Wednesday, April 23, 2014

End of Chapter 1

You may think that the title of this blog is odd, but then again if you know me, or have been following my blog, it may just make sense after all. The 1st chapter in my life without Glenn, year 1, is almost over.

Philipians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

As I have been out and about recently I am aware that everywhere you look, you see it and you know it... Spring has sprung. Spring is a reminder that life has cycles, after the winter comes new life. That is what I am looking forward to in me, spring... this last year has been a long winter and I am ready for the spring, and I am confident that it is coming. I don't know how long the season of budding before the bloom will be, but I am beginning to feel that I am entering a bud stage. The year of firsts is nearly over and I have survived, and grown.

The year has been a time of hurdles, closures and many firsts without Glenn. I am glad that this time is coming to it's own sort of end.

Hurdles-- that would be adjusting to a new chapter in life, balancing my business plus a full time job, my personal life including time to rest and recharge (never my strong suit), and try to find a way to get back to doing what I did before with in my involvement in church. I need to remember that this chapter is really more of a steeple chase than the quick short hurdles on a track. The hurdles vary in size and intensity, some are easily seen, some I knew were there and chose to go around them temporarily- I will be facing them shortly, and some are like the ones that hide behind a hedge on the steeple chase course. They come from no where but with God's help I have gotten through them and will continue to.

I can look back and feel both frustrated and yet okay at the same time, there are times when I got mad at myself for shutting down, letting my emotions get the best of me. I'm not one that likes to give into emotions, tears and the lack of control that they create-- but I am human and I lost it plenty of times. I want to be in control, to be on an even keel, and some people may be surprised by this; but I like to know the 'plan,' For obvious reasons, that hasn't been the case, so I have learned that I need to be ready to flex, to 'jump' or turn as the Lord leads.

Firsts -- firsts, lots of them... important days celebrated with out him, some holidays and some days that may have only had meaning to us. Some were harder than others, some were surprisingly good, as thoughts and memories added to the presence of family and thoughtfulness of friends counterbalanced the 'empty' factor. One person really went out of their way in a way that probably did the most to get me through what might have been the hardest time of year... and I am forever thankful to them, and I can only hope they read this to know just how much those 12 gifts meant- you see, they were anonymous.

In this last few weeks I have found myself way more emotional than I have been in months. The first year is almost to a close, a lot of the pain has resurfaced. I miss Glenn so much it hurts, physically at times, and and I know that this is normal and natural, but it still sucks!

On the upside, I have found that God is constantly reminding me that I am NOT alone in this, He is always present with me, and His arms are around me.

Closures-- closure can be a good thing, it's not always easy but it's healthy. There have been a variety of things that had to be 'buttoned up,' finished or 'what have you.'  Some were simple to do, yet hard on the heart... things like changing a car title, not a big deal- but a closure. Bank accounts, bills... you know, stuff. There was one big thing that was still looming until a couple weeks ago, our old house.

During the market crash, we, like so many got hit hard economically and fell behind and into foreclosure. Well for several years that house has been in a holding pattern with no auction date. During the fall of 2012 God opened the door for us to buy the manufactured home where I live now, it is affordable, in an area I like and feel safe in. His timing amazes me, we were able to move and know that no matter what, we (I) wouldn't be in a bad spot when the inevitable happened and the house would be auctioned. Well, ironic timing, that time has come and with it the final closures all at once, the auction of that house and the close of my first year without Glenn will occur the same week. Needless to say the last few weeks have been a bit crazy, but I am pressing through them, with God's never-ending grace firmly with me. It will get done, because it has to, but the good thing is... it will be finished, no more limbo land to drag my heart and emotions out. A big closure, and a much needed one, no matter how uncomfortable it's been.

Looking to chapter 2 - I'm the same me as I was before, but yet, I am not at all who I was. Last year was a time of shock, adjustment, often times just survival mode, and possibly semi-catatonic at times. I spent my share of time crying out to God, and sometimes just crying to God, and He brought me through the year. He has blessed me with an amazing family both in the natural and my church family... I couldn't have survived the last 2 years without their love and caring.

I don't know what lies ahead but I know that what is in my heart, and that is to keep pressing forward toward the things that the Lord sets before me. I want to be obedient to the things that He calls me to do. This 2nd chapter is really the start of my new life, you see, in so may ways I think last year was more of an epilogue to one book of my life and the prologue to the book I am now in. Only God truly knows what lies ahead, but I can honestly say that looking backward, I can look forward with confidence and trust knowing what it says in Jeremiah 29:11 really is true for me.

May the love of the Lord touch each of you as it has me.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.