Sitting here with a lot on my mind this evening. Wondering what to write, where to start. And praying about how much to share.
One of Rick's last requests was that I continue with this website and blog, and that I make sure I am being brutally honest - even if it is out of my comfort zone. Every time I hold back much at all, I hear his voice pleading with me, and encouraging me by saying, "Honey, if by being brutally honest, you being out of your comfort zone, just ONE person is helped, inspired, strengthened or encouraged, then all of this will not have been in vain."
It would be easier if he were here to read these words and give me his approval. Just saying.
But here goes, yet again:
At 6 years out, I often feel far removed from the overwhelming intensity of the pain that I once knew.
But, sometimes, I pull myself back into that pain.
*When talking, or praying, for a new widow/widower, or one who is having that gut punch in this new reality of life alone.
That one needs me to remember how I felt in those darkest moments.
When I was on the floor sobbing so hard that I was afraid I would die, or rather afraid I would not.
When I was absolutely convinced there was no way I was going to make it to my next breath, let alone the next hour, the next day, and forget about the next year!
When I couldn't think straight.
When my vulnerability allowed me to put myself into a compromising situation that took God Himself to intervene and get me out of.
When the best I could hope for was to Just Breathe.
Someone needs me to meet them where they are in their moment.
Letting them know with absolute assurance that this is only a moment in their time, and it shall surely pass.
They need to know that there is Hope, in their nightmare, in our nightmare - someone before them has survived the worst.
And so shall they.
*I also pull myself back into that pain in order to feel closer to my Sweetheart.
Yes, I can now feel close to Rick during moments of laughter and joy, but there are times that I want to feel that pain again.
As weird as it sounds to someone who isn't on the journey, it's real.
Maybe it's just for reminding myself of that love and bond that we shared, in sickness and in health, in being richer and in being poorer, in the bad times as well as in the good times.
Maybe it's to in some surreal way remind myself that this really happened, it's not just a nightmare that I can't wake up from.
Maybe it's to feel, at least in my memories, that surrounding of family and friends in those first days.
*I pull myself back into that pain to remind myself of how far I have come in these 6 years.
Because in those first days, weeks, months, there was no Hope, no Faith, to even begin believing that I would survive such unimaginable pain as losing my heart and soul.
To even think in those hours that I would somehow survive the pain that we both endured in those last 4 months was impossible.
And yet, here I am. Day after night. Night after day.
Sometimes thriving with the kids and grandkids.
Sometimes enduring loneliness.
Sometimes enjoying the fellowship of family and friends.
Sometimes with the raging emotions that are raw and sore.
But still here, and still fighting my way thru it all.
To everyone on this widow's walk, no matter how long you have been on this road, when you are overwhelmed with that horrifying intensity of raw grief?
You are stronger than you know.
You can do this.
When you cannot see the light in your darkness, look to those who have come before you as the strength you need to just breathe.
And remember, there is always someone farther along that you are, but there is always someone coming up behind you, too.
You are NOT alone.
You are LOVED.
You are NEEDED.
Yesterday was my 6th Easter without Rick.
Easter was a day of celebration because the remembrance of Jesus rising from the dead. But again, Rick was not all about holidays. He said so many times thru the years that if we could not celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord every day of our lives, then he was not going to be a party to the once-a-year-putting-on-a-show.
So, the hardest part of yesterday to me was in seeing all the family photos, and missing mine.
I was blessed to be with our son and his bunch for a cow working, though.
Not that I work cattle. I cook.
I can work cattle. Have done it. But these days, I serve as the cook.
And yesterday was simple hot dogs, chips and drinks. Cookies and cupcakes rounded out the break time for lunch.
I didn't get a lot of pictures, but here are the ones that I did get:
Next Saturday is a Youth Ranch Rodeo, I will get more pictures there! ;)
I am working hard to get some things caught up and done.
Been going thru stuff at hand, and on the computer.
Trying to get things a bit more organized and into a format that I can handle no matter where I am.
I know that my time in the apartment is coming to an end. Most likely, 56 days left here at the most.
