This Long Road

IMG_2125It’s Maundy Thursday and I’m still recovering from Ash Wednesday.  I can’t even tell you what happened in between, but I know it wasn’t pretty.   I fell totally flat on my effort to give something up.  I was grumpy walking into church each Sunday.  I was frustrated when I refused to let go of the thoughts in my head and make room for God in my days.  The space around me grew quiet and gray.  I found myself alone and wondering, why am I here?Tired of the grief posts?  Me too.

This is the question I can’t answer.   When is it just plain old being stuck and no longer  bravely sticking with the work?  When are we at a place of no movement and it’s hurting us, no longer helping?  I wish I could tell you.  I’m working on that one myself.

As each month has passed, I have found myself at a different place, thinking maybe this is it, maybe I’m going to be better soon.  But the truth that I have come to realize is this.

Grief.  Cannot.  Be.  Rushed.

If you’re going to let the pain transform you, you’ve gotta stay on that road.

Recently, I sat with some close friends and we shared our stories.  And while in the past those stories had brought us a feeling of community, this time a vastness filled the spaces between us.  Yuck.  Not my kind of get together.  But as I processed this work, I came to understand that isolation is only another part of the grief story.  We need to come together, to encourage one another, but our story is our own.  We must do our own work.

I’m standing in this place, looking at Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and all the days ahead.  They are full of mystery, waiting for us to step into them fully.  I cringe, I’m nervous.  Stepping into life fully can sure cost a lot.  But the alternative is to deny the very thing we were made for-love and life together.  And when that gets hard, phew, is it hard.  But when it is good, wow, is it good.

So, let’s reflect on the place where we are at.  If there is pain, are we stuck?   Or, are we doing the work?  It’s not always clear and sometimes only time will tell.  But, keep on asking questions.  Keep on being honest.  Keep on loving. Keep on talking to each other.  Bear each others burdens.  Give each other space.  Show up-  grumpy or not.

I believe with all my heart that this is the road that leads to a full and beautiful life.

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