Taking A Step Forward

I’m sitting on a wooden dock. The sun setting in front of me, my shadow stretching out behind me. The pinks, oranges, yellows, and reds from the sky color the water in front of me. Fireflies are starting to come out of their hiding places and light up the dark that’s approaching. The only sounds I hear are the crickets and the waves saying hello to the shore. I pay them no attention. Honestly, I’m so lost in my thoughts that a marching band could be playing behind me and I don’t think I’d really hear them.

That was three months ago.

They say no one heals the same. Grief is such a strange thing. Some days I feel like I’m going to be okay , but most days I just feel stuck. Like a mouse in a mousetrap. Trying so hard to get out of the trap but getting nowhere.

Today, I’m sitting on the same wooden dock. I haven’t seen the sun in days. Gray skies block the sun. My shadow has gone into hiding and the water is dark. The fireflies have gone into hibernation, dreaming of warm summer days to come again. The waves still quietly say hello to the shore. The never ending need to be seen and heard. I take a deep breath and exhale, watching my breath leave my body. It’s so cold my tears freeze as they roll down my cheek. I’m still so lost a bear could wander out of the woods and sit down beside me and I would pay it no mind.

How do I get over you being gone?

I feel hopeless. Prayers won’t bring you back. I feel so weak, but I know I’m not. It takes strength to wake up every day and get out of bed and continue life without you here. A strength, fortunately, most people don’t have to find, at least today. If only they lived each day like it would be their last, if I had lived each day like it would’ve been our last.

If I had lived that last day knowing it was my last day with you. Would I have done anything differently?

That’s the nagging question. Would I have done anything differently? I loved you with every ounce of my being but did you know that? I would’ve laid down for my life for you but did I ever tell you that? Or did you somehow know that without my words? If I had known would I have stayed up all night talking about everything, and nothing, to hear your voice for a few more hours, a few more minutes? If I had known, would I have held you a little tighter as we slept together one last time? Or would I have stayed awake just staring at you so I could memorize everything about your face?

Damn, these voices are so loud but I don’t know what is worse. All these questions or this silence that is so deafening sitting here.

I know I am punishing myself sitting here in the cold. Maybe if enough tears fall, I will wash you out of my system. Maybe if I shiver enough it will shake you out of my system. But I know neither of these will work.

You will still be here. Trapped inside my broken heart.

I look out at the dark water and talk to no one. Or maybe you are there. I don’t know.

What do I know?

I know that somehow I’m getting stronger each day. I know I am appreciating life more each day. I know I am more resilient than I thought I ever could be. I know with each breath in and each breath out that my heart is still beating.

I know the grass is greener after a thunderstorm. I know the sun and the stars are still behind these gray clouds. And I know the sunset is only the ending to that day and that the sunrise tomorrow will be a new day.

I know a broken heart heals one stitch at a time. Today, I will add another stitch. And someday it will be healed and the scar will make it stronger.

I know the earth keeps spinning, the sun will continue to shine, even behind the clouds, and that life goes on.

I know I can’t stay in this place. I know I need to find a way to move forward. Life hasn’t stopped and I know it’s time for me to get on with mine.

I know this pain is real. I know it will always be here. I know it will lessen with time.

Maybe the thing I know the most is I will always love you.

Maybe that’s enough for today.

I pick myself up off the dock and look back at the water again.

And with that I take a step forward. And then another. And then another.

Here’s To Moving On by Dashboard Confessional-

I’m Still Out Here by Casting Crowns-

Still Frame by Citizen Soldier-

Better Days Coming by MercyMe –

Don’t Lose Heart by Steven Curtis Chapman –

Still by Steven Curtis Chapman –

Begin Again by Fearless Soul –

Maybe Today

Image result for the shack quotes

There was a time

When I would hit my knees and pray

Thanking God you were mine

But that was before He took you away

I was upset, no, I was angry

Eyes sewn shut

No light could get in

I never thought to look up

Image result for the shack quotes

Running in circles

Can’t catch my breath

Don’t want to live

I would prefer death

I am out of tears

I scream and shout

I don’t want to grab the hand

That is reaching out

Image result for the shack quotes

It never occurred to me

That I was on the wrong side

Until through a single crack

Appeared a slither of light

A feeling I can’t explain

A weight lifted off my chest

I could suddenly breathe again

A time to heal, a time to rest

Image result for the shack book quotes

All the hurt and pain diminished

Understanding the tears I cried

Then a voice, I understand your pain

For my own son died

Image result for psalm 61 2

Spinning by Disciple- 

Pull The Plug by I Prevail- 

On My Way  by Hayden Panettiere-

Keep Your Eyes on Me by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill –

The Wound Is Where The Light Gets In by Jason Gray – 

Your Rose Garden

Image result for rose garden

I watched you for what seemed like hours as you tended your rose garden. I never understood why you would want to have so many roses and why you would want to spend so much time out there. You would always say you loved the way the dirt smelled. You would spend countless summer days bent over the garden, sweat dripping from your brow, pulling the weeds and pruning the roses. You would come inside sweaty, dirty, and looking exhausted but you always had a smile on your face.

