Yesterday, I attended a bridal shower. Viewing the RSVP status of the attendees online, I knew I would be seeing some old friends. This was an exceptionally hard and emotionally draining week. The one year anniversary of Richard’s passing is approaching, the dynamics of a valued friendship changed dramatically, my writing is stalled, professional decisions need to be made and household projects are in various stages of completion. I was looking forward to celebrating with some old friends and meeting some new ones.

“So, Jean, how are you doing?” asks a friend at the shower I hadn’t seen in a few months. “Doing pretty well.”, I reply. “Working through some transitions.”

As the guests continue to arrive, I start thinking, “Transition” is a good word for it. It seems like this entire year has been one transition after another. Watching Richard live out his final days, grieving multi-layers of heartache, engaging with new friends while connecting with old friends, trying to make the house mine instead of ours, making decisions without my favorite sounding board, taking care of the dogs alone while engaging in life away from home, writing our story without falling apart because of the emotion it continues to stir up within me, daring to consider loving again, wondering if I will ever trust another man and most significantly, how these last few years have shaped me. Whew!

Thinking about all those changes, I ask myself, am I becoming a better me or am I reverting back to old patterns of survival? Each week, I see flavors of both. Certainly the shift has moved toward being a better me more consistently. Life lessons learned the hard way need not be repeated.

I want to know how this whole metamorphic adventure turns out. I remind myself, wanting it doesn’t make it happen. I wanted to know the end of my story with Richard every day for over a decade. I didn’t know until it happened. The only way I thrived and not just survived through all the insanity was to remember the presence of God is always with me and works in and through circumstances.

Though I was blindsided many times, God was never thrown off when a betrayal, diagnosis or crisis surfaced. He invariably carried me through every trauma. I didn’t always trust Him. I was often afraid and felt alone. Even so, I trusted the trustworthiness of the Creator. Gently I remind myself, He is with me now though every transition.

Re-engaging with the party, I press into the beautiful moments my friends are experiencing. They will soon be committing to a lifetime together, starting a new journey filled with possibilities and challenges.  I am truly grateful they have found love and are committed to loving each other well through life’s transitions.

The hopeless romantic in me wants to know if my story includes someone with whom I will share life and love; someone who will fight for me and along side of me as the uncertainty of life unfolds. The fear of heartache wrestles with the longing to love and be loved again. Once again, the answer only comes as it is revealed over time.

Life is always in transition one way or another. My transitions will continue, whether I like it or not. I will not know the answers until they are made known. I can choose to be worried about the ending, or just enjoy all that is present. I know my focus must be on embracing the Divine gift being offered: Resurrecting Larko.

I will follow the lead of my beloved Richard who showed us how to live in today. He embraced sacred moments as they came along and chose to make every day a GREAT day.

May you find peace in the storms of life, gentle reminders of love each day and rest knowing each day brings another opportunity to make a difference in the world.