NOVEMBER DIDN’T GO AS PLANNED.
I began the month with the intention of settling into routines.
Creating a schedule.
Leaning into the holidays with slow aplomb.
We had days off and cider recipes and
would even break out the decorations early.
But then the phone rang.
There’s something about a phone call with bad news.
It feels like you know immediately
before even the first words are uttered.
It’s something about the energy of the call
your stomach senses it
This call was to change not only our plans
My mother’s mother was gone.
Passed away, suddenly.
There’s this way that God brings us to Him. It’s so often on our knees.
But sometimes those knees are already badly bruised.
From constant use.
Is it a season?
I ask God when this season will end and I hear no answer.
I lose my daughter and my grandmother in the same year and
I wonder how a woman can survive bookend pieces of her identity just simply
But there is always an answer isn’t there?
His truth weaved through every conversation, every loss, every gain.
Through my grandmother’s things this past weekend I’ve found myself.
Passions we shared I never knew about.
Things she never told me about.
A heart string hidden from me, emerges.
Still there. Still tight.
It isn’t gone.
He speaks thoughts and love across the heart string
and those King-whispers fill the identity-void better than any world-thing could.
I have my answers.
Have you found yours?
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”
–Psalm 139: 13-16Leave a Comment
I am so sorry about your loss. May God hold you close during this time.
I read your post and I was touched…touched because I asked God the same question: is it a season? No answer. But His tender love to comfort me. I pray you may feel His love more than before, He is the Shepherd of your soul and will never let you down. Those moments are not forever and tears are not forever…may the beauty inside your soul be unveiled as you encounter the comforting power of Jesus’ spirit and love.
I leave to you those words that encouraged me much…from our God:
“I am bringing my righteousness near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
my splendor to Israel (and to you too dear Arianne…)”
I am so sorry for your loss of “bookends,” the description quite right.
The King-whispers fill the identity void, yes! Beautifully said.
HE is described as a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. And He is. He understands all the steps and places the grief path goes. Holy ground. It is good to go with Him, to see what He shows, to rest in His timing, to live at peace even with question marks.
My day is blessed by your sharing this.
Deb Martell says
Thank you for your well said words. I got one of those calls yesterday…my father died. I’ve grieved his loss already in this life as I had very little of him growing up so my grief will be different than yours. But The Truth we hold is the same. I don’t think so much in seasons anymore, just here and there…the place we get to go. Oh, what a wonderful season that will be! Bless your heart Arianne.
Adoption Mama says
Loss. I have felt it this year. My precious mom went home to be with the Lord on April 21st. My oldest son is temporarily gone. Much grief, yet much mercy. Many tears, yet many joys knowing my Heavenly Father loves me and in charge of this mess.
I Live in an Antbed says
Beautiful Peace. Your testimony is so very powerful. Thank you for giving us this window into your heart. You have blessed me today. And, yes, I have my answer: Jesus. He is Everything.
Holley Gerth says
Oh, Ari, I’ve gotten one of those phone calls too–my Grandma slipping into the arms of Jesus just a few days before Christmas. I can still feel that hurt and the hope that somehow comes too. Thinking of you, praying for you, sweet friend.
“and those King-whispers fill the identity-void better than any world-thing could”.
Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama says
Oh my friend – what I wouldn’t give to be close enough to love on you and your bruised knees. I would serve you ice cream and strawberries and powdered sugar. I love you and your brave and battered heart so very much.
It is always hard to loose someone unexpectidly and esp someone you love so dearly. I too lost my dad several years ago and even though I was told he wouldn’t get better I never was prepared for it to happen the same day. I found my emotions overcame me for I was alone w/him at the hospital when he passed away no family was there. since it was so unexpected. I went thru all kinds of levels of emotions. then I started to relive the fun awesome memories we had together thru our years together. They brought so much love in my heart and smiles to me when I was at my lowest. I just wished my grand children would have been able to know their great grampa as my girls did. He was an awesome dad and grampa. And he will live in my heart and memories and bring me joy. I wish you blessings at this hard time of losing your mom.
There are seasons that we go through. Sometimes the pain seems to be piled one on another and then another until we feel we will break into a million pieces, but God is faithful. He is always there, always loving, always carrying us.
I’m reminded of the book “Hinds Feet on High Places” and how Much Afraid was eventually transformed into Grace and Glory. The paths we must take are often treacherous, but our Shepherd is never far away.
Sara Sophia says
All the love in all the world.
His and mine.
You are a King-whisper to me.
Marina Bromley says
How beautifully you have allowed God to make this difficult season fruitful through Him. May you continue to see Him at work around you, leading, comforting, and in His time, healing.
Something Happened says
[…] here’s why… Share and […]
Musings of a Housewife says
Ari, I’m so so sorry. You have had a year, that is for sure. (((hug))) dear friend.
Beautiful, vulnerable, and moving. Thank you for sharing your heart. I’m so very sorry for your losses and ask the Lord to pour in His comfort. Grace and peace to you.
Renee Stam says
So sorry about your loss
Renee Stam says
This is the verse God put on my heart for you
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (New International Version, ©2010)
Praise to the God of All Comfort
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
May this season be one of healing and the God be your comfort!
Sharon O says
Bookends…. I love the words… I could see it… the young and old… and I am so sorry.