I don’t get it I would say. You would reply, what’s their to get. It’s my time to do what I love and it’s my time I spend all alone with God. You should hear the conversations we would have. I would always reply I don’t know if I want to and we would laugh.

Even in the dark cold days of winter you would get bundled up and go outside to walk the path through your garden. Talking to them, touching their dead branches. Of course, I didn’t get that either. Why on earth? You would always say that they aren’t dead. There is life inside of them. They are like a lot of people in this world. Walking dead but there is life in them. It’s up to us to bring that life out. Waiting patiently, for today they may appear dead but with tomorrow there is always hope.

Image result for dead rose gardenImage result for rose garden

You are like that. You had a natural beauty that I was instantly attracted to but it was your inner beauty that would light up my heart. You could walk into a dark room and it would be like someone turned on the lights. It is the type of person you are.

Until one day you were taken from me. A teenager was texting and driving and ran into you. Neither of you survived. God needed his angel back and I had to pay the price. At your funeral the pastor recited your favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Forget you God. If this is your plan then I don’t want any part of it. I looked out the back window and saw your rose garden. In my grief, I ran outside and I pulled and broke and cut every rose bush. I screamed and hollered your name. I screamed at God.

Out of breath, cut, scratched, and bleeding from the thorns, I dropped to my knees and let my tears water the lifeless dirt.

Summer turned to winter and, like the days , my heart grew darker and colder. I didn’t know how to live without you. I didn’t want to live without you. God should’ve taken me with you. My pain was too much to bear.

I looked out the window and saw the bare garden. I finally understood what you meant. Even if they appeared dead, at least they were still there. Now there was nothing but bare dirt. I grieved more as I recalled that day I destroyed what you loved.

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As seasons go, winter turned to spring. We had an early spring this year. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes. Somehow in the very back of the garden, barely visible from where I stood, a rose bush had survived and now had two roses blooming.

I ran outside as fast as I could. I had to touch them to see if they were real. As I did, I could swear I caught a faint scent of you. Then in the spring breeze I could swear I heard your laughter. I immediately dropped to my knees and grabbed a handful of dirt. It smelled so full of life.

In that moment, I felt my heart start to beat again.

I went out and bought as many rose bushes as I could find. There had to be at least a hundred of them and I was going to fix what I destroyed. I was going to fix your rose garden.

I labored for hours that first day. I went to bed exhausted, sore and smelling like dirt but I would wake up refreshed, ready to start again. I realized I could not do it on my own.

I looked at my phone, hesitant to dial their number. I dialed anyway. I called the teenagers parents and they came over to help. I think all of us healed a little bit that day.

I watched every day as your garden came back to life. I spent hours out there talking to you. I slowly learned to talk to God again.

Summer rolled around and I was still in the garden. Sweat rolling off every inch of my body but it was okay. I stood up to take a break and I swear I felt your hand touch mine. I closed my eyes remembering what your touch felt like. I looked down at my hand but yours was not there. I started to lift it up when a beautiful butterfly landed in my palm. Then a sliver of light fell right on it, giving it its own spotlight. I smiled, then the butterfly fluttered toward my face and touched my cheek, as if giving me a kiss. Then it flew to a nearby rose and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time.

I said your name out loud. Kim?

Then a summer breeze picked up and I swear I heard it carry your laughter. Tears fell down my face but I smiled.

In your rose garden I found life again. I found you again. I found God again.

I miss you every minute of every day but it was right there and then that I knew I would never be alone.

Image result for joy comes in the morning

Maybe Today

 

Image result for the shack quotes

There was a time

When I would hit my knees and pray

 

Thanking God you were mine

But that was before He took you away

 

I was upset, no, I was angry

Eyes sewn shut

 

No light could get in

I never thought to look up

Image result for the shack quotes

Running in circles

Can’t catch my breath

 

Don’t want to live

I would prefer death

I am out of tears

I scream and shout

 

I don’t want to grab the hand

I can see reaching out

Image result for the shack quotes

It never occurred to me

That I was on the wrong side

 

Until through a single crack

Appeared a slither of light

 

A feeling I can’t explain

A weight lifted off my chest

 

I could suddenly breathe again

A time to heal, a time to rest

Image result for the shack book quotes

All the hurt and pain diminished

Understanding the tears I cried

 

Then a voice, I understand your pain

For my own son died

Image result for psalm 61 2

Spinning by Disciple- 

Pull The Plug by I Prevail- 

On My Way  by Hayden Panettiere- 

The Shack Movie Trailer – Keep Your Eyes on Me by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill – 

The Wound Is Where The Light Gets In by Jason Gray –