Saturday, November 8, 2014

This Year Thus Far

I obviously don't blog a lot. In fact, my last post was in 2011, but this year I have felt the tug to write some of these thoughts down. I have a had a hard year. Quite truthfully one of the toughest years I've ever had, and I've had some difficult years. It's not something that I've advertised or said, "Hey, my name is Bethany and this year has been terrible and let me tell you all the reasons why." It's as if a determined sadness has settled in my heart making a home for itself. 

This sadness has been a challenging one to grapple with. I'm prone to the melancholy, but this has been something I've never experienced before. I have learned to give it a name and it's called grief. My 12 year old cousin, Taylor, went to be with Jesus January 5th. She was taken quickly by illness, and shocked us all. When one says cousin, must people think of someone that they may or may not associate with distantly, but this girl was like my sister. I watched her grow, we read the same books (yes, I was more than twice her age), we constantly would send each other pins on Pinterest, and she challenged me in my own walk with the Lord. She was so grown up for her age, and I loved that little girl. I have known many people to die, but never anything that has shaken me like her death did. When I would think of Taylor, I would think about how she was going to change the world. 

Amazingly enough she did create a lot of change all over the world. My quirky little cousin who didn't even have her braces off changed the world. There has been story after story of those that were touched by her devotion to Jesus, and in turn came back to the Lord. Those that had never heard the name of Jesus was being proclaimed by the most unlikely missionary. Talk about humbling. 

Things happened so quickly, and I felt like I had to be strong for my other family that it wasn't until some weeks later that I began to fall apart. I had turned 25, broken up with a boyfriend, and then the flood gates were open. I'm talking about ugly crying. See exhibit A
If you still are not satisfied or can not understand see exhibit B:

Saying that to say that was me for every day for at least 6 months. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but one minute I would be fine, and the next minute I felt like I was plummeting out of control in my own emotions. Yes, I thought I was losing it, and yes, I did seek some help for it, and that is when I learned about the affects of grief. I have seen the worst parts of myself things that I thought myself incapable of, and somehow persevered.  

All in all I feel like I've been super-glued to a roller coaster for the last 10 months begging to get off. Thankfully, there have been those moments where my grief doesn't feel like it's smothering me.
My sadness lifts when I wake up to sunshine, drink coffee on my back porch, or feel wanted by the people around me. 

My sister got married in August. At her wedding, during worship I felt like the Lord touching me and speaking to me. He brought to mind how Pharaoh's heart was hardened until the death of his son, but when his son died, for a brief moment, Pharaoh's heart was made soft. He allowed Israel out of captivity so that they could go to the land God had promised. I wasn't thinking about death at the time, but it hit me that sometimes our hearts are ripped up and laid bare so God can change us, so he can make us soft, so he can plant a seed in certain ground that may have been unyielding before.  

There is much more to say, but for today this is the end.