Thursday, January 14, 2010

There is GROWTH!

God is certainly at work in me, only now I'm much more aware of Him and what He's doing. I wouldn't and didn't want Scott to get cancer and eventually die, and leave me with this trauma called grief. But through this, I'm learning more about me and stuff in me that I just didn't even know was there. I was wondering last week, how this happened. Why did God allow this? Was I really such a bad person? And clearly on my heart, was this, "Why are you surprised?".

Well, here's the thing, it's time I admit, there's a part of me that isn't surprised that Scott died the way he did. I know what I've always known - that he was going to die sooner than expected. I've known all the time we were together that God put us together for a reason. And look at all of them! There are so many miraculous things that took place during my relationship with Scott. Part of that was Scott and his nature, and part of that was me and my nature, but mostly it was a loving God who knew....what He knew and His nature.

And even though grieving is such painful thing, and most of the time I hate the way it feels, I know it's necessary. It's softening me. My relationship with Scott softened me, my relationship with God softens me.

I used to and sometimes still think that it was just me being "weak". But it's not weak, it's just softening. My heart had been so hardened and my mind so jaded that God has had to do and is still doing, a large work, and with large work, come large pain. And only knowing what I know now- that God is still good all the time, makes all this discovery and softening a little less frightening.

I'm still in pain, I'm still angry, I'm still unfocused and easily distracted ("Squirrel"!) and I'm still far from being over the grief of losing the man I loved unconditionally. I miss him as much today as I did 8 months ago. I expect that this is going to go on for some time, but today, I don't dread it... I don't like it, but I don't turn from it. I'm not denying it.

I heard today on Oprah - yeah, I know.... but it was pretty profound that the day I'm home sick from work I flip and land on Oprah and she has one of her reporters Nate, on talking about grief. All I heard was the word "grief" and stopped. Nate went through it when he lost his partner in the sunami that hit Indonesia a few years ago. And he hit on something that I've been struggling with. The dates, the holidays. It seemed like the dates were just sticking it in my face reminding me "he's gone, he's gone, he's never coming back". But Nate said something that sounded simple but just helped me. He said, "It's not the date. The date has no power. The memory has the power, and we can have those memories anytime we want".

That just took the whole thing and put it into perspective.

This Saturday would have been Scott's 54th birthday. I was not looking forward to it because I always like surprising him with something on his birthday. Well, it's just a date, it has no power. I will do something to surprise him.

And I will celebrate my "first" Scott's birthday without Scott, in my own way.

And he will smile, in my heart.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Year of Firsts.

I was driving home from my daughter's house today thinking about what a year its been. It's been a rough couple of years, but this past year has been especially tough.

I can say that it's made me stronger and weaker at the same time. I feel fragile most of the time, but not all of the time. I think I could go another long while without any more really bad stuff happening. God knows I need a bit of a break. I need a break from anyone getting really sick or from anymore houses burning down. And from any more catastrophe's. Please...

When my friend's house burned down on Valentine's Day I felt like we were all just kind of "skidding along" not really sure how things would turn out and if God would just provide a miracle for Scott I would have just jumped for joy, but I think He saved that miracle for Carl. I'm so sad, and so glad at the same time. And now my friend is getting a brand new house, well, it's being built anyway, but still... there is more building than just a house, it'll be a home again for them. I'm relieved.

I remember a conversation I had with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago as we drove home from a bible study together and we both agree that God has "benched me". I know I've said it before - that God is trying to get me to "be still and know", but that's really hard for me to do most of the time. But, I also know that He knows me better than I know me. So I find myself trusting Him though this part of my life just like I trusted Him during the last year.

I've heard in my grief support group that this is my year of "firsts". All the "first things" in life without Scott. I've survived a bunch of holidays (see previous post for the list). I've survived my own health issues (see same previous post). And I know without a shadow of a doubt that I did this by the grace of God and the huge support of my daughters, my sister, my friends. And I know that God really hung onto me this past year.

I still struggle with things I thought I'd be over by now. 3 steps forward and 2 backwards for me. I've been having the flashbacks again, and I've been having the dreams again. I had a break from them, but they're back. But here's the thing... they don't overwhelm me as much. They are losing their power over me now. Sure, I still get blindsided every now and then, but it's not happening EVERYDAY now and when it does happen I don't just collapse into tears. There is growth happening!! YAY GOD!!!

Now as I look forward to a new year, I know that God is still on my side and wants me to be this incredible person. A person I have yet to meet and probably is different than what I expected.

I get to "invent" my self. I know that sounds really strange to a lot of people, but a lot of people don't know my history and how I came to be where I am now. And that's fine. I find this prospect of inventing myself, exciting, challenging and scary all at the same time.

I heard this song for the first time the other day and this is my song for the year!

I know this seems like something that I've already experienced, and I have in a many ways. But this new year I know I'm about to grow into this person that God wants me to be. Not that I'm not anyway, but even more now than before.

I'm looking forward to the rest of my "year of firsts". I get to do so much more.

I'm challenged in different ways now. I get to experience different things with a new perspective. AND I'M HONESTLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!!!!

Life is not perfect for me, and it never was, and never will be, at least till I get to heaven, but I have the Lord looking out for me, being my "filter" and hanging on to me when I can't hang on to Him and this gives me such a huge relief. A relief I haven't felt in a long time.

This isn't to say that I'm not sad, lonely or angry anymore, but I'm just dealing with it differently. I'm learning new things about myself that just amaze me. I feel like I'm being enlightened. And often I look up to the heaven's and say, "Really, Lord, really??" and I smile and know that He is good and He is my wonderous, marvelous Savior.