The first time I allowed myself to work after IT happened, I expected to wrestle with feelings of guilt. I expected to be fuzzy and unable to focus. I prepared myself for the overwhelming nausea that would inevitably come from even attempting to think about anything other than IT.
Instead, I felt an overwhelming amount of … freedom. Such a strange word to use and yet, that is the only and best way I can describe what came over me as I allowed myself to ignore the world, the people and the circumstances that were so far out of my control. I set aside everything and anything that was crushing in on me and submerged myself in the familiar.
That night, I fell back into my old routine and worked for hours. It all came rushing back. The tap, tap, tap of the keys beneath my fingers. The rush of problem solving. The joy I felt for the life I’d made for myself.
I was me again. Me without IT.
I’ll be honest with you: If I could have stayed there—in that world suspended between grief and life—I would have. The opportunity to forget the pain of IT and the knowledge that nothing would ever, ever be the same? Yes, please. Sign me up. I’ll take a double portion.
But, of course, that is just not how life works. Somehow, we have to pick up the pieces of our shattered world and face the dawn of each new day. To dive back into the trenches. Back to reality.
How can we do this? Well, I don’t know about you but I only have one answer: Jesus.
My relationship with Him is the only reason that I have been able to wake up in the morning and put my feet on the ground. I can tell you, I wouldn’t have made it without knowing that He is right there beside me, holding me up and—let’s be honest—pushing me forward.
Have I questioned him? Sure.
Cried, screamed and railed about the unfairness of it all? You betcha.
Doubted that he cares or that he could understand the depth of the pain I’m going through? Nope. Not once.
Yes, seriously. Despite everything, I am secure in the knowledge that my God has never left me and that he will never, ever fail me. Even if I don’t see it now, he is somehow going to use all of this for good. I cling to that knowledge.
So does that mean I’m miraculously over IT and have moved on? Uh, nope. Not even a little. Things are more topsy-turvy now than they were a few months ago. I’ve got even tighter grip on God than before (really didn’t think that was possible…).
But you know what he’s doing? He’s holding onto me just as tight, reassuring me I can do this, even when I have my doubts (yup, doubts— plural).
And sometimes, on days when everything gets a bit too overwhelming and I start to lose faith in things ever getting better, He brings me back to that night in my little room in the corner of the house. With everything closing in around me, the world as I knew it utterly devastated and yet, He gave me peace in the middle of the storm.
Looking back, I realize what that night was. It was the first time I was able to see that there would be life after IT.
If you’re currently in that in-between place of grief and taking that first step forward, I hope this helps you in some way. It won’t be like this forever. But while you’re waiting, lean on Him. He’ll bring you through.