Step One: You are going to be okay.
Sniffling into the third (or sixth) tissue, I had the urge to toss a sarcastic response when my friend said with such earnest love. “Tammy, listen to me.” She took a huge pause. “You are going to be okay.”
My mind rejected the words immediately. “Hmm.” I sniffled.
“One day you will look up and find that you made it. You are okay.” My friend reiterated.
That was four years ago, and I can finally say with 100 percent certainty, I am indeed okay. The road to okay was difficult and at times literally overwhelming. My friend lovingly handed me a rope that I didn’t know I would need! I am forever grateful to her for speaking wisdom and love during a time when my personal storm was so loud I couldn’t hear her. Wherever you are in your difficult situation, beginning-middle-end, I am virtually taking your face in my hands and putting my forehead on yours to tell you, “Beloved friend, you are going to be okay.”
Step Two: It’s okay to withdraw for a season.
Long before the day I walked out the door of my marriage devastated, I had distanced myself from most everything and everyone. My heart was bleeding, my emotions were all over the place, and I couldn’t make myself focus on anything except work and my son’s needs. Conversations about anything were exhausting and plastering on the “fake it till I make it smile” became way too comfortable. Over the course of the next 48 months, I leaned way into Jesus. I had proclaimed throughout my life that Jesus was all I needed, but the words of Psalm 16:5 “You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands” became my reality.
This past year has been, for me, like a spring flower slowly opening its petals. I’m able to do simple things like keeping track of birthdays and attending baby showers again. Friend, it’s okay that you withdraw to heal for a season, but when God begins a new season, step into it with confidence and gratefulness to Him. Going from darkness to light hurts for just a few minutes until your eyes adjust. The same thing happens in our hearts. Feeling again hurts but we must move forward, not retreat.