I love to read. I enjoy informational books, biographies, fiction, non-fiction and classics.. At home we have multiple book shelves filled with some of my favorites and on the top shelf are the special ones. The books that I have received from important people in my life, with handwritten words in them. Old books passed down from generation to generation and newer ones with special notes in them.
I love words. I love what deep meaning they can carry. I love that they can be vessels to heal the aching heart or hurting mind.
Words put together create chapters. That is what I’m thinking about today.
When we were young, my mom could often be heard telling us, “life is like a series of chapters. Sometimes a chapter ends, just like a relationship. It’s not always easy, but it’s the way life works.”
I was thinking about chapters ending because I am leaving the job I have had for 14 years. I will leave behind tremendous people to whom I love, but I know it is time to end this chapter.
I wasn’t ready to end the chapter titled “Grace.”
I can already hear some of you saying that her chapter wasn’t ended just because her life was taken, but as much as I understand the heart behind a statement like that, it was an end to that chapter. Her name appears and will continue to appear in every chapter of my life until the story of my life on earth is over, but she will never have her own chapter again. It is a part of accepting my current circumstances, even if I don’t like them.
A couple weeks from now will mark the seven year anniversary of this abrupt ending and it got me thinking about the words I am now extremely familiar with. I thought I would share them and give you my own definitions.
Grief – A force that exists outside of words and is as unique to a person as a fingerprint. A time in a person’s life when emotions can tell them the truth as well as lie, simultaneously. A force that will overtake the daily normalcies and make them seem unattainable. A feeling that things will never be the same and the faster that is accepted, the less motion sick you will be on the train…of grief…that you will never get off of. And a scar, worn by so many, that will never disappear, but will certainly hurt less, over time.
Thrive – The willingness to accept what your life is, and then a determination to grow and blossom in the midst of it. To push through the murkiness, and then live, jump, run, laugh and even flourish.
Faith – Knowing someplace deep, even beyond thoughts and feelings, that you are loved and created for a purpose, by God. That Jesus is the best friend a person could ever ask for and that the Holy Spirit is closer than a deep sigh.
Family – The ones who share your DNA and the ones that don’t. The people whose names are woven into your fabric because God has generously allowed you to be stitched together, to make you strong.
Grace – To the believer: unmerited favor. To me: the undeserving gift of a first-born little girl who changed my life and countless others. Who left a tremendous stamp of beautiful life on everyone she came into contact with. The precious young woman who is sitting (or more accurately, skipping around) with the King of kings, waiting to give her mama some snuggles one day.
Each of these words have their own chapter in my life, actually some of them are more like volumes. However, I have learned to close chapters and start new ones without fear.
The Author of my life has never failed me, and He won’t start now.