“I’m giving you permission to not quit.”
I could barely read those words as I tried blinking a hundred times to rid my eyes of the tears that quickly filled them.
How did she know?
Did she hear my prayer just 5 hours earlier when I yelled out in my car, “I quit!”
Surely she couldn’t have.
I continued to read on as my hands grasped the piece of paper that lay before me- a letter from a friend.
“Don’t quit being creative. Don’t quit dreaming. Don’t quit writing.”
There is no way that this could be chalked up to “coincidence” for just 5 hours earlier I had cried out to God those exact words. Verbatim.
“I quit being creative. I quit working toward my dreams. I quit writing!”
But even if she did hear me, she mailed the letter 3 days ago. She wrote it 4 days ago. And I prayed my prayer today. It doesn’t add up.
How could I have prayed a prayer AND received the answer in the same day?
I’m not sure how long I wept for. Maybe it was 5 minutes, maybe it was an hour. But this letter, these words, reached down into the depths of my pain and found the beauty.
I love creating. I love dreaming. I love writing. But as of late, the pain of losing Hannah attempted to drown it all.
And truthfully, it almost did.
You see, Hannah isn’t suffering anymore. She is in the presence of Jesus. When we were spreading her ashes at Alki Beach, I released her into the open sea and stood to face the sun. I closed my eyes and wept. I cried out to Jesus every so softly and said, “Please take care of her.” And as the sun continued to beat on my tear-stained cheeks, Hannah’s Heavenly Father replied ever so softly, “As sure as you feel the sun on your face you can be sure that Hannah is safe with Me.”
Finding beauty amidst the ugly is something that I’m learning to do. It is SO TEMPTING to run away from the pain. It is so tempting to numb myself by keeping busy so I don’t feel anything.
But wherever you go, there you are. It will follow you. Promise.
Grief will try and swallow you whole. It will try and drown your dreams, your giftings, your laugh. But here’s a truth-bomb for you. If I’m experiencing this much pain, than that means I was capable of loving HARD.
And you know what that means?
You are STILL capable of loving HARD. And that means your heart is still alive. And that means your dreams are still alive. And that means your giftings are still alive.
I give you permission to not quit.
Because God hasn’t quit on you.
How do I know?
A friend wrote me a letter.
And revealed that there’s still beauty to be found.