Monday, May 19, 2014

Looking Back--Return To Zero

A note of waring...
This is hodgepodge, awkward, messy and may not even be legible or understandable. It's for me, for my heart and shared here because transparency is a treasure.

(Deep Breath) This post has been a long time coming, one I have written in my head many times. Sometimes I feel like I have lost my voice or rather intentionally silenced myself. Or maybe I have just been so very busy living I haven't had time to write. I am not sure? I find sitting down to actually "write on my blog" almost impossible. I do still have thousands of words swirling  around...I write the post in my head, late at night when I can't sleep. That seem to be enough-- just to think it all out --then let it go.

Recently when I was making my blog book I read a lot of the posts from when my blog began. It just happened to be at that same time of the year as when I wrote them. I was overwhelmed with the memories of two years ago and how so much has changed yet has remained the same. Complicated I know. I had so many mixed emotions as I read...sadness, memories, relief (that I am not still in that place) and in truth a little embarrassed. I felt embarrassed that I had shared so much--bared my soul for all to see. I did not just do this on my blog but in real life as well. 

I was uncensored after Jonathan was good, bad and sometime downright ugly.

I have not been sure how to cope with these feeling of embarrassment. One minute feeling totally justified--I did what felt right--then the next minute horrified that I let so many people read and see my thoughts, my heart and my soul... Did they laugh? Did they uses it against me? What did they think? Maybe that I was crazy? There were times I felt like I was headed in that direction, yet I never felt far from my Jesus the one who give healing and peace. Why did I struggle so much if I stayed close to him? Why did I feel the need to express the depth of my grief if he was my ever present help in times of trouble? Which he was!!!! Why do some people seemingly face much more difficult circumstances and fair so much better?

All of this has been swirling in my my heart.


Saturday night we watched Return to Zero.

 I was excited to see it mostly because Jonathan's name was at the end, in the "in loving memory of" credits. I knew it would be hard to watch, I knew it would bring up some old pain but I did not know it would answer the questions that have been dancing through my mind.

This is not a review of the movie. I am in no way capable of writing a movie review. We hardly ever watch movies and we do not have a TV. We are a hard core Christian family. Meaning CHRIST is the center of all we do and living for him dictates what we see. I knew this was not a Christian movie and that there would be content that I did not agree with. I did not approve of the sensual scenes that could of been not show but implied to tell the story. I was very sad at how they portrayed the "Christian girl" in the film and even sadder that the main character said her baby dying caused her to stop believing in God. All that to say a big but... BUT... I still liked the movie.

I liked that it was honest in how they coped. I liked that it was messy, because grief usually is. I liked that in so many scenes I was there. I could feel her pain because I had felt it. There were moments that the truth was gut wrenching. When Maggie the main character is told her baby does not have a heartbeat she  reacted so much in the same way that I did. Insisting they check again, repeating over and over that I felt him move. It was like I was watching myself. That was hard but at the same time liberating, to see someone live out what I had lived and react in almost the exact same way.

Then to watch the way the couple handled grief reaffirmed my intense thankfulness for my Jesus. Because they turned to alcohol and an affair in their despair. I see this all the time in the church, hurting humans come up with some sad ways to cope.

I guess looking back bearing my soul on a computer was the way I endured. Like Maggie the main character in the movie I was consumed! I mean losing Jonathan became my whole world for a while and I saw everything through the lens of loss. I am still different and affected by Jonathan's life and death but I am not consumed like in the beginning.

So seeing the movie helped me feel ok about sharing all on my blog and in real life. I needed that...I needed to be heard! That was my survival mechanism. Jesus helped me so much and brought me closer to Him. He made me more like him because of Jonathan. He used my honesty as an avenue of healing-- to write it out, to share my feelings, to not be alone when I felt so alone.

 I found help here. I found support, encouragement and hope from other mommies that had walked similar paths. I wrote from my heart and that released the emotions, they where not pressed down inside of me to explode out later. My feelings became words, words became release, hope came from others and ultimately Jesus brought healing.

So in conclusion I am letting go of embarrassment and embracing my own honesty.

a side note...
Interestingly I read this article this morning, it was about the top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed...the morning that happens to be the anniversary of the death of my Papaw. Six years ago today I stood at the death bed of my Papaw and sang amazing grace as he entered Heaven. One of the top 5 regrets people have is "I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings" That was so affirming to me! Expressing my feeling was the right thing. Yes it caused some uncomfortable situations and made some people shy away from me. I was sincere, and honest in how I felt, it was sometimes raw and ugly but that was releasing and healing. I will not regret being real, being vulnerable, it leads to love and intimacy.

a last note...
Jesus Is the answer! He knows our hearts and he holds our babies. He is the only one that can heal and restore. Only He can bring the peace and comfort we all desire. Whatever has broken our hearts Jesus is the only one that can repair them. Maybe some of us have suffered so greatly that full healing will never happen this side of Heaven. Oh but Oh, one day when we enter into his kingdom, when he wipes every tear away and his perfect love washes over our souls. When we see the little ones that we called lost. Then healing will be complete and the suffering of a hundred years on earth will fade away at the joy of eternity in Heaven. 

