Finding Peace

 

It’s a Sunday afternoon, the windows are open and the melody of the birds chirping is mixing delightfully with the sound of Josh playing his guitar. My hair is down and a little messy, the dogs have been walked and the laundry is done. In the words of John Mayer, “nothing to do, nowhere to be, a simple little kind of free.”

This is contentment.

I began the month of January participating in the Whole30 challenge so that I could give my body a much-needed break and experiment with how my body reacts to certain foods and eating patterns. It was hard and there were plenty of days where I wanted to quit and have a beer, but for *almost* 30 days I stuck with it.

A week shy of the end of my 30 days, I was racing to my hometown to take care of my grandpa, Poppy, and make sure I got to say goodbye to him before he passed. It was 11pm, I was exhausted, starving and the only thing to eat at my grandma’s that night was a piece of cold pizza. I spent the entire night up, feeding my Poppy morphine and making sure his breathing tube stayed positioned in his nose to get an even flow of oxygen. The next morning I had pigs in a blanket because that’s what there was – and that was okay.

After being added sugar-free, dairy free, grain free and legume free for 23 days the program had done what I had intended for it to do – it helped repair my relationship with food. I am content with having pizza, but I am also content with not eating the entire thing. I am devastated by the passing of my Poppy, the man that I loved most and first, but I have not felt the need to stress eat that’s only satiable with fried foods or ice cream.

It’s been a hard week and a half. My family is heartbroken, my Poppy won’t be here to walk me down the aisle when I get married in December and I’ve been terrified that I’ll never get to see him again… because what if heaven isn’t real?

I know what you’re thinking, whoa there Lauren, don’t you like… believe? I do. I think.

There are so many questions I have that I may never get answers to and the thought that I may never see him again chokes me up and makes me feel hopeless.Then comes the existential thoughts of “well, what happens when I go?” I see myself dancing with joy and falling to my knees and think, “yeah, that’s how I want it to be.” Who can ever truly say though? I guess we will all find out when we get there.  When I listen to one of his favorite songs, I Can Only Imagine, and hear the lyrics I am left with hope and peace.

“Surrounded by Your glory / what will my heart feel / will I dance for You Jesus / or in awe of You be still / will I stand in Your presence / or to my knees will I fall / will I sing hallelujah / will I be able to speak at all”

Can you imagine, sitting in your living room, crying over a bible you haven’t opened in months because the person you loved most is gone and all you’ve got are the words of the book he loved?

The first month of 2018 was all over the place for me. I’m going to spend the rest of my life missing my Poppy and wishing he were here to hold my hand through the joys and the sorrows, but as I’ve taken the time to sit, to cry and to listen to my body… I’ve found myself being more aware of these moments that are full of peace and contentment. Healing comes through treating your body, mind and spirit with intention for it to heal – not by beating and battering it to numb any kind of pain.

My intention’s for February are all to honor my Poppy – by running, a hobby we shared a love for, by loving Josh as well as he loved my grandma (he died a week shy of their 66th wedding anniversary), and to find moments to sit drenched in peace.

“But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest. For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years. Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age. He who pleased God was loved.”

Good is God even when we don’t understand. Let’s spend February remembering that it’s okay if the only word we can utter is “hallelujah.”

 

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