It’s been a long time.
But it’s passed in a slow blink.
I haven’t tried to write in a long time either. Yet here I am, something urging me to reflect each year on this date. It marks the date my whole world changed in every conceivable way. So I guess it’s worth the pain of writing to do it.
I say “pain” because it is NOT easy for me to write about real, hard stuff.
Not easy at all, it’s painful, yet so good for me to do so.
This past year has been especially tough since returning to counseling. I’ve pulled out and inspected memories I had stuffed from the day of the accident all the way to weird hang ups all in my head. I’ve read a plethora of books to help me along the journey and I feel like I had to retreat from writing and sometimes from even “peopling” this past year.
I feel the heaviness lifting. And I could cry a river of relief about it. But I don’t. Yet.
An emotional dam has been in place for so long. I’m afraid to even let a trickle out, the emotions are so strong and deep.
It’s typical for me to fall into the swirling remembering and reliving the end of 2008 and then as the “day” approaches I feel a lifting in my spirit. It’s from the prayers of those who love us. They know what’s coming and they have watched me flounder year after year at this time, but they have also been privy to the amazing power of prayer and God’s promise of being close to the broken hearted. Many of these same family and friends were there to see how God lifted me from my bed to get me to the funeral that horrible day in January. It’s bittersweet to know God provides, but doesn’t always answer the prayers we desparately cry.
But I was reminded last night as I am finishing reading aloud to Thomas, “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, that there is a greater, glorious, plan in effect that takes time to reveal. I got choked up reading this passage in Chapter 15.
“I hope no on who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been–if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you–you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again.”
I just went right ahead and told Thomas, and Caroline who was reading her own book next to us, “I’ve done that before, when your daddy went to heaven. And I didn’t know if I would ever feel okay again.” They didn’t say anything in response, which is quite unusual. We finished the chapter together with mighty Aslan overcoming death, stronger than ever. I didn’t tie up the story for them then. We have a couple of chapters left and perhaps I will find some words to explain how I went on living as I decided to believe whole-heartedly in God’s promises, but that I’ll never be the same. And how that’s okay, too.
C.S. Lewis’s words were with me in 2009 when I was gifted his “A Grief Observed.”
“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth of falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?”
― C.S. Lewis,
I feel like I have examined this question from all angles over the years and as soon as I feel peace; I’m shaken and it starts again.
But you know what? It’s okay. I’ve learned that it is part of the process of grieving and living. Spiral around and I’ll learn a “truth” on a whole new level. Fall over the edge, and I find God in a whole new light. He shows me a quality of Himself I hadn’t examined from this new perspective, wherever and however I land.
So here I sit eight years to the day my paradigm of the world exploded and He surprised me again with a “word.”
I don’t always have a “word” for the year, but this one came without much effort or even prayer on my part.
It just settled down on me like a knowing that it is time. Release. Time to release.
It’s an interesting experience watching a “word” unfold over the course of a year and what it means each day.
Today I am releasing fear. Fear of writing.
Of the pain.
Of emotion… Oh, man that’s a hard one. Maybe I’ll save that for another day…
My motivation for living back in 2009 were my almost two year old and unborn child. I knew I could not emotionally, spiritually or physically retreat from them. They’ve already experienced enough “damage” by the death of their father. I had to return to health and as quickly as God would allow. I also did not want to miss their precious, fleeting baby/toddler years in a coma of shock and depression that threatened to overtake me for months after the accident.
It took God Himself providing those to pray continually for us, feed us, nurture our little family back to a place of life and laughter amongst the grieving.
I propel my thoughts into the present, into 2017 and my motivation remains the same, but with more intention and wisdom. Our family is still grieving, but I want my three(!) children to appreciate the beauty of each day, to cherish relationships over things. And to know I still struggle with God, get mad at Him, and love Him more deeply each day as He reveals Himself continually. I ask to be a part of it when I wake each day.
I’ll forever live with a limp from my life experiences, but I’m finding God’s provision to be more than enough to sustain me. Praise Him.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.”