The never ending winter

“How could I Make you so small when you’re the ONE who holds it ALL?

“When did I forget that you’ve always been the King of the World?”

Such a powerful song by Natalie Grant.

King of the World.

Came across this song on a February day and it paralyzed me.

It was the message I had been thirsting for. The answer to a prayer.

And He brought it to me.

And because of this song, His Grace, and the stillness that I was “forced” into, over the course of this winter, I must share.

I’ve been away. And I missed this life.

But, I had to leave for awhile and truly feel…and heal. He knew what was best for me.

I missed the 5am workouts, the hustle and bustle of my career, the laughter of friends…I missed my life. Unknown to me at the time, I had to step away.

They say you don’t truly appreciate something until it is taken away from you. I now believe that is true.

You may wonder what happened? Was it a cancer scare? A life altering event? What?

None of the above, my friends.

It was a wisdom tooth.

I could go back to early December and tell you how my siblings contacted me to tell me my Dad was dying. I could share how aggressive and evil they were. I could share how my Dad was in hospice care,only 5 minutes from my home, and my Mom and Sister kept that from my children and I. I could tell you he passed on the last day on 2017….and we never had the chance to say goodbye.

But, I’ll save that for another time because… “I’m over it”, “I’m over the grief”, “I have moved on with my life” and “it doesn’t hurt anymore”.

Well, that’s what I thought anyway.

I was reminded of my pain when my jaw started to “bang”.

As I reflect on life, I continue to see.

Like, actually SEE how God’s best masterpieces are molded in the darkness.

This February, He began reshaping me.

I really struggled with the passing of my Dad. I truly didn’t know how to grieve for the “loss”of him.

All the kind messages, cards and people reaching out. I imagined that in another’s world, it would be a horrific tragedy.

To lose your role model in life, your “first love”, your Daddy.

But I didn’t have any of those feelings or really even a Dad.

So…How do you cry for a man who caused you so much pain? I didn’t have a lot of memories to hold onto. No special gifts, only a handful of photos, not even a card signed in his handwriting.

My husband, children, even very close friends…didn’t know how to comfort me. They didn’t know what to do or say. And, I didn’t know what to tell them.

Because, for almost a decade, I had boasted “when He dies someday, it won’t affect me”…he had been absent most of my childhood…and I had walked away. I believed all if my “self talk”, until the winter came…and stayed.

I pushed through my busy, upbeat life. Giving myself a week of “down” time. I ached for things to go back to normal.

With no funeral or service planned, I had to do something for closure.

I submitted an obituary. My children, husband and I held a small service for my Dad. We lit paper lanterns and had root beer floats(his favorite treat),and I even made a playlist.

All the songs I once dreaded singing to…were all I had left to hold onto.

I’ve realized that the grief that I choked down would eventually Rise out of me, but I figured it would be little by little. And over time…in my time… when it was convenient and planned. But, I was reminded that I am NOT in control… in a most unexpected way.

My wisdom tooth stopped me in my tracks that ordinary Monday.

Now, some may say I am “reaching” with how it all went down. Some would say it was nothing. Others wouldn’t react the way that I did. Some may say I could turn my events into anything I wanted. It may have been just a wisdom tooth, but to me, it was an awakening.

I’ll tell you this…. you didn’t pray my specific prayers. You didn’t sit in the stillness. You didn’t feel and grow and cry and heal with me. You can’t ever “see” what I was shown.

It was all for a reason.

I will always believe 💕

Long story short……

God took back control.

Id like to think He’d been letting me hold the reins for the past year or so.

In my small world, I had life licked.

4am wake up, structured day, happy life, healthy, secure… and all is well. Pretty easy to be positive and strong when everything is going right.

But, I think He wanted me to sit with Him for awhile. So, He flipped the table over and all the dishes, cups, and “structures” came crashing down. At first, I was angry with Him for making a mess out of my perfectly planned little life.

I had forgotten how far I had come. I had been lacking appreciation for the small things. I had been fooling myself, thinking I was “strong enough” on my own.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I pray daily.

I trust, I rely, I worship.

Or do I?

I was awakened.

I started feeling like I was coming down with something during a Friday morning workout. My jaw hurt, I was having trouble working out, and had chills. I told myself I was probably getting the flu everyone had.

