Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Thanksgiving morning I hit the treadmill for an early morning run.

One mile in the usual happened. I hit the wall I always have to push through. The adrenalin and excitement of getting to run always wears off by the end of the first mile. Only the aches and struggles of joints and muscles loosening up remain. I’ve learned that if I push through the difficulty of that second mile, by the third mile I’m back to enjoying myself and the pains have ceased.

But this time I hit the second mile at the same time my brain processed the idea of facing year two. Last year we spent Thanksgiving Day notifying friends and family that Peter’s time had come to leave us. So we are almost through our year of firsts. It’s been hard but God’s faithfully supported us every step of the way, often through friends and family.

As I thought about year two of our grief it wasn’t with joy that the worst now lay behind us. Because we know from experience, and others have also confirmed, year two is harder….if that’s possible. But it is.

The first year of loss, everyone else walks in grief as well. It’s not as intense as yours but your friends and family are aware of your pain. They too deal with the hole created by loss. But when it’s not as directly personal, they move on a little quicker. Normal resumes a little sooner. They still have other aspects of life to make the loss less impactful. But not you. The second year the shock has worn off but the pain leaves you just as raw. The hole remains empty. Others have moved on, yet normal still eludes you. The pain and loss still dominates your horizon, but others are not aware. You still long to talk about those you miss but it seems old news. The second year you easily feel more isolated and more alone.

These were the thoughts running through my mind as I glanced down and saw the distance switch to 2.0. And at that time the mental and physical connected.

I felt God’s whispers. Facing year two is just like facing your second mile. Yes the aches and pains of grief still flare, but you just have to keep running. You can’t slow down. You can’t quit. You have to push through. And soon they will ease. Just keep running… running to me with your aches, your pains, the hard moments…the moments you feel alone. I remember. I know. I am there.

So here we go friends. Friday I start the second “mile.”
Thanks for sharing the journey.

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