I recently finished a project. Most people could have completed it on a rainy Saturday, but it took me several months. I could give you all the excuses as to why it took me so long, but let's just celebrate that it's finished.
The idea came from a friend whom I met at a retreat for grieving parents. Her youngest son asked why he wasn't in the family photo on the wall, but updating that picture would mean her oldest son would no longer be in it. How do we manage that? How do we celebrate those that continue to grow and not leave the others behind?
This was her solution and I loved it so much I adapted it into a version of my own.
Photos of everyone, some with Katie and some without. Some before her death, and others after. To me, it is a perfect collection as it spans time in just the right way.
Time. Some days, the passage of time is so hard for me. Time either passes too quickly or too slowly. When the first anniversary of Katie's death came, I cried to God, How much longer do I have to live in this world? It has only been a year!
As I left the cemetery one day, I told God, I love that she is with you. But I just wanted a little more time. He responded, How much time did you want? I hung my head. I don't know. I wanted just a little more. But I realized that just a little more time would never be enough. I would always want more. There was no way I could stretch my arms around a certain amount of time and say, This is enough.
I think this is because our version of time is a result of the brokenness of this world. We wish away our days as we look forward to the next big calendar event. Then we beg for time to slow down so we can enjoy the moment. The days ahead feel so long, but the years behind seem so short. What gives?
Solomon says that God has set eternity in the hearts of men (Ecclesiastes 3:11). I think it is accurate to say that God created us to live forever. However, when sin entered the world and caused all manner of chaos, time was also affected. Without sin, I think our experience of time would be completely different. Perhaps it would be the same as God's. In my soul, I continue to long for this. This sense of every moment being perfect. Nothing too short or too long. No endings. No waiting. Just being. Eternity isn't about something lasting forever. Eternity is about the fullness of now. Life... with God... without the constraints of time. That is what my heart longs for.
I want to experience every day... every moment... every second as eternity.
Recently, my friend reminded me of the song, A Thousand Years, by Christina Perri. Time in this world is broken. A thousand years seems so long to me. But I am encouraged that today I am one step closer to experiencing time as God intended it. One step closer to the fullness and unbrokenness of eternity.
Time stands still, beauty in all she is.
I will be brave.
I will not let anything take away what's standing in front of me.
Every breath. Every hour has come to this.
I have died every day waiting for you.
Darling, don't be afraid.
I have loved you for a thousand years. I'll love you for a thousand more.
And all along I believed I would find you.
Time has brought your heart to me. I have loved you for a thousand years. I'll love you for a thousand more.
One step closer. One step closer.