It has been a week so heavy with sadness. A week that has taken so much out of me. A week of very little hope.
I write to Aidan every night. I write to him as a way to try and get the last bit of emotions out before I sleep. I write to remember him. Last night I wrote to him about the scariness of the wilderness this week has been.
The forest of grief had turned into pure wilderness. Somewhere I have never been before. Somewhere I didn't know if anyone could find me in. It has taken everything I've had to get up and get through the day. It has taken a toll on me. Physically, I'm back to anxiety ridden sleepless nights. Emotionally, I'm more raw and vulnerable than ever before. I'm quick to snap and then even quicker to tears.
I'm telling you all of this because I need you to understand the depth of the darkness of the week.
That darkness led me to church tonight. As an OMP veteran I LOVE our Worship in the Round services at Cabot United Methodist Church. If you are ever in need of some Thursday night intimate worship it is a wonderful place to start.
Ben led worship tonight and seriously, he was preaching to me. He was preaching about me.
He was talking about how we are beginning the Advent Season. How we are preparing for Jesus' coming. We read from the third chapter of Matthew.
1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.' " 4 And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Does anything in there stand out to you? Because it jumped out at me and hit me square in the face.
We are called to enter the wilderness to prepare for Jesus. We are called to step out of the norm. Ben broke it down in three steps.
1. We must admit our faults. We must bring them to the cross.
2. We must leave them there. Just simply drop them at the foot of the cross.
3. We wait. We actively wait.
I'm in the wilderness. I've been thrust in the wilderness.
So, like John the Baptist I'm going to embrace it. I'm going to relish the wilderness. It's a time of the year that is notoriously hard because of the reminders of those who aren't with us. Christmas is quickly followed by Aidan's due date. What better time than to escape into the wilderness and strengthen my relationship with God?
So, I am taking all of the burdens I am carrying to the cross. Guilt, Sadness, Fear, Doubt, Anger, Jealousy, Worry. I've been carrying them for three months. I acknowledge them. I admit I feel them.
And so now I have to figure out how to set them down. How to let go and really and truly Let God. One burden at a time.
And once I have done this I have to do the hardest one. I have to wait, but not by sitting in the shadow of the cross. I have to pray, share and spread our story. I have to share my faith, find my own hope and further God's purpose.
So, this is me. Wandering the wilderness. Embracing my inner cave woman. Walking a path of faith, hope, and yes still grief.
Won't you join me?
how a hard, hard year can still be your most abundant year [or: how a hard year can give you a good thanksgiving] - Gratitude follows grace — as thunder follows lightening. And the storm is grace because whatever drives us into God, is a grace from God.
10 hours ago