Death. That word brings back painful memories. Funerals, caskets, obituaries, goodbyes, tears, heartache, pain, devastation, emptiness, loneliness, anger, fear, and anxiety are all words that come to mind when I think of death…I could go on forever. Broken, death left me broken. Losing someone you love is not easy. It’s hard. It hurts like hell. And I honestly cannot sit here and tell you that it gets easier over time. That “time heals all wounds” saying is bologna. Time doesn’t heal you. Well, it didn’t heal me. In fact, in time my decisions only got worse. The pain seemed to grow stronger each day that passed. Time doesn’t take away the pain. Whether it has been 5 days or 5 years, holidays aren’t the same. Birthdays aren’t the same. Phone calls aren’t the same. Exciting news isn’t the same. Your heart isn’t the same. NOTHING is the same. Seeing Law & Order SVU on the tv guide is yet another painful reminder of who death took from me. Watching tv isn’t even the same. There’s an emptiness that lingers. Death destroyed who I was. I lost my mom in November of 2010, my little brother in August of 2013, and my daddy in September of 2015. Each year took another piece of my heart with it. When I lost my little brother, my entire world as I knew it shattered right in front of me. I will never forget that phone call as long as I live. I will never forget waking up and feeling so empty and alone. Guilt consumed me. The “what ifs” tore me apart. I hated death and all that it brought with it. I began to wonder what I did so wrong for God to take them away from me, especially my little brother.
It’s not fair. There’s not a single thing in this world that’s fair, including death. Death doesn’t have preferences and it definitely does not have an age limit. Death doesn’t care who you are or if you had the chance to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Death doesn’t care if you were almost ready to turn your life around but didn’t quite make it there yet. Death doesn’t care if your last words were harsh. Death simply does not care. There’s no planner, there’s no deadline, there’s no clock, there’s no expiration date. Death comes whenever it wants to and leaves a wound that eventually becomes a scar. Sometimes that wound can get infected before it becomes a scar. That’s what death did to me. It infected who I was and my outlook on life was forever changed. The length of the infection solely depends on you. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. The infection spread to every aspect of my life to the point of almost taking my life.
I was not the strong person everyone thought I was. The pain behind my smile was unbearable. The tears I cried soaked my pillow at night. I was completely broken.
I don’t know what your relationship is like with God. If you are close to God or far from God. Maybe you don’t even believe there is a God. When death decided to make it’s appearance in my life, I was far from God. Looking back, I was so lost. I had NO idea what was beyond the surface of God’s word. Did I grow up going to church? Yes. I was baptized in a Catholic church. I believed God existed and Jesus died for our sins. I could say a few Hail Mary’s and be ready to tackle another day. Walking into a church and being baptized doesn’t change your heart. That’s what a lot of people don’t get. That’s what I didn’t get. What we accomplish doesn’t save us. We don’t have to prove ourselves for God to love us. You can be baptized and walk out of the church doors as lost as you were before you entered them. I was one of those people. I was clueless. I had no idea that I needed to know WHO I was in Christ. It’s more than quoting scripture and being at church on Sundays and posting a bible verse once a week on Instagram. Learning who you are in Christ lays the groundwork for God’s promises. When your heart changes, your life changes. YOU don’t change your life, God does. Don’t get it twisted. But like I said earlier, I was not aware of any of this when I had to say goodbye to the ones I love. I dealt with the loss of my mom, little brother, and daddy alone. I depended on myself to pick up the pieces and keep going. It didn’t have to be that way. The comfort I have now used to be filled with fear. If I am not careful that fear can come back with its bags packed ready to stay for a while. The spiritual battle never ends. As my husband would say, “it’s a real thing.”
I don’t know if you truly have a fear of anything, but I did. And sometimes I still do. The fear of losing someone I love is overwhelming at times. Who will death take from me next? When you live in fear, you begin to live in survival mode. You make decisions based off of emotion. You begin to let the situation control your reactions instead of having control of your reaction to the situation. Then that is when your coping mechanisms kick in and you try to deal with your fears on your own. Our world today defines a woman’s strength on her independence. We weren’t created to fight our battles alone. When you become “independent” you are taking on the weight of the world alone. You are fighting a spiritual battle alone and you will lose every single time. You may think you are in control of your life, but you aren’t. Yep, let that sink in. It is a false sense of security. A woman in Christ doesn’t strive for independence even if she is a single mother. A woman in Christ doesn’t need that label to feel adequate whether she is married or single with 6 children to raise alone. Thinking we can control the outcome of situations is just another tactic the devil uses to deceive us. My life is a prime example of what Satan is capable of. If he can’t get you with deception, his next step is fear. Fear of not being strong enough to handle life’s curve balls. The fears are endless, I am just using my fear as an example. I put my faith in my own strength to get through the next day. Unfortunately, I was already running on fumes.
So, what do you do? We deal with those curve balls our way. Death just happens to be the unexpected event that affected my life and the topic of this post. Instead of confiding in someone to help me grieve, I isolated. Instead of facing my fear of losing someone else I loved, I made a strong drink to tone those thoughts down. It was a temporary fix until I went to sleep only to wake up and experience the rush of heartache hit me all over again. I began to find my identity in anything that could numb the pain for a little longer. I lived with depression for so long and didn’t even know it. I began to think that I was never going to have “normal” days like most people. I truly thought that’s who I had become. This is where Satan got me. Fear became who I was. Every single decision I made based off of fear was a bad one. I grew distant from what family I had left. I built a wall that was almost impossible to tear down. Unless you were already a part of my life prior to my loss, you were most likely not given the opportunity to get close to me. I am thankful the man who is now my husband didn’t give up on me. He helped me tear my wall back down. I devoted all of my time and energy into Kk. I lived for her and only her. But death took a part of me with it. I could never be the mom she needed me to be. I was on a very self destructive path to nowhere.
Where do you put your faith to make it through the day? Take a minute and think about that. Who or what do you depend on to get through the next day? It could be a relationship, an addiction, a hobby, anything. If don’t find your comfort and security in your Father, you will eventually find yourself in a rut. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t make the same mistakes I did. I put myself through a lot of self inflicted pain and heartache because I chose not to have faith. Faith is a choice. I was determined to do things on my own and not rely on anything or anyone else.
Through grace alone, God saved me. He forgave me. He began His work on my heart. I am becoming the mommy God created me to be, the mommy my children deserve. I am taking back what death took from me.