In my previous blog (you can go back and read it if you want. 😉 ), I mentioned I had a harebrained idea to paint my bedroom. Well, that harebrained idea turned into a healing moment that I didn’t see coming.
Grief is weird. I have found I have worked through my grief in layers. I can’t get to the next layer until I’ve worked through the previous one. Sometimes the layers I’m working through I’m not ready for, yet God knows that I am. Because, really, who willingly lives through pain to be stronger on the other side. It’s a matter of survival and growth and less desire.
We moved into our home 2 and half years ago. It has taken me that long to decide on a color to paint my bedroom. We painted the kids’ rooms, the kitchen, 2 bathrooms and entryway before we moved in. I had no idea what I wanted for my bedroom. My bedroom had white everything; walls, doors, baseboard, carpet. Too much white. It took me forever to decide on a color then a little while longer to work up the gumption to paint the room. Well, I finally did it. And what all females do when you paint a room a new color, you have to have new decorations! I went shopping and, Merry Christmas to me, bought some new stuff for my bedroom. 2 late nights later, my room is painted and put back together and I love it. I sent pictures and called my mom. She absolutely loves it too and said, “It is all you!”
While that is exciting and I love it, it also made me a little sad. It is one more thing I’ve done on my own without my late husband. What could have been part of both of us, was just me.
It wasn’t until the end of the next day. I opened up my Bible and broke down in tears. The realization of the symbolism of painting and decorating my bedroom was overwhelming. Our bedroom was a sacred place for us. It was a special place for physical intimacy, but also a safe place for emotional intimacy. We had some of our deepest, most heartfelt, vulnerable, transparent conversations in our bedroom. When we needed to have a minute alone from the kids or life in general, we went to our room. When we needed to ask the other an important question or help process situations or made difficult decisions, we retreated to our bedroom. When we needed a minute to touch base and have a few minutes to ourselves, we retreated to our bedroom. So, it represents something very special to me.
I think there was an underlying, unconscious hesitation to doing anything to my bedroom that was tied to my grief. It didn’t come completely out until after the fact. It’s so weird how and when that happens.
A similar situation happened the other day. I finished a journal. I’m not a typical journaler. The entries are pretty sporadic and are about anything and everything. I wrote what was on my mind. So, I put my finished journal on top of my dresser and knew I’d like to come back to it someday and read through it. I didn’t realize that someday would happen so quickly! I sat down one morning and started at the beginning and read the first handful of pages. It was the first several months after Mark had passed. The tears started and I pushed them back. I was mad at myself for thinking I could handle this. Another harebrained idea! Haha. A couple hours later, I couldn’t keep the tears away. Due to Virtual Learning, all three of my kids are home. I made lunch, let them know it was on the table and said I’ll be gone for a while. They asked where I was going, I said, “Out!” lol. (My children truly are brave. Some days they don’t know what to do with their emotional mother!)
Anyway, I took a short drive, found a place to stop and had an ugly cry. I was mad for putting myself in a place to relive the pain from the early days. I let the tears flow and let it be what it was, an ugly cry. It’s allowed! 🙂 Once the tears slowed down, I wondered why I needed to go through that, again. What was the point to read part of the journal and the ugly cry?
God’s timing is impeccable. My timing just messes everything up. His timing places people and events right where they need to be at just the right time.
I believe it was God’s timing. He knew I wasn’t ready to take that leap down memory lane until now. He knew I wasn’t ready to deal with the realization of what I was doing until now. It’s another bittersweet moment. Healing in the midst of the hurting. Joy in the midst of morning. It seems and feels awkward, yet healing. I felt a little like Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 🙂
I took a step forward in healing and peeled back another layer. As the emotions rolled around and tears flowed, I am thankful that God pushed me when I needed to be pushed at the right time. He put people in my path to remind me of God’s grace in healing. I felt peace wash over me.
My bedroom has become my personal sanctuary with Jesus. It’s here that I retreat to when I desperately desire His Presence, HIs Word, His voice, His touch. He has given me a physical shelter of HIs wings within my newly decorated bedroom. My journal is a reminder of my growth and where and how He has carried me through; a reminder of His unfailing love and presence.
My friend, allow yourself to heal. Give yourself a break and let the tears flow. Feel His arms wrapped around you, holding you. Grief is weird, unpredictable and unexpected. God knows you, knows where you are at and knows when you are ready to face a time of healing, a time to move forward. Trust Him and hold on. He won’t let you go.
Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, healing one layer at a time, in HIm.