Thursday, June 19, 2014

Letting it Change


To say I have ever welcomed change would be the furthest thing from the truth. I have often feared change above all else, often gripping far too tightly to things, even ones that I knew were not the things God wanted for me. Even when things were going terribly I would often cling to what was known simply for the fact that it was comfortable. But recently, I have felt this itching for something that needed to be moved. It was me; it has been me. And yesterday, while sitting in a staff meeting it was all too clear to me. A wonderful leader at our church spoke on the subject of change; change in the way it relates to grief and to healing. He talked of the healing process in the physical sense. That sometimes, after a bad fall or an accident that leaves one injured, there is a period of unmoving. 

You have to be still to heal. 

You have to let the world move around you and you have to allow your body the time it needs to repair itself. It is the same for emotional wounds as well. The ones that often seem, at least to me, harder to face. We don’t have to look at them. We cover the bags under our eyes with makeup or fill our bodies with caffeine to keep us going. We bury ourselves in busy so that our emotions can remain at rest. Laid docile so that they don’t drown us. But eventually, as with a physical injury, there comes a time when we have to get back in the game. There comes a time where we have to welcome change, start some physical therapy and put the body back to the work it was purposed for. That’s where I am now. I have felt it coming because I have felt the grip on my heart, the hand around my throat that means I am trying to keep feelings at bay. I knew it was coming because when my schedule opened up more during the summer, due to one job being out from break, I panicked. I had been looking forward to the freedom, the chance to just sit, be and breathe. That was until I really thought about what that extra time meant, exactly what that sitting, being and breathing would bring about. 
It would mean less tasks to occupy my time; less "have to get dones" and more time for the "you need to address this". Getting back to blogging was another pinpoint sign that I needed to let it change. I needed to let some of that pain back in to fully keep moving. I stopped blogging because it was too hard to find words, it was hard to make words make sense. The things I did write during that time (simply because the words had to come out some how) are not words that I am sure I will ever share. They are hard. They are raw and they are void of much hope.

My little brother, Patrick, got married this weekend and it was a glorious, beautiful morning of celebrating new love and new potential. But things were missing, people were missing. A father was missing his eldest son and a daughter wasn’t able to kiss her daddy on Father’s Day. Instead, she kissed a balloon and sent it up to heaven. Makaylin was confused. Her eyes saw a balloon, but her demeanor said she didn't understand the meaning of the moment. What do you do in the situation? So I took some time to explain it to her, to let her know she was sending the balloon to her daddy. She still didn't seem to understand why everyone was circled around her or why they were watching her so intently, but she kissed it and she let it go. Then she grabbed her cousins hand and they ran, as fast their little legs could carry them, so that they could dip their toes in the water. And while on one hand she is young, there is a side that stands to reason that maybe we haven’t (maybe I haven’t) done enough to continue the story for her. John Wayne’s story has been continued in the life of the recovery community and shared to help others. But have we done the job needed to help her understand his story as her father? We add him to our prayers at night but outside of that it has been hard to mention his name outside of bigger events. Hard because when she asks questions or smiles and tells us her daddy is in her heart it brings it all back, it makes things fresh. That’s where I am now, at the road between wanting to avoid having to face things I was never prepared for and knowing that it is time. 
It is time to figure out the future from here. It is time to forge a new beginning and the bright possibilities that holds, while still remembering the past and all the good and bad images it contains. It is time to let change happen. To let God change me into the person he has been molding and will continue to mold for the rest of my time here on earth. It is time to get up, time to move forward. The tears that I fought hard against as I listened to the words of a wise man during a monthly staff meeting told me so. The tug on my heart that says, “this will be hard, but it will be worth it” reminds me of it every time I want to curl up in a ball on the couch and shut it all out. The breathing may seem hard right now, but it will get lighter. It will get lighter as I give it over, as I let go of the controlled face I have worked hard to put on and as I let go of the "strings" so that my hands are open to embrace the change.

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