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When we lose a loved one, the way back to a normal new life often feels as though we are climbing a perpetual mountain with steep trails and unmarked paths full of uncertainties. We are required not only to mourn our loss but create a new meaningful beginning. This piece epitomizes such a journey.
Learning new skills requires perseverance, dedication, and hard work. It seems at times we are pushing that proverbial stone that doesn’t want to move. And then, one morning, we wake up and find ourselves sitting on top of it! We haven’t moved it… we haven’t gone around it… we have climbed on top and are on our way over it!
That’s how I feel this morning. I have reached the top! I don’t know how I got here, but here I am. Every morning I have written about my struggle to believe, make sense of what happened, let go of the past and move forward. I was developing a new skill.
Now, as I sit on top of this mountain, my proverbial rock, I look back and see the black canyons, deep abysses and steep trails that challenged me. I see what I couldn’t see while climbing those treacherous paths: the guardrails God put up for my protection; the “angels” He sent to comfort me and the green pastures that were sweet resting places along the way. He put people in my life for assistance and support and to be there for me. He provided protection, love, and strength to endure.
Since death toppled me off my comfortable perch in life, I have been reconciling to a new reality. I asked myself some challenging questions. Mental, emotional, and physical resources were stretched to the max and at the end of the day I fell into bed, exhausted. The next morning, I rose from a pool of tears and started all over again.
At times, the trail seemed endless or too steep. How would I make it through another day? But standing still was not an option, and with steel resolve and determination, I moved forward.
Yet, I was never alone on this journey. Not only was God with me every step of the way, but He gave me new friends to comfort and support me. He enriched old friendships. Those who loved me walked with me. Others pulled away.
This morning, as I sit from this new vantage point, I am captivated by the view extending far into the distance, revealing the many options available to me. As I reflect on the dark, deep, and narrow canyons I traveled, I am reminded that along the way there had been patches of blue sky.
When I had looked up, those walls expanded, and I felt new life and a new surge of energy and hope. And when the way out of those dark canyons of grief and sorrow seemed to disappear, God gave me toeholds, branches to grab hold of and hang on to until the path became clear once more.