Yesterday (Tuesday), I had the opportunity to speak at a local moms group. By request, I shared my story in light of making end-of-life decisions. My goal was to provide perspective and offer basic information for these moms.
Through a casual conversation, we discussed wills, trusts, life insurance, and more. To be clear, I am not an expert on any of these topics. But I have experienced the how-tos and what-not-to-dos.
I also recommended these ladies consult with an attorney, accountant, and/or a financial planner. I don’t recommend taking a lot of unwarranted risks in these areas!
I really enjoyed speaking with these moms, and afterward, I went to work like usual. But the emotions caught up with me there (unexpectedly), as my coworker and I just-so-happened to discuss similar topics. Gotta love God’s timing!
Occasionally, I still get a little teary-eyed when discussing all we went through with cancer. And lately, I have been reflecting on our journey more anyway…
I know March will be here soon, and I can’t help but think of two important times. First, I recall March 2010 when Dave found his job in Fargo. We moved later that year, which set the stage for other big life changes.
I’ve also been thinking of March 2013 when Dave was so sick and near death (he died in May that year). That was a tumultuous time and we felt desperate.
This flux of emotions tends to cycle through periodically, though as we move toward March, I have felt it more. Perhaps that’s because we are also fast-approaching another milestone: the five year anniversary of Dave’s death.
Yesterday, we also received several inches of snow. That’s not unusual for February, but I still had to blow snow in the dark of morning and shovel twice. For me, snow removal builds character (ha!), but yesterday, I was more reflective.
In the afternoon, I shoveled away the snow and contemplated my sadness. The physical activity was good for me and channeled my emotions into something productive.
I thought it would be a quick job, so didn’t change out of my work clothes. I wore lightweight dress pants and my lightweight gloves. I didn’t wear a hat and my hood kept falling off. I wanted to work quickly so my fingers wouldn’t freeze!
After about twenty minutes, I thought about going inside to warm up. But, I was still praying through my emotions and just wanted to finish. I threw more snow on already-high mounds. It was difficult because it required a lot of effort to corral the snow!
Soon, my fingers weren’t cold anymore—they were numb.
It was only when I came in about fifteen minutes later that I noticed my fingers again. They were bright red and tingled, like other parts of my skin. There was no frostbite, but that’s not unheard of with extreme wind chills like we have in Fargo.
Thankfully, I had gotten through both the snow and the rough emotions.
Praise God, I felt so much better!
As I put away my snow shovel, I thought about how people manage their emotions in a similar manner. Many people try to ‘shovel away’ their sorrows, without actually understanding the pain. It’s like having spiritual or emotional frostbite.
They bury sadness and grief, frustration and remorse, anger and resentment without dealing with them. They don’t allow themselves the time to heal. Some people freeze their feelings, becoming numb and unable to function properly.
For me, the pain can still feel rough at times, though it has gotten much better overall.
Nonetheless, I still allow myself to feel my emotions and pray them through. The feelings don’t last forever, and I know it will be okay…sooner or later.
Like snow, healing is messy. It can be difficult work to decipher our feelings and keep them contained. Yet, I always learn more about myself in the process. Reaching a new level of healing or self-understanding isn’t always fun…but it is a valuable gift!
Yesterday, I was also reminded of God’s grace and goodness. Only He can bring full healing. And, the more I share my story, the more grateful I become.
God has been so faithful to me. He has provided for me in ways I cannot even explain. Despite my losses, He has never let me down. What Victory!
Yes, when everything feels like it is falling apart, Jesus is there. He is greater than my pain or problems, and He loves me through each trial. He protects me and allows me to be myself—feelings and all. By His grace, He holds me together!
Dear God, thank You so much for your grace and goodness. Thanks for taking such great care of me. Please direct my path and guide me on this journey. Thanks that I don’t have to get stuck emotionally. I choose to move forward. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Questions: Have you experienced any signs of spiritual or emotional frostbite? Will you let Jesus handle it?