I’ve been silent all week. Seven days have passed since my last post and yesterday I just felt desperate to write. It’s still pretty hard to get that window of undisturbed, uninterrupted, empty space when I can think and express a spinning vortex of thoughts that follows me around all week, growing ever bigger.
It’s been one of those weeks where the intensity of grief has made it feel like I’ve coasted through and am now looking back at a dream. How was my week? I don’t really know. What did I do? I’m not sure.
It’s been another week of learning about myself and about pain. Memories and reminders of this time last year. In particular, the night we first got the severity of my Dad’s illness dealt to us, like a punch to the stomach.
Crying, reeling, chest pain, stomach churning, heart racing, can’t breathe, feel sick.
How can I manage all these feelings? I’m not sure I can, I thought.
It’s actually a year since I started my blog today. As you’ll see from my first post Light Dawns in the Darkness (which wasn’t actually public at the time and wasn’t until after my Dad passed away), what I was experiencing a year ago was my reason to start writing this blog, I needed an outlet. It’s strange, I almost want to celebrate a year of my blog, but it somehow doesn’t feel good.
Towards the beginning of the week I was very tearful and just felt what I can only describe as inner turmoil. I felt angry again. If I hadn’t already experienced the powerful feelings that arrive with significant dates, I would have been slightly panicked thinking I was going crazy. I was expecting this.
I shut myself off. I have always found it hard to express my feelings unless I feel loved and safe and that involves being given time and being invited to say what I feel. If I’m feeling disconnected then I close off and without being aware of it, I make a choice to portray, “if you can’t help me that’s ok, but just leave me alone, don’t expect anything from me because it takes too much effort to manage this by myself.”
I felt on the verge of tears all the time but if I tried to allow myself to fully cry, a release, nothing came. I was feeling it but also bottling it up in order to keep going and it intensified like a building storm.
I walked into a toddler group on Tuesday and they had decorated the place for Christmas and in big letters on the back wall, pretty much the first thing I saw when I walked in, was the word, “JOY”. If I’m honest, I think my first thought was… Spare me. But I felt something, like a finger, poking me in the ribs. I looked at the word again.
Joy to the world. Another Christmas phrase I have taken for granted all these years. Joy – a feeling that wells up from within despite your circumstances. The joy of knowing you’re loved perfectly, that you have hope, that all the crap heaped on your doorstep will be worked together for good (Romans 8:28), that you will be provided for (Luke 12:24), that you don’t need to fear (Matthew 10:31).
Joy to the world – a God-with-me moment.