Today is Ash Wednesday on the church calendar. A special day, a humbling celebration of the simplicity of life’s beginning and end.
Today is also the day that my first cousin is being buried. Fitting? I’d say so. She, too, will return to ashes.
I will not lie, there has been drama with her passing (frankly, I can’t think of a single funeral with that side of my family that hasn’t involved drama of some sort). It has upset me and hurt me deeply. I chose not to go to her funeral before the drama began – and thanked God that I made that decision once the drama started. I will grieve in silence at home, with my family by my side. I can only turn to God at times like that and lift up those who are doing the hurting in prayer, because that is how He taught us to live our lives: lift up thine enemies in prayer. I don’t really see those who have done the hurting as enemies, but giving the issues to God is my way of life.
But, good has come from the drama, too. Mostly, the knowledge that I am loved unconditionally by a select few – those few are the ones who took me into their homes and hearts when no one else would, oh so many years ago. And the knowledge that just because someone is part of your family tree, that doesn’t mean you have to let them into your life. I’ve said it over and over again lately – I will only allow love into my home. I deserve it, my husband deserves it and our children deserve it. Nothing but love. I will always be a disappointment to those who don’t allow God to control their lives, because they believe they have the control. Fortunately for me, God IS my Father and He will never again allow me to be that child that so many threw away years ago.
It’s the dash between the dates on your tombstone that will tell the truth about your life on earth. What will your dash say?