A look back

We celebrated last night! I received the results of my state board funeral directing exam and — celebration — I passed! I have learned so much these past three years. (When my internship completes tomorrow, I will sign this post, officially!)

I still find it hard to believe both that it has only been three years and that it has been three long years! When you embark on a process that requires a great deal of faith, you feel both the brevity and the longevity. Some of my classes were incredibly hard and I struggled to get through. Some of them were very fulfilling and helpful and it was easy to internalize the information and utilize it to become a better person, a better funeral director.

The past year has played its own havoc on the funeral process and how people grieve. It makes me sad to think of how our society, our community has been affected by the mandated changes in the bereavement process due to the pandemic. I believe the grief cycle for many people will be affected for years to come.

Many of you know the load that is carried when an adult returns to the school setting while trying to run a household, work, manage health and wellness, and for some to raise a family. I’ve experienced what you experience and it is not easy. If no one else is applauding you — then I do. As rewarding as it is to finish, sometimes if feels like too much. Sometimes a person can wonder if this plan was really such a good idea. Sometimes . . .

But along the way there are also the victories that keep you going — finally getting a good grade in a particular class, understanding that elusive concept, doing your part well on a team project, graduation, passing National Board Examinations!

The very week I began classes was the very week that Bud was diagnosed with lung cancer. I remember wondering if I should even continue with my studies. But that didn’t seem to be the right response. So I moved ahead knowing that if I were going to succeed, then it would be because of God. But here we are three years later, having walked a walk of faith only because of the faithfulness of God. I am amazed at how he has worked through my studies and through Bud’s medical crisis.

There have been people along the way to encourage and help me. I think of my family and dear friends in particular. What a blessing you have been to me. My classmates encouraged me and pushed me along the way. My Facebook community has been very encouraging. And God has even used the well wishes and encouragement of strangers to draw me along. On the journey of faith, God is always there, walking it with you. I find that it is a matter of looking for Him because this culture, this society, this world tries with all its might to overshadow the greatness of God. And all too often, we are willing to let it. How sad that it is so easy to fail to remember God and how he cares about me and helps me.

This part of that educational/career journey is finished. But the walk of faith continues. I want to be aware of how God is working and fill a place in His plan. I might not know the whole plan, or I might not understand the timing, but if I am walking under his direction I don’t have to know or to understand. Because I trust the One who does.

Thank you all for your encouragement, your prayers, and your hugs — and the girl’s day(s) out, and the “Turtles”, and the dog care, and the cookies . . .. God has hugged me through you.