Parakaleo

I could not have asked for a better sermon this morning. There were a few points the pastor made that were exactly what I needed to hear. He spoke about the Body of the Church and the way it connects all Christians. In the Old Testament, God choose a nation to fulfill his calling, but in the New Testament He chose individuals from all nations who came together as the Universal Church. It was incredible to hear how eloquently the pastor described the love, care and encouragement we, as the Church should bring to each other. As a Christian, we never struggle alone.

Parakaleo, is the Greek word for encouragement, directly translated it means to come along side. For me, this is the perfect way to describe what has happened during my healing process. Since February I have been in the greatest struggle of my life, but not even for a minute have I felt alone. There has been a stream of encouragement and love that continues to pour into me from so many. People continue to come along side of me giving me exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. It is truly incredible what the Body of Christ can do and the healing it can bring about.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Sometimes the impossible happens.

Today I stepped out of my running comfort zone and ran a 10k. Not only is it the longest race I have done, but it is also farther than I usually run at one time. I was excited when I got a text from my friend Jess late last week that she was running the race too! Even better she wanted to run with me. Jess is an amazing athlete and I knew I would slow her down, but I was also very excited she wanted to keep pace with me.

Iimg_8828img_8808t was a very small race, which turned out to be very much in my favor. Jess and I ran the whole race together while dad and mom criss crossed the town to see us at various points on the course, it was fun to guess where we would see them next. Having someone to run with made the time go quickly and helped me to push through the pain.

When I say the race was small, what I mean is there was only two people in my age group, and we were running right next to each other the whole time. When they were calling out the awards I almost fell over when they called my name for first place. I honestly can not tell you how, but apparently I crossed the finish line first.

This was an amazing week, defiantly one for the books. I won a contest, won a race and got to spend time with a friend I haven’t seen in far too long. The next time I race I know my finish will not rank so high. Today was a happy fluke, but I will hang up my first place medal and smile every time I see it remembering that sometimes the impossible happens.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Time Machine.

If it were possible to go back in time I would not want to correct a mistake. The way we overcome the struggles of our life is what makes us the person we are becoming. I would much rather visit a happy time. A bad point in my life will always be bad, attempting to fix it is a silly expectation. On the other had a high point can always be enjoyed again, if not made better.

There are so many amazing times in my life I would like to re-visit, I don’t know how I could ever pick just one. There were days spent hiking and summiting high peaks with friends. Lazy days wondering around museums. A weekend spend helping a former professor turned friend. Summers at camp when time seemed to flow differently. A birthday ruined by snow that turned into a perfect escape from reality. The first time I read my favorite book, or late nights with new friends freshman year of collage.

Not long after some of these points in my life the people who made them special disappeared. Somehow this doesn’t change the moment. Right now I am trying my best to only think of the good things, remembering past pain is not worth it at the best of times, let alone the worst. Fortunately a time machine does not exist so I do not have to make a choice as to where I would go, but that does not mean I can not revisit so many wonderful memories when I am feeling lost and alone.

The bad days may help define us, but holding onto the hopes and joys of the good days is what matters.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

My safe place.

When I started writing this blog, I did not know what it would turn into. Honestly, I am still not sure I know. Blogging combines two things I am not very good at, keeping a journal and being open about my feelings in an articulate way. Usually I feel like I ramble through my emotions without reason. It also means all my hurt and pain can never be hidden because it will always be a search engine away.

My initial thought process in starting to pour myself into this place was for me to force myself to be honest and open about what I am going through. Not only for myself – but to show my family and friends how I am doing. There is nothing worse than being asked over and over how you are doing by people who care. It is not that I don’t want to tell them, but the truth is that it hurts to recount everything time and time again. Even good things hurt sometimes.

Another reason I write is for others. I am not the first, only or last person to have a relationship end tragically. I usually do not write specifically for the benefit of others. I try to be honest about everything in hopes that I can say something that will open up a new thought process for someone else in pain. My theory is that if people take the time to read my posts they either care about me or can relate to the emotions I am experiencing.

I do not know when this blog will end, maybe it never will. For now it is my safe place to share and record my recovery. I still have a long way to go, but I know when I get there it will be a beautiful place. For now I will keep writing.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

A perfect day.

