When I look back on the things that have refined and changed the person that is sitting here writing to you today, I can only be in complete awe of the strength and the grace of God.
I may not have had this wild and crazy past, but nevertheless I was once far from God and little by little, He drew me back in. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it, something that I believe wholeheartedly.
In the weeks and months following the deaths of my maternal grandmother and Aunt Shelia, I tried my hardest to really press in and use that time to get to know God. I began to write, both in a journal and here on my blog.
The immediate aftermath of those losses was a time of great reflection for me as I worked to process all that I had experienced and endured. About two months later, we would learn that my paternal grandmother’s health was declining. She was 93, so we began to prepare ourselves for another loss.
Four months later in January 2016, my father lost his mother two years after losing his brother and sister. His family was now just a family of two with him and his youngest sister Margaret. Two weeks after my paternal grandmother’s death, we received word that Nellie – my maternal grandmother’s cousin – had too passed away. She was truly one of the sweetest women that I had met and had always loved my grandmother. She had told my mom’s brother, Kenneth, a few days before my grandmother passed that she would be happy to be their mother/grandmother for whatever amount of time that she had left on Earth. She once told my sister and I that she used to pray that God would give her children of her own until God one day told her that she already had children in the neighborhood children and young family members that would flock to her house.
For me, losing my paternal grandmother and Nellie so close after my other grandmother was difficult but I fully recognize that I was probably in the best position to face something like that again. I truly felt closer to God than I ever had, though I couldn’t really make sense of it. The predominant emotion that I felt in that season was joy, but so often I found myself critiquing how I was feeling and coping. No one should feel joy after losing so many people that meant this much to them, I would think to myself.
Now when I hear and read about peace and joy that surpasses all understanding, I smile.
I smile because I’ve experienced it. There’s not always a logical explanation for things when God is involved. He’s bigger than all logic.