Can I just start out by saying that God is REALLY good? Despite all of the things that have happened recently, I have never had any room to doubt The Lord’s goodness.
I am sitting here trying to figure out a clever way to start this post out but, I just don’t have anything so I won’t pretend. Life has been crazy in the last few months and it’s hard to process the semester that I’ve been having. I got back home after the amazing spring break I had and I really struggled to be present. My heart was (and totally still is) longing for a place that is always beckoning me back. Shortly after that we had Easter break and in that time, God revealed so much goodness and love through the people that I choose to surround myself with. I felt—and still feel—so privileged that I have found such God-fearing, hilarious, loving friends. Despite the good news that comes with the resurrection of Jesus, that week was so incredibly hard. How does one learn to mourn and rejoice at the same time? That week, I had to say goodbye to someone who holds a great importance to me.
Back when I was first really learning to follow The Lord, I started going to Pilgrim Covenant Church. I still vividly remember my first Sunday. I was wearing a light blue floral dress, sandals, and my favorite mask of confidence despite my discomfort. I walked into the small sanctuary and I chose a seat on the left (closest to the door), in the fourth pew, right on the aisle. I was alone. I was surrounded by strangers, but I was ready. I sat through the whole service and actually thoroughly enjoyed it. At the end of the service I was ready to bolt in order to avoid the awkward small talk, but Mrs. Pinson caught me. She turned to me and introduced herself and started asking questions about me. I told her a little about myself and how I knew a few people from camp. She then poked her daughter, Katie, and introduced us. Katie is about my age. I immediately felt at ease around the two of them for some reason.
At the end of our conversation Mrs. Pinson invited me to her house that same evening so that I could meet some other girls from the church and get involved with a bible study. I was leery to go to say the least. What kind of person invites a perfect stranger over for snacks and bible study? For some reason though, I really felt like I needed to be there. Upon parking my car in front of their house that evening, I had a small panic attack. I had no idea who these people even were, but for whatever reason I walked through the front door. After that experience I had gained friends, role models, and a community who were truly trying to pursue Jesus. Mrs. Pinson really took me in and showed me what it might look like if I had met Jesus at church that day instead. It has been hard to carry on with life as usual in Chicago when I am grieving and rejoicing over the life of a woman who made such a massive impact on my faith journey.
The hardest part recently has been being in Chicago where there is just a small handful of people who knew Mrs. Pinson. I allowed myself to become really numb to my grief because I didn’t have anyone to process with. In this time, I have learned that the most painful thing to feel is not pain itself, but is actually the absence of pain where it should hurt. In this season of loss, I am spending a lot of time appreciating the other people who have been the visible hands of The Lord for me and have been overwhelmed by the length of that list. I will miss Mrs. Pinson always, but I am so grateful for the way that she touched my life. I will never be ready to say goodbye, but the good news is that I don’t have to. I love you Mrs. Pinson. Say hello to God for me.