We are less than two weeks into the New Year and the news headlines are much the same as last year’s. A new Covid variant with a sci fi name “Omicron” is spreading like wildfire. Even the fully vaccinated, like me, can get it. Although the outcomes may be less severe, those with compromised immunity, like me, can still end up in hospital. So, I am under a self-imposed lock-down. Some may call it irrational, but I’m just being overly cautious.
You will have noticed that I have been silent the last few weeks (at least from a writing viewpoint). It seems that the January doldrums or “blues” have hit me especially hard again this year. I had prayed that 2022, would be a less stressful year. It started off with such positivity in many ways, but within days the “peace and goodwill” of the Christmas Season was transformed into mind-numbing grief over the passing of a loved one. My dearest stepmother-in-law, the only grandmother my children had known, and truly she was like a mother to me too, closed her ninety-four year old eyes and opened them in heaven on January 3rd. With covid restrictions we must wait with celebrating her life at this time. Instead, I look through family photo albums, and the memories cascade around me like my tears of grief. Etta will be profoundly missed by all who knew her.
The New Year’s “blahs” accentuated by grief, have taken their toll. I admit I feel anxious, perhaps even depressed; I know the signs. So, I put on the battle armour and immerse myself in Scripture. I turn off the bad news that blares through the television and focus on The Good News that comes from being in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I was reminded today, as I have been reminded at the start of every New Year, that casting my cares once more upon the strong shoulders of my Saviour is a choice. It’s not easy to let go of my anxiety. At times I wear it like a security blanket. I become more comfortable in my stress than letting go of it. Grief is harder to let go of.
Etta, was a letter-writer. She wasn’t one who relied on texting or social media to communicate with loved ones like I tend to do now. I have saved some cards and letters she wrote to me. Pages and pages of newsy letters, and her heartfelt love for me and our family written in her own hand emblazoned on each page. There was love in every word! Reading them, I am thankful I had the benefit of her wisdom, her tender heart, and caring spirit. I am mindful that she is in the presence of God now. He is expounding on His Own Love Letter in Person to her and to all those who have eternity before them in His Kingdom. It gives me great comfort to think on that.
I am sorry to hear about Etta. What a joy to have had her in your life. I know you look forward to that day of rejoicing when you meet again, but I understand the tears that come because you miss her company now.
Isaiah 57:1 is the first verse the Lord showed a grieving Dad I know whose seemingly healthy 13 year old (God-loving, beautiful) son suddenly dropped dead playing basketball:
“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.”
I know God will comfort you and let you enjoy the smiles you’ll have when you remember the happy and loving things Etta brought you, your husband and the children.
Thank-you, Jane for your comforting words! ❤️