The seasons are definitely changing here in central Pennsylvania. Our weather can’t decide if it wants to be in late autumn with leaves on the ground or cover our rolling hills with blankets of snow. It’s honestly a whole lot of fun for someone who spent the last eighteen years south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
The funny thing about the seasons wavering is that it honestly reminds me a lot of what the reality of grief is like.
There are times when we can do nothing but weep. And yet the next day we find ourselves laughing hysterically at some random joke.
There are times when it is nearly impossible to breathe because of the hole within us left by our loss. And still we find ourselves dancing a few days later with our friends because life is still worth living.
Whether you have ever lost someone close to you, or if you are simply feeling the pain of loss that this year has brought to so many of us because of its chaotic, downright crazy existence – I am here to tell you that it is okay to live in a place where not everything is practically perfect in every way.
It is perfectly fine to feel grief. And it is also perfectly acceptable to laugh while you are hurting. All of it is okay. All of it is normal. All of it is right.
Like the beautiful changing of the seasons that cannot fully decide which way to go, life is a complex journey that sometimes walks us around in circles before moving us forward. And that is not a bad thing.
Never forget that a true rendering of Psalm 23’s “leads me in paths of righteousness” is actually “leads me in round-about paths until I find the right spot.” Sometimes going around in circles is what we need.
So here is my encouragement for you this day: trust the process. If you are hurting, let yourself hurt for a while, but not forever. If you have been grieving and find yourself laughing, enjoy your aching belly. The beauty of life is its complexity.
And know this – God is with us through it all.