Blessed Are We, The Changed

Red oak leaves

Leaves at the tippy top of the maple tree out my window just started to turn. To my great delight, those hints of red will soon cascade into a riot of color all the way down. It’s a new season, and I am so here for it.

As much as I love autumn, however, change always tastes bittersweet to me. Why can’t I have my fireside sunrises and my firefly sunsets at the same time? I don’t ask for much! Alas, goodbye must always preface hello. 

It’s a new life season for me, too. If you’ve wondered at my silence on the blog, it’s because I’ve been saying some goodbyes, working through a season of loss. Come to think of it, I launched the blog during a season of loss after the death of my father. Now I’m getting my second wind after the death of my mother. I’m learning again that grief is not linear, nor does it fit a prescribed timeline. 

The years bookended by my parents’ deaths turned out to be a formative chapter in my story. A hard chapter, but a rich one. In addition to changes within the walls of our home, we adapted to a global pandemic and radical changes in our culture. It’s been quite a ride, to say the least. 

I recently discovered and fell in love with Kate Bowler, after reading her book No Cure For Being Human. I now follow her podcast, “Everything Happens,” and she ends every guest conversation with a blessing. This one speaks my heart. 

Blessed are you, dear one, when the world around you has changed.

Everything is different now, your body, your age, your relationships, your job, your faith.

The things that once brought you joy. The way you existed in the world. The people you love and trust and rely on.

Things have changed and it would be silly to imagine you haven’t changed with them. You are not who you once were.

Bless that old self, they did such a good job with what they knew. They made you who you were, all the mistakes and heartbreak and naiveté and courage.

And blessed are who you are now, you who aren’t pretending things are the same, who continue to grow and stretch and show up to your life as it really is: wholehearted, vulnerable, maybe a little afraid.

So blessed are we, the changed.

Amen, Kate. Blessed are we, the changed. As I say goodbye to a passing season, I open my arms wide to all that is beautiful and good and hopeful in this new season. I’ll be more present on the blog now, sharing some of those changes. Thank you, my friends, for walking with me. I look forward to reconnecting with you in this space.

Did Kate’s blessing resonate with you, too? If so, drop a comment and tell me what’s new with you. How are you not who you once were? Blessed are we, the changed. 

P.S. I’d love to hear what you think of the 2.0 version of ComeOnAileen! My deep gratitude to the incomparable Lauren Gaige at Restored316.com and my sweet photographer friend, Meaghan Njoroge, for capturing my vision and making me look more polished than I am! 

ComeOnAileen

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2 Comments

  1. I have had a year of change – retired from 22 years of teaching, lost my husband of 54 years, moved for what I hope is the last time. What have I learned? God knows. I mean that seriously. He knows what is coming next. He knows what my new life holds in store. He knows what I have learned since I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

    1. Oh, Susan, yes. What a year you’ve had. I completely understand this period of numbness and dislocation, as you are gradually finding your new normal. Grief takes time. I hated to miss the event celebrating Richard’s life, but we were in Wyoming. I’d love to get together for lunch sometime. Sending you love and hugs, Sister.

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