Five days after Thanksgiving 2020, my grandma died. And I haven’t been the same since.

In 2019, I spent my last summer at SIL-UND never to return. Not because I don’t want to, but because I cannot. It doesn’t exist anymore.

I have wanted to have a murder mystery themed party since 2012. I had one planned for New Years Eve 2020. 2 days before the 31st, everyone except one person had cancelled, and so I postponed the event. It did not happen. And still has not happened.

Loss. Some small. Some significant. Some perhaps silly. Some perhaps soul-crushing.

I grieve these things. Sometimes, I sit and prepare my heart, mind, soul, and body to come before the Lord and then I just start crying. I can’t ask him the things I wanted, praise his name, fully bask in his goodness, because I am overcome with tears. When I’m not in his presence, I’m able to forget that I mourn these things. But when I’m still, they all come flooding in.

Sometimes I get mad at my grandma. “Why don’t she write?” I get mad at the tree across the street. It was a beautiful color last fall and every time I saw it I thought to myself, I should go get some paper and write to my grandma about how beautiful it is. But I didn’t. And now it’s too late. And the tree is still there, mocking me.

I am grieving. I am not just grieving the loss of my grandma, but all the loss I suffered this year, last year and and the years before that. The New Year’s Eve party is just one example. I lost concerts, trips, movie premiers, family time, people’s faces, hugs, being around children. I lost ceremonies, dishes, patience, holiday parties, eating together, trust. I’m sure you lost so much of these things, too, and more.

I am reminded of one thing: The Enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But Jesus came so I could have life and have it to the full.

With all the things I have lost; with all the turmoil my country, my people, my loved ones are going through; with all the grieving I know one thing – Jesus will never leave me or forsake me. Jesus grieves with those who are grieving. Jesus wept. I have wept countless times, and Jesus has wept countless and one times.

You know what I’ve come to decide, though? Freedom is worth it.

Jesus came to set the captives free. It is for freedom that we have been set free.

Though there is a battle for your heart, though the road is long and winding, though the grievances seem extensive, Freedom is worth it.

Though safety is on the line, though the river is wide, though the demons are close enough that you need to use your sword, Freedom is worth it.

Though your armor seems loose, though your feet are tired, though night is falling, Freedom is worth it.

Freedom is worth it.

Freedom is a life in Christ. Freedom is endless rejoicing with your Father. Freedom is never fearing you will lose a battle. Freedom is knowing you will always be provided for. Freedom is a lavishing of gifts from the Creator of all things. Freedom is someone to hold your hand when you’re crying. Freedom is the river shrinking, the road straightening, the armor tightening, the sun rising, the demons fleeing, the loss restoring, the King declaring, “YOU ARE MINE!”

Freedom is here! And Freedom is yours. Take it. Accept it.

Can you grieve? Of course. Jesus grieves with you. But remember, this road, it’s not over. The end is in the coming Kingdom where there will be endless amounts of rejoicing, praising, and living. Take your freedom, pick up your sword, and fight for your heart, because, my dear friends, Jesus is worth it.

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