With the loss of my husband I rejected Hope. Ellis and I had dated since I was 17. Our relationship was not a perfect fairytale, but we grew up together, we loved each other, we were all we knew, and we were bonded to one another for better or for worse. I had struggled with my faith before, but after he died my mind wrestled with dark, angry and bitter thoughts. I questioned whether God loved me or even if God existed and I decided that if He did exist, He was cruel and so I pushed him away. I seemed normal on the outside, the dutiful Christian mother, almost as if I was coping too well. Inside, though, it seemed as if I was screaming from deep within my gut, like there was a fire burning in the center of my abdomen, just below my rib cage. It was an emotional pain, a gut wrenching, nervous, angry energy. It lasted and lasted until I finally started self destructing, becoming almost primal from the agony of it. I became hyper alert, anxious, almost manic. Angry, I continued to push God away and attempted to take matters into my own hands to soothe the pain. I stomped off into the world to find my own way, thinking of myself as free from the need of God and all of his “rules.” I reasoned that if God didn’t love me, I could find someone who would. God tolerated this for a short time and just when I started to become a danger to myself He sent Branson to me. Branson, who I also call B, breathed light, healing, and laughter back into my life. He became the hands and feet of Jesus to me. He put his arms around me and told me that I am loved and I am worth it. He reintroduced me to hope. This time, at the loss of him to sudden death, the pain is in my chest. At first a searing, ripped, torn kind of pain that left me breathless and that I thought would kill me when it was fresh, but now, months later, it is a dull and continuous ache. This time Hope Himself has stepped in to save me and I have welcomed Him. He has blessed me by anesthetizing parts of my mind so that I find it difficult to feel anger as I did before. I live mostly from the right side of my brain now, the creative side. My analytical self seems almost numb. I neither know, nor care what is going on in the chaotic world outside of those I love any more than a newborn infant. It is as if the part of my brain that holds me to earth is damaged or asleep and, as a result, I feel closer to the spiritual world. Even though it is sometimes difficult for me to reason in the same way I did before, I consider this a blessing. I find it impossible to reason away God as I have in the past and I feel His presence within me and all around me. Instead of anger and bitterness, the experience inside my head is a beautiful, airy sweet, dreamy melody tinged with sadness. It is spiritual. Yes, there are tears, but there is also a serendipitous joy. There is lightness here. In this place I can see signs, I can walk closely with God and feel the comfort of those I love who are gone from this earth, but yet whose energies live on in the Spirit of God. It is here where music plays softly in my mind while I sit by Living Water and dreamily contemplate my place in this world. This is the space where everything is symbolic and my faith in my God is strengthened with every breath. It is my spiritual mountaintop.
I know that eventually I will wake up from this dreamy existence. There are times when I am forced to wake up from it momentarily out of a necessity for myself or my children, but I almost wish I could stay here forever. I cry here, and my heart aches within my chest for those I’ve lost, but I can breathe and there is no fear or anxiety because Hope is here with me. When I wake from this living dream, it is my prayer that I will not forget as I have so often in the past. It is for this reason that I write these things down now. These writings are my Ebenezer stones, my stones of help, to remind me of the mountain. As I regain my earthly mind, I must remember the healing and love shown to me here and the One who has guided me through it all, the One who was here with me and for me the whole time, even when I tried to push Him away.
Lord, I pray that I will not stray from You again;
that I will always remember the difference between living life with Hope and living life without You; that when I come down off this spiritual mountain You will stay with me and I will continue to have the courage to share with others the grace, mercy and love that You have shown to me. Thank You for those I love who are here on this earth and for those who are now with You. Thank You for the joy they have brought and continue to bring into my life. Thank you for the heartaches and trials through which You have taught me so much. Thank You Lord, for your unconditional love. Lord, give me the strength to show that same love to others, so that they may always see the reflection of You in me.
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