One year after I lost our daughter Annabelle I started blogging. One year after I lost our son Ethan we launched our podcast and my website. Neither were on purpose. My heart and timing aligned in ways I couldn’t predict or even come close to trying. The mirrored moments within my one year were exactly what I needed. I can track back and see the amount of work I have poured into myself to start the path of personal growth. When most people would say to go get busy, pick up, move on, and be grateful for what I had I knew I had to do something different. This pain I was carrying was far greater than an easy numbing mechanism that would have left me far worse than what this pain was trying to teach me. For me, I had to dive right into every feeling, every thought, every healing tool I could get my hands on. Yes, of course there were days I wanted to sit in my room and cry and even in those moments I did let myself do that for a time and then I would have to get up and go do something that would help me see in ways I had never been able to see before. When I did what my heart said to do I found a gift waiting there for me. For me, it was things like going on a bike ride, taking a walk around the block, listening to birds chirping, sitting at a coffee shop, writing, listen to music, watching my kids play, going to the playground...every time I did a little something I found a gift. The gift was healing.
I can’t help but always go back to this story I had when I was in my early twenties. I was still living at home and my grandmother was passing away. I had just left the hospital from visiting her. I went back home to finish up preparing for a teaching I was giving to a college group that evening. When I made it home I sat down at the kitchen table. The house was empty, it was just me and complete silence. The tears began to flow and in that moment I did something I had never done before, I set the timer for 15 minutes and I just let every last tear I had out. After those 15 minutes was over I picked up my pen and began to write out my teaching. When I showed up to the college group I got up and shared from my heart. I shared about my grandmother, how I felt, the purpose as to why we are here, how life goes by so quickly and to stop and talk to people. I shared a story how prior to leaving the hospital my grandmother was at I remember there was a group of young people around my age sitting in the lobby. I had this feeling to stop and talk to them. If you know me at all you know this is very common for me to do something like this. Nothing was really out of my comfort zone I just knew this moment meant something to me. What that moment did for me was it helped me go home and write my teaching. It helped me stop and take a breath to hear what other people were going through and it encouraged me that I too could get through this moment.
God has given me a voice to use and I will tell you it has been the hardest to use in my brokenness. As hard as it has been this is what has brought me to this point in my life to keep pushing through the pain and wanting to help others to do the same.
As humans it is in our nature to want to run from pain, hide from it and bottle it all up inside. We are trained as a society to move right along and to leave our broken pieces at the door and put on a smile and pretend everything is okay.
I did that for many many years. Even though that moment with my grandmother gave me an opportunity right away to share my heart, that was not always the case moving forward. I was in an environment that trained me to set my emotions aside and show up for others. This was thirteen years of living this way and so when I came face to face with my deepest pain with loosing two children I couldn’t help but take the time to heal and still continue to heal. There is no timeline on healing. There never should be. One year is not a long time to set aside to heal. However, I am learning it is how we use the time we have that is so vital in the process.
We all live busy lives and so I get trying to do, do, do, and trying to find healing at the same time will look so different for all of us. If I can encourage you in anyway, find the time. When your heart tells you to stop, Stop! Sit and have a conversation with someone. Sit with yourself and take 5-10 minutes to write out your thoughts, listen to your favorite song, or go work on a project you have tucked away. Little by little give attention to the areas in your life that are longing for you to show up. It is within those small details that I know are so easy to pass on by but it is within those very moments a gift lies waiting for you.
My husband talks about in The Gift in our last podcast “How Our Struggles Nearly Destroyed Us.” The gift within the darkness. It really is up to us to find it and to pay close attention to the areas that are waving to us.
What are those moments for you?
What is waving right in front of you that you seem to keep ignoring?
Listen to the voice inside. We all have this voice. My husband and I are no different than you. We call that voice the Holy Spirit but just because we have a name for it doesn’t mean that it’s not there for you. Our beliefs don’t have to line up, you can call it whatever you want. We just are here to encourage you to take the time you need to find the healing you need.
Yes! You are that important to this world and to the people around you. So, receive the gift and receive healing for yourself.