Three Years, Emotional Triggers & Firsts

I never wrote a three year blog post. I obviously didn’t forget the day but, as Facebook followers would know, I was involved in a two-day trial that spanned the ‘sad-iversary’ dates.  That took every speck of energy we had available (and more). I remembered but was forced to focus elsewhere.

After three years, you think you’d be done with all the firsts, wouldn’t you? I certainly didn’t think I had any left! However, I was wrong…

My family came to stay with us over Easter. This is the first time they’ve been able to visit us in our home since my new husband and I got married last June. It was only in the week or so before they came that it dawned on me that the last time my family visited me for the first time in my new home as a newlywed over Easter, my husband died. I knew that was totally irrational and irrelevant but it didn’t stop fear knocking at the door!

I told my husband and he understood and prayed with me about it. He was also sensitive to what was going on over the weekend when Easter did come around. Usually, Easter doesn’t really bother me. The date of Steve’s death and Easter never match up and the actual date always comes first and is passed by the time Easter comes around. This year, I really struggled with fear over something bad happening…particularly that history might repeat, but I was geared up for anything bad. My yet-unborn-baby picked Good Friday to have a very quiet day (naturally) so I was freaking out over that inside too!!

I didn’t let this battle with fear rule me or stop me and we did enjoy having my family stay! There is no doubt, though, that I–and my family–were all relieved when the weekend passed without incident. Another first down, another fear beaten, another victory won…

Two Years

(I'm sorry it's long but can you please read it all? :D)

I can't believe that I'm here. Two years ago, I thought I was going to die from the pain–and that would have been fine with me. Today, I've got the self-preservation instinct back and, each day, life looks increasingly brighter.

Walking the journey, each day was an excruciatingly painful, slow process. Looking back, I can't believe so much time has passed…but I never want to experience that level of pain again!

I really think that the timing of my move is specific and intentional and part of a Master plan. I feel that it's the end of one season and the beginning of another. I'm convinced that I needed to be here for these two years and I'm not sorry for a minute that I stayed or that I bought my house here.

At the same time, I think that there's far more than "coincidence" in the timing of my move coinciding with this anniversary and all the changes of the last few months. I believe that it's the beginning of a new chapter and I'm actually kind of excited to see what it holds!

This town will always have a part of my heart–my husband was buried here–and there are awesome, awesome people here who I love dearly and have supported me phenomenally. It won't be easy to leave but nor would it be easy to stay.

More

He’s Up to Something – Part One

Still wondering why I’m here / Still wrestling with my fear / But oh, He’s up to something / And the farther on I go / I’ve seen enough to know / That I’m, not here for nothing / He’s up to something

Those are the words in the section of the song I posted which sum up a lot for me lately. They have been going around and around in my head over the last few days. It probably has something to do with the fact that I’ve listened to the song dozens of times (lol) but also a lot to do with how much they resonate with me. God has really been doing something in me and it’s really hard to put into words.

Still wondering why I’m here

So true. I know since I’m the one that’s still here, there’s a reason for that–I just have no idea what it is. Trust me, a lot of thought and journalling has gone into that. For now, I’m just “doing the next thing” and hoping/trusting that He’ll give me a passion for something…put a dream in my heart…help me catch a vision to run with. I’ve always had a passion and dream for home and family. That has never changed but it’s one of the few things that you just can’t knuckle down and do. Only God knows if that will ever happen. All I can do is pick up the pieces and try to see something else in them.

Speaking of pieces…for my birthday, a friend gave me this vase/dish. What it looks like is that somebody threw it on the floor, picked up the kazillion pieces, then stuck them all back together again. When I opened it–in front of quite a few people–I said, “Wow, this looks like my life: smashed and stuck back together.” 🙂 The words just slipped out and I was hoping she didn’t take it the wrong way because I love it. It’s beautiful. It’s full of hope and promise and redemption. I don’t think I’ve ever had a birthday present speak to me the way this one did and still does. From what I gather, she was only thinking that it looked like something I’d like…but God knew.

