I knew it was in those boxes somewhere. The stacked brown packages were four high in my garage. They have been there since Paul died. All of the things I could not bear - I set them aside quietly and carefully knowing in the days and months ahead I would have more clarity to address them. Papers, photographs, pressed flowers . . . ten years of a life together folded up and stacked in a cold garage. And I needed to find one thing. Ugh.
Fighting the nausea I opened the first, rustled through the items and closed it, setting it aside. Not there. Opening the next, finding the obituary. Then the cards from family and friends - some even unopened still. Then prescriptions that never got filled - recommendations from specialists, appointment cards for appointments that never happened - Paul passed away before the dates even came. Before I found what I was looking for my garage floor looked like it had snowed recycling . . . and I was a sobbing mess sitting on top of it.
As I rocked back and forth crying, unable to even put the items back in the boxes, I remembered the story of Pandora's box. Greek mythology - the Greek god Zeus gave Pandora (the first woman) a box. Within that box held every misery and evil that could afflict mankind. Against his directions Pandora's curiosity overtook her and she opened the box - releasing misery into the world. When all of the demons and evil and misery had escaped only one thing remained at the bottom.
I panned the stacks and trinkets and journaling - it was as if my Pandora's box had been opened. It is now time to address these very painful issues so that I can move into the next season of my life. The loose ends. The memories that need a home. The chaos that needs order. It is honestly quite miserable and painful and devastating.
Still, I look to God for healing. "He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds" Psalm 147:3 He does send hope. It's right there at the bottom when everything seems lost.
Trust me . . . its there waiting for you to look. It won't be in the chaos, the misery, or the evil . . . but it will be in the quiet, in the stillness, in the emptiness . . . waiting for you to be ready.
Are you ready to hope again?