I shiver at the remembrance of the shocking day my heart was ripped apart. Some things stay with us forever. We falsely believe that we are free from the memory and its effects until the memory are triggered and the nightmare rears its ugly head, taking us back to the day it all fell apart. I wish I could erase it or release myself from its power. Disassociate myself from what it makes me so that my soul no longer carries the weight or the stench it creates, but like it or not there it stays. This reminds me of the scene in Peter Pan where Peter has to cut his shadow off to be set free. How liberating! I wish I could do this to the memory of this nightmare. I want to remove it along with the fear it fills me with when I try to envision my future.
Yesterday I was enjoying my workout on the elliptical trainer when for no reason I was reminded of what happened. The memory flashed before my eyes, like a movie scene, I couldn’t stop it. I heard the words, “didn’t make it,” I heard the wailing, I saw the coffin, I saw myself walking in circles without direction. I closed my eyes, begging it to stop, and I wept loudly, uncontrollably. Thankfully I was home alone so only God heard my cries. It shook me to the core. It took my peace like it did the day it happened. It served as a reminder that this pain is a part of me. I can move on and try to escape it, but the pain imprisons me without notice. I thought I dealt with my grief, I thought I moved on. I thought I healed, after all, it’s been 8 years! The power it still has over me furthers my sadness. My life is full of blessings, the list of things I should be happy about are endless. In 71 days I’m getting married to the most amazing man in the world! But this pain wants to take from my moment, not because the past was better, but because it makes me scared of losing what I’m enjoying in the present. It doesn’t want me to see the beauty of the fruit of my pain.
I’m scared to dance, scared to rejoice, scared to move, and scared that it’ll all go away again. I’m scared to breathe in this happiness because somewhere in the silence of my mind there is a link between happiness and sadness. Life and death. Receiving and losing. Standing on the solid ground, then drowning in sinking sand. Everything spins around me, there’s nowhere I can go to escape. This fear haunts me wherever I go. As I get closer to the wedding it screams louder. There’s no logic to this fear. This fear has no place in the heart of a Christian woman, but it’s there. Most days I’m free – planning away – thanking God I finally have peace. The crying has ended. But my soul is afraid of this peace. My soul is scared to feel comfortable at peace because life has taught me that the shredding of the soul creeps up silently when one is at the peak of peace and happiness; the moment when everything one has dreamed of has fallen into place. I’m at war with peace, demanding and hoping that by fighting and pretending I’m not at peace it will stay longer. I’m at a better place in comparison to any other moment in my life. It’s the best of the best. Comfortable with myself, in love with who I am in Christ, in love with a Godly man, in love with a man who has taken my daughter as his own and in love with all the opportunities my future is filled with.
I let no one in on my secret. I don’t let anyone see the pain I still carry. I try to hide it from myself as best I can. I’m in denial about my imprisonment, it’s a truth that’s too hard to accept. No one hears my screams, my pleading, to not let this be me. I’m so close to being freed from the label this grief gave me, I will now be a wife to the most AMAZING man God has every created. Wife,a word associated with love and happiness, I will no longer be labeled with a term associated with grief and sorrow. But my mind – my fear – dares to pose the question, for how long? How long will I be safe this time? I want to ask God why He believes in my strength. I don’t believe in my strength, I respect and accept His will no matter how hard it may be to accept. I silently beg, plead, but I’m too scared to pray. I’m too scared to put the words together and acknowledge the truth. I’m too scared that my prayer, my belief, will take me to a place where deeper prayer will be needed. Daily prayer is good for the soul, but I have gotten accustomed to the prayer of thanksgiving. I’m accustomed to looking at my past and thanking God I survived. I am scared I will be taken to my barely surviving, cliff-hanging place again. I’m scared of how big the next blow may be. I try to silence the fear, I close my eyes, and just let my soul pray- never absorbing all it says. It’s too hard. It makes me wounded. I’m not proud of this.
Challenges help us -they make us stronger – maintaining faith through the crashing waves is the hardest. I’m at a place where I’m dipping my toes in the calm sea. Enjoying the sunset, the fish swimming around me, all is beautiful. I shiver as I enjoy this moment, thinking about how unpredictable the weather is, just like life. In seconds a tornado may form, more like a tsunami in this case, and we are back to sink or swim. I pray that my fear is growing stronger to make me permanently shake this off. I believe in God’s mysterious ways and I hope the emotional state I’m in will lead me to kneel before the cross as I cry out to God to fully free my soul. I believe this fear is a reminder that I need to put Him first, always. I believe this fear is a reminder of who my true everlasting love is, Him. I believe this fear will be the death of the old me – the one identified by the pain – and the birth of a new woman made whole in Christ, a wife. I believe this fear is reminding me never to take a single moment for granted.