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ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men; 
For the beauty of this earth, for the love of family, boyfriend, and friends, for time spent together.
We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. 

And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. 



Love grows perhaps the greater.

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater. 

(JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)

It was just over a week ago when I got the text from my sister. It said that my cousin had been hit by a car and was in the hospital. Please pray, it said.

My parents came and picked me up twenty minutes later, and we all drove out to the hospital.

Two days later, my cousin died.


I can't find words to make sense of this grief. It still feels unreal, unreal enough that the days do not feel burdened by a dark heaviness, like when my grandfather died, but instead feel grey with sharp flashes of grief. I go about doing the every day tasks and am surprised to find myself sobbing or crying at a memory. I keep on reliving a sense of complete helplessness when I see those I love grieving even deeper than I am — my sister, my mother, my aunt. It hurts.

And yet, love mingles with grief. We felt it together in that hospital waiting room when we first heard the news of my cousin's condition. We felt it when we finally left the hospital after she had died. We left in a huge crowd, crying and holding on to each other. I feel it through the prayers, texts, and many facebook messages I have from those I love, even those I do not know very well. The constant reminder that I am not alone is enough to bring some light and hope to these days.

Love mingled with grief.

This will not be an easy season, and I know the grief is far from gone. But tomorrow, we will be together for Thanksgiving, and it will be a beautiful, hard time.

And who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Please, grant us peace.


rose and thorn (i)


On Sunday, I felt lost and lonely. My parents were with my uncle and aunt, my sister was working in the nursery, and I was trying to juggle my dad's responsibilities at church, my own, and keeping an eye on my youngest brother. And so, during grace and peace, when one of my best friends came up to hug me, I fell apart and sobbed and cried on her shoulder. She held me tight and didn't let go until I was ready. So thankful for her.


I forgot the weariness of grief.
How the body echoes the soul
Broken and alone.


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