Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Am Yours

"Remember when your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when you wonder if you're gonna make it
There's a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt
We can't pretend to see the ending or what's coming up ahead
To know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close to the One who knows
We can trust our God
He knows what He's doing
Though it might hurt now
We won't be ruined
It might seem there's an ocean in between
But He's holding on to you and me
And He's never gonna leave, no
He is with us always
We believe there is purpose, there is meaning in everything
We surrender to His leading
He wants nothing more than to have us close"

This time in my life and as with many others, has been a far cry from easy. I never thought I would have to go through something this traumatic in my life. I keep coming back to words I have written before that the pain and hurt we feel is real. It's not that the pain and hurt is an all day every day constant feeling because I have been able to find joy and smiles in the little things in life. I keep thinking of a time when life was going according to "plan" and frankly it is still going according to plan because God is the author of my story.

During this story that keeps unfolding each day I keep coming up with having to realize that Kyle is gone. It washed over me like a flood last week. I may never understand why he is gone and it leaves me with so many questions. It isn't the fact of feeling abandoned or alone because Kyle did not choose to leave me. It doesn't even come close to the same feeling as going through an extremely difficult breakup. I have been on my own for quite some time in life and that's not what bothers me the most, what bothers me is that my best friend, encourager and future husband is gone. It brings me to ask the same questions over and over again. Why is he gone? What am I learning from all of this? How is this fair? Why so soon? I mean, I think it is safe to say that at one point or another everyone has asked one of these questions regarding something traumatic or painful in their life.

I have been thinking of how I keep writing about the joys I have found or joyful memories that roll through my mind, but honestly the tears flow and sometimes I want to stop the tears or not let them even come. The best way to describe how I feel is this. I am standing on a rug looking at the the future in front of me excited for what it holds, having the past behind me not allowing that to  consume or define who I am. Then all of a sudden the rug is ripped from beneath my feet and I smack my head against the floor. I black out and when I wake up I realize that my whole view before has now completely been changed. The future looks promising yet dim, the past is working overtime to consume me. I want to find all the answers and figure it this out but I can't because I need to completely trust God in everything that He says. I know that he loves me and has the best plan for my life with keeping my interests, desires, and longings close to His heart.

This is the place where I feel broken, my heart longing for what once was. I looked forward to the future with such excitement of our life together and now there is such disappointment in what will never be. I find fear that creeps in and anger that wants to take over. Yet, a deeper part of me feels thankfulness for a closer friend than anyone I could ever ask for. A loving heavenly Father who reminds me that I am His. Reminds me that He holds every tear I cry. He reminds me that I am loved.

Then I think to myself how can there be so much pain yet joy, fear but trust, hatred yet love, hurt yet healing. How is it that this will become a beautiful story that turns from ashes into beauty? It is because we have a God that you can't figure out or put Him in a box. Then I also think of what has happened long before I was born. Jesus experienced pain, hurt, sorrow. Take for instance Lazarus and his death. He died and Jesus wept prior to bringing him back.. Jesus cried and he is weeping with me as I go through this. He isn't smiling and patting me on the head, it hurts Him that I am hurting. He's with me in my pain and sadness.

It is an interesting concept to think about what exactly is the grieving process. I have discussed it with quite a few people and what it feels like, looks like, and everything it involves. This is the way that makes the most sense to me.

If you have ever played a sport, tried something challenging like a work out, then maybe you can follow what I'm going to say. Every time you start working out the first few weeks are brutal. They take a toll on your body. You are drained and beat up physically, emotionally it is challenging, and even mentally pushing through the pain is tough. In the early stages you want to give up and throw in the towel. I picture that with grief a bit. Something happens and you have a couple choices. 1. Give up 2. Keep pushing through 3. Thrive and overcome what challenges you face. With my analogy of sports and grief, grief is unique to each person. There is not one right way to process such traumatic events. I keep being told there is not a formula or specific process, rather it's an individual type deal. So back to sports. Picture being told you will play a new sport. Some people have tried it and eventually gave up, others made it through but it was hard. There is no coach, rules, or set guidelines of how to win. You don't know if you are ahead or behind. This sport you are playing is something you have to do alone, but yet you have a team. The sporting event feels like you are in the dark yet you know people are around you wanting and trying to cheer you on. You hear their voices but can't find them or any of your teammates. Fear cripples you at times, lies of how horrible you are doing come into play, and all the while you feel as though you have opponents hauling objects at you like it is some sort of a dodge ball game. You are in a constant game and the challenge of the rules changing the entire time. I think of the other team hurling dodge balls at you being the enemy and trying to get you down and out. You think you see them coming but ultimately they come from left field sometimes. The strength to keep thriving comes with those teammates, the Lord's strength, talking out loud in order to process.

"We, too, can believe that God will work all things for good in His children’s lives (Romans 8:28). In fact, character growth usually occurs in times of suffering, loss, or hurt. While adversity is uncomfortable, we can feel hope and joy in what our Father is accomplishing through painful times.

Ultimately, God brings glory to Himself and good to His children. There are instances when this involves miraculous healing, but He often refines us by allowing the hardship. As with silver and gold, impurities are usually removed from hearts in the fiery furnace of life’s struggles. Trust God’s plan and rest in His love."

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