hope

My Pain, His Providence, My Peace

Love Never Fails

A searing burn charred my heart when I learned that my superhero had fallen from the sky.  Amidst countless gasps of air coupled with painful heaving, I felt absolutely…breathless.  My husband valiantly cradled my collapsed and very pregnant body, fluent in comforting words and encouraging epithets; but, it was a language I couldn’t comprehend.

His admonitions were drowned out by the internal shrieks that were shredding my mind and the audible ones filling my room in my own voice that at the moment, I did not recognize. I crumbled on the floor in pieces.

On so many occasions, I’d consoled friends who had lost the one they loved most with “My condolences” and “sorry for your loss,” and I genuinely was.  Nevertheless, in the thick of my pain I realized that I did not discern the depth of their anguish when that loved one was a cherished parent.

In addition to the countless phone calls received and those that needed to be made, forms to be completed and arrangements to be selected there are also questions to be answered, updates to be given and unanticipated delays paralleled by unresolved matters where time is of the essence. To say that it is overwhelming would be an understatement…and this barely allows moments just for grieving.

The simplest things now seem monumental.  Selecting pictures thrusts me into the throes of agony, relishing the memories I so vividly remember only to feel my heart plummet at the thought that there will be no new memories to create.  I am told the grief will ebb and flow in a cycle of recursive stages and may never end at all (sigh).  I wish it came with warning signs so I could brace myself for impact.  #wishfulthinking.

Even still, in the valley of the darkest place I’ve ever known, one pervading feeling overshadows my most potent pain – love. For every ounce of anxiety, I’ve received a kind word, a warming sentiment or a spiritual lifting.  My faith flourishes with Scriptures that have poured through my phone and devices, championed by friends and family from near and far, spanning the spectrum of youth and wisdom.

I find myself calming in moments of duress.  I am quieted by the peace that transcends my understanding.  The anger and bitterness that was seeping through my soul is replaced with the thankfulness that the illness is gone.  I’m reminded that the One that I love more than anyone else, the One who loves me more than anyone could, the One who will never leave me nor forsake me – is still here – even in my valley…and His love conquers all.

I will never stop missing my superhero or wishing that I couldn’t have one more hug; but, I am elated that I still see his smile.  I feel the grip of his hand and the resonation of the pride in his voice that I am his daughter.  I hear his rich tenor, melodiously singing his favorite songs, and I don’t need a photograph to capture his essence.  His soul may have passed into eternity, but his spirit will strive with me forever.

I love you, Dad.

#heartbrokenbuthealing, #pursuingmypassionforyou, #yourethe1, #withmeforever

Caption:  What He reminds me never to forget…

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Soothing Sorrows with Sun-Drenched ‘Morrows

Look at the Sun

A friend I love called me with an unexpected request last night – a blog post with a cure for a broken heart. I am humbled and taken aback – and feel compelled to pause.  I can’t say that I have the answer to the heart’s ills, but I do have some opinions.

Our hearts can be broken for so many different reasons.  Some that I’ve heard within the last few weeks were wrenching.  Spouses, significant others, siblings, children with dying mothers and fathers, supervisors, friends, and countless others who simply felt devastated by the emotional damage sustained.  It hurts, and while you feel the pain sharply, you are unable to touch it to make it feel better.  Nevertheless, I think sometimes, you can soothe it.

When I recall the many instances where I was on the other side of pain, I am thrust into the dark days when I didn’t want to crawl out of bed.  Tear-soaked pillow cases and dreadful mornings were my norm, and I frustrated myself with endless questions for which I had no answer; but, I learned very quickly that mulling over what went wrong and what wasn’t right didn’t make me feel better – it made me feel worse!  I was deepening my anguish just by replaying my catastrophes in my mind’s eye without allowing myself to breathe.  I was feeling – suffocated.

So, I peeled myself out of the bed and decided to get some sunshine.  Not just the kind outside, but the kind that emanated from me before I had allowed someone to shatter my dreams, which I was otherwise so eagerly pursuing.  I forgave (and still forgive) the people who hurt me most – because hanging on to the baggage is so lethal.  It allows contempt, hatred, and fear to stew like a viscous poison.  I don’t have the emotional capacity to be so seared by someone else’s poor decisions.

I believe that God loves everyone, which elates me.  However, I think we must also love ourselves.  Quite honestly, it took me a long time to grasp that because for many years, after believing mean children over loving parents, I was convinced that I had little for others to love.  So much so that as a young girl, I considered quite seriously taking my life – because the pain inside was so overwhelming.  But I didn’t…

…because I still believed I had something to look forward to.  I wanted to stand in the sun-drenched tomorrows.  I knew that even though there were those that had hurt me, there were countless others who loved me; believed in me, and thought I could conquer the world.  I wanted to know if they were right.  I wanted to see in me what they saw, but it took a while for my vision to come into focus.  Even now, when I do something “great,” I find myself in disbelief while others seem to think it was at my fingertips.  For me, greatness sometimes still seems faraway.

If your heart has been broken, you may wince many years from now as there are pains that are hard to heal, but first – forgive.  Let go of the resentment you may have towards the one who hurt you in the first place, whether intentional or non, disallow it to affect you in a way that infringes on your happiness.  Step Two – Love you!  Indulge in things that make you so happy that you allow yourself to stretch the momentary joys of savoring the simple things.  And who knows what you like better than you?  No one.

Step three:  Surround yourself with those who don’t break your heart and do love you – because they see the real you even when it’s buried under despair…and they don’t care…because they love you just the way you are.  They can be great sources of comfort.  I am happier today than I’ve ever been – even with a few days of rain.  And if you’re looking for love, relax.  More likely than not, you really are a great catch.  Shed your anxieties so you can allow love to find you – and continue to love yourself until you find that dream.   They’re out there.  Pray about it.  Your healing love may just be looking – for you.

#sendmesomesun, #drenchthepain, #loveyourself, #doyou, #catchyourdreams

Picture:  Capturing the sun that can drench the pain, even when it seems the blocking branches would get in the way.  It still seeped through and made my day.