Oh friends, we need to be gentle.
I coughed a few times, sniffed, and tried to swallow the tears as if I could just swallow the pain welling up inside. Pain that I had been burying because of the shame. I've done it before, I should know by now that I would do it again. I feel the anger burning without stopping to realize that the anger isn't directed at someone or even something, it is part of the grief.
These simplified and peace-filled dreams aren't for when the kids are older, when they aren't in diapers or can actually read books by themselves. These peace-filled days can begin before babies are even born.
How did it get to the place where it takes all of my courage to stand between him and the door just begging to be heard? I wasn't the one yelling. I was the one pleading. The noise, colors, furies, and agony swirl together in a hurricane of memories. Events that lasted for just a moment would take hours and hours to sort through in therapy.
The real journey began when I realized that I wasn't satisfied. Everything I bought, everything I wore, everything I did to decorate my home I held up and compared to others. If it didn't match up, I wasn't satisfied. My real journey began when I sat in my therapist's office and he told me how important it is to live in the moment. To live in the present. To be content where God has me at any given moment.
I love this body of believers. You have carried me through my darkest days. You have held up my arms when I was too weak for battle. You have loved my daughters well. You served my family. You cared for my broken heart. You surrounded us when we walked through the valleys of the shadow of death. You’ve wept with us, mourned with us, prayed with us, cried with us, worshiped with us, rejoiced with us, and celebrated with us. You are a precious body of believers.
Most of them didn't even know my story. They just responded to the Holy Spirit's call. The Lord cared for my family through the Church.
A journal entry can easily sprawl across four pages of my journal when there is a lot of emotion put into it. The journal pages I've filled over losing a friendship with my friend Shelby have been many. Some words have been blurred as the tears melt the ink on the page and I've found myself silently whispering over and over, "God will You bring restoration? Restore this broken friendship."
My back wasn’t turned on God, though. In fact, I prayed the bravest prayer I’d prayed in my life. Through the uncontrollable weeping, the sobs stopping me from taking a full breath, and the ache filling my body because of the pressure, I cried, “God, please. I need You to do something. I can’t do this. I literally cannot do this.”
I watched the sun rise from my sister’s hospital room that Easter morning. I was weary. I was exhausted. I was limping. Not a literal limp, but a spiritual and emotional limp. Each and every step forward was filled with excruciating pain.
Within a very short period of time, Dave was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his throat, his kids left for college, his wife of 25 years left him, he lost his job where he was an executive for over 20 years, and he left the church his dad pastored and Dave was an elder at because he didn’t agree with what the new pastor was teaching.
Maybe you feel like you can't see your own hand in front of you. You can't see what's before you. You have no idea what tomorrow holds. You have no idea how you're ever going to get from point A to point D because you don't know what points B and C are.