Saturday, November 1, 2014
It has been quite a week. Lonely. Heart breaking. Enlightening. Gut wrenching. Life changing. Hectic. Grief stricken. Lost. Scary. Numbing. Angry. Searching. Fear facing. That pretty much sums it up. I have spent most of my week just trying to survive and endure.
I'm not even sure how to write this coherently. Forgive me as I muddle through this. Hopefully it will make sense in the end.
October was a month of intense struggle for me. I have been going through some very private things and I was exhausted. So, I was looking forward to a Missions Conference at the end of October. I knew I needed to go. It began last Sunday.
Sunday: I never checked any messages that day. I was so excited about Missions Conference that evening. During worship, my current world of bliss shattered. I was given the news that a dear friend had died.
There is so much I could say here about Shaun, but I won't. He had been a very important part of my life. And those who knew him, know how special he was.
I stayed at Missions Conference through Tuesday. The need to feel something besides grief was overwhelming. In the services, I felt as though I had been flayed wide open. There was no barrier. Nothing to protect me from pain. Suddenly I was vulnerable. Over and over, I kept saying, "I'm not ready." I wasn't even entirely sure what I "wasn't ready" for. So I ran.
Wednesday: I prepared myself for my friend's funeral. Each step I took in the funeral home became heavier and more difficult. Again, my chant began, "I'm not ready." I ran as the funeral was beginning. I wasn't ready to say goodbye.
Thursday: We had an outreach at my church for trick or treaters. So, I stayed busy. Running away from what I needed to deal with and believing, "I'm not ready."
Friday: My 36th birthday. I had a third grade class party that afternoon to prepare for. That morning, I pulled in to Wal-Mart parking lot.....and froze. I broke. Completely. There was no running. I couldn't move. There I was, sitting in my car, wailing. I was broken. For forty-five minutes, I sobbed and screamed and shook. Drained, I quieted down to silent tears running down my face, matching the rain falling on my windows. When had I lost my hope?
My phone was making all kinds of racket. Facebook notifications were blowing up. I opened it and saw all of the Birthday greetings. My spirit got quiet, no longer twisted up in torment. And I heard the whisper, "You must say goodbye." I whispered back, "but I'm not ready." And the answer, "You don't want to be ready."
It was true. There were so much that I wasn't saying goodbye to that kept me from moving forward. I didn't want to say goodbye. I didn't want to say goodbye to a man who had been like a brother to me. I didn't want to say goodbye to some old relationships that were dragging me down. I didn't want to say goodbye to old dreams. I didn't want to say goodbye to comfortable ways of doing things.
I was frightened.
My phone, still in my hand, lit up. Looking down, I see a post from my wonderful, beautiful friend: "NO FEAR FRIDAY", followed by this verse -
Thank you everyone who made me smile and laugh this week. And thank you to those who held me up when I started to fall. A simple "Happy Birthday" did so much more than you realize. I thank you with everything in me. Thank you.
I have an art piece in my kitchen that says, "you are my sunshine." It is and always has been one of my favorite songs. So many of you are a shining light to me - more than you know. Thank you.