For a long time now, I've felt God calling me to do something with my story, and with Jeremy's legacy. To somehow help others through what I have been through. However, I had no idea where to start. And more importantly, and most selfishly, I didn't want to. I wasn't ready to let God use me because I was too angry that it had to be at the expense of such a great loss. I wasn't ok with me or my children suffering such heartache in order for other people to benefit or learn something.
I can honestly say that I still sometimes struggle with this battle. But the pull I've felt on my heart to help, to follow the calling I feel like I've been given, has been outweighing my selfishness. The stirring that I have felt has started to bubble over and I've finally felt ready to take a step forward.
Last week, a dear friend and her sister stop by our garage sale to see me. Her sister had just lost her husband weeks before. He died suddenly of a heart condition as well, leaving behind two children and a very distraught wife who wanted to come talk to me. As she hugged me and sobbed on my shoulder, my mind raced searching for something to say - just one thing that someone had told me when Jeremy died that helped in some way that I could offer back. I realized, though, that nothing I could say would make her feel any better. Death sucks, and grieving can never ease with words. Only time. I don't know that she was looking for words of wisdom (and if she was, she definitely wasn't gonna find any from me), but just to be in the presence of someone who 'got it'. Someone who survived. My heart ached for her as I recalled those first few weeks and months after Jeremy died. I still relive those moments every once in awhile like it's still happening. The confusion, the injustice, the anger, the desperation, the defeat...the heartache. I don't know if I helped her in any way, but she's been in my prayers and on my heart ever since.
I realized that even though I'm ill equipped to really move forward, God has really been using my story to help without my knowledge or even my consent for quite sometime now. He let me kick and scream and throw fits (and still does) while continue to bring beauty from the ashes.
I want people to know that grieving is a dark and terrible part of life that never leaves.
I also want people to know that there is hope and healing.
I want to do more.
Steve and I have been praying that God work through our redemption and relationship to bring a unique perspective to others and somehow use that to help, and bring hope.
I am excited to announce that Steve and I have been asked to host a workshop for Camp Widow. Ironically, the workshop is titled "Mad at God: A conversation." Uh, yeah - I have some experience in that department, I'm not ashamed to admit it! I am anxious, excited, nervous, and overall humbled for the opportunity to help in some way.
I can't wait to meet some of the inspirational people that have been integral in my own grief journey. I'm thankful to have Steve by my side to share this passion with me. I hope this is just the beginning of many other opportunities to finally step forward and feel like I'm making Jeremy proud.