Friday, April 30, 2010

One Year Later: Life is a Sandwich

As this month ends I've become more aware of the passing of time and the passing of years.

It’s been a good time to think about the blessings of the past year since my heart attack a year ago yesterday and identify hopes and goals for the future. School ... Kids growing and becoming .... I would recommend you do that.

But that’s not all that happens, is it?

(By the way, those of you who have had no pain or disappointment in your life can skip to the end now. Thanks.)

We also realize that it’s one more year since that loss, or one more year of dealing with some pain or hurt. We say to ourselves, “Wow, it’s been 3 years, (or 5, or 20) and it still hurts! How can that be? I didn’t know it would last this long.”

What if it still hurts? Is that okay? What about the hurt that is going on and growing now?

I used to believe that life was a series of events and experiences and each one has its own time and emotions, then you move on to the next, kind of like flipping through a picture book. But I believe now that life happens in interwoven experiences and emotions, layers stacked on top of one another. It’s more like a sandwich you bite into. All of those experiences add to the taste and texture. Yes, sometimes I do wish that we could just have one at a time, preferably just the sweet ones. Never cared all that much for the dill pickles .... But hey, I'm blessed by saving anything in this life at all ...

We grieve over someone dying at the same time we learn of a new birth. A friend lands their dream job while our neighbor’s company closes. A friend tells you that she just met the man of her dreams while you are aching inside from the message you just got from your wife saying that your marriage is over. (Tomorrow is seperation day.) Your child says you are the best parent in the world while your other child is in total rebellion.

All of these layers happen. They are all there. They are all real. They all move us. We remember them. We become them.

This coming year will come with all of its own texture. Allow your life to have the texture it needs this year. Know that the layers are all there. You get to have all of them. You have to have all of them. That’s the deal. The only life you get is the real one.

It’s okay if the hurt is still there somewhere. But, it’s not the only layer, is it? God made life very thick. He must know what he was doing ...

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