Before and after.
We often talk about the “messy middle” or being in the “thick of it”.
This life’s journey has brought a greater awareness of the before and after. We are always in the middle of something; however, life can change and you find yourself redefining or figuring out how to live in the after.
After the birth of a child
After you say “I do!”
After the diagnosis
After the loss
After the good bye
After the accident
After the injury
After the divorce
After the spiritual commitment
After the job change
After the retirement
The pictures and memories of the before can navigate your after path like a guiding compass, or sometimes it’s just too painful to combine the before with the after. Maybe you can integrate, but for now, it takes all your energy to concentrate on the after–setting new boundaries, understanding new language and processes, and accepting the new normal.
This is where our faith kicks the door down. We have eternal promises that are beyond what our eyes can see. We hold onto the promises like a lifeline between despair and hope.
I’m hopeful in all things, even when it gets pretty ugly, and I find myself “there” again. My there may be dark, but I paint rainbows, and bring the sunflowers.
I know God has said to me, “Look! I’m doing a new thing!” I may not see it yet, but His hand is in all things–the seed planted beneath the ground in the darkness, the cocoon awaiting the butterfly, the resurrection after death. One resurrection is all we needed to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will rise!
I spend a lot of time writing sympathy cards and letters of encouragement. I see you friend. I know it’s hard. I’m here to validate and share with you that our after can be the beginning, and, yes, we can rebuild.
Mother Teresa wrote a beautiful prayer/poem about “doing it anyway..” I love that woman and her work. She struggled with despair like us.
Martina McBride has a song based on this prayer. I used to sing this with my daughter in programs and events. I remember Victoria. I remember. I remember the before and the song God put in our hearts, and this gives me hope.