“For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
Psalm 22:24

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3 

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain
 Revelation 21:4 


Pink Slippers said...

Beautiful post. You are a wonderful person!!

Hillary said...

I haven't seen the movie yet but have it saved to watch. :/ Truth be told I'm more than a little scared of having to face 21/2 hours of raw emotion. I feel like I barely survived my own grief with Caroline that to relive those triggering moments might just do me in.

Lots of love to you sweet friend! xoxox

Christine said...

Beautiful, true, honest, Tesha. The two years you wrote intensely about Jonathan are an honest, accurate picture of grief, loss, and healing. Those posts represent the beginning, middle and end of the first two years of grief, which experts say are the most intense. They are all encompassing months, especially the first year, when the loss takes over almost entirely. The second year is still intensely sad, but gradually life becomes livable again and the heart can feel joy again, though not every day.

If you can, someday, when life is less intense, I recommend writing a book about baby loss so that other moms will know what to expect in the first two years. In having this record of your feelings and your progress, you are well set up to write a wonderful, detailed book that will be a tribute to Jonathan's memory and the Lord's faithfulness.

Baby loss moms need to know that they aren't going crazy, and that their faith isn't dead just because they are consumed by grief. They need to know that the process is slow, painful, and that sometimes conflict with others will arise in the middle of it. They need to know that there is no one way to grieve, and that it looks different for everyone. They need to know that anger will be there, despair will come, pain will come when looking at newborns or pregnant bellies. Even feelings of failure as a woman will come, depending on whether it is a first pregnancy or not, and on whether infertility is also an issue. They need to know that the rest of the healing comes, as you write here, in eternity, when tears and pain and longing will be no more.

I strongly feel God directed you through those posts, and that they will serve a purpose that will touch more than blog readers someday. That is my prayer, Tesha. You are God's instrument in this and that is an honor.

I am so relieved to read that you let go of the embarrassment. Praise God for that, and for your courage. Much love to you, Tesha.

Jenn @Treasuring Lifes Blessings said...

Girl I was camping this weekend and attempted to view it while there. For so many reasons I need to rewatch it. But BUT!!!!

Tesha, in this screen capture you caught, my NOAH ALEXANDER is listed right under Jonathan by a few names!!! <3 I love how our boys brought us together and were together in their hollywood debut!! <3

Denise said...

Amazing post from an amazing woman.

The Kimmels said...

Tesha, I'm so glad that you have shared so honestly. I have had such similar thoughts with wondering if I shared too much. If I didn't present myself well or more importantly, God well. But, I think that God uses our situations and our honesty to help each other out and bring others closer to him. I have loved reading your journey, seeing your growth and watching your kids grow. Thank you for sharing :)

Kathy said...

Love this & your courage to be vulnerable. You are such a beautiful woman of God & I'm so thankful for you!

L said...

Thank you for writing this post and sharing it with us. I've slipped into my own little depression and am frustrated and embarrassed by it. I've wanted to talk about it but think "people are probably so sick of hearing me whine about Lilly's death." But I know I always feel better when I write. Reading your post this morning helped me not feel bad/crazy/annoying/etc. God bless you Tesha! :)

Pamela said...

I'm thankful you gave up your embarrassment. I grieved quietly and I often think my journey would have been easier if I would have "spoken" how I was thinking and what I was feeling. Because when we are real, many hearts engage with our own. I'm just now learning that 26 years after Sarah's death. How special to have Jonathon remembered in this way.

Leanne said...

Your honesty is beautiful and even the messy parts too.

It's why I feel a kinship with you.

Please do not let the enemy ever condemn you for that honesty, that rawness, that desire to be real.

I love it.


Allison said...

Wonderful post. God is good:)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I didn't know Jonathan's name was at the end. I will have to watch it again. Since I haven't walked your path I have only known what I feel in my heart for those who have lost a child. This movie was a great visual for me. ((HUGS))

brigette said...

Beautifully written!! I understand and agree on so many levels! Thank you for your always brilliant words!

Kelly Marin said...

Though I have never experienced the grief you have , I understand the need to "express it" even if you have some embarrassment later on, I believe most people are understanding and hope you can be ok with the knowledge that most of us don't look down on your very real emotion. It is wonderful I think to know that you can even be helpful to someone else who is or has gone thru something similar.

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