First Birthday, First Grade, First Holidays Alone

I’ve been silent here for a while.  A LONG while.  It’s been hard to not write, to not process through words on a screen.  But I wasn’t ready I guess.

Tonight I am more ready.

We are all looking back on 2013, reflecting on all we’ve done, seen, experienced these last 365 days before at new year starts.

2013 brought the first birthday of my baby girl!  It was quite a celebration considering all the difficulties of her first year!  In past centuries, and even in past decades, she wouldn’t have lived because of her heart defects.  But God gave us wonderful doctors, medicine and His healing and she was able to celebrate her first birthday healthy, happy, and full of energy!

Caleb started first grade!  It seems like we were just watching HIM smear birthday cake all over HIS one year old face.  But, he is now 6 and doing so well in first grade.  We have learned a lot about him and his Sensory Processing Disorder this year, as well as having some great tools in place to help him be successful at school.

We got our first snow blower this year!  After years of living on a long corner lot and shoveling…and shoveling….and shoveling, a friend was selling her snow blower and we grabbed it up!  How nice that has been this winter already!

But the most recent first has been spending my first holidays alone.  Without the man I’ve (literally) spend half my life with.

Tim and I separated the week before Thanksgiving.  Some things came up in our marriage that necessitated taking some time apart.  I don’t know how this separation will end at this point.  God hasn’t shown me that yet.  I really wish He would, but He knows this is a process and He can’t show me everything right now.  And I hate that.

This time of year has always been about family for me.  Celebrating together with all the family we can drag together as often as possible.  Eating too much food together.  Sharing gifts with one another.  As kids we could always count on seeing our cousins several times in these last months of the year.  We would play with our new Christmas presents together, or model our new clothes as we got older.  We had silly family traditions we enjoyed.  But family was always so central to this holiday season.

I still saw my family this season.  We still exchanged gifts.  We still ate too much together.

But it was so different for me.

Tim wasn’t there.  For the first time in 17 years, Tim wasn’t there.  We started dating in October and he came home with me for Thanksgiving that next month.  And we’ve been together for every holiday since.

But not this year.

And I’m really having to wrestle with God again.  I wanted so badly to FEEL His presence.  To keep Him the focus of Christmas.  To really concentrate on WHY we are celebrating this time of year.

But there were so many other emotions getting in the way.  So many other questions in my brain.  So much stress.  It seemed the more I wanted to feel close to God, the farther away He felt.

My heart and my head are in great conflict.  My head “KNOWS” the Truth.  My head chooses to believe that what the Bible says is true, that God loves me, that He has not left me, that He is with me and walking through this pain with me.

But my heart denies it.  My heart needs God to prove Himself in some way.  My heart doesn’t trust God right now.

I’ll be honest.  I’ll be vulnerable.

I am having a hard time trusting God right now.

I WANT to trust Him.  Because I feel so alone.  I want to FEEL His presence with me.  I want to let Him in.

But I’m scared.

Because as if all this wasn’t hard enough, Tim got in a car accident last night and his car was totaled.

HOW could a loving God add THAT to the stresses right now??  REALLY?!?!?

But, again, I know in my HEAD that God is not doing this TO me.  Because, really, Tim really could have been killed in that accident.  But instead walked away with aches and pains but no (to my knowledge) serious injuries.  God WAS protecting him.

But, still, REALLY?!?!?!?!?!

I’m taking a huge risk writing this and putting this all out there.  But, maybe, someone else out there is wrestling with God.  Wondering if there is a God.  Feeling far from Him during this time of year.  Maybe your head and heart don’t agree.  Maybe you feel lonely and alone.

I just want to say, you’re not alone.  Someone else out there feels like you do.

In the Jewish culture, after someone dies, family and friends gather around those who are left behind in mourning and they sit shiva.  They don’t offer advice.  They don’t try to make the grieving person “feel better” or tell them it will all be ok.  They just sit.  They are just there.  If the person wants to talk, they listen.  If they want to cry, they offer a tissue.  If they want silence, they sit in silence.

I don’t have all the answers.  I probably don’t have any answers you want because I KNOW I don’t have any answers I want!

But I will sit shiva with you.  As we grieve.  And wonder why.

If you’re willing, share along with me.  You don’t have to, and you don’t have to share more than you want.  But I would love to hear from you.

I’m hurting too.  A lot.  But I’m going to keep believing, at least in my head until it gets to my heart, that God is sitting shiva with us.


9 thoughts on “First Birthday, First Grade, First Holidays Alone

  1. I know how you have fought for your relationship in the past. I am praying for you! This has been a difficult Christmas season for me too, for many reasons. Hoping for brighter days ahead for both of us!!

  2. Vicky, you said exactly what I have been feeling for a very long time. I honestly dont know how I do life and keep it together. On the outside I smile so no one will know that my heart is broken on the inside. Just wanted you to know I am right there with you….

  3. I was so excited to see your blog pop up in my reader. My heart hurts for you. I am praying God will bring clarity in your relationship with Tim. I am asking for restoration and healing, as I always have. I pray that you will come to a place of trust. I can imagine how hard this is. But He promises to bring you through to the other side. Even when we don’t fully comprehend what that looks like. He’s a good God. He loves you so much! Hugs!

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