Still wrestling with my fear

I am. But I have come such a long way. Lately, on a couple of firsts or big steps, I’ve “taken God with me” instead of somebody else or instead of as an extra person. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking people or utilising support and I think God gives us others for that very reason many times. He doesn’t expect us to be super-heroes in the middle of excruciating pain. Now, though, I am so much more stable and stronger. I operate within my everyday life quite ok but outside of those parameters can still be a challenge.

I wanted to start fighting some of these fears head-on. Realistically, I know there is nothing to be afraid of in the situation–it is merely that my mind/body have been conditioned to view them as risk. I’m not afraid of what might happen in the situation, but rather afraid of what will happen if I can’t COPE in the situation. Long-time readers know that is a very valid fear. It’s an old fear but a big monster and a harsh task-master and I’m tired of being ruled by it.

So lately, I’ve done some new things that were huge for me and I did them without another person and/or any backup nearby. And I survived. 🙂 Actually, not only did I survive, I did them well in the moment. That is some kind of elation, I tell you!! One the way to one thing, I was like, “Now, God, you know I’m trusting you solely to come through for me on this. If you let me down, it’s going to be so hard for me to ever contemplate doing it again…” That was the biggest one and I so nearly pulled out, deciding that I couldn’t do it, but He came through for me. The thing with that is it’s broken down a massive barrier now and my success in that one has paved the road for a lot of other firsts, rather than it being a stand-alone victory. There is freedom that comes with that…and the taste is sweet.

[To be continued…]

Old Thoughts on Risk

It's really hard to know where to start because I've had so much rolling around in my head. I had a blog post I wanted to write that never got written. The ball kept on rolling and now it feels obsolete–but really, it's not.

I took some big risks last year. You know what? They didn't all work out the way I thought they would (surprise, surprise). But that's ok. I ended the year proud of the fact that I'd been brave enough to try new things.

When a close friend heard about me contemplating trying one particular thing again in a similar manner, she asked if I hadn't learned anything. My reply basically was: "Yes, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't do it again. It just means I'd do it differently. At least I gave it a shot!!"

At the end of the day (or year), that's what had me holding my head up high. I'd taken risks. I'd walked outside my comfort zone. I'd given things a shot.

The cool thing about it is that it has a snowball effect. I found out that I'm stronger than I think and finding out you're stronger than you think makes you stronger than you thought you were. 🙂

Hope

Once you choose hope, anything is possible. Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.

–Author Unknown

Sweet Dreams

I dreamt about Steve last night. It's the first time in ages. I'm not the kind of person who tends to dream about the things I think about. I tend to dream about people and events that I never think about. 😛 I'd be lucky if I've even dreamed about Steve enough in the nearly-two years since he's been gone to break out two hands, let alone double digits.

So it's always a nice treat because it feels like a visit with him. I wake up happy to have been given that "gift", even though it's not reality. I woke up happy this morning. I'd got to run and meet the truck when he got home from somewhere and hug and hug and hug him. I guess that part of reality did come through in the dream somehow…it wasn't a regular "glad you're home" reaction…there was a definite sense of being ecstatic to see him and hug him after an absence.

Unlike usual, though, it was a little bit harder to take today. Maybe it was because it was so real and then I went to church and sat in a similar area to where we used to sit that I haven't sat in for a while. In remembering being there with him, I could almost feel it. That was a bit hard to take for a while. The old sick feelings of the permanence of his absence came back briefly. It's been quite a while since that has been a regular companion. I still miss him…probably always will…but I rarely feel the "sickness of death" that used to be my constant companion.

In some ways, it's a good reminder: of where I was and how far I've come. The dreams, however, are always a good reminder of good times with a good man. I was re-reading what I wrote for the funeral (under my "About Me" tab) last night–which is probably actually why I did have the dream I did–and was just thinking how thankful I am that I wrote so much down over the past couple of years. It's so easy for the details to get pushed aside by the stresses of life but I have these records in spite of what tricks my memory plays on me. I never knew when I first started blogging what a valuable resource it would be. 🙂

It Would Have Been 2 Years

Today was my wedding anniversary. I've marked both of them alone. Such craziness isn't too common. I did really well till 8:30 tonight. But I'm just realising how much energy it took to keep that positive momentum going all day. Now, I'm exhausted and not doing so well. But still, I'm in such a better place than I was this time last year so I guess that counts for something…

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