Bittersweet End: The Blessing of the Interrupted Life

**A reflection after a bittersweet end to the semester.  I write for emotional healing, and that great loss may be swallowed up in thanksgiving and trust in a faithful God.  Remembering those who helped make this new season possible.**

The Azalea bushes are in full bloom.  Bright pinks and purples and whites shimmer in sunlight, the beginnings of Spring.  The beginnings of a new season.  I try to capture their radiance with my phone, but somehow the pictures I take don’t seem to do them justice.

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Maybe because the weathered and worn hands that planted them are no longer here to behold their beauty.

It’s bittersweet this year.

Yet the fruitfulness of the one who planted them, a life who sacrificed so much for so many, still remains.  It dots the driveway and graces me as I roll up and down in my car, trying my best to continue moving forward.

As pieces of this new season begin to be puzzled together according to the Lord’s perfect plan,

it seems sometimes those you love are not there to watch you walk in them.

Those that, if not for their willingness to walk beside you in the difficult seasons, would not be where you are today.

I would have never made it alone.

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My mind reflects quietly and I remember a timely study where a Truth-speaker spoke wisdom to my heart.

“The interrupted life is the privileged life.” Priscilla Shirer

The interrupted life is the privileged life.  I didn’t like that very much.  Honestly.  I didn’t understand why

a quietly rebellious nineteen-year-old with then short, brittle hair would be paired with a grieving seventy-eight year old with white hair falling out daily like her unshed tears.

I didn’t like it.

But God saw a need.  Multiple needs in fact.  And He divinely ordained a plan beyond my comprehension.  A plan that was birthed by Him.

I wonder what the disciple John thought as he tenderly cared for Mary in her last days.  Oh what wisdom, to live and walk and talk with a woman who had seen so much, experienced so much, who knew how practically to live in a sin-stained world.

Oh how the thing I once despised became such a gift, such a blessing, that I would never ever wish that the path had split any differently.

The wisdom found in those shedding white, hair that I combed and dried when arms that had carried me when I was weak could no longer quite reach behind to dry those floppy hairs on the back of her scalp.

I think of Noah stepping out of the ark with the ground still moist from the unrelenting streams washing away all that was lost and broken and filled with filth and I wonder if Noah ever said, “Well, what now Lord?”

Well, what now Lord?

And God said to be fruitful.

I pick Azalea blooms with my inexperienced hands.

And what was Noah’s response?

He built an altar.

He offered a sacrifice.

And he was given a promise.

I seek to release the clenched fists.  Fists that demand answers and cling to endless lists of worry about the future.  Instead, what faith to trust a God who has proved Himself always faithful.  And thank Him for being so kind as to interrupt my life with divine purpose.

A distant cousin shares encouragement.  “You living with grandma was the best thing that ever happened to her after granddad passed…”  An aunt echos “I’m surprised she made it as long as she did after he passed.”  My grandma’s sister thanks me for “all I did for her”.

All I did for her?

When just a few years ago, I would have never dreamed that I would be packing my bags and sluggishly moving into a paneled room with yellow print chairs.  But God brought two lives together who needed each other.

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A diverted, interrupted life bursting forth with divine purpose.  And that is nothing less than grace.

Noah pressed forward and walked out a life of fruitfulness in the new season that lay before him.

With a promise.

I need a promise, too.

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“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Because those who loved you would never want you to stop.

So now I seek to cultivate

a life of fruitfulness of my own.

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