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Saturday, January 31, 2009

The View from the Valley

Recently on facebook I posted my status as, "Jenny is in a valley". A friend of mine typed back asking "how's the view?". At first I thought, "what a dumb question - there is no view". Sometimes because of where you are - you can't see anything but your current state of affairs. You cannot see the hope rising or the lessons learned - because you are in the midst of it. You don't have the vantage point of looking down on it to gain perspective.

Then I realized that wasn't entirely true. The truth is that there is a view from the valley. It might not be the million dollar view from the mountaintop, but there are still things to see and learn. Sometimes the view is priceless.

One thing I am learning is this - loss is extremely painful and changes things forever - but it is not completely unbearable. If I am willing to acknowledge it, I dare say there is even some good in it. I have never felt more loved and supported by so many friends and family members. I knew it before, but now I really know it - I am loved and I am not alone. There have been so many people willing to climb down into this valley and walk along side me. There have been so many who wish desperately that I didn't have to be in this valley at all.

Then there is the whole compassion thing. I have a whole new understanding of compassion for hurting people. For sure, none of us have the exact same experience or the exact same reaction to a situation. But, I certainly feel as though I have a much greater understanding for those who have endured loss. For anyone who has lost a dream, lost a person, lost hope or for anyone that has woken up one day to find that life is infinitely harder than they ever thought imaginable - I get it.

And then there is my dear mother. I love her more than ever. Over the past few months I have come to the startling realization that I am more like her than I ever cared to notice before. But the truth is, I am so glad to be like her. I am glad to have this shared experience with her. God has used this experience to bind us together like nothing else ever could. I want to be strong like her. I want to be tender like her. I want to find love like she found love. I want her to have that love again someday. I am thankful to be on this journey with her.

So, where am I in the valley? I am not sure. The truth is I started writing this post "View from the Valley" exactly one month ago. The past 30 days have been harder than I thought. I thought things would get easier and they have not. I thought things would hurt less, they hurt more. I thought I would have "moved on", I have perhaps set up camp. But, you know what? I am ok with that. I am tired of people wanting to make things better for me. I am tired of people telling me what to do to get out of the valley. I am tired of being tired.

The truth for me is this - the valley is not all bad. I firmly believe it is where I am suppose to be - for right now. I am not planning on being here forever. I am planning on turning my face towards God and letting Him do the healing. And, then I will put one foot in front of the other and at some point I will be on the other side of the valley.


Kim said...

If you set up camp for a bit, you know I will camp with you. It might not be quite the same as Rondo Park, but that was a hell all of it's own, certainly not to be endured alone.

~susie said...

Jen- You are in my thoughts and prayers. I read your blog while you were on your journey last year to Africa. I came across it again and learned about your dad. I am so sorry. Grief can be so confusing. I'm sorry for your pain. Your words are beautiful and true and express the power of love. Please know that I am praying for you in your valley.

Susie (A.) D.

Rose said...

Jen, you are young but oh so wise....love, Norm and Rose

Jen said...

Thank you friends for leaving a comment. Kim- always grateful for you.

Susie!! Thank you so much for reading my blog. Thank you for the prayers. Praying is the only way out of the valley and I am finally on my way out!

Rose! Thank you for saying I am young :) Miss you guys. Thank you for loving me and my family well.