Tonight it is New Year’s Eve. Typically we try and do something fun with the kids. Last year we went to our local Aldi that had just opened and let them each buy some fun snacks. We had meat and cheese and crackers, fun cookies and sparkling grape juice. We watched a movie and the kids threatened to stay up until midnight and no one made it.

Last year my sister shared something they were going to be doing at the start of the new year. It was a memory jar. The idea was simple, write down a memory from the week and put it in a jar. On New Year’s Eve as a family you go through the jar and read off all the fun memories. I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I have had a memory jar on my counter for 52 weeks. There are more than 52 slips of paper inside. Some weeks we filled multiple post-its.

I haven’t been able to put anything inside since December 21.

I suppose the fact that Isaac is gone IS a “memory” but it feels oh so wrong to include it in the jar. It is just another admission of the truth of what has happened. I don’t want that to be a part of my 2019, and yet it is.

Today we had to go to his apartment so that we could bring home the rest of his things. On the drive in to Sioux Falls we were surrounded by all of these beautiful trees that were glistening in the sun. Because of the recent snowstorm, the trees had been covered in a layer of ice and they sparkled in the sunlight.

We almost stopped for a picture, I think we are both grabbing onto moments of beauty in what are painful and difficult days.

Packing up his room was hard. I will be honest I was desperately hoping to find something, anything that would make sense of all of this and it makes me angry that I didn’t get the answers I was hoping for. I guess that is the reality of the beast of depression and mental illness. It doesn’t make sense and I can’t wrap it up in a pretty package.

Dominic had taken the last load down and I was standing alone in the room. We had left these two small shelves that his roommate is going to use against the wall and in the corner was a roll of this Christmas wrapping paper. He had purchased a couple of gifts for our family bunco exchange, but had never wrapped them.

In that moment, I just wanted to break something.

I grabbed that roll of paper and just started hitting the shelves. This dull sound echoed through the room. Over and over again…I just wanted to pound the reality of my new life away.

But I can’t.

I started a new book this morning, I am listening to it on Audible and am going slow and taking notes and I wrote this down… “God is doing more good than you can imagine through the most painful experiences of your life.” Things Not Seen by Jon Bloom

As we walk through these last few hours of what has ended up being the most painful year we could imagine, I continue to ask God to do good with this. Do something Lord. It is my deepest heart cry.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

“For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”