What’s going to happen…

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When I was a boy I had a fear of death. I was scared of someone breaking in to our house, I was scared to be in a car going too fast, I was scared of storms. I did not want to die.

It wasn’t even that I was scared of where I was going, it was I just knew these things could hurt me. It was a fear of nothing.

As I got a little older, I grew in my faith and I became a follower of Christ. With that, I knew I would one day go to Heaven, but for me, I didn’t even think about that being the reason of being a follower. It was more about praising and being so thankful for my current life. It was about being a good person.

As I got even older, I continued to grow in my faith and I was still scared of death. I knew where I was going, but I guess I didn’t fully understand where I was going. I still loved life so much and was happy that I was alive. I enjoyed everything around me.

When Lindsay died, something changed. At first I thought it would set me free. Today, I feel like I was wrong.

When Lindsay died, I instantly lost my fear of death. I was ok with eternity in Heaven… How could I not be?

Anyone who came in contact with me knew I still loved my life and even though I did not fear death, I did not fear life either. I embraced anything that came my way. I was probably in shock. I don’t know that I was excited about the day, but I wasn’t scared of it.

Today, once again things have changed. I have been really struggling lately. It has not been so much about missing Lindsay in particular, not that I don’t miss her every day, but it just isn’t where my struggle is.

To give you an idea of my ”new normal” life…

It is no secret that I have been involved with a young widow, by the name of Lindsey for quite some time. She is amazing, her daughter is amazing, we do amazing things together, the way I feel for her is amazing, the way she makes me feel is amazing, the way she makes the boys feel is amazing. Its amazing.

For the past 6 months I have been blessed to work with some old colleagues, which I do from home. The job is great, the pay is great, the people are great (though I only see them through Skype). Its great.

Then there are the boys… I look at the boys often and can not believe they are mine. It is unbelievable that they are my sons. It is unbelievable the happiness that they bring to me. It is unbelievable that every day they get a little older, a little smarter, a little sweeter. It is unbelievable.

Last December I moved to China Spring, population 4,500. It is pretty country and it is pretty, country. I love it here, I can’t even imagine going back to a city of any kind. The kids run free and the people here ”live” with you. You care about the person bringing you your soda here, because they care about you. Its less about ”What can I get you?” and more about ”How are you doing today?”

So wrap all of those up into one and you have a pretty good thing going. It will be one unbelievably amazing, great life. One would think.

For some reason this all scares me. Death has lost all power against me. Life has all the power against me, not for me.

I feel tormented from the time I wake up in the morning until I shut my eyes for a moment or two. I don’t fear a break in or storm, I fear loving. I fear enjoyment. I fear doing the things that I was meant to do. I fear getting out of my bed to get the boys ready for school. I fear sending Lindsey a ”Good morning my love.” message. I fear sitting at my computer to do some work. I fear losing the boys, I fear losing my job, I fear losing Lindsey and P. Sometimes I think I am going to lose it all and become the guy sitting on the street corner holding a sign begging for money.

When I lost my fear of death, I originally felt so free. Now I feel like a prisoner in my own life.

Its not that I don’t want all of these things or that I don’t love ALL of it. It is just fear of it.

I feel like I am standing on the edge of the ocean, and the ocean is full of hope, love, and happiness. I feel like I have the tips of my toes right there getting damp, yet I am too scared to let go and jump in. I am so scared of something. I don’t know what it is…

My question every day is, ”What’s going to happen if I do?”

Today, do you know what is scarier than death? Life.

Life is real again. It is no more excuses. No more ”It’s ok, you lost your wife.” No more ”I am sorry for your loss.”

This is where the real healing takes place I think. This is where God says, ”Go my child, the training wheels are gone, I have the tires aired up, the breaks tight, and the steering set.” ”I have done this for you. You see it, but you don’t take it, why?” ”Don’t you trust me?” ”I love you, I won’t let anything happen to you.”

