April 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
“Depression isn’t a sign that we’re weak. Its a sign that we’ve been strong for too long.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
Even I still have my rough moments. Yeah. I admitted it. Tonight was a debilitating one. It happens. I cry, lay on the floor, pray, talk to Cody.
I think I was just a little stressed today. I have a very teasing, call-you-out on b.s. attitude and I get it right back. Part of it is how I show affection. I know that and so getting it back is just expected. My family has done this forever. But, of course, eventually people get their feelings hurt. Something hurtful is said, something strikes a cord, hits a little below the belt, and because you’re family, there are tears, yelling, etcetera. But with friends, you don’t want to give in, be the sensitive one, have your feelings hurt (at least I don’t), so you brave it. Act like it doesn’t bother you. Dish out whatever you can to feel like you’re at least almost keeping up.
I developed this attitude as I essentially grew up with Cody. I had a pure love to turn back to. I knew that he chose to love me unconditionally, and unlike my family, wasn’t forced to by nature. It was beautiful, comforting, secure.
Now, I continue my usually teasing attitude, surrounded by some of the wittiest people I’ve ever met who dish it better than I ever could. They know I can take it, so they keep it up (they’ve told me as much). But, eventually, it hurts. Eventually, everyone needs a little reassurance.
I think tonight, I missed my reassurance. On top of my usual feelings of missing Cody. So I prayed. I cried. I tried to take my journal to church, but I couldn’t get off of the floor. So I went of a mission, a scavenger hunt if you will, to find a letter from Cody. I succeeded, but found more.
I realize how blessed I am to have these letters from him. At one point, I even convinced him to write down reasons why he loved me (beyond “I love everything about you” and “You’re pretty” which was hard for Cody!) and having that is more special than you could ever imagine. I didn’t have my Kelsi/Cody scrapbook up in Waco for some reason, but I did have boxes of letters from ever retreat I’d been on…ever. Honestly, that’s like over 20 retreats. And we write letters of encouragement and affirmation of every one of them. So I went hunting for a bit of Cody’s handwriting.
But, God had bigger plans. He wanted me tonight. He wanted my heart. I love that about Him.
Because I looked for letter from Cody, I found affirmations from men, women, friends, family, and strangers. I found Bible verses, and love letters. I found prayers, and poetry. The tears kept falling, pouring, rolling. I realized at this moment how much I’d been ignoring God. And yet still, he waiting to comfort me when I needed it most. I don’t deserve that.
Some letters made me cry more. Letters that congratulated me on mine and Cody’s engagement. A letter from my brother telling me how much he was looking forward to having a brother; a letter from my dad telling me I had chosen well and that he couldn’t wait for grandkids; a letter from Cody’s mom telling me that she was happy that Cody had found me because it brought her so much joy to see her son happy.
Others made me laugh and smile. Letters from people I met in college, riddled with inside jokes. Letters that reminded me of I was and who longed to be; a patient, loving, woman of God. A woman whose eyes radiated love, tenderness and compassion. A woman that people saw God in.
I loved these reminders. Comfort. Assurance. Love. Peace flowed out of these bags and boxes. Shreds of paper, some studded with tear drops, but written in love. Letter from my sister, my grandparents, people I hadn’t talked to in years. Even a woman who told me she’d been praying for me every day since she moved into my old house because my initials were carved in her driveway from 1988.
I appreciated these letters when I got them, but now, they are like hugs. If you know me, you know I’m not one to call anyone when I’m having a bad day. But this was like having silent friends surround me with comfort.
Thank you, God. Thank you, friends, family, strangers, Cody. Thank you to whoever decided that every retreat, organization, event, should have these letters. Thank you, old me who decided I should keep every one of them.