Joyful Expectation | December 19

Joyful Expectation | December 19

“If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.” – Richard Rohr

I seem to be a person who needs routine – I’m old and I have lots of routines. And to me that defines normal. My life has recently been absolutely turned upside down. With upheaval comes loss of routine and everything that is normal.

It started with the loss of my care receiver, who I had visited every other week for three years. Then the unexpected death of my best friend of 31 years – who was my sound of reason, we talked nearly every week. My chiropractor of 17 years with weekly visits was diagnosed with cancer and was gone within 3 months.

As I was grieving these losses, my family (and I) were also very excited about the approaching birth of my second great-granddaughter, Kyrston Evalynn.  It was a healthy pregnancy for my granddaughter and normal delivery until everything went all wrong – Kyrston only lived 49 hours. At the same time, my youngest sister was dying of cancer, someone I talked things over with every day. Suddenly there was absolutely nothing in my life that felt normal. Even routines got forgotten or at best they didn’t feel good – mostly I just didn’t care about them.

So how does one come back from this? I sure wasn’t “speaking” with my God because all I could think about was where had he been and how all of this could happen! I sought a spiritual director, but the re-hashing of events just was not comforting. So then, I tried finding comfort in routine again, but with such huge holes in my support system, that was very difficult also.

Psalm 46:10 has been my mantra since the death of my husband 18 years ago, “Be still, and know that I am God”. It’s beautiful to say while walking and then even more powerful when taken apart.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Be still, and know that I am

Be still, and know

Be still,



Peace can be found in those words and for me the beginning of trust again. Because you know right along with a good routine, comes ‘control’ and when we think that ‘we’ have control that is when we lose trust in God. I am slowly coming out of my betwixt time, with the help of many beautiful and loyal friendships. With time and distance from events comes more clarity – the chance to better appreciate where the hand of God was or better still when his arms were wrapped around me, holding me up.

by Diane Charles

This post is part of a series of Advent Reflections – “Joyful Expectation”
Learn more about the series at

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