I know that anyone that knows me and my background thinks I’m about to write about some great beauty tips or tricks! What’s the newest “fountain of youth”? Best cream or preserver? How to preserve your “beauty” until you die. Not this time. This is much closer and deeper to my heart then my quickly fading natural beauty than no cream will ever bring back.

grief-felt-so-like-fearI have found myself walking in a time that quite frankly I have not IDEA how to navigate. Grief. At first I didn’t even know that what it was…I had never really experienced it to this level much less navigated it in a healthy way. I know what your thinking…Who died? Well no one. That’s why it caught me off guard. Grief does not always come with death. Just like you don’t have to experience a death to grieve. I thought I was fearing the change in the relationship, when I am actually finding myself grieving over the loss of a relationship once had, and now trying to handle what it is changing into. I lost what that relationship once looked like to me, and it’s hard to see what it will become. This can be a relationship with a child, family member, or spouse. The relationship you have with your job, your ministry, or your identity. All these are changes. They will change and should….so how do you navigate it?

This last week I have found myself withdrawn, snippy, and irritable. All the things I do not want to be and have worked so hard to change in me when I am hurting or trying to process through things. With that I had to ask, What’s going on God? Why am I withdrawn? or lashing out? These are things that I do when I am hurt….am I hurting? The answer was and is…YES. I am hurting from a relationship that has changed.

How do I handle change? I thrive on change! I love to redecorate, make things look new and good. I roll with change easily, however not this time. I realized that I am hurting because this was not a change I asked for, nor wanted. Life circumstances simply handed it to me. How do I handle it? How do I heal from the loss of a beautiful relationship that was changed unwantingly? unwillingly? How do I sit with this person and not feel the sting of the hurt and relationship lost? DO I simply withdraw and throw it away? or do I just ignore it and hope it will work itself out?(tried that by the way, it doesn’t work!). So as I cried this morning on my daughter’s shoulder apologizing for being short and not the mom she needed after arguing and exploding my emotions on her. You see, she’s is my sensitive soul. As others will simply let me withdrawal and allow my moodiness simply roll off their back until I work through it, she absorbs it.  I told God you’ve got to help me navigate this! I can’t keep doing this to my family or myself. If this relationship were dead I could put it behind me but every time I see them, I am reminded of what I don’t have and want with them; yet can never have again.

IMG_3461Just a walk through the front door and I see the beautiful roses I have chosen to preserve and dry as they die..this said it all….and then He speaks.

Preserve the things beautiful, even unto death.

You see these roses are like my relationship…it is beautiful!

rosesThey were displayed and shown for a time and purpose for all to see! They were carefully taken care of, cut, arranged, and nurtured with food and water for a season. Then that season and time came to an end. For some reason I could not find it in myself to throw these beautiful flowers out! roses 3I mean I bought them for a specific purpose…used them for it….even shared them with others so that they could take some of the beauty home with them but I could not throw them away and I didn’t know why. It seemed like such a waste to me when I knew the potential they carried. roses2So, I carefully emptied them from the vases in which they had spent their short life of display. Shook the excess water off and took them home to preserve. I  took an evening to “prep” each flower. I laid them out and took away the petals that would not let it dry to thier potential best form of beauty.FullSizeRender I meticulously and gently strung them as to not cause damage to the already delicate state of the still beautiful yet changing bud. Now, I wait and watch the change happen. I don’t handle them to much because that will disrupt the process. I simply wait. I know in time, I will handle them again to create them into something new and different, but for now. I wait and look at the beautiful way they change.

rose diedThis is what I am suppose to do with this ever changing relationship….unto death. I remember the beauty of what it once was…what it held. Then I intentionally preserve the beauty of the relationship and watch it change into what it is to become. Will it look the same? No. It will have some remnants and traits of what it was, but it will not remain the fresh new relationship put on display as it was in my youth. However, I am intentionally choosing to take care and delicately preserve it to become a new kind of beautiful…even unto death. Were those roses going to die? yes. Will this relationship eventually die? yes. but How I handle it now in preserving it will determine the beauty of what it is to become. Delicately .. intentionally .. giving it time to change .. warm air to breathe .. develop ..enjoying the beauty in and through the process .. then arranging it and remembering all that it was and appreciating all that it is now.

Grief… It is different for everyone and we all experience it sooner or later. We can grieve over the loss of people, pets, things, and experiences. We can grieve the loss of relationship changes, from what they were to what they are becoming. phil 4-8Grief is a part of changing. You have to allow yourself to grieve the loss of the old, regardless of what it looks like in your minds. We must choose to embrace and intentional preserve the beauty of what it was by taking the time to see it what is now and preserve it. We have to draw out those things that are beautiful. We must then allow ourselves to take those things in and bring a different kind of preserved beauty and view to what they are and look forward to what they can become. We could throw it out and not mess with it but then we would miss the beauty in the process. We would stop at what it was and not allow what is to develop in to what it can be.

Do I know what this relationship will look like in the end? No. Just like I don’t know what those roses I have drying will look like in the end. But I do know, I have set the process up for them to dry as beautifully as they can. I will let them develop and dry as gently as I can. Just as I will this this relationship. I will handle it gently and show the beauty of it and not the loss of what it once was. I will look for the things that were and are honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise in this ever changing relationship. I will think on the new beauty of what it will become and can be….even in it’s death of what it was.