Six years ago today was Chris’s last birthday on this side of heaven. Six years. Six years. It has been SIX YEARS (to be exact six years shy of two months) since my whole world changed. Six years. So much has changed.
Six years ago today I was about to go to my surprise 30th birthday party. Today I’m sitting at the library at Shepherd doing homework for my doctorate class, which I’m totally procrastinating on by writing this post at the moment.
Six years later, I’m so many things I wasn’t back then. Adversity has the capability to change us into beautiful creations, if we allow it to. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons since then.
I must confess life in these past six years hasn’t been smooth sailing. I’ve gotten some monumental breaks, truly I have, but I’ve suffered and struggled to get to each blessing. I had a lot of “I quit” kind of days.
Yesterday, was one of those days. I completely lost my crap. I’m talking angry screaming at God kind of crap losing. I’m exhausted. I’m frustrated. I cannot begin to fathom how I’m going to make it through three years of doctorate classes with minimal time to spend with those I love or to write all the creative crazy that lives in my head. This is exactly what I was dreading. This is exactly what I thought it was going to be—time consuming, lonely, and exhausting.
I truly wanted to quit yesterday (not my job—I love that) but I seriously wanted to quit. I even started to run through the potential consequences and scenarios.
Today as I was driving from my favorite coffee shop to campus, I was thinking about life after Chris these last six years. I thought about the woman reflecting back at me in the rearview mirror and how different she is. Right now there are several things in my life that feel utterly impossible.
Six years ago, I was on the cusp of undergoing the most severe and traumatic change of my life. I had no idea what was just around the curve. Five years ago, I was in such devastating pain over Chris’s first birthday in heaven and the anxiety of my first birthday without him. In those days it felt impossible that I would ever love again or that I would ever feel alive again.
Have you ever been asked to believe in something impossible? Have you ever been told to keep believing in something that felt completely out of the realm of possibility in your life? I have no doubt that you have. I also know that some of you are still waiting for that impossible “thing” to become a reality. And some of you have experienced the impossible become possible right in front of your eyes. If you’re anything like me, you entertained the thoughts of quitting more than once during that time.
I used to carry the weight of despair and a shattered heart around in my chest. It felt impossible that I would ever be able to breathe without searing pain. It felt impossible that I could heal.
I used to stand in front of the mirror and hate my reflection. I hated the outer shell of myself as much as the person I lived with inside. It felt impossible that I could ever love my reflection. It felt impossible that I could love myself.
I used to think that no one would ever want to date someone who was as damaged as me and a widow at that. It felt impossible to be loved by another man.
There are so many other things in my life that felt impossible. The list is too long to share, but I hope you get the picture.
It felt impossible that I could heal, but today despair does not reside in my chest and my shattered heart has been fused back together again. It felt impossible then, but today I’m healed.
It felt impossible that I could ever love my reflection. It felt impossible that I could love myself. When I see my reflection now, I think ‘wow God thank you for making me HER.’ I can’t believe that’s me. All the flaws and imperfect body parts I hated before make me who I am. This outer shell is a gift as much as the inner shell of my spirit is. It is MY shell and I love her. (Ha! See what I did there.) 😉
It felt impossible to be loved by another man. And yet I have been. I have been the object of affection of an amazing man. I was loved by him for everything that I am—the broken, the imperfect, and even the clumsy, quirky parts.
It’s important to stop and remember the impossibilities in our life that became possible. I know all things are possible through Him; however, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my doubting days that those impossibilities are actually meant for me.
I have no freaking clue how NOT having a life is getting me closer to my person and my family. It feels impossible that me doing all of this work that keeps me isolated from cultivating the intimacy in my friendships and family relationships is going to get me to “them.” I have no idea how this road leads to my “impossible” dreams.
And yet I know I have to go this road. I have to walk this path. I know this so deeply and I hate it at the same time. There will probably be more temper tantrums in my future. I am a child of God–emphasis on the child part. LOL!
As I think about Chris’s birthday and mine, it reminds me to stop and look back momentarily, to take note of everything lost and gained, of every impossibility that became more than a possibility but REALITY. The greatest lessons I’ve learned about living have come from death. So as I lay to rest my last day of being 35 and step into 36, I cling to the evidence of my past as I hope for the “impossibilities” of my future to become my life.
Happy birthday in heaven, Chris! And thank you for everything your life and your death have and are still teaching me.
To my dear friends, remember impossible is actually I’m possible without proper punctuation. Let’s be sure to keep telling ourselves and each other that. 😉
#DontStopBelieving #ImPossible #Confessions