Change and loss are a few of life’s realities that I have become very familiar with over the last ten years. I remember the moment I received the call about my dad passing away, but I remember even more clearly the moments leading up to taking that dreaded phone call. I had just left a friend’s house who’s roommate had recently lost her mom. I couldn’t shake the thought of losing a parent. I was so focused on it that I began asking my friend how her roommate was even functioning day to day, because I could barely imagine that reality. 

As I was walking to my car that evening, my mind was set on heaven in a way that I haven’t thought much about. I was thinking about how this girl had a different perspective of heaven than I did, especially since losing her mom. Then my phone rang. I had a gut feeling that something had happened to my dad, but when my uncle called to tell me the news, my immediate response was telling him to “hold on” for a minute in my desperate attempt to savor just a moment more without this being my forever reality. 

Divorce was another reality I didn’t see coming. Blindsided, abandoned, betrayed, and tossed into survival mode with two small children, I became a single mom overnight. I fought hard and advocated for my marriage. I “held on” by staying committed to wearing my wedding ring, until my divorce attorney called to tell me that the divorce was final. It was then, when I took off my rings, that I stepped into my new reality. 

I don’t know what you have been through, but we are told that our life on this earth will include heartache. What I’ve learned as I’ve walked through these seasons is not to try to figure out or understand the how’s and why’s, or desperately “holding tight” to something that is being removed from my life, but to trust the Lord. Trusting His faithfulness, His timing and most of all, His sovereignty.

Jesus’ response to Mary Magdalene, “Do not touch me,” has also been paraphrased as, “Don’t cling to me,” and is believed to be said in response to her understanding of Him. She knew Him as “teacher” and nothing more. So His response was less about her physically clinging to Him, which is what she was doing immediately after He called her by name outside of the tomb, but more about Him being so much more: her Lord and Savior. He was telling her not to “hold on” or “cling to” her limited understanding of Him in that moment, for once He ascended to His Father in heaven, more of who He is would be revealed to her. 

The Lord is so kind and I love how gently He lifts our eyes in the direction where He can fully be known, even in our grief and disappointment. He lifted Mary’s eyes and sent her on a mission. He didn’t withhold anything from her, but shared just enough to keep her moving forward—to go and tell the Good News! 

This verse begs us to ask ourselves a few important questions: 

  • Who do you believe Jesus is? 
  • In what seasons and in what ways have you held on to Him? 
  • Is He just “teacher” to you or is He your personal Lord and Savior? 

Although grief and loss have threatened to take me out, it was in those seasons that the Lord was so very near and revealed things to me that I might not have known otherwise. I’m committed to better, not bitter and want to live with my eyes lifted up and my hands open wide to love God greatly and make Him known. I don’t want to cling to the past or to a memory, but what is ahead and where the Lord is calling me. 

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Kelli Trontel

Kelli Trontel

Entrepreneur, photographer, writer, worship leader and single mother of two Kelli Trontel has proven that while life can bring grief upon grief, difficult days did not take her out. Her passion is to share how the Lord has been faithful even when life and others aren’t, how worship is our weapon and that the Lord truly fights our battles.

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