Friday, January 01, 2016

OLW 2016

In 2010, I chose the One Little Word LOVED.  I wrote here about how I chose it and what it meant to me.  In the aftermath of the earthquake on January 12th, 2010, I spent the year realizing how much I was loved, by God and by the people in my life.  I was loved without doing anything to earn love, in the midst of my terrible weakness, in the midst of my shame over leaving Haiti, in the midst of my grief and general uselessness to do anything about what was going on there.

It's time to revisit the word LOVED this year.  The circumstances are different from those in 2010, but I've struggled mightily this past year with changes in my life.  One of these changes was my eldest leaving for college.  It seemed as though, after dealing with loss and endless goodbyes pretty much constantly my whole life, and the comings and goings of an international lifestyle, I suddenly lost the ability to do it any more.  I've been going to counseling and working through many of these past and current losses.  It's been brutally hard, and then I've berated myself for calling emotional pain "brutally hard" in a world where people are tortured and persecuted and driven from their homes by war, a world where people have lives that really are brutally hard.  Oddly, this self-criticism hasn't made me feel any better.

I need to allow myself to be reminded that in spite of my weakness, in spite of my struggles, I am LOVED.  Life is about loss - how well I know it - but there's still more love out there for me, and I am not abandoned even when it feels as though I am.  I am already so loved, even when I panic and cling and fall apart.  Even when I'm broken-hearted.  Maybe especially then.

4 comments:

Carol said...

I think LOVED is a perfect word for the New Year. My life verses, which I have not done a very good job living the last few years, are from Ephesians 3, and deal with that. Wishing you a year of love!

…17
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.…

Ruth said...

Thanks, Carol. Those verses are very important to me, too, and I appreciate you sharing them.

Laura Shovan said...

Oh, Ruth. My heart is hurting for you. My eldest also left for college this year and it is a huge transition and letting go. I hope you can continue to treat yourself gently in the new year.

Irene Latham said...

Yes, Ruth, you are loved. And: you are exactly where you are meant to be. Grieving is such a huge part of our lives, isn't it? I heard something recently that has helped me when I am being hard on myself about how I handled something in the past. Instead of asking, "what was I thinking?," ask "What was I LEARNING?" I also keep a quote on my bulletin board that says, "Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong." Maybe turn toward yourself some of that TLC you would give your daughter were she in your daily life? xo