I once heard a saying "Time heals the pain." I laughed. In the midst of pain, time doesn't seem to be in the hurt person's favor; at least it wasn't in mine. I am coming up on 5 years of grief....painful and very complicated grief. March 26, 2012 will mark 5 years of time that has elapsed in my life without my parents in it. When I think back to that dreaded day, I never would have imagined that it would take 5 years for me to reach the place that I have. Nor would I have ever have dreamed that my life would be as sweet as it is without my parents. Sounds contradictory doesn't it? I thought so too!
Right now, I look at my husband and children and see a life that is beautiful. I see something that was given to me by way of blessings that can only come from above. I see myself as a strong, confident, independent woman who trusts herself, the Lord, and her husband. On March 26, 2007, I was a lost, broken, scared, and very lonely woman who never thought that by loving the Lord and placing all my trust in His hands, would I ever emerge from the ashes as a wife to a supportive and loving husband, nor a mother to two beautiful children. I thought myself to be unworthy. Because, after all, who would want to marry someone who had such a dramatic and tragic event take place? I remember crying out in desperation to the Lord, saying "Please God, take care of me. Please make me strong enough to endure the pain that my heart aches with. Please remove the images and the memories of this horrific event from my mind so that I can see life with fresh eyes. Please heal me. Heal me from the inside out and show me what I can be."
Time heals pain. It does. But so does the Lord. In fact, had I never turned to the Lord on this very day and left it all at His feet for Him to pick up and make whole, I am quite certain that my life would look strangely different at this 5 year mark. I have visions of me being in a rehab facility, or strung out on drugs just trying to numb the pain, or worse....dead.
I recall the day that God brought Kris into my life. I would have never met my husband had my mom not tragically lost her life. It was by way of a blessing that the Lord moved in my life and brought me to Kris. At this time, I was taking many kinds of pain killers and anxiety pills, drinking a bottle of wine a night, shopping my pain away, and living life by way of survival. I had even contemplated suicide. This man, my husband, walked in and helped me save my life. He convinced me that I was on the road to being an alcoholic, that I didn't need ALL of the medications I was taking, and helped me to see through the fog and learn to rely more on the Lord than I thought I was. You see, I prayed every night to the Lord after loosing my mom, and felt as though I had not received an answer. I was impatient. Kris was a blessing to me that God brought into my life to take care of me and turn my heart back to Him and teach me patience.
I recall the day that I married this man. Without my parents in sight, and with a lot of pain and hurt of missing them, I walked down the isle to the best thing that happened to me since the last day I spent having lunch with my mom. I recall the frustration and agony of not being able to get pregnant when we wanted to, and thinking...."God, I have been through enough....please allow me happiness." I remember the loss of a baby thinking that my body wasn't equipped to be a mom and I was inadequate. Feeling rejected and alone and hurting from the void, I turned again to the Lord and sought His comfort. It was my husband who had reminded me that God has His own plan and that I needed to trust it. And then I remember finding out I had sustained a pregnancy and it was twins. Both Kris and I laughed at God's humor. I remember the tearful nights of juggling the twins and thinking "I just can't do this without my mom." And then woke up one day to a new found confidence within myself that allowed me to trust my motherly instincts and learn that God was beside me through it and Kris and I weren't alone through the journey. I remember the day that we found out we were pregnant again. That was a funny day! Kris and I knew that against all the 99.9% odds, if we were indeed pregnant, then it was because God believed that we needed another blessing in our lives. And I look back at it all and think of the fullness and happiness that has occurred along the path of these 5 years. All without my parents.
Indeed, these 5 years have been the most fulfilling, blessing filled, awe inspiring, and action packed years of my life. It saddens to me to think that I felt myself unworthy of love. Unworthy of happiness and unworthy of a healthy and happy family. Back on March 26, 2007, I could have never imagined life moving forward without my parents. I certainly couldn't imagine the life I have now. Through the happiness of the past 5 years, there have also been many personal struggles of grief and agony. Learning to deal with the raw emotions while "in the moment" has been my biggest accomplishment thus far. At the 1 year mark, I was incapable of functioning as a whole person. I thought that after 1 year, the pain would be gone but I had largely underestimated grief. At 3 years I thought it was silly that I was still needing to take the day off work to regroup and handle my emotions. I had largely underestimated grief. At 5 years, I still struggle with the emotions, but I feel that in this past year, I have learned the value of dealing with something, rather than emotionally reacting. I have learned that nobody has answers but the Lord heals the hurt. I have learned that even my husband doesn't have the capacity to meet me where I am with my pain, but God does every time. And I have learned, above all, that life moves on. Indeed, life moves on. During my journey of grief over the past 5 years, many times have I wanted time to stop ticking. Many times have I wanted to go back to the way things were before that tragic phone call. But now, I see that my beautiful blessings would have never come, had I been stuck in the past and not pressed forward, through the pain, through the muck while desperately seeking the love and comfort of the Lord. I am so happy that God transformed my life. I am so thrilled that He thought me worthy of a husband and of children; that He blessed me with trials deep and wide enough that I would seek His heart with wreckless abandonment and cast out all other temporary methods of happiness; that He would teach me and grow me and encourage me to be the best wife and mom that He knows that I can be and that He would heal me from the inside out.
At this 5 year mark of grief, I can now choose to celebrate the life that has unfolded because of the loss of my mother's life. It was once said to me "it was as if your mom had to die so that you could live." This saying made no sense to me at the time it was spoken, but it makes the most sense now. I am finally capable of living my life and being happy in it, without asking "why did this happen to me?" or "how will I ever move on without them?" Sounds crazy that I would have a sweet life after tragedy? Trust the Lord, and He shall provide you with the desires of your heart! - Psalm 37:4