This week, (a week before the one year anniversary) I’ve been sorting through a range of feelings. From remembrance, to freedom to something I can’t quite put my finger on...Is it survivors guilt? I don’t know. But within the last five days, the contrast between this year and last year has magnified.
Last year, at this time, my world was heavy. I slept little, often on the couch next to Josh, checking on him constantly to see if he was ok - did he needed anything. I told him I loved him often and checked in with the hospice nurse about growing concerns. I rarely wanted to leave his side not knowing the time table that life still offered but feeling like there was not much time left.
One year later, as the anniversary approaches, I find that I am filled with peace. I can paddle around an Ozarks' river enjoying every little detail without worrying that I need to get back or do something. I can soak in the beauty of creation and praise God in an even deeper way. I can breath in deep.
Being able to do this, doesn’t erase the fact that I miss Josh’s presence in life greatly, but I know he would be proud that I am continuing on and still being “me” - even if this version of me feels like an alternative version at times.
Would Josh be surprised that I bought a camper or a kayak or a house in Springfield? Maybe, but probably not.
As I glide through this new season, thoughts of self-doubt rise up and I wonder, “Am I really going to make it? Will I fall apart at some moment? Is this a fake it ‘til you make it situation? Am I faking it or actually making it? Where am I making it to? After all, I still am not sure there is a grief finish line.”
Don’t worry, as my fellow reader you don’t have to answer these questions for me - they are merely musings of my mind. (It gets messy in there!)
What I do know is that here today, God is guiding me in the waters of peace. It is beautiful - even if there is some icky stuff in the murky water.
There are new pathways to navigate and still pools of tears that reflect my fragile heart.
As I sense God peace, I am amazed and recognize it truly as a peace that passes all understanding. And in the same way that God was near last year, he is still near today. In good times and bad, God is near - how incredible.
Last year, anxious was focus word in this passage for me, this year it is peace. Transitioning from anxiousness to peacefulness quite the process, maybe much like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.
“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:5-7 NASB
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Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.