Just when you think you are on the mend,
and you think you have things all figured out…
You are shoved back into grief.
Father’s Day weekend I just really fell apart….
I could blame it on all of the stress this past month… the airplane crash investigation, Mother’s Day, my second son’s high school graduation, the same son’s preparations for a two year mission for our church, Memorial Day, two birthdays, the potential sale of my house that fell through, and then Father’s Day.
There has definitely been a lot going on.
(Plus the thought of my senior son leaving in only 2 weeks for Ecuador is causing me some major anxiety. I have relied on him for so many things this last year, and I’m not sure what to expect of life without him here.)
I had been trying to keep it together all month.
I kept going back to the things that I rely on…
- helping other people,
- and talking to friends and family,
- (We won’t mention my daily dose of sugar.)
Momentarily, I would regain my hope and faith only to have it slide backwards again.
I felt very unstable, and despite my efforts,
I feared that I was sinking faster than I was rising.
The weekend hit, and I just couldn’t shake the cloud that I had been feeling. All week I had bailed on my exercise routine, my sleep was out of whack. I went out of town to visit my sister and her family. Despite their kind words, I struggled to be positive…
Everywhere I looked around me life was moving forward. Families were doing things together…
moms and dads and kids.
My family felt broken.
The loneliness intensified, and I desperately missed my husband.
Everything we did reminded me of my past life that could not be rekindled.
We drove home late, and I went to bed blue despite studying the entire way home. I just couldn’t pull myself out of it. I even prayed for help, but honestly I wanted to feel sorry for myself.
I wanted to have a little pity party,
and I even wanted God to pity me.
I knew I needed to not dwell on such thoughts, but I did not want to let them go quite yet…
Like a child who has tripped and fallen in the mud, I was determined to sit a little longer and slam my fists down.
“Darn it! I deserved to be sad and troubled!”
“Who could blame me with all of the stress that I have been under!”
In my mind nothing was my fault and everything was happening to me.
I had given up my agency to control my thoughts.
Sunday morning I stayed in bed past 10:00. I prayed, but my prayers were not prayers of hope, but prayers of complaint. I drifted in and out of sleep. I cried. I felt that no on in the world cared about me. I debated about whether I wanted to show my puffy, tear stained face at church that day. I prayed that someone would reach out to me…
Finally the words that I wanted to ignore came into my head, “I know this is hard, but it’s time to get up. You need to get yourself and the kids going today. It’s time.”
Reluctantly I pulled myself out bed, checked on the kids and started to do my hair because I knew that is what I should do, not because I wanted to. I was still debating church. I felt hurt that no one had thought of me, and that made me miss my husband all the more.
Then a text came from a close widowed friend
followed by a phone call.
Someone has listened to a prompting from the spirit and had answered my prayer!
I have used the phrase, “Caring Creates Faith,” but I was always on the caring end trying to create faith in someone else. This time someone was caring about me and that simple act allowed me to start to feel faith and hope again.
I shared a lot of my pent up frustrations…
I was angry at myself for being so down and weak. With everything that I have been blessed with, I wondered why I was still struggling? I felt very ungrateful.
My friend told me I could just be sad today and to take a few days if I needed it. That it was okay not to always be strong for everyone else.
I think I needed permission to do that. I was feeling so much guilt over breaking down. I needed to be reminded that healing and becoming someone better is a process.
I knew I had a choice…
- A choice to continue on the path I was on and feel alone and sad,
- or to try to turn my will back to God and allow Him to help me.
I knew the second was the harder choice, but the one that would bring me healing the quickest, and I also knew that He would help me if I would only make it.
I know that God can make weak things become strong.
When I got off the phone, I made a choice. I decided that I was going to go to church and teach my music class. I knew that serving and helping others always put me in a better place to receive extra help from God.
I decided that I was going to start acting and not be acted upon.
I cried a bit at church, but thinking of the help my friend had given me, I began to text other people who I knew would be having a hard day. By the end of church, I had been lifted by the smiles of the children I had taught. I felt lifted from the return texts of friend who were also struggling. I realized that I was not alone in my sorrow.
I spent the evening studying and I resolved to start exercising again.
So I’m writing this Monday night and Monday has been a surprisingly good day. I’m not saying I’m out of the woods and probably will never be,
but I’m back to choosing what to dwell on.
I’m back to choosing faith.
I’m back to choosing hope.