Wednesday, May 2, 2012

there is hope

this week i've been battling the all-too-familiar balancing act of emotions. maybe you know what i'm talking about... the one where you're experiencing such drasticly different feelings at times and struggling with knowing what to feel, how to feel and when exactly to feel it.

you see, life has been good lately. better than good actually. i'm at such peace with where i am physically... i mean i lost 33% of my body weight. sure, i wish i had a flat stomach but i really can't complain when i look at how far i've come. and then i have this incredible man in my life who manages to make me feel special every single day. the joy runs deep there.

i could go on and on about the beautiful moments in the last week alone, but in the midst of all that there has also been the slam of the harsh reality of life... and the fragility of it. on Saturday a student in a class i facilitate and teach through my church passed away unexpectedly. it was shocking to say the least. days before that 2 of our other students each lost a parent (one a mother and one a father). the weight of loss has been heavy. over the weekend i found myself in 'push forward' mode. by monday i was emotionally exhausted. being alone for the first time in days, for an extended period of time, allowed me to finally connect with the emotions that i had tried to bury and the tears came... and came... and came. i needed that release. i needed to feel it. to express it.

i realized what i had been battling all weekend was confusion over what i should be feeling. on one hand there was sadness for those suffering and for lives lost... and on the other there was joy as i spent most of the weekend with jeff (celebrating his birthday in fact). when i felt sad i felt guilty for not feeling happy. and when i felt happy i felt guilty for not feeling sad. i don't know why i put such pressure on myself to identify with one emotion or the other...

i was sharing all of that with my mom last night and she encouraged me that it was ok to feel both ways and that God often brings us beautiful, joy-filled moments in the midst of dark times to remind us that there is hope! so i'm doing my best to embrace whatever emotion comes my way and once again to be present wherever i am. i would appreciate your prayers for me and the other leaders as our class meets tomorrow night and we work to create a space where the students can process what has happened... and please pray for his family and girlfriend (also a student in the class) as this is obviously a very difficult time.

grace and peace,