Heavenly Father… you know my every need. You know my heart. You know my strengths, my weaknesses. You know my past, present and future. Please protect me. Please be the hand waving at me to move on when I look back. Please give me peace and never stop giving me love. I know I have to do my part, but somewhere down the road trusting became a conscious effort. Are you sure I’m ready? Are you sure I can do this life thing again? Are you sure I have it in me? I still need you every day. Every night. I will be still as long you need me to be if I can. Just give me the go ahead when you’re ready. In Christ’ name, Amen.

Gabe

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11 Comments

  1. Alaina Johnson
    Posted 06/19/2013 at 3:27 PM at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    One song comes to mind! ” Threaten me with Heaven” by Vince Gill! I heard this song several weeks ago, and fell in love with it! You have an amazing life dont be scared!!! Listen to the song!!- Alaina

  2. Posted 06/19/2013 at 3:31 PM at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    I am very glad I read this today. I am getting married next month and I have felt God tugging at my heart the past few months telling me it is okay to live. I am always scared to death of being happy because what if it is all taken away? After my mother passed 12 years ago, in a sense I felt like I did not deserve to be happy because she was gone so I should always be sad. It seems so silly, doesn’t it? You feel like if you are happy and you move on with your life you are doing something wrong, but we aren’t. Life is so scary and we are dealt all of these cards. We never know what these cards hold! I feel happy and blessed one minute, the next I am scared wondering if this is okay. Shouldn’t I go back to being sad? Just live your life and just enjoy it. Ha, easier said than done, huh. I believe God gave you a “second chance” at love so He wants you both to embrace it. Your story is filled with too much irony to not be directly from Him.

    • Posted 06/19/2013 at 3:38 PM at 3:38 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Julie, I am really happy for you and I hope you can enjoy this life. You seem to get it. Its hard and honestly its somewhere buried in my subconscious to hold back. I am sure you understand. Thanks for your kind words, congrats on the wedding!

  3. Evie Howe
    Posted 06/19/2013 at 5:20 PM at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    This brought tears to my eyes. This is so much of what I have been through. You have such a talent of putting it in writing so perfectly! Funny, that song mentioned above came to my mind while reading it also. Whats the worse they can do? “Threaten me with heaven” I have not had that fear of dying since I lost my loved ones, but I have lived in fear of losing another loved one for the past 18 plus years. Living in fear is such a struggle. Now when I look back at all those years I have missed. Oh how I wish I could do it over again, oh how I wish I could have been stronger. I missed so much joy-laughter-memories. I let fear win. Please don’t let that happen to you. I now have guilt for not being there & that is another struggle. I think we will always have some fear in us, we are human. We have to let faith be bigger than our fears. Life is too short, as we know. When I look back at my life with the ones I lost, would I give it up knowing the pain of losing them? No, never. I would do it all over again. The joy I had with them, no matter how short or long, will always be worth every second. So we have to look at our future that way too. It has taken me a long time to see this. I have read all of your & Lyndsey’s writing in Part of the Miracle and I cant’ tell you how much they have helped me.
    You have been given another blessing. My love and prayers to you and Lyndsey and your beautiful little ones.

    • Posted 06/19/2013 at 6:20 PM at 6:20 PM | Permalink

      Hi Evie, Lindsey has told me a little bit about your family and I am very sorry for your losses. It makes me sad that you have struggled for so long, I wish/hope you can let go of guilt of those years and just start fresh, but I know how much easier that is said than done. Fear is the worst thing I have experienced in my grieving. I have never had anything like this, however I am quickly learning that I am not the only one and in fact it seems as though every grieving person I know has experienced this same thing on some level. Thank you for the encouragement and prayers!

  4. Rachel L.
    Posted 06/19/2013 at 6:52 PM at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    This is the quote that came to mind while reading this. Gah, I got a pit in my stomach while taking in your very REAL words. Thank you for your authenticity. I don’t understand grieving like you, but for some reason I relate to your words without having had a major loss. Fear does not discriminate, I suppose.

    May God bless you with the peace only He can offer.

