Jan Richardson’s blessings for Holy Week and Easter on are really speaking to me. I read one and immediately come across a stanza or two that I have to write in my journal to save for later. She’s given me a lot to ponder over the last few days.
Here’s a bit from the one I read today called “The Magdalene’s Blessing”:
All you need to remember
is how it sounded
when you stood
in the place of death
and heard the living
call your name.
Reading that I was swept back in time to November. To the days when darkness was slowly taking over the light. To the days when life felt pointless. To the days when I struggled to find a reason to keep moving forward. To the days when I felt lost and broken.
Those were hard days. I felt like I was standing in the place of death. In some ways, I was. I was facing the death of a dream, a possibility. No physical body died, but the child I dreamt I would some day hold in my arms died. Nothing physical was lost, but the quilts I planned to make and the crib sheets I would sew, they were all lost in the death of this dream. I wasn’t physically hurt, but my heart felt shattered and destroyed. I was standing in the place of death.
And throughout that time, there were a few calling my name. They weren’t standing where I stood. Oh, they felt my pain indirectly. They shared my tears and held me close. But they weren’t standing in the place of death. They were a few feet away – close enough to experience the darkness, but far enough away to know that light was close by.
They didn’t force me to leave the place where I stood. They knew I needed to be there awhile. So, they sat down on the outskirts and waited. They knew that when the time was right, I’d be able to take a few steps closer to where they sat. They sat patiently watching me, praying for me, loving me. They let me be where I needed to be. They let me feel what I needed to feel. They let me be.
Slowly I took a few steps. Slowly I looked around. Slowly I began to see what they could see – light, hope, new life.
It’s really, really hard to let go of a dream. Really hard. There are days I wonder if maybe it could still be possible for that dream to become a reality. But, to keep my sanity, I have to let those thoughts flow in and flow right back out. I’m grateful to be standing in a new place today – a place that doesn’t feel like death, a place that feels more like living. I’m grateful for those that continued to call my name, even when I didn’t want to hear them. I’m grateful for those who sat and waited, who knew I’d look beyond myself when the time was right.
But, it’s still hard. It’s hard to reimagine my life. It’s hard on holidays to see my social media filled with everyone’s children dressed in cute clothes. I still look and ‘like.’ My experience doesn’t take away anyone else’s experience – we’re all living our own stories. However, there are moments when I have to push my feelings aside or redirect them so that it’s not quite so painful.
It’s hard, but that’s not the end of my story. I heard those voices calling me – I heard the living call my name – and I walked toward them. I have faith that some other dream I didn’t even know was mine will soon appear. New dreams, new life – living, not dying. An empty tomb full of so many possibilities: the paradox of Easter.