Feeling Some Type of Way
I received an inbox from a friend who offered the following thoughts:
… There is so much happening in the world: earthquakes, hurricane after hurricane, terrible injustices and human rights violations . . . our crazy government. It's really difficult to trust that God is in control . . . or that things could possibly work out for anyone's good, isn't it?
I had to think about it. After the news I’d heard from loved ones, heartbreak going on in the community, and sorrow throughout the world, she was right, it is overwhelming. I really had to think about this. In my inner circle when I say I’m feeling some type of way I’m usually expressing my discomfort or frustration with something. Right now, I’m feeling some type of way.
As I write this blog it is exactly one week before my mother’s birthday. She passed away suddenly in 2013. I can remember the phone call I received, I remember asking God to keep her alive. I remember feeling caught off guard (I wasn’t ready), the hurt, the numbness. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. I remember trying to be strong saying to myself and others that I could go on. I remember how trying to stay strong all crumbled apart. I remember being unable to keep commitments. I remember feeling disconnected and unable to finish my classes because my studies became senseless. I just couldn’t pretend any more. I needed something deeper. At some point in that process (and I can’t even tell you when it happened, it just did) I began to let my guard down and feel again. I prayed, I cried, I asked and God responded by giving me freedom. It wasn’t until I let go and allowed myself to feel the hurt, the anger, and the grief that the light began to peek through the darkness. It was then that things began to slowly turn for me. The longer I live this life I realize that God gave me those emotions and he never asked me to mask them, only manage them. Today I know that it is okay to feel those emotions. How I handle those emotions determine my quality of life. I tell myself that it’s okay to cry but I don’t stay in that space too long, and I find a new hope and peace to get centered again.
I answered my friend’s question with this response:
It’s really hard not to be overwhelmed with all that’s going on. This is why it is imperative that we have hope. I think naturally we wish that we can do something to help, but in our own strength we are helpless. In God’s strength, we can find peace. With that peace, we find a way to bring light into the world. Through our faith, through our testimony, by comforting one another, and sharing the blessings of God. Someone needs to see that there is hope…
The grief that I have experienced over the years has not left…I still miss what I loss. This year something different happened to me. I am intentional to refocus the hurt and the pain. I turned my hurt to honor…I look for ways to honor my mother. I honor her through acts of service, I honor her through my work to touch the hearts of those who are hurting, I honor her words of wisdom that are now so much more precious to me. I honor her each time I embrace my daughters and celebrate my sons. I honor her by feeling all my God-given emotions and then finding a way to love through the hurt.
It’s okay to feel some type of way
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38 NLT
When Great Trees Fall Maya Angelou When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety.
When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken.
Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves.
And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.