  5. Anonymous friend
    Posted 06/20/2013 at 2:56 AM at 2:56 AM | Permalink

    Today I heard a speaker.
    Today that speaker spoke on Life.
    Jesus is Life. What He gives He is.

    John 1:1
    1 John 5:11
    John 5:24
    Ephesians 2:4
    John 10:10

    Life is only found in Him, never separate from Him.
    This life unfortunately leads us to look at productivity, status, etc. Trying to find life in all other things won’t be found.
    Talking to Him, reading His Word, staying in prayer-that is where His presence is. That is how we fill our life and bless the lives of others.

    There was a visual with oil and water. No matter how hard you shake it, mix it, try to blend it together it always separates back out. The speaker used those two to represent us and God. If we try to mix Him in to what’s already going on: our agenda, our wants, our needs, our pre made decisions for our life it doesn’t blend well and always separates back out in the end.
    Then there was water and tea. They infuse together and its blended with not much effort at all. No hard work of trying to make something happen that is in our best interest-like the oil and water. Soak up Jesus and let it change you. Let Him lead you in this life He has given you.

    Fear comes from our enemy. If there is an open door that hasn’t been completely given over to the Lord the enemy will say, “thank you very much I’ll make my way in there” and then sends fear/doubt/anxiety to attack you in those vulnerable places and separate your trust and faith in the life He has given and the Life He is!

  6. Maureen G
    Posted 06/20/2013 at 2:48 PM at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    Gabe,

    You have spent so many years of your life with Lindsay that it can take a while to heal . When she would tell me about your relationship, you were the only one in her life. You guys were young and the most vulnerable at that age that is can be hard to see a life past her. Satan has a way of feeding us thoughts that are not of God. Read Jeremiah 29:11. It helps me when a I feel lost. I emotionally went thought a really bad situation in a relationship for 6 years and when I was trying to move on, I felt guilty cause my heart was with someone else. Maybe you pushed though trying to move on for you and the boys that you have not healed from your loss. Matthew 11 28-30 “I will give you rest”. Allow your self to receive His mercy and Grace. Slow down. Sometime we just have to be on a knees and listen to God.

  7. Bonnie W
    Posted 07/10/2013 at 3:59 AM at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    Hey, Gabe,

    Hadn’t been on the site in a while…for whatever reason, you came to mind tonight so I decided to ck in…
    Glad to hear you and the boys have settled into “country” livin’! I grew up in a town of 1000, so I can relate! 😉 I also relate to the fear you’re describing in this post. After losing Jacob, my fear of death changed–I anticipate being in heaven worshipping God and communing with my love ones there. I, however, have had TERRIBLE anxiety of something happening to my children and have had to deal with the fear of something happening to me where I’m not here for them while they’re young and need me…
    I think, for me, it’s like my innocence died the day Jake crashed…I now know too well that things happen very quickly for no understandable reason…I know that this life is out of my hands and I’m not in control. It has caused me to grow deeper in my faith, though even now, at times, I have to lay my fears down at the foot of the cross & remind myself that God’s plan is perfect and good.
    I think in the past 1 1/2 yrs, God has blessed me with some peace…I no longer fear or imagine the worst case scenario every time someone I love leaves the house, I no longer imagine what terrible news could be waiting for me every time the phone rings at an odd time…I have learned not to fear life by giving my life and my loved ones’ lives over to the care of God…. Easier said than done when you’ve drank from the bitter cup of reality that God’s perfect will is not always good this side of eternity.

    I will be praying that you are able to experience this freedom of peace soon, too. One of my life mantras, “Life IS hard; God IS good; Stay in the Word”…

    With love,
    Bonnie

  8. Bonnie W
    Posted 07/10/2013 at 4:05 AM at 4:05 AM | Permalink

    Ok, so I opened up my Bible app after writing my post and this was the verse of the day, so I had to come back and share it…

    The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high. (Proverbs 29:25 AMP)

    Lean on & trust in, my friend! :)

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