Sunday, January 12, 2014

my name is rachel ...

.... and tonight i went into my mom's room and cried and cried and cried.

about many things.

the anger i feel, maybe towards god. how scared i am of the unknown in upcoming tests. my worried-ness in trying and not trying to have hope in the upcoming neurologist appointment. the weight i've gained since being depressed/stressed. my dislike for things i'm asked to do (mostly church wise). how tired and weary and confused i am over this trial of having so many unknowns in my life and my "life plan" thrown so completely off.

the tears were salty and sad. my heart was broken. her words did little to comfort me but echo dully in my ear drums. i left with a casual 'whatever' and in almost the next breath found myself reading this :

i found myself again crying because god had found me and reached out to me and validated me through this blog post. this woman and i have almost nothing in common. but some of the things she said leaped off the page and i knew it was heaven sent.

i want to share what i learned from her.

1) "I envied every story I heard of someone getting terminal cancer.  I imagined my car crashing into cement walls.  I wanted Jake.  I wanted to die so that I would be with him again and feel like I was alive.  The truth is when Jake died, so did I.  I felt like everything good and happy about me was drained out, and I was filled up with pain.  Everything was ripped from me, except my kids.  Our life, our dreams, and our plans no longer mattered, without him they were dead too.  How could I live without him?  How could I make plans, or have dreams ever again?  I remember sitting in a room filled with people and feeling completely alone.  The thought “Jake is dead, how is he dead, how is this my life?  This is NOT my life!” ran through my head 95% of the time. Grief is something that is dark and horrible and eventually can be sweet and peaceful." i have been there. i have wanted to die. and i have been consumed with unimaginable mental and emotional pain.

2)  "But, my family never left me alone either.  They were there for me from the night he died and still, to this day, remain close to help and serve me.  They were a blessing and a huge reason I was able to go on." my family is a huge blessing to me. and her words helped me realize that perhaps they are part of the reason i am able to go on.

3) "This was our new reality ... People say that “time heals all wounds”.  I beg to differ.  Time doesn’t heal, if anything it makes it worse.  It’s been longer since I have seen Jake, and heard his voice.  Longer since I’ve felt the love and strength in his embrace.  But what time does, is helps us learn how to deal with it better and how to cope with our new reality.  Time give us the chance to grow into the person we were meant to be.  I said before that grief can become sweet and peaceful, and that is because of time." i get this and i don't at the same time. i think part of what i need in my life is more distance from this trial - the added benefit and blessing of space and time. but i just have to hope that her words are true! in the mean time, i must (dbt term here) radically accept my new reality. i am not doing that - or am doing it with a lot of resistance. if i will radically accept that where i am is where i am and that this must be where god wants me and that my life is in his hands, then what becomes of me and what happens to me will be handled with much more ease and grace.

4)  “You can’t choose your trials in life, but you can choose how you deal with them.  You can choose to become better or bitter.” she chose to become better. i want to choose to become better, too.

5)  I felt betrayed by God somehow.  Like we had an agreement that I would endure my trial with the understanding that he would prevent anything else bad from happening.  I battled depression (again), and gained weight from all the stress.  But in time, with a lot of prayer, God helped heal my heart out of the whole post this probably struck me the most. i started balling all over again. it gave me a renewed determination to pray with a sincere heart, earnestly seeking god as i talk to him and then, listen.

6) she talks about speech therapy, all of the tests her son, cameron, went through to get the diagnosis he needed, and seizures. all topics that are on my mind and things i worry over.

7) OR, I could look for every blessing, every miracle, and every ounce of help I receive from God and my loved ones.  Sometimes I have to really search and sometimes it is abundantly clear, but I can find blessings in every single day.  I focus on what I can do to improve our situation and do it.  I try not to beat myself up for not being perfect at everything.  I do the best I can and accept that as good enough. so clear and so beautifully written. makes me want to start a blessings journal. see the miracles in every day.

8) The truth is though, the only way I can handle any of it is through the help and love of my Savior and his atoning sacrifice. and truly this is what it all comes down to for me and what i believe : that atonement of jesus christ makes all things right. he has literally suffered all of my sad days, down days, dark days, pain filled days, disappointments, heartaches, mental impairments, physical hurts, anxieties, worries, fears - all of it. and he has found a way out. he has found a way to overcome all of these things - and all the things that people suffer that aren't listed here - and he knows the way out. he is willing to show us - me. he is willing to show me the way. he will lead me. he will guide me. he will take my hand and gently guide me along life's path, if i will but let him.

i am so grateful for this woman, julie. for the strength and perspective she shared. she made my night so much better.

tonight i will remember my 2014 motto as i allow the words of julie to sink in:

"i am only one idea, one dream, or one person away from my miracle. don't give up. 
the future is bright."

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