Dates & Waves

Dates. There’s always dates, moments – momentous spaces in history where significant hearts collide with existence on earth.

Waves, I’ve learned to ride them. Not with a surf board (although one day I will) but with tears that expose the great depths of love we have for another. They expose the impact one soul has had on another, the pain one feels with the absence and space that person once filled and the memories they’ve left behind. Memories that once brought immense joy, now hold with them a sting that reminds us we’re still here, we’re still breathing, we’re still alive.

We’re still alive.

And so is she. She is more alive than she’s ever been, more alive than we are right now. Alive in the arms of the one who created her and forever holds her heart and affection.

Some days.. most days I feel like Paul when he addressed the Philippians:

‘For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live..’ Philippians 1:21-24 NLT

And so I live.

My heart misses her, my bestie, my partner in crime, my Nutella eating, movie watching, adventure seeking, bike riding, Jesus dancing – everything buddy. And that’s ok. Why wouldn’t it be? She loved like Jesus, and that changed me. Watching up close how she forgave, pursued, surrendered, loved and enjoyed Jesus and the people around her first hand. She was the real deal.

Her life was a gift that collided in a moment with existence on earth. June 4th, the next set of waves.

I found myself saying ‘It hurts so much! I don’t want to feel disappointed but I’m SOOO disappointed!’ And all at once I felt the Father correct me saying ‘It’s ok to feel this way, you love Kimmy deeply and that kind of love looks like something. I’m a good Father and Ill sit here and hold you till you’re finished.’

I do know the truth, and that’s where I live my life, its where I’ve set up camp and anchored myself – the truth is SHE MADE IT. She’s forever safe, more alive than me! The truth is we don’t grieve as the world grieves (as those who have no hope – 1 Thessalonians 4:13) we have hope because we KNOW we’ll be gloriously reunited one day. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss her everyday, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, it DOES mean I will not use that as permission to stay prisoner somewhere Jesus died to set me free from! ‘Though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of DEATH I will fear NO evil!’ (Psalm 23).

This week I started wondering whether I was ‘too much,’ if the way I love is ‘too intense’ or ‘over the top’ but I found myself in John 15 where God reminded me that actually I just look like a really good reflection of Him!

“So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends… So this is my parting command: Love one another deeply!” John 15:12-13, 17 TPT

Love, that kind of love, always looks like something. It’s kindness in action, it’s always present and endlessly patient. If you were to ask me what Kim was like, I would tell you she looked like love.

She also looked like a whole heap of mischief, cheeky, authentic, deep, joyful, contagious fun. Kimberly, my tiny dancer – the colours of your life continue to dance through ours and into the next..

See you soon..

until then, we’re alive.

365 Days.

I can’t believe it’s been one year without you down here. 365 days without hearing your voice or being able to tell you how much I love you, your wild freedom and joy that lifts anyone who comes near you. That’s about 912 ‘I love you’-s, 200 adventures, 52 dumpling dates, 365 belly laughs, 100 dance off’s, 365 cuddles, 1 season of MAFS, 121 cries together, 1 birthday and SO many new friends and incredible young people you didn’t get to meet – BUT YOU WILL because I promise to stay standing at the gates of hell to redirect traffic until the day I come home too!

I miss you more than words would ever be able to say, my heart has lost a best friend, a partner in crime, a confidant, a cheer leader but most of all – my sister. There are so many moments the loss of your friendship creeps up and breaks out of my chest, moments I least expect. Moments I have to excuse myself and sit in a toilet until it passes. Moments I have to be real and open my heart to the people around me. Moments I have to ask myself why I’m being prickly. Moments no one else is there and I need to communicate my need for support and moments I also don’t and I have to remind myself I’m gently held by the hand of a loving and infinitely kind Father who promised to never leave me alone – ever.

Loss is a tricky thing, it can’t be tamed, it can’t be calculated or put in a box, it’s different for everyone. In the beginning there is lots of people present, but as time goes on and life goes back to ‘normal’ for everyone else, I’ve found that life in fact is NOT normal anymore, it’s not normal for me, it’s not normal for anyone who was deeply connected and affected by her love. Life is different, it will never be the same.

There is space now where there wasn’t before. Space where she used to be, space her friendship used to occupy in my heart, space her encouragement isn’t there anymore, lots of space that people don’t see and may not understand. And that’s ok, those spaces are the spaces I’ve learned to collapse into the arms of God. Those spaces are the ones I’ve learned to call people into because I know I can’t make it through them alone. Those spaces have taught me the deep need we have for family, for relationship with each other – and not necessarily the masses, but the one or two who will be there for life. I’m so deeply thankful for those people who have come close. Not just when I’m not ok, but when I’m doing well too. I’m so thankful for the ones who have shared and understood the moments, the significant dates, the birthdays and the anniversaries. Thank you.

And then there’s Mum and Dad. You will never know just how deeply your forgiveness, unconditional kindness and love, gentleness and embrace have impacted me. I have met the grace of our Father through your lives. I will never be the same for the way you have both loved me even in the midst of your own hearts grieving the space where Kimmy used to be. Every time something bothers me, I remember the great grace you have shown me and have NO excuse to hold onto anything – ever. You have both been Jesus with skin on to me. Thank you for holding me in the breaking even when your own hearts have been breaking too.

