For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Better Answer--Part 10, The Power of Time

A friend of mine broke her wrist. A small break. Didn't need a cast, just one of those wrist braces. A month later, she had almost all function back.

Another friend of mine was in a car wreck. The airbag hit her wrist the wrong way, and her wrist shattered. It took surgery and a couple of months to heal. When she went to see the doctor, he would x-ray, see how it was progressing, make sure there were indicators of healing there. She went from one kind of cast to another finally to a brace and eventually nothing. Her ability to use her wrist and hand went from nothing to pinching with fingertips to gripping with fingers to full functionality. A lot of strength had to be regained. It seemed like the healing would never be complete, but eventually it was. Now her wrist is fine, but wow, did it take time to reach "fine".

From the outside, the injuries look the same. However, they were very different breaks. While the small break took only six weeks for full recovery, no one would expect that of the second break. There were just too many things involved in the healing process.

Emotional healing works the same way.

Sadly too many people think healing is controlled by calendar pages, not personal pain. They think recovering from divorce, a death, or a given loss works in a pre-packaged time frame.

If only.

The truth is the second year can be harder than the first. Circumstances play a roll as well. This year a friend of mine had her fourth year divorced. It was her worst for reasons few can understand. The first year my mom was gone was drowned by the marital collapse and death of my husband. It wasn't until I had found my way through the loss of marriage and my children's dad that the reality hit--my mom was gone. That was a breath-snatching Christmas.

I know a precious lady whose marriage split up after 15 years. Her sweetheart since high school, only man she had ever dated, ever kissed, ever believed loved her walked out of their home and into the bed of a woman nearly fifteen years younger than she or her husband are. I couldn't imagine what that was like, and a mutual friend and I were discussing it one day because we were concerned, and the mutual friend said, "I'll be glad when she is done with the first year. She'll be fine then."

I couldn't believe the naivete'. Really? You think she will step over that calendar one-year mark and everything will be fine?

"Well, she'll have gone through all the holidays and lived. Then it is time for her to move on and get over it."


Yes. Seriously.

Two and a half years.

That is how long it has been since everything began for us.

When the path we were on became obvious, I made a list. It was my "Other Side" list. It was my criteria for what "the other side" looked like. I would know we had made it through once I saw these things active in our lives.

About a month ago I realized we are living that list. We are on "the other side".

In the last 2 1/2 years we've endured incredible pain, cried more than we thought was humanly possible, questioned, screamed in rage, put up walls to protect us from people with bad intentions...and people with good intentions who hurt unintentionally...laughed a lot, found new hobbies...rebuilt our lives.

Rebuilding has taken time.

Working through the pain of the loss...
Working through the anger...
Finding new hobbies...
Finding new joy...

It is a process, not a switch we get to hit.

One of the best gifts we've received from friends we've kept close to us is the gift of time. In fact, their patience is one of the reasons we've kept them close.

They had no time frame for when we should be past the anger or when birthdays shouldn't hurt. They didn't have the expectation that "the first year is the hardest but the second year will be so much easier." They were simply in, for as long as it took, until our feet were on solid ground again and life didn't hurt so much.

They understood healing isn't about the amount of time that has passed. It is about the progress that is made.

Healing is not about getting through the first year or beyond the milestone anniversary. It is not about ticks of time or flipping of calendar pages.

Healing is about reaching a place that is better than what it used to be.
Healing is progressing from where one is to a place where life hurts less and hope leads more.

And that takes time.


  1. So true. I remember the first time I passed those haunting dates without a notice. It took 2 years for one and 9 years for another, but they happened together. Life is funny like that.

  2. I'm the worst at thinking I'm on a time table. Always fear it's taking too long or even impossible to reach. And worry that eventually all the friends with calendars & busy schedules will tire of the trek and the flipping of pages. Have learned that even the wellest meaning can't be in crisis mode 24/7...even if you are. Sucks to know that. It's a harsh reality. But when no one else can that's when I've had to remember that God can. Sometimes He uses people. Sometimes it's just gonna be me and Him. Taken me most of this last year to figure out that much. And trying to not be too hard on myself for taking that long. Thanks for the reminder that there's no time table...least there's not supposed to be.

  3. MizzBrizz, life IS funny like that. Wow. That is about the truest thing I've heard in a while, and if people would get it, we'd be so much kinder to ourselves and others.

  4. Laura, the Lord and I did a lot of talking about time frames, lost time, and my crazy ideas of what should happen when. I plan on blogging about that actually. I'm so glad you brought it up!!!

    Actually, I am also working on a post specifically about when it is just God and you. SO crazy dog hard...but time brings with it a wondrous go from seeing others' seeing His always abiding presence, and what joy, what peace and comfort to know the God of all the universe has chosen to be present with you...especially when you have nothing to offer except the pain...the ugly...and the deep appreciation of Him.

  5. Looking forward to that blog & post. Thank you for your words. ((hugs))