In Your Shoes

Job 16:6  When I speak up, I feel no better; if I say nothing, that doesn’t help either.

Is 53:5  He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

I will never forget when my husband told me “Grief is not linear”.  It was one of those “a-ha!” moments, an epiphany and a God shot.  Whatever one calls it, I call it all three.  There is no better sentence to describe the loss of something.  Whether it’s the loss of a dream or someone in our lives, grief happens in sporadic moments.  One minute we are thrown on our backs and the next we are functioning like nothing ever happened.  It’s a circular motion that eventually slows down over time but the circle of sorrow and acceptance is always moving.  In the beginning, the sorrow cuts like a knife and the tears seem to be never-ending.  The grayness of the day seems to drown us.  This is the timeframe that seems to last the longest.  For some, the sorrow burrows inward and anger is what one sees outwardly.  It can be a combination of both.  You feel like there are ten different personalities inside your head.  Just know that you are not crazy.  You are not psycho.

You are grieving.

When one is grieving, there are no words to sum up all that occurs within our hearts and our minds.  We are in the middle of a boxing match where we are getting thrown punches from all sides.  At the time it’s happening, it sure as hell doesn’t feel like we will come out of it any stronger.  Sometimes the punches are words that were meant as comfort only makes us go deeper into that abyss.

“Please don’t tell me everything will be alright”.

“Please don’t look at me with that pool of pity in your eyes”.

“Don’t lecture me on how to see the bright side”.

All these thoughts you think to yourself are added to the pile of all the other spinning conversations going on within you.  The comfort committees have good intentions but they aren’t lessening the power of the punches you are taking in your spiritual gut.  It just feels like more punches, like you are supposed to be feeling like the positive words they are saying to you.  Out of all the points you remember from my writings, always remember this—you feel the way you feel and it’s okay to feel those feelings.  It’s not feelings that are “bad to have” but what you choose to do with that array of emotions because grief will be made up of A LOT of variety of intensities.  The measuring of those intensities, one day is okay and the next is a pretty deep pit, can not be dictated by another person (no matter how much their intention is to comfort you).  If you hold in your grief, you do not feel any less of the grief.  If you voice your grief, you do not feel any less of it.  It is a stage where only God can be that pillow to rest your weary head and hopefully, the thoughts dissipate.  One thing I know for sure, you and no one else can force the dissipation.

It’s where the hand of the clock that is ticking away finally meets up with acceptance.  Somewhere on that clock, the time for feeling somewhat sane will occur.  It’s when you get up from all the punches, broken jaw, and all, that you see who is in your corner gently nudging you to return to a place of healing.  God has been nudging the whole time.  In between He watched over you at what felt like many emotional setbacks.

He is whispering that it’s time to create something new.  New dream. New perspective.  New priority.

Everyone is an individual and individually grieves in their own way.  Their stages will not be at the same time or in the same exact manifestation as your stages.  Do not judge your progress based on the appearance of others.  Underneath the external can be a much different internal.  Allow yourself to embrace your internal currents as the tide comes in.  Then let the currents move on.  When you do that, you will gain clarity in many droplets.  You realize that grieving is concurrent with replacing.  Not replacing a person, place, or thing but replacing the visions you had of a life that included the person, place or thing to which you had to say goodbye.  You had to go through the stages of saying goodbye in order to say hello to new visions and dreams.  The guilt of moving on is a self-imposed emotion that only debilitates the spirit.  Moving on to a new vision for your life is not disregarding the existence of your past dreams.  It is recreating while the memory and purpose of what you lost stays with you.   You are not letting go of the memory, only letting go of the immobilizing pain.  Unlike a tangible puzzle that falls apart, our spiritual puzzle may sometimes fall apart but the pieces can be put back together to make a new picture, a new priority, a new vision, and most importantly- a new and wiser you.

Soon you will find that what the world deems as accomplishments and success are not of equal importance to you.  The very definition of accomplishments and successes that define you individually will be those of a spiritual and insightful nature that no one can measure or contain.  When this new stage begins to occur, there is no going back to your old goals because the new person you are becoming no longer aligns with those goals.  You are stronger.  You have been reshaped.  Your mind movie has new scenarios that inspire growth and opportunities.  The setbacks still happen.  You will still need to deal with any residue from the painful stages of your goodbyes.  However, God will equip you to face new adventures along with setbacks because, like grief, life is not linear.  So, do not expect yourself to have it all together all of the time.  Allow yourself to be human and allow yourself to grow with God.

Remember that the new you will constantly materialize if you take the next step.  The miracles that will surround you at the top of that mountain will amaze you.  The creation of the new dream is also the creation of a new you. You felt beaten but you are being made whole.  You feel whipped but you are being healed.

This is not an extravagant promise.  It’s just a promise that you will be okay.  God’s got this.  He always did.  Just hold on to Him during all the non-linear stages called life <3.

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