I went on vacation last weekend for the first time in years. My husband and I packed up the kids and hit the road headed towards Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
For the first time in almost two years, I felt stress free. Everything was going so right; we went to the beach, took loads of pictures, ate at new restaurants, drove around the city and just chilled as a family.
And then I had the dream.
I was inside a hospital, searching high and low. Talking to doctors and reassuring my mother I'd get it figured out. We would make this all go away. I would not rest until it was done. It was going to be okay.
And I did it. I found the cure. I was rushing to the doctors, screaming I had found it, but suddenly the dream began to sway. Reality and my dream state were merging.
It was a slow awakening. I began realizing it didn't matter if I found a cure or not, because my mother was dead. She had been dead for many months. Nothing I did now would bring her back.
Reality is a pill we all must swallow and I spent the long drive home crying and thinking about her. I contemplate some days if I'm really over her death or not. One moment I feel strong and confident, understanding that Earthly death is part of the cycle, that I will see her again in Heaven.
But, then there are times where I fall to pieces, unsure of myself and how I can go one without her, wondering if I will search the crowds for her face forever, if I will always remember her smiling at me, recollecting the sound of her laugh.
I was talking with my husband as the tears rolled down my face, telling him it's not easy being a Christian sometimes.
It'd be easier to drink my nights away and go visit a bar to escape how I feel, but Christianity doesn't allow that. It forces you to face the facts and yourself. When you make your commitment to Christ, you make it for all your days, not just the good ones. You cannot allow yourself to walk too far from His Word or you'll find yourself turning back into who you were or worse yet, being molded into something scarier then what you had been before He rescued you.
People living on the outside without a foundation in the Lord sit back thinking we must be crazy, relying on the eye in the sky, the always present magical force who listens to our prayers.
It's true, I do rely on Jesus, but I also have to work on myself CONSTANTLY, especially with my grief.
This is not a joyride.
This is not a walk for the faint of heart.
As someone whose choice of drug was alcohol in my former years, you better believe the devil has tempted me. As someone who built walls and burned bridges, the devil told me to isolate myself, to hold everything in, to hide my hurt.
But Jesus. He always walks in to the room, lighting up the shadows, saving the day.
I know that this grief can't last forever. I expect some days to be harder than others, and although I can't run to wordly outlets to free myself of pain for a short while, I know I can face it with Him by my side.
I can face this grief, I can face my life without her, I can face the world with Jesus. It's not easy being a Christian compared to earthly standards, but I'd rather face my demons today and move on with my life, than eat with them at dinner while they come to steal my joy at night.