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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

This post has a religious theme. I am not preaching or saying this works for everyone. I am just saying that it worked for me. That it was my light at the end of the tunnel.

Two things happened that changed my life. I went to a Christmas Tea at Drury Lane with a dear friend who had talked me into going and I read the book, The Shack. The Christmas Tea was hosted by Ginger Creek Church and I loved every minute of it. I loved that I felt that they were speaking right to me. I loved that they talked about trying to steer our way through life when it is God who should be steering. It's exactly what I was doing. Trying to control things I had no control of. Suddenly while sitting there listening to the music, I felt a huge weight lift off of me. I wanted to just give all of what was hurting me and all that my heart wanted to God. I didn't know what to do with any of it anymore and it made me instantly feel better to just say, "Here God, You take all this sadness. You show me what I am supposed to do. You put the dream in my heart, so if that is not meant to be, then what is?" I felt a peace come over me that everything was going to be okay and that I could open my eyes to the possibility that I could be happy doing something else besides having another baby.

I decided that I wanted to go back to my roots and look for a job as a preschool teacher. I put in applications everywhere. I went on an interview and felt uncomfortable and at odds with everything they were saying. When did preschool become so cut-throat? I could feel the pressure just in that interview of what they expected from those kids. It made me sad that things had changed so much since I last taught preschool and I wondered for the first time whether I would fit back in with the education system. I got called to sub for Isabella's first grade class and it was like a light bulb moment. Thankfully it was just that preschool that I felt uncomfortable with. I loved being back in the classroom. I loved teaching! I missed teaching! How could I be so afraid to go back to something I loved? I started applying for elementary positions and I felt really good about moving forward. I remember a prayer that I said over and over again during that time. I asked God that if it wasn't meant to be that I have the baby that I still really wanted, please could I get a teaching job that would make me happy.

The thing with moving forward was that I was still sad. As much as I prayed to God, I still didn't understand why it happened. If He loved me so much, how could He let me keep getting hurt? Where was God in all of this? How could He give me a baby and then let the baby die? It was almost like I was testing Him. I was praying and giving him a big "either/or" ultimatum. Either You give me a job or You don't exist. Then our book club picked the book The Shack by William P. Young. Now, if you haven't read it, it is one of those books that you have to "buy into". It's a story that you can choose to believe or choose not to. I chose to believe it and in doing so, it changed my way of thinking completely. Some of my favorite quotes (from God speaking to Mack, the main character who lost his daughter) that helped me were:
Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purpose. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but when there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.

The person who lives by their fears, will not find freedom in my love.

The real underlying flaw in your life, Mack is that you don't think that I am good. If you knew I was good and that everything--the means, the ends, and all the processes of individual lives--is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not always understand what I am doing, you would trust me. But you don't. Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me.

As I read, I saw that when Nico and Tommy were diagnosed with CF and Rocco died, I lost all trust in God. I didn't believe He loved me and I didn't trust that He had good things in store for me. I had an image in my head of what my life was supposed to be like and it kept me stuck from feeling His love and seeing His plan. It might be corny but that book set me free from so much sadness and so much pain and more importantly, it set me on a path to trust and feel loved again.

Don't get me wrong. I miss what could have been with Rocco and I never know when I'll get hit with that gut-wrenching pain(looking at Gia and knowing her older brother should be here so she'd have someone closer to her age to play with hurts). I will never forget and the pain of losing him will always be tucked in my heart but I am okay. I have come out of it with stronger faith because now I don't feel like God did it to me. I feel like it happened and He was by side the whole time making sure I was okay.

When it happened, Tommy had a lot of questions and I looked for a book to help me help him and nothing really fit so I wrote one which proved to be very therapeutic. Of course it is so personal that I am having a hard time sending it off to possible publishers. Tommy asks me from time to time to read it to him so knowing I have at least one fan, who knows...


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