I’m long overdue to write something. Rachel writes a lot and I’m so proud of her for that. She does such a beautiful job of describing her journey and our journey. It’s not an easy road to describe. In a lot of ways it is impossible to describe to those that haven’t walked it, but that’s ok. It’s impossible to properly describe a city to someone who has never been there, but it is still worth the attempt. Something is still gained, even though much is lost in translation. If for no other reason, God has wired us to share our experiences with one another. It is part of being human. It is part of what separates us as humans and is a sign of God’s divine touch on us. Monkeys have no interest in what some monkey did 300 years ago, but as humans we care about what other humans have done, what they have learned, and how we can relate.
So what’s my story to share? I hope I am not just writing to write or to draw attention to myself, but that there is some purpose to it and some healing found within it.
Right now I feel amazed at my capacity to forget and my need to re-learn… over and over and over and over and painstakingly over again. There was so much I learned last year while sitting in the hospital next to Clive. I was exhausted and weary, but at the same time my mind and soul felt alive in a way they have never felt before. I knew what mattered. It all seemed so clear. So much of what seemed important before was put in perspective. And it was difficult, but it was better, so much better. I had tasted of the Lord in a way I hadn’t ever before and I saw that it was good, and it was filling, and it was real. It was real in a way no other thing is real. It satisfied me in a way no other thing can satisfy. I think it felt more acute because my hunger was more desperate. I was starving for God to come and fill me up and He didn’t disappoint.
Seriously, what else in this world can satisfy like that?
The frustrating thing is in the year since I have lost sight of that and had to re-adjust my focus so many times. I can slide back into everyday life and ignore my hunger for God. I can pretty easily keep myself so busy that my hunger pains turn to a whisper. I can turn in other directions for satisfaction, but nothing satisfies. And I keep coming back to God and finding out again and again how great is His faithfulness.
“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:6.
It’s been a tough year of remembering that, but He’s patient with me, as He is with all of us. I spent some good time with God last night. I had so much work to do, and I was planning on doing that with my evening but instead I ended up in Clive’s room crying because I missed him so much, which I hadn’t done in a long while. After a while of that I decided to set my work aside and spent some time with God talking about everything. At the beginning of the evening Clive being gone felt so painful, my body and soul hurt. By the end of the evening I felt so thankful for Clive’s life and the blessing he was to us and to others and I could see once again the goodness in God’s work, instead of the evil in the loss.
I’ve needed reminded a lot this past year that God is still good. That He is still at work, and that He loves us and living for Him is not only worthwhile, but the best thing possible. At times I have felt close to God and for long stretches I have felt very distant. As we approach the year mark of Clive’s time on this earth I am reminded again of what is truly real and what truly matters. There is so much to be found in that real place. Joy is found there. Hope is found there. Meaning is found there. Life is found there. I want to be in that place more and more. I invite you to go there with me.