I Will Not Let Go Until I See Blessing

The loss of my mother two months ago has changed me in ways I cannot begin to understand. I tried to keep everything together (because that is what I do best). What a blessing that I could not. As Dr. Brené Brown so eloquently says, “We are all made of strength and struggle.” That is what makes us so beautifully, authentically human. I am deeply thankful for the struggle. I have not walked this road alone.

I recently heard Rabbi Jonathan Sacks talk on what happiness means in Judaism.

“The definition of a Jew, Israel is as it says in Genesis 34, one who struggles, wrestles, with God and with humanity and prevails. And Jacob says something very profound to the angel. He says, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” And that is how I feel about suffering. When something bad happens, I will not let go of that bad thing until I have discovered the blessing that lies within it. Out of loss comes a new simplicity and that is why sometimes all the pain and the tears lift you to a much higher and deeper joy when you say to the bad times, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

I will not let go until I see blessing.

I feel more grateful today than ever before. I see the mundane and know the gift.

  • Dinner with my family. Candle lit. Sharing our highs and lows.
  • Deep hues of color in a sunrise while driving the kids to school. White Stripes and Taylor Swift blasting. Quick hug. “Love you, mom.” “Have a great day at school.”sunrise
  • A quick text from Jeff around lunch. Thinking of you. Love you.
  • An impromptu visit with my favorite next door neighbor. “You will not believe what happened to me today…” Settling in to share the drama, laughter, and tears. Our children kicking soccer balls in front of our homes.
  • A 20 hour spring break drive with a precious friend and our collective five kids. Some of it through blizzard conditions… ending up in Colorado. A gorgeous hike overlooking serene, snow covered mountains.Snowy Mountains
  • A quiet walk around Houston’s Memorial Park with my new walking sticks… accompanied by furtive glances… people wondering what I am doing… since I am the only person at Memorial who uses super totally awesome cool walking sticks.walking sticks
  • Frozen pizza fresh from the oven. Smiles from my kids. “You are a great cook, mom!”
  • Bumping into a lovely friend who just got back from Paris. Soaking in all the romance, beauty, savory food, and whatever juicy details I could extract from her.
  • A dazzling display of flowers as I walk out of my favorite grocery store. Spring is here in abundance (at least it is in our 80 degree Houston). spring flowers
  • My daughter asking me to please sing “Morning Has Broken” to her as she drifts off to sleep…

I will not let go until I see blessing.

I see blessing all around.

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word

5 thoughts on “I Will Not Let Go Until I See Blessing”

  1. Jennifer, my son and his family and MANY more (including me) are mourning the death of a young mother who died in a head-on collision a couple of weeks ago. The memorial service for her drew 1,000 people. She was so loved! your post has been a comfort to me as I struggle to “let go.” I would like to send it to my son when I feel that he and his family are ready for it. It may be a while before any of us can see a blessing in this death which left a loving husband and two precious sons missing her so much. Thank you for your writing. You do have a special gift.

  2. Jen…..thank you so much for your beautiful and inspiring thoughts. You will never know who all is blessed by your words, your deeds, and your gorgeous smile. I lost my mother at an early age (actually she was exactly the age I am now) and I was 28. It took a while to see blessing……I know it is always there, but our eyes are scaled over from tears, pain, and sorrow, and we cannot see clearly. I am happy that the scales are beginning to fall away from your eyes, my friend. Peace to you.

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