I decided to take it slow the rest of the day and laid low all weekend. By Sunday, I accepted that maybe I had an infected tooth. Called the dentist Monday and went in to see what was up. Something small, I’m sure.

I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

But God had a different plan.

I had a severe infection due to a wisdom tooth and needed it out asap. It was very bad, almost dangerous. Well, that would explain the way I felt.

If you’ve ever seen Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll know this…

“Trauma 1”.

For me, it has a bit of a different meaning. My anxiety went through the roof and I was in full blown emergency mode. I probably should have been put in a trauma room 😉

Because of childhood events, many unexpected things present themselves in very dramatic ways for me.

Most people can “deal” with inconvenient events. I usually can as well. Frustrated to have to put my schedule on hold, an unplanned expense, right? I wish.

This “unexpected ” event became a big one.

But, bigger and more aggressive than it should have been. And I now realize it was so I would be still.

I had the wisdom tooth surgery in early February and recovered quite quickly. In any “normal” circumstance, I should have been back at it. I was cleared for the gym, physically healthy, looked good, pain free. But, I just couldn’t get past something.

At first I thought it was anxiety. I practiced yoga, walked the dog, did meditation, and prayed.

I just felt heavy.

I couldn’t seem to keep my appointments with friends. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to see anyone. And I had forgotten all that I had in front of me. The grief that I had been hiding from had come to sit with me.

And I felt like it wasn’t just sitting with me, but it was holding me down.

I learned, many years ago, that in order to release an emotion, you must acknowledge it and literally SIT with it.

Feel it, breathe it in.

Once you have acknowledged and released it, it no longer has power over you.

All of these years, all the work I had put into myself and my healing.

I had forgotten the most important rule.

“What you resist will persist “.

So God took my life back.

He used my wisdom tooth to quiet me. When I fought that and tried to run, He brought my anxiety in.

When I thought I was more powerful than that, He brought me to Grief.

And there I sat…..in the middle of this gray, cold winter ❄️

Pissed off because I was missing out.

Mad as hell because I wasn’t “on vacation”, wasn’t busy, couldn’t, would never….it’s not fair!!!!!!!

And then, I turned on Spotify.

I felt like someone slapped me in the face.

“When did I forget that you’ve always been the King of the World?”

I was speechless. The tears of relief and release came. Why was I carrying this heavy load?

He wants to care for me. He wants to take my burdens away.

He’s got it under control.

At that moment, a light switch went on!

He silenced me in order to hold me….and heal me.

Perfectly. Precisely. With His unconditional, unimaginable LOVE ❤️.

In the silent moments, He reminded me of memories I had long forgotten of my Dad.

He showed me how much my Dad loved me(in the ways he knew how).

And through my pain, depression, and severe anxiety…..allowed me to feel empathy for my Dads struggles.

I “felt” and could finally understand my Father’s life long pain. I felt sadness, compassion for my Dad, and a new form of peace I had not felt before.

There is beauty in the release.

I cried for my Dad, because of him, and for the future there will never be. I let it all go and accepted that he will always be with me and a will be a part of me. And I made a promise to myself to celebrate that intricate piece of me. I’ll sing loud, Dad. I’ll dance when I’m happy. And I’ll alway toast you when I drink a root beer float and..probably….cry a little bit, too when I see a shooting ⭐️ star.

There is peace in the passing.

Through forgiveness, I can only see the good memories now. I can remember that day we sat outside, drinking fresh lemonade. I can feel his hand holding mine, while we searched for the constellations in the summer sky.

And I would never be, could have never known, and now can be….all He has planned for me, because of this time. And for that, I am grateful.

To say that I am HERE…. would be an understatement.

To say that I can finally SEE the gratitude in the morning.

To feel the warmth of my loved ones hands.

The simplicity of the laughter.

The humor in this “never ending” winter…..❄️

This was not the way I had “planned” for the last couple of months to go.

But, I now believe, more than I ever have…that God’s plans are always so much better than mine.

There’ll be more to come, friends.

For today, love, live and look up.

And don’t forget WHO is in control 😉

I hope this offers you peace, empathy for others, and the strength to share ☀️

Much love,

Linda🦋

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