Monday, July 12, 2010

learning to forgive and let go, part one

To say I've been in a funk is an understatement.  I've tried to shake an unsettling feeling for a few weeks now and then I realized what had been keeping me from the fullness of joy that God has for us.  I'm still healing, but what is important is that even though the pain tugs me towards feeling powerless, God redeems who he called me to be and I find strength in him. So here it goes...

I wrote a little over a year ago about an accident I had that shaped me in so many ways. Well, it happened ten years ago Saturday and the man from the accident, Duane G. died ten years ago yesterday.

When the accident first happened I was very much in shock. I had suffered a few scratches and a fractured pelvis, but I was alive.  While still in the hospital I asked a nurse how the motorcyclist was and was informed he had died due to injuries sustained in the accident.  My heart crumbled. I cannot explain the feeling of sorrow, remorse, and guilt that ensued.  At the same time my son was still a baby and I was practically a newlywed.  I was thankful for my life and my responsibilities pushed me forward.  In the days, weeks and months following so many people cared and loved me through the physical and emotional pain.

Shortly after my accident a boy I graduated with, Johnny O. also died in an accident while driving a motorcycle.  He left behind a family and newly wed wife.  His wife, Kelly was also a friend of mine.  I was able to pray with her and encourage her and it gave me the greatest peace to use my experience for good.

In the year that followed I would find out there was still parts of my heart that were not healed and full of fear.  I couldn't drive near the accident and would avoid that part of town at all cost.  I couldn't talk about the accident.  I forbade Randy from every owning (this would change) or riding a motorcycle.  And one day as Randy was driving and I in the passenger side, we turned in front of a motorcyclist.  There was no need for panic, and he was driving completely safe, but the image of the motorcyclist coming at me took me exactaly back to that moment and I was terrified. I freaked out and began crying uncontrolably. Randy calmed me down and I was fine convincing myself I overreacted.

In the years that would follow Randy's desire to own a motorcycle would not be quenched.   He eventually bought a motorcycle against my wishes. It became a very difficult point in our marriage. But in time I forgave him and it became a non issue, or so I thought.

Now I know, every trigger to bring me back to that accident had nothing at all to do with the 'triggers', but the fear and guilt that still existed in my heart and that brewed and eventually boiled over until I realized it, called it what it was, and chose to lay it at the feet of Jesus.

I know in my heart that I didn't kill the man from my accident, but I had to own up to the feeling of guilt so I could I CAN heal.  I'm thankful everyday for my life and the opportunity to know the Father that loves us so.  I'm thankful for every one of my family members that I've been blessed to meet and enjoy because I wasn't critically injured that day.  I'm thankful that my daughter was born a year after that accident and that my injury didn't hinder the blessing of her life.  I'm thankful that I have an opportunity to grow old with my husband.

And although, I'm so grateful for my life, I never want to forget his.  In  a very sad and tragic way I will forever be connected to his family.  I cannot fathom what pain they feel with the loss of their Father, son, brother.  Please pray for this family and the pain they have endured without their Father, son brother over the last ten years.

I don't share this for pity, I share because I truly desire to live a life fully given to Christ.  I want to challenge myself to live as transparently as possible and in turn continue to repent and lay my imperfections, my sin at the feet of Jesus.  If I encourage just one person to see a fear, guilt, or sin issue and they are able to freely give it to Jesus, then it is worth it.  Because HE is worth it!