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Thursday, 26 March 2015

One Year on....

A year has now passed since my dear Suzie left this world, and so this seems an appropriate time to reflect on that year and to bring my blog to a close. This has most certainly been the most difficult year of my life.
The anger I was facing a few weeks ago seemed to disappear as abruptly as it came, and was replaced by a deep depression and renewed sense of unbearable loss. The anniversary of Suzie's death brought home the harsh reality that this was simply a moment in time where my first year without my best friend and soul mate becomes my second year without her. It isn't some kind of great achievement that I've survived this year, and now it's over and we can go back to how it was. This is how it is now. 
So much has happened since Suzie first became ill, and I have learnt a great deal from the experience of facing her illness and disability with her, caring for her throughout it, and ultimately coping with life without her. I'm not the same person I was four years ago. In some ways I think I'm now stronger than I was, yet in other ways I'm aware of my vulnerabilities and weaknesses more acutely than ever. My priorities have certainly changed and I place different values on the things of this life. I've learnt a lot about love and friendships. I've learnt that expressions of love and support sometimes come from the most unexpected places, and that true friends are a tremendous blessing. I've learnt to thank God more readily for these blessings, and I would like to think I've learned how to forgive people when, for whatever reason, they haven't been able to walk this painful journey with me in the way that I would have wished. I have also learnt that I still have a great deal more to learn! 
In Church last Sunday I was challenged by a profound message that I believe was God giving me good advice for the future. The message was that I must not spend the rest of my life looking back and yearning for what has gone. My life with Suzie was an amazing part of my life's experience, but it has now ended. I have spent such a lot of time gazing longingly back at it, and hurting so badly as I watched it fade further and further into the past, but the realisation gradually dawned on me that Suzie isn't there any more. She isn't stuck in the past - she has gone on ahead of me. I can look forward, expectantly and eagerly, knowing that I am heading towards the place where she has already gone. Our life together will always be a part of who I am, but it also forms a stepping stone for who I am going to become. My journey hasn't finished yet and I know that God has a whole new chapter waiting for me to discover. I have no idea what it will be like but I'm sure that, one day, I will see the significance of all that I have been through during these last few years. More than anything, I'm certain that I am being guided and constantly protected by the living God who loves me and wants only what's best for those who follow Him. I still have many uncertainties and fears. I'm not happy right now, and I can't even imagine how I can become happy again. But I believe that I will find out in time. 
There are two Bible verses that I hold on to as promises from God, and I trust in His faithfulness to fulfil these promises in my life. 

In Isaiah 43:19 God says: "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun. Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." 

Philippians 1:6 says: "I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Jesus Christ returns."

I do feel like I'm lost in the wilderness right now, but God has already prepared the path ahead of me. I just need to look forwards and focus my gaze on Him. All of the painful experiences that I've been through during these last few years are all part of a bigger picture, and I believe that they have all worked together to equip me and mould me for whatever the future holds.
Suzie will remain in my heart for ever. She's already reached her eternal home, and, one day, I will join her.

My ongoing prayer is that the experiences I've shared throughout this blog will continue to be a blessing and a source of strength to anyone who reads it. I hope that you will feel a deep sense of God's heart of love reaching out to you, whatever trials or difficulties you face in your own life. His love and strength has got me this far, and He is able to do infinitely more than we can even imagine. 
God is my rock and my stronghold. I pray that He will be yours too.

Thank you for your interest in my journey. God bless you. xx