When Everything Changes 12


My name is Lisa. I’m a woman who loves God, yet doesn’t get everything just right. However, I constantly embrace the power of grace to try again and again, even in the face of my mistakes. In the process, I believe I gain invaluable wisdom. In that, I also learn some lessons I may not want to learn and didn’t ask for. And while the process isn’t enjoyable, similar to the “good pain” of muscle breakdown after a workout (anticipating the increase in strength that’ll follow), I enjoy knowing that I’m growing emotionally and spiritually.

Why is that a “thing” worth mentioning? Because 2017 was a great year for me. A couple of challenging bumps here and there, sure. But for the most part, it was progressive and productive. And frankly, being one accustomed to growing through some form of resistance, I wondered if I was actually growing. When I hit the last day of the year in a good place and good spirits, I was overjoyed. Sort of.

As January first unfolded, I noticed a twitch. Nothing major. Just a little uneasy feeling. Numerous goals and accompanying things-to-do lists filled various pages across 3 planners. Still, something seemed off. I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I pressed on, as usual.

After not being able to wish my Daddy a Happy New Year by phone, I called my sister to tell her that he hadn’t answered. She was on her way to his house and there wasn’t any need for alarm; his phone likely wasn’t charged, or nearby. No worries. Business as usual.

The next two days held tough phone calls about a project, which left me a little bruised and had me throwing out a lifeline for prayers and encouragement. The revival of my joy as a result of those prayers was short lived. On that third day after those calls, the fifth day of the year, Daddy passed away.

Nothing prepares you for the day when you can no longer hear the voice of one who knew and loved you every day since you were born. And I soon learned there is no set response. And while I’m ever grateful for the Daddy he was and the time he lived on this earth, I’m also grateful for the people in my life who hold me up as I navigate a path I’ve never wanted to travel.

Times like these remind me (and others) that I am a strange bird, blessed to have people who understand and interpret what I can’t always say verbally. As much as I love writing and talking, I often go silent. It’s how I regroup and recharge. Despite this silence and my other quirks, several people in my life are graced to give to me what I’m often unable to express that I need. How exactly does that work? I’m not sure. But I’m better because of them. That also goes for others who were only in my life for a season. Although the season changed, their presence and even its residue made me better. As I peruse people who’ve crossed my path so far, I can only hope I’m sowing adequately for the blessings I’m reaping.

As I endeavor to regain some normalcy and begin writing again, I want to express my gratitude for every word, thought, deed, and prayer I received in these early days of 2018. You may be reading this and you don’t know me, personally. I thank you, too. Without you, I may not have been as compelled to sit down to write again. It’s taken me a couple of weeks, but I needed to feel the keys. And I needed your eyes and ears to help continue processing this new reality.

Thank you to all who remind me how much I am loved. Thank you to my Daddy, a World War II veteran (affectionately known as “Gramps”) who, in response to our expressions of love, never stopped reminding any of us, “I loved you first.”

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