It was this time last year that I decided to start a blog. The idea had been mentioned to me a few times but the timing didn't feel right. All my energy after Aubrey and Ellie's deaths went into getting out of bed in the morning anyway. The thought of pouring my heart out on a blog seemed overwhelming, so I pushed the idea to the back of my mind.
Then one day I finally felt ready.
I remember that I ended my first blog post with the word "so here I go..." I certainly didn't know where I was headed, nor did I have a plan. I was nothing more than a heartbroken mommy who knew only one thing; if I stayed where I was at I would never make it. It was time to move and for whatever reason I thought writing would take me somewhere.
Now that a year has passed I can't help but stop and take a look around. I am clearly in a different place now than I was last year. Things have certainly changed and I have certainly changed. Yet I can't help but wonder if things are actually different or if I just see things differently. Have I really moved?
As I read over my past blog posts it is clear that I have moved. I think the better question is where?I have managed to move myself all over the place. I have been down and up and back down again a thousand times. I have moved forward only to find myself falling backward over and over. Not all of my movement has been forward motion. So how did I get here then?
I know I didn't run here. After months of training and 13.1 miles in the hot sun I crossed the finish line of my first half-marathon. I felt a deep sense of accomplishment and I was reminded of how much I love competing and pushing myself. But by the time I crawled in bed that night I could feel that running didn't take me where I wanted it to. I was still so sad. Running had helped heal my body, but not my heart. I still felt in the same place I had started in.
It seemed everything I tried to move myself forward left me feeling stuck. I got myself out of bed every single day, I read all the books I could get my hands on, I attended a grief support group at church, I sought counseling, I exercised...all the things I felt I was supposed to do if I wanted to heal. So why wasn't it working?
Six months after Aubrey and Ellie's deaths I didn't feel any better. I actually felt worse. It was getting harder, not easier, and I was beginning to panic. I promised my girls I would heal. I was working as hard as I could to get there, but there seemed farther away than ever. I could feel hopelessness setting in. What was the point of trying so hard when it didn't make a difference anyway? I was ready to give up. I simply didn't have the emotional energy to go on.
Left with no other options I called out to God. I wanted to heal but I couldn't seem to get there on my own. What do I do now Lord? I need help.
Let me carry you.
I didn't even realize I was trying to do it ALL on my own. I really did think that I was doing all the right things. And looking back I think that all the running and the reading and the blogging was beneficial, none of it was bad or wrong, but what was missing was rest. I needed to be carried.
True rest can only be found in the Lord. And in that rest is where healing takes place. It wasn't until I finally stopped trying so hard and let the Lord carry me that I began to experience real restoration in my soul. Truthfully I don't feel less sad. I miss my girls as much today as I did the day I let them go. And I still cry a lot. But along side my tears is a peace and comfort that I could never provide for myself. It could only come from Him.
And the truth is I am still being carried. I really wanted the one year mark to be the finish line. And when it came and went and I woke up the next morning still sad I felt deeply discouraged. This is way harder than I thought. But I was gently reminded...
I will carry you.
So I can't tell you where I am exactly in my grief or even were I'll be next. Grief is a long and unpredictable process. Losing my girls changed everything. But I can tell you how I got here. He carried me. The most important thing is not where I am anyway, but with Who. I don't have to try so hard. I can find rest on this journey. The Lord will carry me.