This last month has been difficult but amazing all at the same time. Never have I been stretched so far and put so far out of my comfort zone. I have also learned so much more about myself then I could ever imagine. Three weeks ago a very sweet, wonderful, kind man that I love very much (has been a father to me over the years) sent me a text telling me that his wife (whom I also love) was taken to the hospice house and was dying from cancer. He said he hadn't included my phone number in the list but apparently God wanted me to know that information. It wasn't that he was trying to keep it from me, but rather we had gone our own ways over the last decade. We now live halfway across the country from each other and lived our own lives. Unfortunately it happens. Anyway, I digress. After receiving this text I was extremely upset. A friend asked me how I was doing that Sunday and I cried. I spoke to her and told her the situation with my friend/mentor/foster mom Jan. That evening an email came with a plane ticket attached. I was on my way home to say goodbye.
For anyone that knows me well, knows that I struggle with anxiety quite badly at times. So packing a bag and getting on a bus, then multiple planes, then renting a car and driving 3 hours by myself would have sent me into a full blown panic attack (well there was a small one involved). The point of the matter is if I had had time to think too much I would have backed out. I would have backed out of an opportunity to tell someone who was very important to me how I felt about her and say goodbye while she could still hear me. Those friends that got together and sent me home were love in action. That is my new vocabulary phrase. Love in action. I want to be love in action as I have certainly received love in action many times.
When I finally had finished the getting there, I met up with my friend/mentor/foster dad Jim. It was like time had stood still. We hugged and I was right back in the family as though I had always been there. I was able to tell Jan what I went there to tell her. How much I loved her, how much she meant to me, how she had affected my life, and how much I would miss her. I was also privy to some very intimate family moments. They hurt so much but were so beautiful all at the same time. I was able to share so much of the last part of her life. I was able to recognize just how much these people meant to me. God gives us our parents, but when those parents choose not to be the parents that God intended them to be, He fills in the gaps. This couple filled in the gaps in my life. They loved me always, they cared, they supported me spiritually, financially at times, emotionally, and sometimes Jim even went to bat for me against my own mother. They were LOVE IN ACTION. And I will always be grateful for their unselfishness and kindness and love.
While I was home, I was able to spend some time with my father and visit my childhood home. I was able to face some inner demons that I had been allowing to torment me and tell me lies about who I was. When I found the house, there was nothing I recognized. I wouldn't have found it had my father not been with me. I felt the Lord just telling me, "see it has changed, nothing is the same. Just as it has changed, so have you. You are not that little girl. You are not who they said you were. You are not who those bullies said you were. you are not who your mother said you were, you are not who your father says you are. Time to let it go." Comfort came over me and I felt a load of weight lifted from my heart. In essence God was telling me it was time to get over it.
I stayed with my cousin and we were able to have long conversations well into the wee hours of the morning. (made me way too tired but you only live once!) We talked about all kinds of things. The conversation did drift to family things. I had some deep desires for my father to behave a certain way and to feel some sort of anger on my behalf towards my mother. I wanted him to call her and yell at her and tell her off and defend me. Because he refused to do this, I had some anger towards him as well. My cousin in all her social working wisdom gave me some perspective. That my father very well had some attachment disorders. He is physiologically incapable of doing that for me. Once again a weight was lifted and I felt the Lord peeling back the layers of my heart and telling me to get over it.
All in all after the trip was done I had put in 3500 miles on a airplane, 800 miles on a rental car, and 100 miles on a bus. I traveled half the length of Minnesota, half the length of Wisconsin and been places I have never been before and I did it physically all by myself. (God was with me all the way). I drove to my other cousins house without my gps working (I am usually terrified of getting lost) and showed up at a house that I wasn't sure if it was hers. I knocked on a door and heard a voice say come in. I went in, not knowing if it was her house or not. Thankfully it was! My comfort zone had no end apparently!
Coming home was a bit difficult to try and find my place again and process everything that I had seen or done for that short 5 days. Tears came for my friend/loved one Jan as she had passed away to be with Lord the friday morning I was heading home. I went home silently crying the entire trip. I just prayed that no one would talk to me on the plane and they didn't. Since I have been home for the last two weeks, the Lord has continued to reveal so much more to me about this trip and what it really meant to me.
It meant healing, it meant a higher self esteem. It meant stop listening to the lies about myself. I went to church that sunday and my friends that had sent me on my journey of a lifetime hugged me, kissed me, told me they loved me. One of them even said, "you are so worth it" Really? I was worthy? Yes, I was worthy. No more listening to lies. I am worth it. Once again, they were love in action. I was loved, appreciated, cared about and worthy of their kindness and love. WOW, totally blown away.
This sunday the sermon was about how we view or define ourselves. I really feel that this was the complete message from the Lord on what I was to get from this trip. I am NOT defined by my childhood and how the bullies at school treated me. Time to let it go. I am NOT defined by my mother. I am NOT who she says I am. I am strong, I am worthy, I am loved, I am cared for. The ONLY one that defines me is Christ. I am who HE says I am. Those other things are life experiences but no longer define me. I can choose to shrink and allow the evil one to tear me down with his lies. But I choose to be strong, I choose to listen to God. I choose to let Him tell me who I am. I know who I want to be. I want to be love in action like my friends Jim and Jan and my friends here at church. I want to stand tall and tell the devil to shut his mouth. I want to have confidence in who God tells me I am. I am done with negativity, I am done with the lies being told to me. I will stand strong, I will press on!
Now to find the end of my comfort zone. I am still wondering where that is. I will let you know. Hopefully it is way bigger than it was before. :)