Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Eight Months - Now What?


Yesterday marked eight months since my life took a sudden, unforeseen detour.

I could not have imagined what happened, happened.  But it did.  And here I am today.

As life changed and I began to adjust to my new normal, God began to work.

He began to work through my darkest days; He began to work through the lighter days; He began to heal.  He began to open new work opportunities at my church.  He introduced me to new people I can't imagine not interacting with these days.  He brought new interests into my life.

To say God is (only) good would be a huge understatement.

I wondered what eight months would look like.  It's not what I imagined.

Right now, I am working a summer schedule at work - 4, 10-hour days each week.  It is a little tiring at best.  Combined with my Tuesday and Wednesday night schedules, it becomes exhausting.

Last night was rough.  As I continue to traverse through these first 12 months, full of new beginnings and traditions, I continue to struggle.  I know it's a healthy journey.  My Counselor has reaffirmed my mental and emotional health over and over again. But yet - each new event I must work through puts me through the ringer.

Just this weekend, we had our family's annual Memorial Day gathering at the lake.  It's always a larger gathering for all family and friends before the smaller gatherings continue to occur the rest of the season.  I brought a friend, but it was hard thinking back to the Memorial Day and summer season of the year before.  Personalities were different.  Energy levels were different.  It was just different.

And yet, I knew I had to traverse through it.  One more milestone in this 12-month journey into a new life and new beginnings.

I laid in bed last night praying.  Asking God to remove the very last vestiges of David from my heart, my soul.  The anchor (as I described it to one of my best friends over dinner last week) that binds me to him.

I am tired of remembering the intimate bond we shared.  You know the kind.  Those bonds you obtain only after years together with someone.  I want to, instead, remember the times he belittled me at the end - said he was so much happier without me; the time he said I was a mean and terrible person; the time he left me crying and crumbled in a heap beside my car in an empty after-church parking lot.

I want to remember that David is the Adult Child of an Alcoholic ("ACOA").  That he was sick the entire time we were together, bouncing back and forth between my house to his Mother's home.  I want to remember that he couldn't move out of the basement.  That he, in the end, choose to leave our family vacation to head back to Dahlonega for family night ("It was family night; what was I supposed to do?" he screamed at me in the church parking lot.) I want to remember, as my Counselor says, "The relationship was never healthy.  He was always unable to choose you and living an independent life apart from his Parents. There is no way you could have saved or changed him.  Until God reveals his sickness to him and he seeks true help, he will continue on as he is living.  You must release him and your thinking that you could have helped him."

God granted me the peace I sought last night, as my exhausted inner self lied down to sleep.  I woke up this morning praying this short prayer, "God, thank you for your sweet peace last night. Thank you for new life entering my world, but please continue to work through my mind and heart, not only erasing - but removing all memories and feelings for David."  I need the memories, feelings, and anchor removed from me.  I am tired of carrying empathy for David and hurt from him as well.  Both enjoined together, keeping a small part of me captive.

As I opened my devotion at work today, I thought, "God, I need to get back to you.  Nothing is speaking to me anymore.  Where are all the healing moments and words you gave me before at the beginning of this journey?  Speak to me once again and help me continue healing and removing this thorn from my side."

I started reading these words from Francine Rivers:

"The wounds in our past can affect us long after we’ve been rescued from that past. When we have been hurt by other people, we might see relationships as only potential pain. We lean away from the people who reach out to us, careful not to give them any ammunition with which to wound us more. We begin to think of isolation and independence as ideal.
But this is not what God considers best for us. As messy and painful as relationships can be, they also bring us life.

We’re created to care for others and be cared for by them. From the very beginning, God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone.' (Genesis 2:18). He knew that life on this earth would be tough, and we would need others to help us share the load. Romans 12:15 tells us to 'rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.' When others enter into our sorrow, their compassion makes us feel less alone. When others celebrate with us, our joy expands. And when we care enough to share others’ joys and sorrows, our love for them grows and our hearts change. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12 is a reminder that God’s presence is what ultimately makes our relationships work. His presence strengthens our relationships, deepens them, and helps them last. First John 4:12 says, 'If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.' As we love others, He makes us more like Himself.

Isn't it just like our amazing God to answer a prayer right in the moment we pray and ask for it?

"The wounds in our past can affect us long after we've been rescued from that past. As messy and painful as relationships can be, they also bring us life."

I see you God; I hear you.

My wounds from David's actions, decisions, and words still affect me, even after you rescued me.  And I need to remember that even though my time with David was messy and painful, not all relationships will be that way.  You give us new and long-lasting relationships to bring us life as well.

Thank you Lord for the peace you granted me as I slept last night and the words you so lovingly supplied this morning.  I stand humbled and in awe before you.

As I make my way through this new day, I will remember these words of Scripture and write them upon my heart, "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)."

Amen and amen.

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