Lessons from Loss: Part IV
I was writing this morning in a prompt book and it asked me to write a new chapter in my life. Not to anyone’s surprise, I chose the plot twist that brought him back. I wrote a new chapter that included him laughing, talking, and being. I wrote a chapter that gave him,all of us, a second chance. It would be one of the most brilliant chapters that would never be written.
Unlike my prompt book, life doesn’t allow rewrites especially of those things that were made permanent by the universe. It’s been over two months and I still sometimes collapse into myself with an indescribable wave of emotion. I still find myself bargaining with God on what a redo would have looked like. I still search for my dad in everything around me remembering ashes to ashes and dust to dust so he must be in the trees, the wind, and entities that would normally pass my eye. I worry that 2 months of his absence could override 27 years of being earth side. I still hurt so much that I wonder at what point does time begin to heal these invisible wounds
Listening to a song the other evening, it repeated the line “give me reasons to trust you”. That you was God; they needed reasons to trust God. I found myself in the same space of wanting reasons to trust Him even though I thought I was done a disservice. I needed reasons to trust Him when I thought my prayers were intercepted on the way to heaven and He called for a season of heavy rain in the form of tears. What do you do when you've done everything right but bad things still happen?
Who You were is who You are and who You are is who You will always be.
In that moment my faith held me without hands. The lyrics reminded me that while I have no authority to rewrite my own life that I'm lucky to know the author of my story. The same God who saw fit for this season of my life has been responsible for the changing seasons throughout my years. He hasn’t changed but I have. He constantly challenges me in chapters of frustration to cling to Him but ultimately the choice is up to me on if I accept Him or not.
I received plants from my dad’s service that I keep in my home. I keep one in the living room and one in my bedroom perched on top a shelf in front of my window. I tend to them and ensure they’re receiving plenty of water and sun to benefit their overall health.I try to give them the same care I offered my dad in his final days. A care that asked for nothing in return. Despite my best efforts, my leaves tend to droop and some begin to shrivel as they turn to an earthy brown color. I do my part and remove those dead leaves as needed .
Pruning is removing certain parts of the plant in order to keep them healthy, reduce risk and prepare for transplanting. God uses certain times to prune you of things that no longer serve you and prevent your wholeness. My dad’s passing struck a nerve and reminded me of those habits in me that had persisted too long and kept me from being myself. I had to make an uncomfortable choice to allow God to remove my ways that had been an integral part of my being.
Growth isn’t always sunshine and blossoming. Sometimes it’s planting and tending to what you already have so you’re prepared for more. Growth sometimes means dying to yourself and the old ways that stunted you previously. Growth sometimes means ripping parts of you away that are familiar but aren’t essential to the greater plan.
The next time you need a reason to trust God during the storm , envision your pruning. Imagine that you serve a God that uses everything for your protection and elevation. Imagine a God so intentional that your story needs no rewrite because it is perfect as is. Remember that pruning is His way of preparing you for that next chapter.