Kneeling with you, Ari. I’m so sorry. Truly, the only comfort I find in times like “These” is to walk in the spirit; “one part of me in Heaven; one part of me here on earth.” [Holley Gerth]
allison morrison says
So sorry for your loss…one of my favorite quotes from is “For this I have Jesus”. Because HE is our All in All…
Muthering Heights says
I’ll continue to keep you in my prayers!
Jen Ferguson says
I lost my grandmother this year as well. It was a heart-breaking loss — the first one where I experienced such intense, hard grief. I had moments, though, where I knew that Jesus’ heart was breaking for me as I trudged through this. Knowing that He grieved because I grieved was comforting. And, then I could give myself to Him so that He might carry me through the rest of it.
Kelly Sauer says
Oh Ari. There are some people in my world who impact me about God and about life in ways I cannot begin to understand. You are one of those people. I wish I wish I wish I could do more than look on.
I have not written the words I need to write to tell the story of my own grief. Yours, they tell my story, though. How do you share? How do you dare to share you with all of us looking in and looking on?
I sit silent, mourning with you.
Amy Sullivan says
Everything I can think of saying sounds so fake and cliche. So I will just say this…I just said a prayer for you and your family.
Kelly @ Love Well says
Sweet Ari. Your ragged heart will be lifted up to Jesus by me.
Did you read Gretchen’s post at Lifenut earlier this week on holiday music that’s compatible with grieving? It’s a keeper. Because, really, the Christmas season is about as much grief and waiting and unanswered questions as it is happiness and joy.
Arianne, so sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you tonight from the other side of the Ocean <3
Karen Swim says
Arianne, I am so sorry for your loss. Know that you and yours will be in my prayers. This has been a season of loss and illness for me and my family too and as it is with human nature, as we pour out our sorrows He is there in a bigger way, cradling us, loving us and showing himself to be “an ever present help in time of trouble.” Through the grief and yes some days fatigue, I also have a peace and joy that my savior lives.
I am so sorry to hear about your Grandmother, friend. You have had a year that none of us may ever understand the reasons for this side of Heaven but I am praying for peace for you and your sweet family.
i know. i know the loss. praying for you. right now.
Dawn Camp says
Arianne, I’m so sorry about your grandmother. I hadn’t realized. I love you, sister.
Courtney @ Cooking Up A Family says
I am sorry to hear about your Grandmother.
Its very hard lossing during the holidays. I love my baby girl two years ago on the 2nd of December. Everything relating to Christmas reminds me of that year but peace comes with the pain. Oh and knowing what Grace really felt like is kind of amazing.
Danielle Smith says
Oh my sweet friend…. If I was standing in front of you, I wouldn’t let you go. As you always seem to do, in a way I can’t comprehend…. you paint your sorrow and grief into a landscape…. I can only hope it is as comforting to you as it clearly is to those of us who read, and are inspired by your words, your strength, your beauty.
Living the Balanced Life says
Oh, how sad, and sweet. It is hard to lose someone at anytime, but the holidays are harder! I had a near tragic Thanksgiving 2 years ago. We pulled through, but it was tough. I will pray for peace for you in this tough time!
I actually just wrote a post about the holidays not always being a happy time for people: http://livingthebalancedlife.com/2010/the-walking-wounded/
I too have lost someone this year – and it is my identity without them that is at the heart of my struggle at the moment. Your beautiful words have given me grace and perspective for another day.
Becca Harris says
I’m not sure how I stumbled onto your blog… my mind is numb right now so I can’t remember. Anyway, thanks for writing this post! We lost our baby Margaret on Sept 15th of this year. I was 22 weeks pregnant. A week later I found out that my grandmother (for whom we named our baby girl) was very sick with pancreatic and breast cancer. She has survived her first surgeries but only time will tell if she is actually going to recover. I was due with our baby girl on Jan 18th, 2011 so the holidays are verrrry rough for us. Ever since the day (on Mother’s day and our anniversary) that I found out I was pregnant, I longed for the holidays because I knew we would have our 2nd baby home with us just weeks after the New Year.
Your post was encouraging.
Audrey - Mom Generations says
So sorry for your loss, Ari. You and your family are in my heart and my prayers.
I hadn’t cried yet.
Reading this broke the damn….
psalm 139 smacked me in the face (metaphorically speaking, of course) earlier this month, too. God has lessons to teach…the hardest part of life, sometimes, is continually humbling ourselves enough to be His students.
my Pslam 139 experience…
lisa leonard says
love you friend. i’m so sorry for your loss and for your ache. your heart is beautiful and it flows out of you. xxxoooo
On Christmas Strides says
[…] the constant nagging impending doom that Mabel wasn’t here for Thanksgiving (and suddenly, neither was my grandmother) and Mabel wouldn’t be here for Christmas. In fact, she’d never be with us on any […]
I’m very sorry to hear about your losses this year. Thank you for being an example of turning to the Lord & allowing Him to use everything in your life to bring about good & beauty that spills out on others. I lost my sister last year & it was very sudden as well so I know about getting that phone call. Looking forward to following your blog this year.
Opps, I meant ‘last year’…still getting use to the idea that everything that happened last week & before that is last year!
On Christmas strides says
[…] the constant nagging impending doom that Mabel wasn’t here for Thanksgiving (and suddenly, neither was my grandmother) and Mabel wouldn’t be here for […]
Something Happened says
[…] here’s why… […]