I had a dear friend suggest that it is time to do an “Alycia Review” post. I sputtered, blundered and felt that this would be a pointless post, because you all have been following me for years. You know where I am now. But then I started looking back and he was right. He usually is.
So let’s go back to “The Event” and work from there.
Honestly I can’t tell you much about what I did, who I talked to or where I was for that first week. I’ve heard tales of people during traumatic events not being able to recall much about the incident or around the incident. It’s totally true. I was in a haze. I did things methodically and met with people who could tell me exactly what steps to take about burial, social security and who gave me the title “Widow.”
- What did I learn from that time looking back?
- God was holding me so tightly that He only allowed me to do the things that HAD to be done.
- He gave me that haze because although I can remember anguished crying in the bathroom after the kids went to bed, screams that made me hoarse talking to the ghost of the man I used to call “husband;” He would wrap me in the haze so that I could make it through with what I had to do without clear memories of the raw pain.
There was a night weeks after, although I can’t pinpoint the day, that my children were gone and being taken care of by a friend. I just couldn’t be a mother right then. I couldn’t be anything. It crossed my mind that maybe I should follow in his footsteps, because I had no idea how I was going to do anything. The girls would be taken care of by someone who wasn’t so bitter, angry, hurt and totally nuts; if I was gone. Then I remembered how my oldest daughter cried when she found out her dad wasn’t coming back. I couldn’t do it to her again. I cried out finally totally broken and challenged God to prove Himself to me like never before. I had a list of things I needed and I angrily told Him that He better show up for me.
- What did I learn about that time looking back?
- We have a mighty God who listens and sometimes when we really need Him to prove himself, He will do it.
- He comforts the broken hearts.
- We have a God that can easily take our anger and be patient enough to give us grace and mercy.
- During that time, my needs were met larger than I could have expected. I found a home for us to heal in exact detail that I had given to God. I met, fell in love and married a man who met the list exactly as I told God I had to have if I were going to be a wife and my daughters have a father figure again. The blessings tumbled forth in a way so obscene that I began to pay it forward to as many as I could as soon as I knew all my needs were met.
- During this time God gave me a gift to see hurt in others as I had been hurt myself. I can look at a face and just know. I follow His direction and strike up conversations with complete strangers and have intervened in a planned suicide attempt, gave resources and direction to many women who found the courage to leave an abusive situation. I don’t question the gift, but I use it when my spirit tells me it is time.
It’s been several years but it feels as though I have stepped into a new lifetime.
- What did I learn about that time looking back?
- Second chances are possible.
- I have found out in my new freedom that I have many things that I can do and I am good at.
- I have learned there are many ways of looking at things.
- I have learned that I have PTSD and Depression and am taking the steps to manage it best.
- I’ve learned that I am an amazing wife. I rock motherhood. I am an awesomely fierce woman who has a purpose and a plan. (I also doubt those things many times because of the depression, but in my heart – it’s there in its Holy Truth)
- I have wisdom and insight from my dark places that makes me have a powerful voice.
- I have learned that I am funny, friendly and really don’t like to be alone.
What do I want you to know most of all from where I am?
- Bad things happen to good people and although that is not God’s plan, His promise is to comfort you during the bad.
- When you pray with a truly broken and empty heart, He will answer in His will to bring good from the bad for His glory.
- You are never condemned to be a victim, you were meant to be a survivor for your testimony to help others.
- When you are at your lowest. Hold on….He will show up and get you out of there. He won’t leave you alone, but you got to ask.
- Each of us is given a gift that is part of our purpose. The gift is NOT the purpose, it is only there to guide you further when you accept what you have and boldly use it.
- When bad things happen it is not because YOU deserved it; God doesn’t plan to punish you. Blindly trust that He is going to guide you through it and quit trying to do everything yourself.
- When decide to die to yourself (your plans, your wishes, your view on purpose) you will shine so fiercely in a way that is going to change you in a way that the world is not prepared for. You will be God’s hands, feet, mouth and heart. Ain’t no stopping you from there.
So that is where I am right now and what I have been learning these last few years. If you have questions, comments or just want to say “Hi…I need help with x and y!”
I am here. I am listening. You are important. You can comment here. Email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) come friend me on FaceBook.
from my earliest interactions with you I felt the GOOD, the LOVE, the truth in every word you wrote and shared with me.
I read these posts (and even when I don’t comment) I hope you feel the love and comfort I am always sending you. When my brother Ben died suddenly back in December I remembered you and how you kept the faith in your darkest days. Your words were healing then and continue to be so.
Our world is so lucky to have your spirit and voice among us.
I was talking to my counselor the other day and I told her that I spent too many years refusing to accept the diagnosis of depression because I wanted to believe the lie that Christians don’t get depressed. And that I was confused by the truth that Jesus was enough so I felt guilty when He wasn’t “enough” for me. I have finally gotten to the point where I understand and believe that He shines best through our broken places. A person with no cracks and crumbles would not be able to let His light shine through! He must be giving you, and maybe me, a platform from which to share His message, and His light, since He has given us so many cracks! I love you!