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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

On the Unthinkable Days

He's been gone almost a year.

Each day I look at the calendar, breathe deep the step closer, bow my head, and pray.

I've never lost a brother. I have no idea how that must feel. I won't tell her I understand. I don't. And when it comes to advice for how to get through the day, all I have to offer is, "Trust God to not let go of you." How many days I prayed that very thing. "God, I can't figure out how to hold onto you, so please don't let go of me."

I pray He doesn't let go of her, and I know He won't. Through the kicking and the screaming and the questions and tears and....rage...and...all of it. He holds on.

But the day is still there, and the pain is still real, and the place he sat is still empty, and the phone he answered goes to someone else, and, dear God, a year? Has it really been a year?

Some folks don't remember the date, and that's okay. Some folks remember but don't know what to do with it, so they do nothing, say nothing. I've come to accept that as okay, too. Silence is far better than a voice that rips right to the soul because of a heart that doesn't understand.

Me? I'm jumping right into that day with her. I'm going to cry because he was amazing and the world lost a beautiful life. I'm going to send her a message with a prayer and love and tell her today is hard, SO very hard, and my heart is with her. Even if it means getting through one minute at a time, I know she can do it...even though there is a part of her sister's heart that doesn't want to...because part of her simply wants to be with him...because...a year? And how many years to come? And what life events between now and then that he was supposed to be part of? And does anyone really know how totally unfathomable it is to think of those days without him?

One minute at a time. On this day...and those to come. That is how we get through sometimes. One minute at a time.

And even though I know it is true, I don't think I will tell her as hard as it is to believe, it will get easier. Whether the pain lessens or the heart acclimates, I don't know. The hole never goes away, but somehow the smiles come easier, and the tears some less. And surely it is all because God does not let go. Time doesn't heal. He does.

She knows this.

She has lost people she loves before, and her heart has mended, but this...oh, my gracious, nothing is like this. Maybe I will tell her that. Maybe I will tell her to simply be nice to herself and grieve and cry and mourn as much as she needs to because she really does need to.

While she mourns, I will think of my favorite memories of him and what his life meant to me, and I will choose to do things that celebrate that life. I will write down everything I do, what I feel and think, how I smile and cry, and I will tell her everything because she needs to know.

She needs to know people remember the gift and mourn its loss. She needs to know I don't understand...can never understand...and yet, I do.

I understand she might need to tell me things, things that made her laugh, things that make her heart break, things that give her strength, questions she has, anger still working through. If she does, I'll listen. And so you know now, I'm going to cry, maybe with her, maybe without her, but I'm going to cry because...because part of me still keeps thinking this can't be real and it certainly can't be a year...and, God in heaven, I wish they didn't have to hurt like this. I know it is part of being in this world, but, God, I hate this for them. I hate this for her. My heart breaks for her.

And I know. I know it won't fix anything. It won't remotely make it better, but my heart is holding her tight...and even though he is gone, my heart isn't letting go of him either. And who knows but in ways only He can manage, maybe my stepping into the day with her is one of the ways He holds onto her. If so, I hope she knows He is holding her tight, and even on this day...the unthinkable one year day...He isn't letting go.

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