last week was overwhelming.
i’m not referring to simultaneously planning a very DIY wedding, trying to get more freelance jobs, fundraising for kenya, roger and i trying to figure out where we will live when we return from kenya in two plus months or preparing for marriage.

i’m talking about the world outside of the self that we so easily get wrapped into. not to say the above things, or whatever you may be dealing with from day-to-day, are not important. it’s just…perspective.

i tend to be one of those heart-on-my-sleeve, social justice types and last week abruptly became a time to mourn.
it started with reading through several articles about the killings going on in Kenya.
then NPR stories of renewed warfare between Gaza and Israel.
then news reports of fellow human beings being BEHEADED in Iraq. (beheaded! why does this even still happen?!)
and that’s just worldwide.

state side 17,000 people went without water in the city of detroit for months with good samaritans traveling down from canada carting in the sustenance of life.

then the death of a young firecracker who was already a world-changer. my life only bumped into hers, but i admired her passion mixed with kindness.
she was my age.
and i have so many friends that were really close to her.
it sent me over the tipping point.

i spent the week growing weary. but on monday, waves of subtle anger and sorrow ebbed and gnawed at the back of every thought. so much to mourn. the sadness brought on an encroaching sense of listless futility. wedding planning, no everything i was losing moments to, felt so silly all of a sudden.
then i bumped into shelby. we grieved together for a moment, and then i mentioned my thoughts of the wedding feeling frivolous. she reprimanded me and it was great. she reminded me of the importance of celebration – celebrating the Good God and His grace and Provision for our lives. honoring the ashes He has made into beauty from the messes we make as humans. it was a beautiful way to be corrected, with such sincerity that it brought me to attention. without it, the rest wins; death wins.

“Hell is a state of mind – ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind – is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.” -c.s. lewis

by the time i got home that evening, news of robin williams death had traveled to everyone but me. after hearing the report from my roommates, my response was a sad and emphatic: “i’m so tired of death.”

i still am. it’s sad and sometimes infuriating. but it’s not the end. i remembered these borrowed words from another great adventure writer:

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.”

-j.r.r. tolkien

eventually, i decided all that grieving did not need to be kept. as a i milled over and over the thoughts and feelings i could no longer carry them; it was time to throw them away. the time to mourn and grieve had come and gone and now it was time to let them go.
it felt like relief, and the first time i’ve really understood that phrase of Scripture.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

 today, i’m looking forward. september twenty seventh will be a time to dance, laugh, embrace, love, build and celebrate. and i cannot wait.