Letting Go

The time has come. It’s time to let go.

I’m ready.

    I have been moving in this direction for a while now.

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Turning over stones, examining dark corners, and digging deep.

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Peeling away the layers that have wrapped themselves around my heart.

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    I have been remembering.

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And I have put the many wonderful memories in a good place.

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There is no lingering sadness, anger or resentment.

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Only understanding, compassion, and acceptance.

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I have been feeling. Despair and pain. Hurt and betrayal. Lost and alone.

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And then joy and peace and gratitude.

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For everything in life is either a lesson, a blessing, or a gift.

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This was a gift.

It gave me back myself. It showed me I could open my heart all the way.

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I could love with every part of my being.

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And that I can still grow and learn and believe.

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I’ve learned the difference between letting go and holding on. I choose to let go.

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Because letting go is the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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Letting go is opening a door, and clearing a path and setting myself free.

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And so I hugged him, told him I had loved him with all my heart, and then I let him go.

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Finding Faith

 

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Faith is a funny thing….

Sometimes you feel it, deep within your heart and soul.

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It calms your fears and eases your pain.  It gives you a sense of peace and hope. It protects you and keeps you safe. It is huge and encompassing. It is small and gentle.

Faith…believing that anything is possible.

And other times you seek it.

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Times when you can’t find your way because you are blinded by the darkness. You know what faith feels like. But when overwhelming  fear and doubt and worry combine, it can seem as if faith has left you…all alone in a storm that rages around you.

This is the path I find myself on right now. And I don’t recognize it.

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A pink slip, handed out to me and every teacher in my school, because our budget did not pass. Our wonderful little school may have to close.

It will be ok we are told. Things will work out they say. We are not sure we can believe them.

Our faith tries to speak up.  But the dark and harsh reality pushes it away.  This is almost too much. Fear looms and threatens…

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My faith.

I want to run and hide.

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Old thinking comes back into my head. It steals my hope and tires my spirit…

The world, always so sparkly and bright

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Seems dull and pale.

Tears brim…I fight them

But they spill over

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I pray and ask why? Why is this happening?

But no answer comes.

More than anything I want to know…

Where did my faith go?

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It has never left me before.

I was always able to fan its flames back to life.

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There are only embers now.

I want to believe what Edward Teller says.

My heart desperately wants to cling to the hope that out of this, my faith will return and teach me to fly…

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For now though…I walk lightly and quietly

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Looking, searching, seeking faith

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Grief

We said goodbye to Elijah today. The church was filled beyond capacity, spilling out into the hallways and stairs and onto the green outside. So much sadness, heartbreak, tears and grief. This amazing young man, who died too young, and his family… Loved so deeply by all those who know them.  We are grieving for them and with them.

The depth of this grief surprises me.  He was not my son. Yet he was all of our sons. They are not my family. Yet our community is a family.  So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me. Perhaps I should just know. We all lost someone today. We are all in mourning.

Grief also remind us…of past losses. It brings the pain and sadness we thought was gone, back into our hearts. And so our tears are tears of remembrance too. We grieve again for those we loved and lost.  Grief it seems,  is not something that really ever goes away. It’s within us always. It changes us, subtly and not so subtly.  It lingers in our hearts, forever.

Today, I grieved again for Michael. My husband, the father of my son Paul, who died from cancer when Paul was only six. The pain of that loss sat with me in the church this morning. It stayed with me all day. And the memories came back.

The memories of those we have lost are a part of who we are forever. Michael will always be a part of me and my life changed in many ways for loving… and losing him. I see him everyday in my son.  But I haven’t felt the grief again until today.

I wonder if there was still some grieving left to do?

12 years ago, in the blink of an eye, I became a widow. I also became a single mother.  We had just bought an old farmhouse the year before he died. Suddenly it was all so overwhelming. I cried every night. I took care of my son everyday. I remember wondering how I would do it all?

I think I put my grief on hold. I hid it away so that I could be a mother, a teacher, a homeowner, a daughter, a friend, a sister. I pushed it down inside.  Deep down where I thought it would stay. But grief is not like that. It must be felt. It must be experienced. It must be allowed to be.

My tears are for Elijah, but they belong to Michael. My heart is broken for Elijah’s family, but it is also breaks for my son.  I am in mourning. This time I will grieve.