Whilst reflecting upon my blog (which I have severely neglected these past few months), it dawned on me that I avoid writing on any topics which are uncomfortable, challenging, dark, painful or difficult. This is not because my life is exempt from these circumstances, but rather because I choose to focus more on the positive. I make a conscious effort to dwell on truths which are uplifting, life-giving, joyful and beautiful (there might be a theme to that one…!). On a whole, I would say that this motivation for writing is great. While these blog posts leave me feeling happy and my readers happy, I feel the need to acknowledge more of our human experience; the suffering, the searching, the persevering, the stretching/growing, the questioning, the adapting, the hoping. I think it’s about searching for beauty in the darkness, despair and deep waters.
The death of my Grandma this summer has played a huge part in how I look at loss, sadness and darkness. A few weeks before she died, my parents brought her to live with us at home. Home care nurses would visit each day, administer her medications and support our family with medical care. In these days, my vivid, intelligent, sassy, lovable Grandma faded into a woman who was frail, weak and vulnerable. To watch this unfold was extremely painful for our family and for my Grandma herself. So many people choose to put the elderly away in a care home or consider euthanasia, because it’s easier. Death is painful. Death hurts. Often our first reaction is to avoid these emotions and run in the opposite direction. I am guilty of this too; not wanting to feel anything that isn’t pleasant, that hurts, that pushes us out of our comfort zone, that causes us to truly feel something.
Although this experience of death was painful, it brought my family together. Strained relationships were healed, we were united in prayer, we came together to assist our Grandma with acts of love and service. I could honestly feel a deeper unity among my immediate and extended family (mini miracle). If we would have run away from the suffering, we would never had this opportunity to grow closer, grow in love and grow in respect of one another.
Life is hard. Sometimes you are handed a set of cards you didn’t bargain for. Lots of times, your put in positions that aren’t ideal, or leave you feeling completely unqualified. You might feel like your swimming upstream, treading water in a tsunami, walking in the night…
We are not alone. We are children of a Father who loves us unconditionally. Jesus Christ came on the earth to be our Light. The picture below is the Divine Mercy Image- Jesus is surrounded by darkness (sin, despair, sadness, grief, death), but His merciful and loving heart is what radiates. On the cross, Jesus was killed for sins he did not commit. He died for the entire world, so that we might be redeemed in Him. The story does not end here. He did not leave humanity in the darkness. He was raised from the dead on the third day. He defeated death and conquered sin! This gives us every reason to rejoice. This is why we can find beauty in the sadness. This is why it’s okay to be not okay. Even if everything around us is failing, we have trust in He who is constant, merciful, loving, and lighting the path for our feet.