Grief really is a funny thing. It hits you when you least expect it, and it comes in a crazy variety of ways. I turned 30 a year ago tomorrow, and have faced a great deal of unexpected grief in the last year.

  • I ended up in the emergency room with abdominal pain, which was followed up with surgery a few weeks later to remove a tumor on one of my ovaries. (here's the blog post about that)
  • My NeNe (mom's mom) passed away the week after my surgery at 90 years old. She lived an incredibly full life and met her Savior after a long battle with memory loss.
  • I faced heartbreak at the end of a relationship.
  • During an ice storm on February 16, I fell on the ice and shattered my ankle. I had surgery later that week and have been completely off my foot for 12 weeks.

The week before I fell, I had a really tough day and basically told one of my friends that I wasn't sure I could handle anything else going wrong. Well, that wasn't exactly true. Ha! As I sat on the ice, knowing my ankle was broken, I begged the Lord to give me whatever I needed to make it through this. He did exactly that.

My surgeon has told me over and over the last couple of months that my ankle break was one of the most bizarre he has ever seen. I broke my tibia, fibula, and something else that I can't remember. It took 16 screws and 2 plates, but it's all fixed and healing really well! It's honestly hard to put the last 12 weeks into words. There were many tears, a LOT of help from family and friends, and way too much down time for this extrovert.

The Lord used this down time to allow me time to grieve. I've grieved the losses I've faced, and the time that it feels like I've lost. The first few weeks of my recovery were during Lent, and I did a Bible study from shereadstruth that was exactly what I needed. As we looked towards the crucifixion of Christ, I saw in a new way how Jesus grieved. There's nothing I have experienced or will experience that he is not familiar with. He understands my heartache, pain, and sorrow. I'm so thankful for the hope that came with his resurrection, but I'm glad that I was able to spend time sitting in grief with Jesus.

My small group talked about Joshua last night. As he's getting ready to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land (after being released from slavery and wandering in the desert for 40 years), they have to cross the Jordan River. God stops the river from moving and allows them to cross.  Joshua then instructed the leaders of the tribes of Israel to pick up a stone and set them up as a memorial of what God has done.
Joshua said, "When your children ask their fathers in times to come, 'What do these stones mean?' then you shall let your children know, 'Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.' For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever." Joshua 4:21-24
There are countless occasions in my life that I can go back to and show you how "the hand of the Lord is mighty" and I've experienced it over and over throughout the last year. There are markers, both spiritual and physical, that I can look back on and know that God is good. He is for me. He is faithful. This week, I'll get to put weight on my left foot for the first time in 12 weeks. I am SO thankful.

I know that there's nothing magical about the clock striking twelve and turning 31 tomorrow, but there's part of it that means that I made it. It's a marker. Tomorrow starts a new year, but I'll never forget the year I turned 30. It truly was a wild ride, but I got to see the Lord's faithful hand intervene in my life in ways that I wouldn't trade for anything.

(While I was writing this, my mom posted a blog about grief... I love how he has allowed us to walk through so much of this together! I know you'll love reading her post.)


Judi said…
You, my friend, are a living example of "alright, God, so what do you want to teach me in THIS?" What Mary Kassian calls the student mentality vs. the victim mentality. Thanks for sharing through this journey. I'm just sad you were so far away and we could only watch your progress from afar! I hear Chris is ecstatic about your return! Whoop!

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