I have taken numerous psychology courses and honestly never saw a purpose with the “glass is half full or empty” question. Over the last couple days, however, I can say that it finally makes sense. On four separate occasions this week, I have had the opportunity of connecting and reconnecting with people, who naturally wanted to know how I was handling “life” now that Jaime was gone. Each time I am asked how I’m doing, I find that I have to justify why I am not going to emotionally fall apart in front of them, and/or why I am going to smile when I mention Jaime and different things she said and did before she slipped away. You see, I understand where I am…try again…where God has brought and continues to bring me from to where I am today. Sometimes I want to take others back to my summer…early summer of 2012, when I was mad at God. I actually told God one night, “I believed in you…how could You do this? What more do you want from us? I am through.” It is painfully funny that I told God I was through with Him. I even shared with Jaime my words and she said she too had had a moment like that. However, we both would quickly…and I mean quickly run back to God and anchor our trust in what we knew to be true, despite the approaching storm. I thank God that He never gave up on Jaime and James. I thank Him for letting me verbally state what He already knew was the pain I felt in the depths of my heart. I am overwhelmed when I think about the many late evenings and early mornings when the two of us would just chat with God, and not ask Him “why?” but pray for strength and courage to finish the journey provided for that particular season of our life together.
As I sat with old friends and new friends this week, I listened to their hearts and was so thankful to share my story…what God has and continues to do in my heart. As we shared how God had/has brought us through the storms of our lives, I thought about how loss can bring such emptiness. Yet, as we see the greater truth in that loss, our emptiness takes on a whole new dimension. My “glass” (life) is full and spilling over. Make no mistake; my glass has a noticeable crack. I notice it when I see an imprint of a wedding band or I wake up in the middle of the night, feel the deep pain of my loss, and pray for sleep to return before the loneliness arrives. But the truth of my loss has sealed up that crack. The hope of a beautiful reunion transforms the crack so that it is not as painful to look upon. The genuine peace that I know provides the strength I need to trust that I can go on and be filled again and again. Twice this week, I found myself saying – “My loss was not without a reason.” I have been emptied so that I can be filled and spilling over into the lives of those I meet. That has been the kind of week I have had and it has encouraged and refreshed me in ways that nothing has. Jaime once spoke of shining a light, rather than cursing the darkness. Her faith and trust in God was what illuminated her life and dealt a black eye to Satan himself. We are each called to shine His light in whatever difficulty we may face, so that others are directed towards the Source. What a privilege to have coffee with old acquaintances and new friends alike, declare His faithfulness, and spill a little into each other’s bend in the road.