Thursday, April 14, 2016

The after life...

Hello, world...

It's been a few months since my last post. As you all know, life after my dad's death has been really difficult for me. Every time I thought I was in a better place, some memory or dream would knock me down flat again. Mentally, emotionally and physically I was a mess...and not even a glorious one at that!

A week after my last post, I was in a car accident. I was hit from behind and the driver fled the scene. I had a lot of damage to my neck and have gone through a lot of pain to get back to a place of full function again. The mental and emotion pain from it the first six weeks are so were comparable to the physical anguish. You've all read my story so you know everything I've overcome before, especially the horrible migraines and joint pain. Shortly after the accident, I was terrified that the pain I had worked so hard to to overcome in the past, was not only back with a vengeance, but could possibly be here to stay. It crushed my spirit and threw me back into my grief in a pretty powerful way.

In February, I had an appointment with my primary doctor and we were talking about where I was at with my grief eight months post losing my dad. She told me that every time we've talked about it, I kept putting so much focus on who I was before he died. She said it was as if I had been denying that I really could have an after life; a life after my dad, one in which I was happy again. Wow. In the months leading up to that day, nobody had said such to me. Later that night, I finally slept well and woke up feeling hope, something I really hadn't up until that point. It was a feeling of hope for my future instead of sorrow for yesterday.

In the nearly two months since that appointment I've found myself in a place I haven't been in for quite some time. I started fighting for myself again...fighting for what I need. I've talked about my dad without feeling pain inside of me while doing so. I've rejoiced for great things going on in my family, without feeling bad for doing so. I've made really hard decisions that were best for me and my future, rather than simply staying comfortable. I've learned that my darkest days have amounted to the biggest season of internal and spiritual growth I've ever experienced. I've gotten to know myself in a way that I never imagined I would have to and it's been an amazing thing.

My parents anniversary would have been last month, as well as my dad's birthday. I thought those days would wreck me, and although I missed him terribly, and felt sad, the feeling passed and I just kept living. In the last few weeks, I've realized that while my dad is having his own afterlife (and it's more than he ever dreamed of), so am I and I'm happy.

It's been a little over ten months now since he left us and life has changed so much. There have been other endings and new beginnings, job changes, moves and a new baby joining our family later this year. While I do wish he was here, I know he's watching over us and finds ways to show me that often. I started working on a book and the process got sidelined during recovery and some big changes. I've started writing again and it feels so good. It heals me and I hope that when it's finished, it helps other do the same.

There is a song by Danny Gokey (though it was written by Matthew West, who I also love) called "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" and the message has been on my heart daily since right before New Years. This is my favorite part... "Let every heartbreak and every scar be a picture to remind you, who has carried you this far. 'Cause love sees farther than you ever could. In this moment Heaven's working everything for your good. Tell your heart to beat again, close your eyes and breathe it in. Let the shadows fall away, step into the light of grace. Yesterday's a closing door, you don't live there anymore. Say goodbye to where you've been and tell your heart to beat again."

It beats loudly now. More than that, I have peace and it makes all the difference in the world.


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