“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

-T.S. Elliot

In my life, 2017 proved to be a year of finality. I lost people I loved, and with them went pieces of me. I cannot change my circumstances or pray for anything different, because what’s done is done. I’ve no other choice but to find the grit inside grief, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

According to Merriam Webster, grit means mental toughness and courage. I’m convinced that very few of us recognize just how much grit we own. It lives somewhere deep down on the inside and usually refuses to rise up until its presence is demanded. Right now, everything in my life necessitates grit.

Three years ago, on the same day my stepfather passed away, I watched my mom place both hands on the kitchen table, and with tears streaming, bend over and say, “Help me, Jesus, and I know You will.” That was spiritual grit. Trust in something or someone you cannot see but know exists, mines spiritual grit. It’s every bit as good as gold for a heart in need.

Today marks one month since my mother passed away. There hasn’t been one day in the last four weeks that I haven’t thought deeply about that moment with her in the kitchen. Just hours after she lost the love of her life, I watched her determine trust. And now, I determine the same trust. Thanks, mom.

With each New Year, I usually choose one word, or one scripture, meant to serve as a theme for what lies ahead over the next twelve months. This year I’ve chosen to do something different. For 2018, I’ve selected scriptures to pray over my husband, each one of my children, my grand baby due in March, and even some friends. I’ve written those scriptures down in a journal and will pray them each and every morning, making them personal to the one for whom I’m petitioning God. I won’t tell anyone the scriptures I’m praying until the start of 2019, when we can discuss the fruit of the previous year.

The above quote from T.S. Elliot speaks powerfully to me. You see, in many ways, sadly, the language of my vocabulary will change dramatically in 2018. I will no longer use the word mom again in the same way, and that hurts. Yet, in the midst of the sadness comes another voice. With everything in me, I believe the voice of the Holy Spirit will speak fresh. And, no matter how difficult endings are, I believe in hope-filled new beginnings.

If you read regularly in this space, then you’ll see the phrase grit inside grief a lot in the coming New Year. This isn’t a place to solely help me heal, but to help many of us heal. We all have circumstances we are learning to navigate through, so what do you say we move through them together?

Here’s to a new voice, a new beginning, and a New Year of finding our grit inside grief.


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