Sunday, February 4, 2018

Functioning Griever

     In my life, knowing who God is has not changed. God has been constant in my life since I was a child. He is the only one who has never let me down. He has always spoken to me very clearly. I pray and He has some sort of response for me. It comes out through another person and their words and sometimes through reading. The Lord has stayed consistent through good times and the bad. Through tragedy, I have perceived the Lord as having changed. It becomes a struggle of doubting and questioning His goodness and presence in my life. Through it all though, I am continually learning more about Him because I ask tough questions while I wrestle with my feelings and doubts. God`s character hasn't changed due to my circumstances, no, what has changed is my perspective due to my circumstances. My perspective of people, this world, my Heavenly Father, love, relationships, time, and my perspective of myself have all developed over time. I was recently told, "The same spirit that brought joy in your life is the same spirit today."
     Through this perspective shift, God has been working to create a softer and willing heart, open hands, and a perseverance to walk with strength down every road set out before me. I don't know where you are at in life when you are reading this, but I tell you that it is worth having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Now, it won't always be easy like some people portray. It won't make you a better person. It is an opportunity to realize that you are nothing without Jesus. That He has saved your life through His death on the cross many years ago. This death that Jesus suffered though brought us life. An everlasting life that my beloved, Kyle, believed that him and I would one day experience together again after this life. I have no doubt in my mind that Kyle loved the Lord with everything in him. I am forever joyful that people poured into him and preached the gospel to him. I love how we had a deep connection through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. However that doesn't remove the grief that I feel. The deep longing to be with my Heavenly Father and the desire to be united again with Kyle one day. I quickly forget how Kyle would point me back to the Lord and I am feeling that lacking in my life. The problem being is that the relationship with Christ is not contingent on Kyle being here. It is dependent upon how I communicate with God on a personal level. No human being can be that buffer between God and me. Friends can come along side me to help encourage, to keep my eyes set upon the Lord, but my PERSONAL relationship with the Lord is all on me. The same goes for you. If you are relying on people to be what you need rather than the Lord, then you have it all wrong too. The key word is RELYING. Relying on the Lord on not others throughout this journey of life. 
     If you have experienced the death of a loved one then you know the grief I am talking about. "Grief is a process." It comes in stages, waves, or whatever words you like to use to describe what grief feels like. Though grief may feel suppressing and heavy. Grief, or the feeling of loss will never go away. It won't be as in your face or showing up in every situation or circumstance. So as I continue to move through life I am able to make more conscious decisions in my life, hence functioning griever. It has been said that you shouldn't make any rash decisions in your first year of grieving. Well that is exactly what I did. I came back to Port Alsworth for another year. I finished my masters, coached for the season, and taught full time. It was hard but it was exactly what I needed and for the hard I am thankful. Lately, I feel the lacking presence of Kyle in my life. For several years Kyle has been a leading voice in my life when making life choices. Now, I don't need a man to make a decision in my life but with having Kyle be the "go to guy" making decisions feel kind of hollow or lonely. Honestly, I miss hearing his thoughts and opinions. I miss him challenging me to think deeper. I miss the person who has been cheering me on for years. I miss my sounding board. I miss Kyle.
     So, here I am, thinking about where my life is headed.After coming home from our first away basketball games this weekend, I felt the absence of him even stronger than before. It has been a consistent feeling every weekend when I come home. To come home and realize that I would have been coming to my husband of 6 months hits me hard every time. It knocks me to the ground. Each time I pick myself up, dust myself off, and continue working as a teacher. See last year I was so numb that I really didn't notice a difference. It was more of going through the motions. I am trying to realize that I keep facing the hard reality that I am still grieving and that's okay. I still need to process it whenever it hits. So I continue to pray and seek Godly counsel. I am thankful for friends and family both here in Port Alsworth as well as all over the world who have supported and loved me through this tough time in my life.
     Port Alsworth will always be one of my homes as will Pennsylvania. Home is where I can love and be loved. I love all my people here and I love all my people back on the east coast. It is hard to know what this next chapter of my life holds, but I do know the one who holds my future. I am thankful for the experiences, life lived here, and friendships made. There is much I feel I am grieving as I move forward. I'm not sure I can put it all into words but maybe one day I will. I plan to do the hard and jump.I plan to walk forward knowing that the Lord will provide when I need Him to. Already, I have been told about a job in North Carolina, Texas, and Pennsylvania. I am praying and trusting God that He will show me where He wants me exactly when. I pray for open doors, a willing heart, and open hands.
     As I look back over the years, it has been amazing to see what I have been able to do.What an exciting Alaskan adventure it has been already! It was supposed to only be for 6 weeks in the very beginning. I have traveled all over the state of Alaska with friends and the Lady Lynx basketball team. I have had experiences that have shaped and made me who I am today. I have healed in more ways than one out here. Living in Port Alsworth brought about many friendships, prospects of marriage, a hope for a future, love, and laughter. This place became my home. As I was discussing what it looks like for me to continue forward one of my friends brought up the point that one of the reasons it is so hard for me is because ever since I moved here it has been Kyle and me. We have always done everything together. Flying, hiking, running, exploring, movie watching, dinner making, story telling, crying (on my part), experiencing loss together, stranded, and became best friends. Kyle, as my friend, told me has been a constant for the last 5 years, even if he hasn't been here for the last year of it all. He has still been a major part of my life during all of this grieving. Deciding to move has brought out more grief and unknowns. I want to be ever present while I live the last few months out here.
      So, anyone who knows me knows that I will continue to seek what the Lord has in store for me no matter where the road takes me. So as of right now there are many options out there for me. I do not really have anything set in stone other than I plan to travel the lower 48 in the next 6 months or so. I look forward to the conversations that will be had, the new experiences to be made, and the doors the Lord will open. This is a new season in my life and I am just trying to figure out what it all looks like from now until a new chapter begins to be written.

