There is something very strange about time.
It cannot be controlled, it is extremely unpredictable
but it is also completely constant and reliable.
I have felt both the burden and the gift of time so strongly through the loss of Chris.
The burden of time came well before Chris left me, left this earth. His clock was ticking and both Chris and I knew it. We talked and shared openly and I began to prepare my heart, because you cannot fight time. The burden continued after his death. The days dragged on, and it was almost as if time was playing a trick on me. When will I wake up? After three months of being alone and unmarried, time reminded me that it could never rewind. The pain of time continuing was excruciating. I could fight as hard as I wanted to, but time would force me to continue, to move on. I talked about this struggle openly to both God and close friends. And although God has complete control over time, He knows that my worst enemy will one day be an unexpected rainbow appearing after the rain.
So I waited and trusted, and doubted and waited and cried out that I would stop feeling that my heart was ripping out of my chest. In our world it’s very easy to distract yourself from reality. I distracted myself with noise. It was too much to be still, quiet. It always brought the raw pain. My evenings were watching TV by myself until I fell asleep. God called me out of myself and my loneliness and made it clear that He wanted to heal the hurt and pain. An engrossing show could numb me for a while, but, in time, it ultimately resulted in more harm than good.
So I turned the TV off and prayed. I trusted God to comfort me in the silence, so I committed to no TV for a month. It was a very difficult thing when you loath the empty silence of time after your daughter is in bed each night. It was difficult, but I stuck with it. Two days went by and my conversations with God in prayer became more frequent. Conversations with a new friend also became more frequent. I found that by day five I did not even miss the noise and slowly began to see time as a friendly face I could begin to appreciate in the future.
This new face, this new friend, was someone I met through people I am very close to and trust. Our beginning conversations were a continuation of what we all talked about with several other families every week. We continued to talk openly of our struggles and how God uses us in our pain and failures. We talked about how important it is for God’s people to serve each other and act as family. We talked about Chris and the loss I feel every day. We talked about Gabby, my joy and undeniable gift. We talked about God and his faithfulness, especially in the darkness and silence.
Every day I looked forward to talking with this person who God put in my life in order to show His faithfulness and His love to me. It was a completely unexpected surprise, and it brought me tremendous comfort, excitement, joy and freedom. I found that I was no longer kicking my feet and screaming at time for it to leave me alone, instead I started to see it is good. As I started to see this, I also stepped into the peace and love of God’s will.
Once I stopped trying to numb the pain, replace the hurt and trust that God will sustain me, He provides in His own way, a comfort and friend for me. Through this new relationship, God shows me that His way and His time is perfect, and I need not be afraid. In constant prayer about new feelings, new struggles and new direction, it became evident that both of our hearts desired to please God above all else, and we would follow His voice.
When feelings arose between us, I doubted its goodness. Should I really be feeling this way? When the honesty of our past and present were made known to each other, I feared those who would perceive me as ignorant or unwise despite the peace I encountered every time I prayed. When the pain of the loss I have felt for so long starts to dissipate, I question whether I even deserve this. Isn’t this pain suppose to last for at least a year? Isn’t that what everyone expects?
Then I stop and I am still.
Time continues, and now . . . I smile.
I want time to continue. It’s now a path laden with crisp fall leaves that I can’t wait to run on, it’s that sunrise you just can’t take your eyes off of, it’s that butterfly emerging from its cocoon. It’s beautiful and I am in overjoyed. Time can never let me forget my life and my love before this new journey, but now I can smile and laugh and take joy in all the memories while sharing time with someone else.