Most people get really excited over the prospect of a beginning. It must be the promise of possibility, or maybe it's the hope of change or fulfillment.
Ends are different. I'm not sure what the band was referencing, but Semisonic was certainly on to something when they penned the words "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." But most of us hate the idea of closing the book on one chapter--even with the hope of another ahead.
And some chapters bleed into others.
When bad things happen, I think there is always a fear of disbelief--that faith will cease to exist and other things will take its place. For me, pain is the result of faith coexisting with disbelief. I can't understand, but I can't disregard what I know about God.
I won't lie. My heart is broken. I am broken. My brain is cloudy, and sometimes it takes me ten minutes to register things that normally process very quickly. Mostly, I'm just going through the motions without a lot of thought or regard for the result of those motions.
Often, I feel like I'm going to be suffocated with grief. Breathing is spasmatic and I can't see because my eyes are full and so is my head. Some days I think that I can't do this anymore, and I hate the sun for continuing to bring other days when I'm not sure I can get through this one wholly. On those days, I don't have any room for any other sort of feeling, but today I have a small space to be thankful...
And I am for a lot of things: For Chris who I have probably never appreciated the way he should have been appreciated. Love is knowing where someone is and being willing to go there with them and ease it in whatever way you know how. Success, babe. Total success.
For my family--particularly my mom--who can't know but is willing to try. I tell my students all the time that dependability is far more important than intelligence. I guess that works outside of regular employment.
For my friends who don't know what to say but cry anyway. Grief shared is not grief divided, but it's a little less suffocating when someone else can cry with you.
And I'm still thankful for redemption and grace, although I'm less verbal about it right now. Like anything else, some days they seem a little more obscure. But there is a declaration to "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine" (Isaiah 43:1). So there's a promise of ownership.
I don't know when this will end. I don't know if it will ever end. I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to be doing or learning through this process. To be quite frank, I just plain don't understand why it happened at all. A beginning isn't supposed to be followed by an end. There's got to be a middle somewhere...
I guess right now I'm in the middle of an end and another beginning.
But every new beginning...
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Rev. 21:3-4).