Sunday, November 14, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

In my second grade classroom, the students love when I read "circle" books. You know: books that end like they begin, with everything tied into a nice neat bow. Like the book that begins when you give a mouse a cookie. At the end? He is going to get another cookie. A full circle in life.

This weekend included a full circle experience for me. Exactly a year ago, I attended a seminar put on by my grief class on surviving the holidays after the loss of a loved one. I just reread the blog I posted about it (found here). Because, guess what I did this weekend? I attended the same seminar on surviving the holidays. Except this year I was a facilitator.

What is the difference between being an attendee and a facilitator? Well, this year I listened instead of talked. I handed out the Kleenex instead of using it. I patted and hugged. And I gave out the most precious commodity of all: hope.

Hope that the pain does lessen; that the cloud of grief does dissipate. Hope that life as you know it is gone forever, but that the new life replacing it can slowly begin to contain some joy. Hope that the brittle-as-glass heart will keep beating, the knot in the stomach will loosen, and the eyes will not always leak... as much.

Last year I was 4 months from loosing D; this year I am 16 months. Far enough down the road to still have a tender scar, but wanting to help others instead of being the one in need of intensive help. My heart ached for these people, but I knew this for sure: God was walking near enough to hear their words in His ear, and that He would bring about their healing in His time.

"Return to the stronghold, you prisoners who have the hope, even today I declare that I will restore double unto you." Zechariah 9:12

I do have the hope. But have I seen double restored to my life yet? Not exactly. But I have enough to share with others in need.

And for now? That is enough.

But I am holding out for the full circle in life.


Craig Weeks said...

Rayeanne, no need to approve this comment for publication. I just want to say that I am sure your words will touch just the right spot for someone today ... or tomorrow ... or maybe a few weeks or months from now (the beauty of the Internet).

Lynn said...

I love that you are reaching out with a heart that understands that brittle-as-glass feeling. Without hope we would not survive the journey. Bless you for giving back:-)

Sarah said...

Beautiful. I'm so glad you are allowing God to work through you to help others. I love that verse and the promise it carries. Your double will come!

Anne Smith said...

Beautiful. I needed to read this today. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are an amazing woman! Indeed, the joy of the Lord has been your strength!!

Kaye said...

Raye, my little Bible study group is made up of 4 of us, 2 of whom have lost adults sons. This week we studied Habakkuk 3:16-19 (btw, did you ever read the allegory Hind's Feet on High Places?). Anyway, the author of the book we're using (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.) says "The amazing that in spite of all of the trauma, Habakkuk received the gift of joy.....Habakkuk experienced a holy joy, a divine enabling to rejoice in the Lord.....Even though that joy did not in itself mitigate the depth of the physical pain felt in the body, it did transcend it in worth, reality and depth."

Sonya said...

You never fail to touch me with your words of strength and hope.