Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Number Seven

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 This is a Blurb story I wrote, click on the words to see their entirety. Thanks for reading.

I have been through the grieving process it seems. I am a very self aware person. I have realized all of these steps as I have gone through them. Knowing is only half the battle. Believing is a much harder task.

I had been a Christian for 12 years. I had been serving in the Church as a pastor for 9 of those years. I had never once had my faith in God questioned and shaken. The death of one of my three my best friends/brothers rearranged my faith and life. I have been upside down ever since, just trying to replace negative feelings with other things. I have played avoidance when actually dealing with some of the issues in my faith in regards to Will... and I guess.....everything. I would never vocalize them. I would never dare even think them, but they became more and more clear when I found myself identifying with things that were expressions of doubt and disenchantment with God. I listened to this CD by Mumford and sons, which when listened carefully through, is clearly a struggle of faith in God. There is a song I have listened to on repeat a hundred times called "White Blank Page." There is a lyric in there that says this: "You did not think, when you sent me to the brink." There literally has never been a lyric in any song that I have identified with more. This alerted me that there was a problem. There was something not right. I was avoiding doing something. I was avoiding reconstructing. I was comfortable living destructed. I had seen the upward turn and chose to better myself, but refused to reconstruct. I think I felt guilt for leaving him behind and afraid I might forget about him. I was used to him consuming my thoughts for so long. I didn't want to really let him go, and as long as I held on to that resentment, he was still kinda there. He was at least present in my anger, and I think I kind of felt some of his in a strange way. But I can't live there. I have realized that recently, and I just don't want to anymore. God is too good for me to keep avoiding Him. Here are the steps and the checkpoints of my arrival to number seven.

1. Shock and Denial- I faked crying when I arrived on the scene when hugging Joe, his brother. I did not believe it, at least in emotions. I held on to him and faked weeping for his sake. I stared blankly instead.

2. Pain and Guilt- A day later, I was a mess of tears. I was inconsolable, and wanted to do nothing but punish myself for not fixing everything. I stayed here for a very long time.

3. Anger and Bargaining-I spent the most time right here, alternating with number 4. My anger was a conscious choice. It kept the tears at bay. Blaming God helped me to stop blaming myself. So I stayed here for so long....for more than a year, I could not pray without trepidation.

4. Depression- This has always been my case, so it alternated with number 3 the entire time and I took medication to try to subdue it and it did do it's job. I punched religious statues and shouted at my God. I put myself in hell.

5. The Upward Turn- I bettered myself by going back to school during the thick of it. I hate school and did want to punish myself with it. I also wanted to keep my mind off of things and away from God and coming to grips with what really was the issue....I had lost faith.

6. Reconstruction-For some reason this started the day I passed my state boards for nursing, at the gym. I was listening to music to motivate me to lift more weight and found myself having to stop lifting and concentrate on not weeping. I did this at least 8 times during my work out. I went home and celebrated with my wife, but could not shake this overwhelming feeling of, "It's time." I opened my Bible and read the third verse of the first chapter of the Bible I had read for real learning in a year and a half: "Zech 1:3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty." I was wrecked. I was listening to music and this song crossed my ears and everything inside me busted.

7. Acceptance and Hope- I am here. I am happy to finally be here. I am excited to see my God again. I am excited to see my brother. I have much more to do here and am excited for the future as my faith has been reconstructed and I resemble something stronger.


Thanks for reading...Z