The phone rang, ushering me out of a deep sleep. I glanced at the clock nearby and noticed it was close to two-thirty in the morning. I saw my grandmother’s name on the caller ID. I immediately whispered “no” repeatedly. Then I gained enough composure to answer the call and say “hello”.
That’s when she uttered the words that made me burst into tears.
“Your grandfather’s gone.”
That was back in November.
I don’t remember much after those first words, just how strong she sounded despite getting news less than an hour earlier herself.
I, on the other hand, think I became weak. I found myself on a roller coaster of crying fits and moments of peace that I can only say were given to me by God. And as in any case when someone close to you dies, I thought about whether there was anything I would have done, should have done or could have done. But this time, I also thought about how life can change in an instant, and wondered if I had lived with purpose, which was my one word for 2014.
The morning I got that call and the weeks after seemed to culminate a year that blew by in a wild fury that spun me into a state of exhaustion. It was wrought with so much newness and change that I had to take a break to deal with the aftermath of it all.
Needless to say, after that news my break became even longer.
For months, my thoughts were scattered. It wasn’t until the new year that I got enough rest and did enough decluttering to collect them all. Then I remembered something I heard at my grandfather’s memorial service. The pastor talked about the change one can see in a lifetime as long as my grandfather’s, and how God stays the same through it all. She talked about how my grandfather watched his family grow and change, how he changed, and how God was still there. As his health declined, He was there. When he had to stop working, He was there. When he took his last breath, He was there — still full of grace, mercy, and love.
I became grateful for that.
It also made me grateful for the past year.
God used the changes in each season to prune my soul and help me be intentional, especially as a mother.
In what seemed like the bat of an eyelash, my baby girl morphed into a toddler, and I was intentional about being there for every moment. I watched her go from helplessly reclining in padded bouncy seats to crawling and walking. I watched her go from simply smiling to infusing her double dimpled grin in between infectious giggles and constant chatter. I cried at her baptism. I celebrated her first birthday. I cheered as she took her first dip in a pool. I held her as she felt sand and ocean water between her toes for the first time. And the list goes on.
It’s amazing how much changed in a year. At times, dealing with the changes was overwhelming, but I wouldn’t change it for the world — because I know God is there and He continually gives me hope for the future.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)