“The LORD gives his people strength.
The LORD blesses them with peace.”
Psalms 29:11 NLT
This last week has been exhausting.
In fact, the last two weeks have been exhausting.
Ok - so realistically - my whole year has been exhausting!!!
But the last two weeks more so. And I'm not only talking about physical exhaustion, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausting too.
Let me explain. Last week, my husband was away on a trip to Ukraine when my Nanna got really sick. She was 91 and has had a fantastic life (more about that later) but she took a turn for the worst and went downhill really quickly. She lives about 2 hours from us, so Mum and I headed down to see her and effectively say goodbye, half way through the week. It was devastating to see her get so frail and weak and although I wouldn't have missed it for the world, it broke my heart. I got to read to her (Psalm 46) and talk to her and tell her how much I loved her, while holding back big gulping tears - you know the really ugly sobbing ones. After saying goodbye we cried our way home.
There is something very surreal about saying goodbye to someone knowing that you'll probably never see them again. It's not pleasant. In fact it hurts like hell.
On Sunday morning she passed away in her sleep - the way she wanted to go - peaceful and not in any pain.
Our goodbye on Wednesday really had been goodbye. I'd never get to talk to her again, never get to call down, play cards or scrabble, or take her out for another lunch date again.
I'd never get to hear her voice telling me she loved me again. Or hear her delight when we walked through the door for a visit.
On Tuesday we all congregated at Nanna's church to pay our respects, mourn her and show our love. It was one of the nicest funeral services I've ever been to (again more later in the week) but it was still one of the saddest.
And then for the rest of the week I've been trying to get back to 'normal' - whatever that is.
So I'm not only exhausted physically - from the inevitable running around and car journeys - I'm also mentally, emotionally and spiritually wrecked. Mentally I tend to overthink everything - from whether I should have gone back down and taken time off work before she died, to whether I should have been there with our family more after the fact, instead of just on Tuesday. Emotionally I have just lost my last and most loved grandparent - and I know I am blessed to have had her for so long, but in reality that just makes it so much harder.
But it's spiritually that I am totally done in. You see I did what I have done so many times before - I tried to go through the last two weeks on my own - in my own strength. And guess what - it didn't work.
At a time when I was rejoicing in Nanna's faith, I let my own falter. I relied only on me and not on the One who made me. But God is so much better than me.
Even when I fail, He still holds me close and gives me His strength and His peace.
Can I hear a great big AMEN?!
I have many reasons to rejoice this week, and God is helping me to spot them and see the beauty in a fortnight that was hard. He really does give us His strength and He really does bless us with His peace. And there's no other I'd rather rely on.
I'm hoping to share more about Nanna later in the week :)
Thanks for reading.
Keep shining xx