those around me. For being with me to fill me again, because neither of those things are things I can do out of myself. For giving me a glimpse of His coming glory and His sacrifice for me and those He calls me to love. For introducing me to that unfathomable love through you. For the ways He has used me, is using me, and will use me in others lives. For guiding me into His desire of what it means to be a woman who’s priority it is to turn hearts, not heads. For teaching me that so what if people think I’m crazy, your life is worth saving, every moment that you breathe is a gift. For teaching me what it means to treat strangers like family, because everyone needs to be loved on. That the fear of vulnerability is WELL worth the reward of seeing someone experience His love for the first time.

We will see each other again one day.

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