Losing and Gaining, and pizza

Losing and Gaining | andreaenright.net
 
The monthly anniversaries have me coming back to the blog feeling like I should give an update up sorts.

And I want to– I want the chance to tell you the birds-eye view of how I’ve been feeling especially since it’s impossible to keep everyone up-to-date on a personal level with all that I’ve been doing and all that I’ve been processing. And while I am an open book when it comes to anything in my life, I only have so much energy to share that open book. So here’s some broad thoughts on how I’ve been feeling. It’s not perfectly eloquent or polished and it’s full of cheesy metaphors, (pun INTENDED) but I’m going to share it with you because but this blog shouldn’t be about perfection and because I WANT TO! Here we go…

 

Friends,

You’ve been praying for me. I know it because I feel it.

Thank you.

And friends, I want to tell you that I feel so much healing.

Yes, you heard me–

Healing.

Is that crazy to hear?

If you had told me I’d feel this way I’d be horrified.

But why should we be surprised I feel so good? You’ve been praying! And Abba answers prayer!

And I am learning that God wants healing in my life even more than *I* want healing in my life.

And so I just feel healing.

Healed, even.

And I feel peace. I feel hope. I feel anticipation.

What was the Giant Gash of Loss is becoming a Beautiful Scar of Memories, and I am able to say with tenderness and excitement

“See that scar right here— that’s BJ. That’s him. He was hilarious. He loved me so well. He taught me so much. He’d be so proud of me. He’s having a ball in Heaven. And I am so grateful I had him for the time I did. I’m glad he was a part of my story, and I was a part of his.”

And in saying that I see BJ more as a gift than anything else. A sweet, precious gift to my life.

____

I’ve been doing a lot of processing and a lot of praying since you’ve last heard from me. God is speaking to me and preparing me and encouraging me. He’s been teaching me so much.

I think the biggest thing He’s taught me is about love.

I feel as though I am finally learning what it means to really love people well– how to be a loving daughter and a loving friend and perhaps most ironically, what it really means to be a loving wife.

And I am realizing a lot about losing and gaining.

BJ’s death was an unspeakable loss, but even in loss God can make things good. He can take losses and make them gains. He can take ashes and make them into beautiful things. Amen and amen.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage and that special marriage love.

It’s a sad loss, the loss of romantic love, and especially difficult for someone who’s love language is physical touch. (I miss kisses and MAN I MISS THE HAND HOLDING. Isn’t holding hands just THE BEST? AHHHHH.) Anyways, I’ve lost that specific relationship with it’s specific expressions of love. And in not being married I am not loved romantically anymore.

And that is hard and sad and different, but in moving back to Oregon and being with my family I am realizing all the other wonderful ways one can experience love.

It’s beautiful, really. In this tragedy of BJ’s death and moving back to Oregon, I have gained such a deeper relationship with my family. Seeing them, living with them, loving them, being near them– I’ve gained so much love. These relationships are becoming richer and truer and more satisfying and more healthy and more loving. And even the loss and grief had bonded us together, united us uniquely, bonding us together in a way I cannot even fully express.

And in the richness of my parent’s love, my sister’s love, my family’s love, I am realizing how I myself had elevated romantic love as the ULTIMATE and TRUEST reflection of love.

Yes, marriage is wonderful and beautiful, and I love it and I want it again, but I am seeing how it is just one part of a full life— a few slices of pizza when God wants to give you a whole pie of love.

(I AM SORRY ABOUT THE PIZZA METAPHOR BUT YOU’LL BE FINE. I’M TOO TIRED TO THINK OF OTHER KINDS OF PIE AND AS LONG AS YOU EAT PIZZA IN MODERATION IT’S FINE.) (I now regret typing that in all caps as it seems to come out of nowhere but I’m too tired to change it.)

But I now see love is all around me— God, friends, family, my church, my classmates, the community of believers, the people who I feel called to serve.

And I see how God is in the business of expanding your view, expanding your heart, and expanding your experience of Him.

And in all my pain and mess, He is expanding my experience of love.

And so yes, I loved loving BJ, and I will always love BJ. And yes, I hope to marry again and experience romantic love again, but I am realizing that marriage is just one part of living a whole life of love.

And I thank God for giving me eyes to see the depth and richness of His love in other ways.

In His Word.
In His people.
In His Son.
In His creation.

And though I wish loss on no one and don’t wish to sugarcoat tragedy, I can’t help say I think God can do some of His best transformation through tragedy.

I can’t help but see how He is using BJ’s life and love to teach me so much. That losing him is part of my story and was always going to be a part of my story and the story DOES NOT END HERE.

And though I don’t mean to minimize the death of a spouse or even minimize the pain unmarried people may feel if they long for marriage or romance, I can’t help but think it is miraculous to feel buoyed by love in all its beautiful forms.

And I am now seeing how a marriage can’t meet every single need you have for love, passion, affection, friendship, connection, support… and how knowing this might have spared BJ and I some arguments and unmet expectations!

I now see romantic love as only a few slices of your pizza. Cheesy, delicious slices– this is the worst metaphor of my life but HANG WITH ME– but just a few slices none the less.

I want a whole pie.

And so though I am losing, I am gaining.

God works in mysterious ways, in all ways, always.

And He is doing the work of restoring what has been lost.

And I’m getting a whole new perspective on what it means to give and receive love in the meantime.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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  • Elizabeth Rondthaler Jolley

    Good to hear your words again, Andrea! I am glad you are finding your way along the grief path, and that it is getting easier. You have a really great family, and I know they are glad to have you back in the fold for now. I like the pizza analogy, but now I really want to have pizza for dinner soon :-)

  • Clear Shoes

    This is beautiful, Andrea. In an entirely different way, I’ve been realizing how much my family means to me, too. So glad to read this and hear how God is at work. xx