2016 has had a
rough terrible start! In contrast, 2015 was a year full of amazing travel and family time in beautiful, scenic places like Montana, Connecticut, Mexico, New Hampshire, and Australia –along with our more frequent trips to see family living nearby in Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. But this year …
By the time this blog post is published, I will have gone to 3 funerals with several more represented that I wasn’t able to attend. Losses like this are never easy. Stories spill with tears following right behind them. Aches too deep to fully express. Lives woven together now feeling the fraying edges and needing a hand to hold on to when the hand we long to hold is suddenly still. Joy and Sorrow mingle together …peace and anxiety oddly sharing space. Normals are replaced with new normals …for which manuals haven’t even been written. There’s comfort in knowing they are in the arms of Jesus but it’s our arms that are hanging uncomfortably empty without their tender hugs.
And if I went on a little further, I’d tell you about the gray, dreary, cold winter days and how depression seems to settle in a little too comfortably and motivation dives to an all-time low below the surface of already murky waters. I could tell you about the ache of living far from children and grandchildren or the longing to be with parents in their more vulnerable years. I could tell you about the grip of anxiety that paralyzes –sucking the life right out … leaving shame in its wake.
But I could also tell you about the closeness and intimacy of the Father who faithfully gives new mercies every day and more than enough grace for the ugly parts as well. I could also tell you of family and friends who care enough to love you anyway and pray like a warrior over you …and continue to bring you coffee and chocolate when they don’t know what else to do.
It’s at times like this we have a “thing” we do in our family–you know, when life gets a little wobbly… we sing a random song that seems to lift us up and out just a bit. One particularly rough season, we sang the phrase, “strange things are happening to me” , from the movie, Toy Story.* Another steady beat and cure-all from my husband in any season is “Fa la la la la, la la la laahhhh” , from “Deck the Halls” but this year I keep hearing the chorus from the song, “Carry On” (by FUN) …”If you’re lost and alone —Or you’re sinking like a stone —Carry on—May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground and —Carry on!”*
And it’s funny how God speaks through songs across all genres to give just the word you need for the day. And I imagine as the Creator of music, His playlist must be pretty extensive and his reach never tethered to any traditions of this earth. So be it. “Carry on” it is !