Life has brought so much the past year, I could easily sit down and write it all out for you in great detail. But I am not going to do that to you, mostly because it would be dreadfully sad to read, I should think. As it turns out, most of what has occurred has been rather cheerless to say the least. It has been a season of surprising sadness, which happens to be, for most of us, the most dreaded of sorts.
On the other hand, I have also been strangely comforted and filled with deep peace amidst horrific pain. As I have said many times before, it is the darkest nights when we can see the stars shine most brightly, and what is white without black to show us it is there?
I don’t mean to be cryptic with what’s been going on, I just don’t want to spend too much time fixating on the actual events, because I don’t think they themselves are ever the point. I think they are there to show us something, to remind us of what is true, both in ourselves and beyond what our eyes tell us is there. These moments of heart-wrenching sadness, they are our north star.
Watching mom lose her job last February after 17 years
The call in September telling me mom has cancer
Staying up all night watching the California fires come a street away from my brother’s home earlier this month.
Watching mom get sick, lose her hair, and sometimes her hope. Sitting next to her while she cries without the ability to fix it, to save her, or offer anything more than a hand to hold
Watching a friend I love more than the world itself go through the deepest pain I think exists in this world since the summer.
Getting the text from sister-in-law telling me their dog was killed by a coyote in their yard a week after the fire, and knowing my brother had to see it.
Losing the treatment that brought me relief and hope for 3 years because of dangerous side effects occurring this month , watching my body deteriorate back to a place I dread with Lupus.
Recent grief that we may never have a child of our own.
Those have been some of my north stars the past year. I have cried a lot, my sailor’s mouth has gotten even more sailor-like, and I have felt the burden of my family’s pain upon my back. And, I have never been more aware of God’s deep care and love.
My mom is sick, but she’s alive and fighting. I get to sit with her and make her laugh and watch ridiculous movies together while she gets chemo.
My brother’s house didn’t burn down and his family is alive and well, though they do miss their four-legged friend. Praying for them all night reminded me how much I love them.
I get to watch the person I love learn to heal, and I am again reminded how much I love her.
I have an amazing husband who has proven to me that I can trust again and reminds me to laugh and play every day. We have the same dream to move to a place filled with land, dogs, horses and life.
My dear Mr B is still here with me, and brings comfort I cannot put into words.
I have a meaningful job that I love. I get to bring hope to people every day, which is to me a reward in itself.
I may not have the strength or health I wish I did, and maybe I’ll never have a chid of my own, but I will always have hope. I get to get up today, and if I died tomorrow I would have no regrets. My heart is more alive and filled with a richness most can only dream of.
It’s not about the things happening around us, or even to us, it’s what they point us to. And what we choose to fix our eyes upon.
Life can be so savagely painful that we may want to give in and and lose ourselves in it’s blackness. And sometimes we do for a while.
But something inside knows that is not the end of the story, and what is happening to me is not the point. There is something much bigger to be seen, and when I allow myself to stand back up and look back into the darkness, it is then I see the stars.