Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Empty Room

For months I have been trying to figure out what to write here. My life has changed and I am not sure what to do. On September 15, I lost my person, my best friend, my sister (not by blood but by heart). The weeks leading up to that day were rough, but we made the most of each of them. I treasure the days spent in bed just being us, the many trips to different doctors appointments that allowed for real honest conversation and the many everyday things that we called "adventures." The first few weeks after Lynette's heavenly home coming were really tough, but then things felt a little lighter until this past weekend when grief stood up and smacked me hard in the face and it all centered around an empty room.

One of my goals is to have my own house. In preparation for this, I decided to buy some furniture, so that when I do have a house, I have something to sit on. What a concept, I know! Last week I bought a couch and dresser and this weekend I spent some time cleaning my room before it was delivered, so that I could fit it all in. As I was cleaning I became really overwhelmed with missing Lynette. I remembered so many conversations the two of us had regarding my own house. She wanted so badly to help decorate it and "make it a home" as she would say. She and I also had a lot of talks about the end of this year and my time with Beautiful Gate coming to a close. She would always say, "Let's not talk/feel about it now. At the end of the year, we will celebrate and walk through it together. I will not leave you alone through this." We had plans. We had dreams. We had more adventures to go on.

So this weekend I found myself laying on the floor in an empty room, just crying. For the first time, my environment, felt like my heart. I was grieving all the memories, conversations and amazing times with Lynette. I was grieving the last four full time years and seven years total of memories with Beautiful Gate. I felt so empty. I felt like I had been striped of everything and all I could do was focus on breathing. As I laid on the carpet, I felt comfort. As I looked at less "things" I felt lighter. But when I thought about new furniture coming in, I felt so heavy and afraid. I didn't want new to come in. I wanted the old to stay. I wanted my friend back. I wanted to hear her voice and feel her hand hold mine. I wanted to schedule pick up times for the next appointment or adventure. I wanted to imagine I was just purging things like I do every year before I leave for Lesotho. But this year, that is not the case. Yes I am purging to make life more simpler, but the suitcase that has been tucked behind my bedroom door for four years, is no longer there. I will not be packing up and feeling the joy of having many children on my lap.

I didn't want the new to come in, because that means the old was gone.
I was in an empty room.
And I was empty.

But then I remembered the words from Isaiah 43:19, "Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" I am entering into a new chapter a new time given to me by the Lord. I need to embrace it and know that in the empty, there is comfort because I am "precious, honored and loved" (Isaiah 43:4). I will be honest, I do not have all the answers and there are huge moments when I just want the old back again. Everyday I ache to go on an adventure with Lynette, but I know that right know she is cheering me on, telling me now to stop. Telling me to keep going. Telling me not to miss the new thing right in front of me. I feel so broken. There are moments when the tears just fall and there is nothing I can do to hold them back. But then there are moments of pure joy. Simple moments of putting on a pair of shoes she so badly wanted me to have. Simple joys of walking around with her family and other friends on Halloween and being silly.

Yesterday the new couch came. After it was delivered, my dear friends staged my room for me, making sure special pictures and books were in places that I would see them. The new is here, but I am learning that that doesn't mean the old is gone. As I type this I am curled up on the new couch. The room is no longer empty, but instead filled with a new normal. This new normal includes moments every day of sitting and remembering the old and cherishing every moment of it. I do not know what lies ahead of me, but I do know the One who has planned the path. I pray each day that as I journey there will be moments in the new that I will remember the old. I never want to forget Lynette's laugh or the last big hug she gave me. I never want to forget how it feels to hold a BG child in my arms and feel that they trust me 110% with every ounce of their being.

The new is here, but the old hasn't left and for that I rejoice!

John 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." I am clinging to this peace these days. I am placing my hope in the One who has a plan and will redeem this world! Through the moments when fears overwhelm and I want to crawl back to the empty room and just be, I find that it is in His presence that I feel safe. It is in His presence that I feel whole. It is in His presence that I have peace. The old, the new and the in between are all moments when I can crawl up into my Abba's lap and allow His presence overwhelm the grief with peace.

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