If you are a rom com/chick flick/sucker for love/emotional movie kinda person, the title of this blog should ring a bell. It’s that 2007 movie with Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank where Gerry (the husband) dies but to help her healing process he leaves a series of letters post mortem that come at seemingly random moments from different sources. The letters provided instructions and encouragement to live her life fully without his physical presence. I love that movie, I think it would make my top 10 romantic movies that include among others the Notebook, Love and Basketball and Crazy Beautiful. Anyway, I came home exhausted and strangely emotional so what do I do? I torture myself with the sappy movie so I can bawl my eyes out. Surely, there must be an easier way to release my emotional tension! Nope, not me. Romance /drama movies are my drug of choice.
When my bawl fest was over I started to think about love. I love love. I love being loved. I love loving the people around me, but mostly I love that peace I have from knowing the God of the Universe loves me unconditionally. Someone asked me recently, how did I manage to love again? I said, in my view point there are two directions you can take when handling grief; you either shut down and close your heart off from the possibility of deeply feeling for anyone and anything OR you choose to grab hold of life in its fullness and embrace love in all its glorious facets. For me, I started down the first road. I made an internal promise to myself never to love again. I could not fathom it. But I soon came to realize the walls I build to shut love out also shut me within myself. It became difficult to relate to the people I wanted to love; my boys, my mom, my friends. I knew if I let myself feel anything at all I risked my whole fortress crumbling. It did not feel like living at all but I felt this was the best way to prevent my world from shattering again. It was a lonely numb place.
One day I had the epiphany that since Chris (my first husband) sacrificed himself for his family, if I were to function like a zombie and not truly live then I wasted his sacrifice. My mind went back to a conversation we had before he passed about wanting each other to live fully if the other person were gone. I recognized in that moment that to live fully, no holding back was my best gift to him. So I honour his memory by holding on to the people I care about. I try to choose quality of conversation over quantity. I laugh loudly, I sob uncontrollably, I think deeply and I allow myself to feel every emotion. The ones that lead me to unhealthy pathways like anger and bitterness I give myself a time frame to feel them, to explore the emotion and then I let them go like waves receding from the shore.
When I re-met Carlton (long story), I was still on the first road. He was my auto-mechanic and my knight in greasy armour but nothing more. When I decided to crawl out of my fortress occasionally, he was there making me laugh and getting me out of my head. When it got scary, I crawled back into the fortress. When I had the epiphany and started to pull the fortress down brick by brick he was there. He was patient and never rushed my process. He allowed me to cry when I needed to and never disrepected Chris’ memory. He still does this and I love him for it.
I’ve observed that walled hearts find it hard to see the light. I find that people who are so focused on protecting their hearts miss the joy and beauty of love and being loved on deeper levels. This is not to say they have no fun or walk around miserable. Most people will not even recognize they are in the “walled in heart crew” until they encounter Love. Love (God) whispers P.S. I love you over the course of history via His Word with timely reminders of His all-sufficient grace. He loves on us lavishly all the time but until we release the fear of being hurt we will be hard pressed to see it. Until we abandon the need to have all answers, all the time before making a move, we remain stuck in “could have” and “should have” thoughts. I saw a quote recently from an unknown source that said “sometimes we want greater clarity when what we need is deeper trust”. The quote hit me hard because Im still in the beginner class for deep trust but I’m trying. So when my heart quakes, I remind myself that Love loves me and that if I open my heart to Him, He will direct my path.
Write Fully Yours
P.S. I love you, says God.
Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.
Proverbs 3:5 TPT
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