After the death of our dad, my mom, sisters and I were drained. Losing someone who brought so much life — my dad was fun, fun-loving, adventurous, always moving, never still — was hard, and so were the adjustments we now had to make.
For me, my dad’s passing began a season of several losses. My life began changing in ways I had not expected, and I couldn’t seem to stop them from happening. I wanted life to stay the way it had always been; to stand still, at least for a moment, while I got my bearings! I found myself scrambling. I was trying to find what my direction now was. If only I could understand what was happening …
I have a bad habit of always looking back, as if I can change what has already passed. And, during this time of losses, I was obsessively looking back to a time before they had begun. But this view of the past was distorted, not quite in focus; the colors blended together in a swirl as if I were looking through a bowl of water. I wanted to reach out and grab the pictures, but the water just rippled the images away from my grasp and they were gone.
I remember thinking that God was moving and He wanted me to move also — to cross over to some other side. But I really had no idea what this meant. Not feeling particularly adventurous, I didn’t want any more changes — I felt alone. I was waiting. During this time, a scripture kept showing itself to me:
Arise, shine for thy light has come — Isaiah 60:1
I struggled to arise and shine, but nothing I did worked. And the more I struggled, the more trouble I created for myself and others.
The answer, which took me years to discover, was not to struggle, but to surrender. Let go. Let go and let God. I thought about that. Surrender. Surrender to grieving the loss of my dad, surrender to the changes in my family, to the changes in my life. I had resisted doing that … because I had been waiting, waiting to get back my old life, not realizing that it was just ripples in the water. So now I know —
And I am making peace with where I am. This took traveling through the dry desert to get to this place of acceptance — it came in time, not over-night. And, I find that joy, happiness, and laughter are here, too. The season of losses has shifted my life; my life, now, is in adjusting to this shift. And it’s all going to be ok —