Wednesday, May 10, 2017

An Ending and a Beginning

Dear friends,

This will be my final blog post for "It's Not Weird, It's Just God!" I won't be deleting this blog, at least not for now. It is very precious to me and I will be pulling several pieces of it into the book I'm finally writing. I have moved back to my home town in Washington State from being away since November of 2008. Much has happened between then and now and I am starting over again in a lot of ways. One of the ways is by ending this blog and writing my story in book form. I will have a web site once things get moving along, where I will begin to blog again. For now, I'm going to be taking a long break from social media so I can focus on my heart finally being opened to write again.

My heart has been closed up to any kind of creativity, for the most part, for over two years now. Most of you know that my dad passed away from brain cancer in April of 2015. Not even six weeks later, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with a rare blood disease that had been mysteriously presenting itself since July of 2013. About 5 months later, our youngest was diagnosed with the same disease, only she has much more severe symptoms. I didn't even think that could be possible. About 3 months after that, my youngest and I moved across the country from Virginia Beach to Washington to have a specific medical treatment done. We ended up going straight from there to Southern California, in the hopes that the fair and even climate would be "just what the Doctor ordered" for the girls to be able to thrive again and feel better. My husband was able to be transferred there and he and our oldest, along with our dog, packed up the house and drove across the country to meet us in California on Valentine's Day, 2016.

What began as a wonderful new adventure in the city that we always dreamed of living in ended up being nothing at all like what we hoped or planned. I don't have time to get into all the details, but we ended up making the decision to move back to Washington. I was very anxious about what this move would mean for our family. It was out of necessity, for family support and better medical care for the girls, but I was having a lot of fear about facing this new "home" without my dad being here. It's one thing to visit, but we have a home now. It's really real. I don't have to say goodbye to my family and go back to a place of loneliness. Yet, everything is so different. My dad's death has left a huge hole in my family; one that most everyone had the chance to really feel because they've been living here. Let me be clear though. My entire family is still "feeling" this hole, even now, right along with me. I'm not the only one who feels like the wound has been reopened. I'm just thankful that I'm finally here to go through it with them.

I didn't have time to truly grieve after he died because of the whirlwind I've been living in since I flew back across the country to my sick children two days after his memorial service. I knew it would hit me at some point once I was living back home again, and it did, last weekend. It wasn't just the grief from my dad dying. It was grief for what my children have gone through and are still going through; grief from shattered dreams and plans for our future, grief from the strain this has put on our marriage, grief from all that we've been robbed of, grief from time wasted being numb and refusing to feel what needed to be felt and dealt with a long time ago. And finally, grief from moving away, yet again, from a new set of wonderful friends that we were hoping would become friends for life, and for friendships lost in the wake of the storm that's been raging in our lives for many years. I'm sure there's more, but those are the main things I was thinking about last weekend.

The very thing I was dreading, a grief wave the size of what felt like a tsunami, hit me like a mack truck on Saturday. But, instead of running from it and looking for something, anything, to cling on to to avoid the wave, I took it head on. I survived. Up until then, I felt like there was a volcano inside of me that was ready to explode at any moment. I was doing everything I could to keep that from happening because I honestly thought it would kill me if I let my guard down and finally let myself FEEL for the first time in over two years. But how could I not feel it; when every street I drive down every day has a memory attached to it? When every day I watch my kids struggling and in pain. I see my dad in every part of this town, and I miss him so much that it aches in my chest. I see the places my kids and I used to play, before this disease took over their little bodies; before they knew pain and allergies and hospitals and needles and pills and... However, the very thing I thought would kill me (emotionally, mentally, spiritually) is the very thing that needed to happen so I could finally move past the oppression of grief and into what God has called me to do.

This experience was helped along in a huge way by another writer. She wrote a book about grief and her story is what broke the dam wide open in my own heart. It's what gave me the courage to feel and to let the wave crash over me. Once I came up for air, my head was clear. My eyes weren't, my nose wasn't, and I had a monster headache from the buckets of tears that I should have poured out a long time ago, but my head was clear. My purpose was restored. The weight of grief was lifted. I could breathe again.

So, I am excited about what the Lord has done in my heart this week. I'm bursting with what I want to write in my book. God gave me the title and the outline for this book last July. That's when I thought I was going to dive in and start writing. However, that isn't always the way God works. Sometimes he gives us an assignment to be carried out right away. Other times, he downloads a bunch of information into our hearts and then chooses to put it on hold for a while longer. Those are the ones that really confuse me, but I've learned to trust the Lord. (I learn slowly, painfully at times, but I'm always learning how to trust Him better and more deeply.) Honestly, what I thought this book was going to be when he gave me the title in July is not what it's going to be. It's going to be better. I have a lot more "life material" that needed to be added to this book and, had I written it last summer, I would have missed out on writing what I know I need to write now. I believe I'm ready to write the book I've been trying to write for ten years. Thank you, Jesus.

I will never stop praying for all of you. I hope you will follow me to my new web site as soon as I get it up and running. In the meantime, I will be writing and taking care of my family, and myself. I haven't done much in the "self-care" department, which has been a big part of the problem. But that is changing now. I realize the importance of it now more than ever before. So, until we meet again on the page, know that I am praying for you even if I don't know you. Know that there is a God in Heaven who loves you so, so much and desires to have a relationship with you through His son, Jesus Christ. I will "talk" to you again soon! Much love.


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