I keep waiting for that perfect day. A day I am incandescently happy, the kind I never want to end. Maybe with summer on the way a day like that will come along. Good weather always makes things seem easier, it is hard to be sad in the sun. Hopefully I can plan an adventure or two, spend some time with friends and family, go for a hike and relax in my hammock. Taking some time to enjoy the simpler things in life is my summer goal.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Impossible situations.

I think I need to revamp my previous statement that God only gives us what we can handle. Today, I was listening to the radio in the car on the way to and from and heard a guy talking about a difficult time in his life. He said that he disagrees with the statement that God only gives us what we can handle, sometimes he gives us more than is possible for us to get through alone because he wants to help.

God wants us to depend on him for support when everything feels impossible. He wants to take our weakness and turn it into strength and courage. With every fiber of my being I know with God’s help it is possible to do more than survive anything. God will put the words we need to hear in people’s mouths, and arrange the best situation at the worst times. With God on our side we can never fail.

The Bible is full of impossible situations that God helped his people navigate. I am sure that they felt as helpless as we do when times are hard, but through faith they made it to the other side of their struggle. Just as he provided answers and guidance for each Bible hero, he will help pick up our puzzle pieces and start to put it back together again. God may give us more than we can handle, but he never makes us handle it alone.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

 

How are you doing.

Running into people is getting easier. I still cringe worrying what they will say to me in the first few moments. Will they say something cruel and tell me I deserved what I got? Will they lay all the blame on me? My brain races a million miles a minute to prepare myself for what they might say. Thankfully, so far no one has said any of these things to me, at least not to my face.

I greatly dislike being asked how I am doing. Not that I mind answering, I have been pretty open about my recovery to anyone who wants to listen. It is more that it shows that my emotional state is still in question, at some point I hope I no longer feel like everyone is handling me with kid gloves, waiting for me to crack.

It is not the words “how are you doing” that scare me, it is how they are said. On a first encounter people are hesitant. They are not sure they actually want to hear the answer, yet they feel obligated to ask. I wish there was a better phrase to use, but I honestly can’t think of one right now. It took time, but I don’t feel like bursting into tears each conversation. I call that progress. Even better, when I say I doing ok I am not lying like I was two months ago, or maybe at this point I even have myself fooled.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Somewhere between.

Today my brain has gone in too many directions. I seem to have lost my attention span, which is not so good when there was a lot I should have done. Laundry did not get folded and floors did not get mopped. I did manage to go to the store, do the dishes and cuddle with my cats. Tomorrow will require a lot of catching up, but I know I can do it.

Through a series of unfortunate events, this week has brought emotions I didn’t want to dig up. I think by this afternoon I hit a pause button and simple needed to reboot. If there was something I could do to stop all grief caused by losing someone, I would do it. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop it. With time, prayer, the support of those who care and finding your own strength it is possible to find your way thought to the other side. Currently, I am somewhere between the pain of the past and the bright future ahead.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Grief.

I wish people I care about did not have to be in pain. It is impossible to be on the outside and feel like there is nothing you can do to help. I am trying to draw on are my own experience and think of the little things that helped me face my helplessness. Every situation is different. Even if the situation is the same, each person deals with it in their own way.

Some truths of the pain that comes with grief are universal. Knowing that people cared made a huge impact on getting me this far. The comments, texts, cards and messages carried me through. Having people who let me talk when I wanted and didn’t ask questions when I did not was important. I did not have to be told that people were praying for me, I could and continue to feel their prayers surround me everyday.

Grief is such a strange emotion. With the support of others it is possible to find the strength to move you through the hard times into better ones. Each person is capable of incredible things, unfortunately we have to face challenges along the way to get stronger, but we are never given more than we can handle, God has a lot of faith is us.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

The choice.

If there is one thing I have learned over the past few months it is not what a person says that matters, it is that they are there to listen when you need to talk. It is not being put in a position you have justify your situation, it is when people are available to listen. I have been pleasantly surprised by the grace that most people have for someone who is grieving.

The first moments are hard, but not as difficult as what is next. The grieving process does not need fair-weather friends. What impacted me the most were the people who didn’t disappear after a week, or month. The people who continue to check in on me and who make an effort to see or talk to me are the ones that have helped the most.

The pain of loss is never the same. Each situation is different and unique like each person it affects. When a friend is in need of comfort I wish there was a magical turn of phrase that could make everything seem ok again. I know from experience there is not. What I have learned is there are two options, you can let the pain overtake you, or with the help of friends, family and time you can let the pain make you stronger. The choice is up to you.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.