It’s been a while. Maybe you noticed that my last post was in all the way back in July, and that would be right about the time it all started. The bottom seemed to fall out from the pieces I was so desperately trying to hold together; and suddenly all felt lost. I felt a loss of words, emotions, motivation, understanding… I was lost.
What do you do when you find yourself broken and unraveled?
How do you pick up the pieces and nourish a broken soul?
How does life (not the kind where you’re existing day to day, but the kind where you’re truly living) start again?
It’s probably necessary that we rewind a bit, to understand this place I found myself in. It’s been almost a year, December 15th was the day in fact, and things haven’t been quite the same since. I got the call no one hopes to ever receive. It was my dad and it was later than normal in the day to hear from him. His voice was desperate and quivering, with a real sense of urgency. He’d found my brother collapsed and unconscious. The medics were trying desperately to resuscitate him, he told me, trying to get his heart going again, he’d call me right back. Within minutes, we were back in touch, but too much time had passed with no hopeful signs and the medics had to make the call to stop. He was already gone.
Within moments of crumbling to the floor in bursts of tears, screams, and pleas, I pulled myself up and stood to make the call no child should have to make. I had to deliver the news to my mom that her worst fear had become a reality and her son was gone.
I can be strong… I am strong. I have to be.
For months to come I would put on a brave face. I would tumble between the waves of peace and surges of grief. No one tells you how much pressure and fear will come with being the only child left to your parents. You rise to become a pillar of support, because you don’t know who will crumble first. You keep pushing forward because your husband and children need you. You put on a smile because others don’t know exactly what to say or how to act around you, and you find yourself being the one to disarm them and make the situation ok. And your heart keeps beating.
A few months after my brother’s sudden passing, God would ask me to say another goodbye. This time, I felt a prompting to put a dream that I’d held so closely, for so long, to rest. I prayed and questioned and prayed some more, hoping I would hear a different answer. What else could I do when this is what I pictured so vividly?! However, it became so clear that this dream had served its purpose and it was time for the next step. Reluctantly, I let it go, knowing in my head that God’s plans are far better, but questioning in my heart if they truly would be.
By mid July, we’d finally gathered family and friends to celebrate the life of my younger brother, and I had officially stepped back from the career/dream I thought would “make me.” Everything seemed to come to a close, and that’s when the bottom fell out.
Who was I and what was my life?
What am I actually doing here, Lord?! Because, suddenly, I’ve lost a key piece of my childhood, a dream for adulthood, and the idea that I can accomplish anything of value or importance.
You see, what you’ll find after a season of overwhelm, if you’re not careful, is the remnants of an undernourished soul. The mask of strength and courage you put on will only hide the wound of grief until depression and anxiety set in. It was a whole lens to see life through, and it became a world I didn’t recognize. The beauty of any story, though? At any rock bottom, and unmaking, you find the chance for Redemption. Revival. Renewal.
To be continued…