Paths to restoration

Thank you, Rhonda Bletsh, for sharing your heart through words in this guest post.

On 3/16, at 4:41 in the afternoon, 2021, Bruce’s soul left his Earthly vessel. With it, he
took a piece of mine.

In that moment when I watched him take his last breath, my new life was beginning. I
just didn’t fully comprehend that until several months later.

We were both beginning new lives. Together and apart. In that instant of change.

New life.

I didn’t think much about new life then. In those first weeks, I thought mostly about
death. Wondering how I would go forward from his. Not really feeling much like it,

But, God knows.

And in His wisdom He delivered a beautiful little soul to our family a few weeks before
Bruce passed. Joy amidst the sadness, she is our sweet reminder of His love.

He has answered so many prayers in my life that I could no longer deny or doubt His
existence. But, truly, in Kaylin, He answered a very specific prayer as confirmation that
He listens. The subtle nods He gives us sometimes often are not realized until we’ve
moved on. It’s only through reflection that our revelation comes.

When we allow it, He reveals Himself to us. Whether through a newborn, the natural
beauty of this world, tragic losses, or any of the multitude and uniquely crafted ways He
proves His love. He surrounds us. And, if we permit it, He will embrace and uphold us.

Easter celebrates new life. It is also a celebration of death, in its own way. Like an

The crucifying of three men elicits a dark vision of what it was like for those present.
And, no, I don’t envision them celebrating in a manner that the word celebrate generally
brings to mind. I imagine the force of loss and devastation among those present as
death slowly made its claim.

Through death a celebration of His love for us began.

Restored. To walk again among others, to share His love, and to lead us to Him. When
we are restored through Him we receive a better future, a better life. A new life actually.
Grief is a path to restoration. This thought surprised me. There have been many things
that have surprised me in my walk of grief. But, to be restored through grief never
crossed my mind until a recent conversation with myself that was actually a talk with

Everywhere I look these days I see the signs of the Earth experiencing a burst of
growth. Flowers are blooming, whether planted intentionally, or by the wind, bird or
wildlife. Trees are beginning to leaf out. Spring reminds us that life continues.
The loss of my soulmate has been the greatest life altering experience of my life. Many
other events that have impacted me through my life caused pain. The physical, mental
and emotional abuse suffered in an abusive marriage. The physical pain of childbirth,
and others. But, none rise to the level of my soulmate’s death.

Yes, my life has been forever changed by the loss of Bruce’s physical presence. But, it
goes so much deeper than that. It has changed me to my very core, it has changed my
soul. I process things differently now. It’s been over a year now, but some days the grief
can be as raw as those initial moments, days and weeks. Other days I’m able to call
forth the precious memories we made together, smile and keep on living.

Trusting Bruce has been restored, that he is free of the suffering and has a new life,
gives me comfort. Knowing that his new life is pain free and one full of love helps me to
carry on. Believing that my sins were washed away by a death long ago gives me peace
and permission to move forward in my new life. A life that will restore me. A life that will
renew me. A life into which I’m reborn. And I can think of no better season in which to
move forward in my new life.

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