Grief is normal, it’s the heart pouring out all the love we have but aren’t able to give anymore. I have learned that there is a beautiful tension, the tension between allowing our hearts to speak, and staying grounded in truth in the midst of the loss.

The truth is Kimmy is more alive than we are now, she is forever safe from the torment, sickness, heartbreak and pain of this world – and the grip of satan. The truth is we don’t grieve as the world grieves – as those who have no hope (1 Thes 4:13). We HAVE hope! Thanks to Jesus, we have hope that we will be reunited with her in glory when we put off our earthly tent and take up our crown of life! (James 1:12 / Rev 2:10).

When I was on holiday in America, my friend asked me ‘Do you miss your parents?’ ‘Not really’ I said, ‘Why not?’ ‘Because I know I’m going to see them again soon’ I said, ‘It’s the same with Kimmy!’ He said ‘You’re going to see her again soon! Remember that! Just ask yourself, is the grief producing fruit? If not, you’ve forgotten the truth, and how to grieve with hope.’ That’s the beautiful tension. Being anchored in truth, and allowing our hearts the space to speak when they need to. There’s no formula, no ‘end’ date – just waves to ride out as they come. I encourage you, let your heart speak. Don’t shut it down, just ask yourself the question ‘is this producing good fruit?’ If not, just get back into truth!

I’m not afraid to die. I know where I’m going and it is FAR better than this present reality! I so look forward to joining you in our Endless Summer Kimmy! But until then, like I promised, I will stand at the gates of hell and keep redirecting traffic, for I know, He’s wildly better than we could ever think!

I love you Kimmy and I miss you everyday.

See you soon, your bestie and partner in crime – Elle xxxxx

Endless Summer

Written by Kimberly Wilks

January 27, 2019

I close my eyes, and breathe in deep. As fresh oxygen fills my lungs, I sit in this pocket of bliss – taking in the raw tracks through wild country that lye before me. On my left, raging blue and green expanses of fierce uncharted waters. On my right, deep green melts into blues and vast hues of purple yellow and orange as the sun sets over mountain ranges which are covered in wild pine and oak trees. Before me – untamed, uncharted and uninhibited land. The greatest adventure yet. I hear my beloved’s whisper “Welcome to the Endless Summer”.

Hope fills and overwhelms every fibre of my being as I begin to ponder His whisper – this great adventure. The summer that never ends. Memories of summers past flood my mind and bring with them familiar feelings of the bliss I encountered in the midst of these adventures. Permission to play puts my heart at ease and releases tension I didn’t realise I was carrying. As I continue to ponder, I sense a deepening awareness that this summer is wildly different from all the rest. This adventure is not just a seasonal invitation for pockets of peace and moments of bliss – it’s an invitation to stay. It’s not merely a break from the stress and pressure of the world – but complete and utter freedom from it… forever.

This extravagant act of an invested lover reveals a deep kindness in his nature that melts my heart and draws me to engage with him. This invitation not only releases me from every kind of heaviness my soul has ever known, but it liberates my heart to begin to engage in the real adventure – the endless pursuit of a Lover King who has obliterated the power of everything that once separated my heart from his. This Lover King who did everything in his power to close the gap. Who saw that it wasn’t enough to simply be with me in the flesh –  he had to be closer than that. He had to make a home in my heart. To be close in every moment- and take care of me from the inside out. I begin to realise that nearness has always been his goal. Every move he’s ever made has been towards me. A fierce intentionality fills his every gesture. His motivation – simply to be near.

Finally, the fight is over. Peace is no longer a substance to obtain..or something I can loose. It’s not running away from me. He’s running towards me. No longer to do I need to fight to preserve my freedom, my rights, my joy or my peace. Once upon a time, my every effort was geared towards finding joy, bliss, peace and pleasure..and keeping it. Preserving it. Fear ruled my choices because the slightest change in my surroundings would threaten my internal experience of peace and joy. The gift of this kind lover – the Endless Summer – is the freedom from the fight. No longer am I motivated to preserve my peace – for it can no longer be threatened by surrounding circumstances. The gift of the Endless Summer is the gift He has fought for with His life. It’s the oasis of constant nearness to the one who loves me like no other. All the energy I once used to preserve my heart, is now free to simply engage in the beautiful one. The one who saw fit to gift my heart with this outrageous freedom – for freedoms sake. With no other motive in his heart, and no strings attached. Simply – enjoy the gift of being wildly and wonderfully free. Suddenly striving becomes a fickle idea as it’s exposed for what it really is – the subtle but deadly belief that the heart of Jesus is passive about me in some way. How could I add to what he has already done? Do I really believe that my desire to be free could outweigh the strength of his desire for me to be free? The war is over. He has created an eternal place of internal rest for a soul that only knew how to fight. A safe space of wild freedom that liberates every fibre of my being from every ounce of fight for me and turns my heart to fight for others.

I breathe in deep, and behold the last glimmer of golden sun as it sets over the last of the hills. My heart leaps within me as I contemplate the end of a life of working-to-rest, and the beginning of the Endless Summer. A life anchored in the depths of my lovers heart – free from the fight of all i’ve ever known. Free from fear. As I take one last glance at the setting sun, I feel the thrill of my Father as he ushers me into the dawn of the best day I’ve ever had. I hear his whisper once again..

“Welcome, my dear, to the Endless Summer…”