This apartment has been good for me in some ways, allowing me time to pray, to seek God with all my heart and all my time. It has given me some sleep and much needed down time.
It has kept me cool on the hotter Texas days/nights ... but also warm on the colder Texas days/nights.
It has also drained every penny of my savings.
And I can no longer afford to be here.
I was concerned when I rented it. But I had hoped there would be a job, that somehow it might work.
There is nothing.
I have applied for financial aid thru the state, but have been denied because I make $55.50 too much to qualify for help.
Being told yet again, "I'm sorry, but you are one of the unfortunate ones that falls thru the cracks of our society."
I have also applied for food stamps (The Lone Star card). If approved, after jumping thru all their hoops and forms, she said that I would be getting $19 a month.
I know that God is my Provider, but it's hard not to get frustrated with a system that rewards liars and cheaters and punishes the people who live by honesty and integrity. Sigh.
God has promised to take care of me ... meeting all my needs according to His riches in Glory thru Christ Jesus. And He has promised to set the lonely into families. As well as establishing the boundaries of the widows.
In Him I trust.
However, I'm a little trepidatious, wondering how things are going to go.
But holding to the promise in Psalm 56 - "When I am afraid, I will trust in the Lord."
I know that the Bible tells us 365 times "Do not fear" ... but I think this verse is one of my favorite concerning fear.
Because of that first word, WHEN.
God knows my heart is trusting Him. He also knows that my mind is afraid. He understands the conflict between being a human, and being a child of God.
How does He understand?
Think about it. Jesus was ALL God. But Jesus was also ALL man, human.
Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, He had to be in order to be our Great Savior.
So, yes, I am afraid. Change is scary to me - especially these days without Rick's arms around me.
But, I am trusting in the Lord. Because He holds me, tighter and more secure than Rick in all his love ever could.
Not sure at this point what I am going to do, nor where I am going to go.
Still praying about it all.
Waiting to see what direction God will take my life.
I know this above all things though -
I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.
And the desire of my heart?
Whatever brings Him the Glory.
I would love to have an RV.
Rick and I lived in our 3 different ones for about 15 years of our marriage. And I loved it!
I love the lifestyle. I love what he called my "little shoebox".
I have found several jobs that are in the area of my son and/or daughter. Close enough to still spend time with them and the grandkids.
BUT they each one require an RV.
I have been looking for an RV, too.
And I have found several between $3000 - $5000.
- some are ready to move in to, which would allow me to begin a job sooner.
- some are needing to be worked on, mainly cosmetic issues inside. While that would be interesting and fun (done it before ;) ), it would also delay getting a job. But it would allow some personal time with my kids and grandkids as they have all said they would help me do whatever needs done to one.
I have been questioned about my fear of tornadoes when considering living in an RV.
I understand the questions. But look back at the tornadoes that have hit Texas and other southern states just this year.
Were only RV's destroyed?
No. Brick homes that had been there for years. Houses made of wood destroyed. Mobile homes were ripped apart.
When a tornado strikes? Little to nothing is safe, unless it is underground.
And living underground poses its own set of risks and hazards.
No, I do not like the "t" word when a storm is brewing.
Yes, I will sit wherever I am, staring at the radar screen and praying with all my heart!
And it doesn't matter what kind of house I am in!
One year, Rick and I waited out a tornado warning and hail storm for 3 hours in a storm shelter! I was just as afraid. I prayed just as hard.
So, yeah, when I am afraid, I will trust in the Lord!!!
I still would like to have an RV.
I have committed this to the Lord, and I believe if it is His will that I have one, He will work it out.
Nothing is impossible to the Lord. He is able, more than capable, to do exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever hope for or imagine.
So, as His, I am in His Hands, for whatever He wants me to do, wherever He wants me to be, and whatever He wants me to live in.
It's hard sometimes to live in Faith.
I long for roots, while wanting wings.
And more than not, I feel like I am stuck in mud that is eyelid deep, just spinning my wheels.
Again, that struggle between being human, a woman, a widow ... and being a child of God.
Good night for now.
I have a long next few days.
Should prove for some interesting writing ;)
Thank You for reading.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here