|On the beach in Naples, Florida (2011)|
What a year it's been! On this day last year, I was nearly 20 weeks pregnant and still looking forward to finding out if my squirmy little baby was a boy or a girl. It was just a couple of days later that our lives changed more than we could have possibly imagined.
Looking at all that's transpired since then is a dramatic journey: Ewan's birth, his death, everything that came after and in between, going back to work, my husband finding a job on the opposite side of the country, planning a cross-country move, finding out I'm pregnant again, preparing to leave the company where I've worked for the past 11 years, and most recently, my grandfather's death and the second eulogy I've delivered in the space of a year.
The question as to whether or not I've retained my sanity is, as far as I'm concerned, up for grabs. With so many ups and downs, twists and turns, going just a little nuts seems inevitable. I believe something so good is waiting for us in Florida -- a new, fresh start and a chance to begin again -- on the other side of this transition. It is my hope that this time my husband and I have to be apart is like the labor pains leading up to a birth -- that once I arrive, we can kick up our feet and catch our breath and rest a little. We've been through too much to expect life to be a breeze from here on out, but a vacation from all this turbulence would be nice.
Writing my grandfather's eulogy was a struggle. Of all the people that knew him -- many longer than I've been alive -- I was the one asked to put pen to paper and speak for our family. It was a humbling task and a daunting one. I felt pressure to find something fitting to say, to have the right words that would honor such an amazing man. When I expressed this to a friend, he said, "The Lord will give you the strength to do what you need to do." I chucked and replied, "The Lord has done that a lot this past year -- He has given me strength to do what I need to do. But I hope what He gives me next is a rest!"
And I do hope that. That is what I want, and what I feel like I need: a rest.
It's not without precedent in Biblical literature. After Job's great suffering, God blessed him with more than he had before. The roller coaster eventually stopped, and he was able to get off and recover. He enjoyed a season of blessing. I imagine Job had to feel something like rest or relief after all of that.
I don't know what waits for us on the other side of this. Nobody really does. But I think the roller coaster is already slowing down, and I have the hope that whatever it is that happens when we get off, it's going to be good.