I continue to think that it's really important that I don't lose myself in this earthly loss. That those things that made me me and us us, stay the same. It would so easy to go flying off the deep end and try to be someone new just to get away from who I have been-- the me that is only half now-- but that would be counter-productive. You can only run from yourself for so long. Plus (and I may have said this before), I don't want to lose entire months of my life. I want my kids to know who I am, who their dad is, see stability. That's my prize. That's what I have to keep my eyes on. When we lost Caleb, Aaron stepped up. He was dad, mom, husband, breadwinner, everything. I was a zombie. For months. I couldn't afford for that to happen again. I've certainly had opportunities to check out for a bit at a time, but I think I have stayed present for my kids. I haven't been perfect. I've flown off the handle, I've cried at silly things, I've taken trips they didn't want me to take, and, I'm sure, much more. But I've been present. At the very least, I haven't been the train-wreck I could've been. Most every decision about what I do has started with, "will I be happy with this decision in a year?" I think (hope) that keeps me steadier than I might otherwise be.
It seems like my theme this fall to a number of people I've talked to has been this: know who you are. Define who you are, what you stand for, what you will do, what you won't do and then refuse to budge. So many people I love right now are being easily tossed and turned by what's going on around them. They seem to have lost self. They can't seem to get their hands on the steering wheel to steer because life has become like quicksand. I keep encouraging-- know who you are. Even in those days where you don't feel like it, ACT like who you are. Pretend that life is a play and just act your part for now until it becomes natural again. Just as I felt a spirit of premature death was running rampant last fall, I see a spirit attacking some of those I love with insecurity, doubt, and depression. Depression has no home with me when I'm assured of who I am and what I'm doing. It hurts me to see people struggling with this. Especially when they don't have to. My husband's Bible cover has a golf message (can you believe that?!). "Stay the Course." What a great message for my Christian friends. Stay the course. Don't get angry, don't get frustrated, don't look around for opportunities to get offended, stay the course. For my friends without a relationship with Christ-- Find the course. I hear them talk about their problems and I think, "There's an easy answer for that." Seriously. I have worth in Christ. I never have to doubt if I'm loved. Even with all the gross that's been around me lately, I know I'm loved. I'm confused as can be. I don't know why God allowed things to happen. I'm not okay with what did and the how, but I know He's God. I know He is sovereign. I know He can see the whole picture while I see just my speck. And, I know I'll see my husband and child again. That doesn't mean I don't doubt. It just means that, at the end of the day, I can get on my knees and acknowledge who He is. For that, I am thankful.