I’ve experienced this gut wrenching, twisted feeling lately. It’s been induced three times over the last week. I let it go the first time but after two other panic induced triggers I couldn’t ignore it any longer. So what is this wretched thing that flips my panic switch? Dating. That’s right folks—dating.
And I’m not just talking about being nervous, anxious, or unsure. I’m saying straight up dread. It’s like someone flips a switch and I go from okay that person sounds interesting to “I can’t breathe, I want to cry, and I don’t want to talk to anyone” type of panic. When it happens I realize how irrational my emotions are but I can’t stop feeling them. I can’t shut them off. The other night when they struck I went to bed hoping my induced panic was merely a result of being exhausted from a day filled with tax returns and teaching. But when I woke up it was still there.
That meant I had to deal with it. It took me an entire day filled with texts, emails, and a couple of discussions with my peeps to figure it out. The root of my panic wasn’t dating per se the root was the fear of loss–of reliving all the hurt and pain of losing someone I love deeply.
Yep, I should’ve seen that one coming from a mile away but I didn’t. From the outside looking in my fear of loss would be a blazing neon sign with twenty spotlights on it—I am a widow. But from the inside looking out I couldn’t see that—being a widow is a part of who I am but it’s not everything I am. I’ve got lots of cards in my deck and the widow card isn’t always the troublemaker.
It’s not that I’m not ready for this life step. I am ready to date. I am ready for a relationship again. I know I want to be married again. I want to have that special person to share my life with. And I realized Heaven forbid it’s my lot in life to be a widow twice over—well I’m ready for that too. If God brought me through it once, He’ll bring me through it again.
As if I wasn’t sure enough on my own there’s more to this story. Earlier in the week a song spoke to me. It’s called “Go On Without Me” by Brett Eldredge–you should google it. The song is off his 2013 album, which happens to be the same year Chris passed away. I’d never heard the song before this week. Here’s some of the lyrics:
Every man has his place in time
Everyone has a loved one that they leave behind
And even though I’m not right there with you…
I hope it’s my love that makes you feel that you can get back on your feet yeah I swear you will….
I don’t want you to cry over my memory so go on without me…
Every breath of life is short and sweet
So glad that I’m up here that I got to see you go on without me.
Later that same afternoon something was poking my arm—and I pulled out a tiny feather from my sweater. I don’t have feather pillows. It was weird to say the least but today as I’m coming out on the other side of my latest personal triumph it all makes me smile and reminds me that I’ve got this. I’m not alone. The Big Guy in the Sky has got me covered.
Even though fear is a pretty nasty F word I know one that’s even tougher–FIERCE (bet you thought I meant another F word.) 😉 I’m choosing to be fierce and not fearful. No matter what you’re facing, you’re greater than your fears. Square your shoulders, raise that chin, and walk on. Fear might trip you from time to time but you have the choice to get back up. Choose to be fierce, roll on, and remember you’re never alone.