1 comment:

  1. Miss Wells, I first want to say that I am shocked to just now be learning of Kyle's tragic death, and I want to say that I am so sorry for your loss, as well as his family's loss. When I first searched for Kyle's name, I was actually looking to see who he may be guiding with now in AK. This news really shook me, and I was really devastated to learn that the accident occurred over a year ago, and I was just now learning of it. I hunted with Kyle in AK back in August 2015 when he was guiding for Seth's outfit (AK Rivers Wild), and I believe I was the first client he successfully guided alone for a Dall sheep, but I can't be sure about that... We spent over a week together in close quarters, and got to know each other pretty well, as usually happens on a sheep hunt. We had some really deep conversations about life, his hope for marriage and a family, his roots and personal story, my wife and kids, and just about anything else you can talk about when you have nothing else to do, and I got to know Kyle as a very stand up and honest guy who would give you the shirt off his back if need be. We had to work very hard to get my Dall sheep, but we made it happen, and then afterwards, spent a very cold night up on the mountain huddled together riding out some bad weather and the dark until we could safely make it back down off that mountain the next AM. During that time, when your cold, wet, hungry, and a little frightened of the potential for bears and worsening weather, you get to know a man, and I can certainly say that Kyle made an impression on me as a very calm and caring person. His character was NOT found lacking in any department. I was under his care as a guide, and he took that responsibility very seriously. I came to know Kyle as not only a very competent sheep guide, but also as a friend. I last emailed with Kyle at the end of July 2016 as we were talking about possibly putting together a bear hunt for AK in the next year or 2. That's what prompted me to look him up a few days ago, and see who he might be guiding with.....I had also told him I would contact him again after I hunted Stone's sheep in northern BC this year (2017) as he wanted to hear about it and see any pictures I had taken. It breaks my heart that I never got to talk to him again....

    I hesitated to reach out to you on a public forum such as this, but I didn't have any contact information for you. I hope this hasn't upset you, as that was not my intention. I simply wanted you to know how deeply sorry I was for your loss, and not that you needed any reaffirmation of this fact, but let you know what a hard working and overall great guy Kyle was. Albeit brief, I was proud to have known him, and also count him as a friend. If you would like to contact me via email, I would be very happy to send you some pictures of myself and Kyle on that hunt. There are a few good ones, especially ones that he took and sent me after the hunt....He took his photography seriously...If not, I understand.

    Again, I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your beloved fiancé. I hope God will grant you peace in your heart, and that you have a wonderful and fulfilling life going forward. You and Kyle's family will be in my prayers. J. Mauldin, MD Tennessee (