Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rebuilding a Broken Relationship

Many of my blog readers have inquired on why I took a break from writing for a while.  It was a difficult decision to stop sharing for a while, but I was receiving some negative messages that were causing me anxiety and some stress that I didn’t need at the time, so I took a break for a bit.  And, now I’m ready to put my journey out there again.  It’s not easy to share, please know that.  Many of the things that I write about are things that weigh heavily on my heart and are things that I have to get out of my head in order to make any sense out of them.  I hope that a window into my journey helps some of you understand me a little better, or maybe, for some of you, offers you comfort seeing similarities in your journey and mine.

Might as well jump in there and tackle a hard one tonight.   Tonight, I’m going to talk about my relationship with Christ.  Hold on, it’s a long one.

It should be said that I grew up in a home that embedded the love of Christ.  We went to church, Sunday school, VBS, sunrise services, revivals, not to mention the many churches we shared musical worship at throughout the entire state.  I knew Jesus.  That being said, I did not choose Jesus and ask Him to be mine until I was in college.  I’m not entirely sure why it took me so long to allow myself to truly give my heart to Him.  I know I had some bumps along the road in my teenage and young adult years and that probably didn’t help things, but I eventually got there. 

When I did take Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I went full force.  I couldn’t give enough to Him.  I threw myself into Praise and Worship, Bible Study groups, volunteering with Youth Group, whatever was available or wherever the church needed help, I was there.  I loved Jesus and literally was singing His praises all that I could.  When I took Jesus into my heart, and started living for Him, my life was fuller, brighter, and lighter.  I felt so at peace and happy, something I hadn’t felt in a while.  His love filled me with hope of what my life could be with Him in it, and I 100% put my life in His hands. 

From the moment I started my relationship with Christ, things just started falling together.  Almost a year later, another piece of my life finally came together.  I met Rhea.  I met a man who loved Jesus more than anyone else I have ever known, and he truly radiated with His love.  When Rhea looked at me, he could make me feel like I was the most important person in the entire world.  That nothing else mattered accept for what I was saying in that moment.  I could see his love for me with the smile in his eyes.  I was so incredibly blessed to find someone who cherished me as much as he did.  I felt it, saw it, and was lucky enough to live it.

My relationship with Christ only strengthened with my marriage to Rhea.  He was a phenomenal leader in our house that led us to know Jesus more.  Jesus in our house and in our lives was always the top priority in Rhea’s life.  He got it right.  He helped prepare me for the hardest thing I would ever have to do in my life, and that was to lose him. 

When I lost Rhea, from the moment I was notified, I fully leaned on my Jesus.  Most of those first few weeks are a complete haze in my mind, but there are moments of clarity from time-to-time that I can recall.  My first reaction was falling to the floor and crying out.  I cried out, literally cried out to Jesus.  I was not going to make it through that moment without Him.  I wasn’t going to make it through any of it without Him.  My entire world crashed in on me.  The two officers led me to the couch, and continued on with notifying me.  I don’t recall what they said.  I do remember feeling like I was being held.  I promise you, I felt arms around me.  But, the officers were sitting across from me, so it wasn’t either of them.  It was Jesus.  This exact same feeling happened multiple times throughout the coming days.  I leaned on Christ.  I would be in complete distress, crying in a conference room surrounded by people, and calmness would suddenly come over me.  Jesus was with me.  I trusted Him.  I had nothing else left, but Him. 

A good friend of mine came to support me at Rhea’s Plane Side Honors.  This is where a soldier comes home.  He was flown home from Dover, and the family sees the casket for the first time.  My friend happened to take a few pictures of the moments and gave them to my sister to give to me when I was ready for them.  In the mix of pictures, there is one that shows how much I was fully trusting Jesus.  It still takes my breath away to look at today.  In fact, it probably always will.  In that horrific moment of my life, I was looking towards Jesus.

This photograph is not to be used, copied, or shared outside of this blog post.  

Weeks went by, and then months.  With every day that passed, I felt more and more broken.  I felt more and more forgotten.  I slowly stopped leaning.  This is where it gets hard and not everyone will understand.  I was hurt.  I completely and fully trusted my life, my hopes, gave all of my faith to Jesus.  And, yet still, here I was, a 30-year-old widow of a phenomenal man, a really good man, and I had daughters to raise without their Daddy.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I would wake up in the mornings, look around and say “What in the hell happened to my life?  What happened!?  I trusted you with it, Jesus!”  I could not move forward with this.  I felt like He let me down.  I know what you want to say now, “ He gives and He takes away.” I did not care and still sometimes don’t.  Why?  Why us?  Why my Rhea?  I may never see eye-to-eye with Jesus on this one. 

Though I was pulling away, I still believed in Jesus.  I was just brokenhearted, lost, hurting, and mad.  I ate dinner with a good friend the other day, and we were discussing this exact topic.  And, I said, it’s not that I don’t love Jesus anymore, I do!  We just broke up for a while.  And, now I’m trying to figure out how to mend my relationship with Him. 

I was scared to death to throw out how I truly felt.  I don’t want to be biblically lectured about how Jesus didn’t do this to you.  Yes, I know that.  I do.  And, I am still allowed to feel the way I feel.  I felt and still feel heartbroken that Rhea was taken from my girls and me.  And yes, I did trust Jesus with the most important things in my life, my husband being one of them.  Jesus knows all of this.  He knew I was going to go through this and that I was going to feel this way.  It’s just another part of the journey.

So, here I am ready for the next step.  I’m ready to try again.  So, just with any broken relationship, we’re going to have to get to know each other again, but it won’t be easy, because we have a past now.  I know He’ll be patient with me, Jesus happens to be really good at having patience.  We’re going to talk daily, and I’m going to read His word again.  Eventually, we’ll get to where we have once a week dates on Sundays.  Then you never know what might happen, I might even let Him put His arms around me again. 

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