It has been a year since my father in laws death. He almost died on his birthday and God graciously chose to give us two more months with him. A piece of me died the day he died. Dad had such a propensity for casting vision, and for being an encourager that suddenly I didn't know who I was without him anymore.. I didn't know who we were. The death of my dearly loved father in law, along with many other difficult things this past year, put me in the middle of a very treacherous place. I spent a dark year trying to find myself. Trying to find who I was without the familiar surroundings of the previous years; trying to understand what the "new normal" was in my life. I met some bitter tears while I groped my way around some very dark days.
In essence I crashed and I crashed hard. But the good news is that I crashed hard into Jesus' arms. I crashed hard and pieces of me were so broken and so undone I just didn't know what to do anymore. You see, when Jesus sees broken pieces, he doesn't see ugliness. When he sees pain, he doesn't scorn you or avoid you. When he sees the broken pieces of a person's life, He gently bends down and begins to pick up the pieces, one by one, making a beautiful picture; a beautiful masterpiece.
Little by little Jesus began to remake me. He began to rebuild me. And those pieces that were so broken, so hurt, began to be reinvented. I have grabbed ahold of some truths and some callings that he has on my life. I have stepped into an authority that I had never dreamed I could hold in my hand before. I am not the same person that I was this time last summer. I am different. I have stepped out into uncomfortable places and I have come back affirmed and strengthened more. I have gone through things that I thought would make me want to throw in the towel - and while I did want to for a season - now, I realize that I have lived through some really hard and bitter things in this last year and He has held me through it all.
As I look around - I AM STILL STANDING!! But I am not just barely standing. I am not just barely holding on, waiting for someone to cut the rope that I am hanging onto. I am standing with both feet firmly planted, holding onto life with both hands and facing the future that God has for me. I am holding my life with passion and with joy. I feel a strength of fortitude that I haven't felt before. I cautiously walked through shaky ground and dangerous territory and slowly I felt the strength of God flow into my legs allowing me to run and to leap.
He is so good and my heart is so full right now. Because once again, He has taken the broken pieces of my life and I see beauty again.