I've really struggled to blog these last few weeks. I realize that so much has happened that I planned to write about. When I sat down to actually put words around those events, I simply could not.
And instead of pushing through, forcing myself to come up with something, I released myself from that pressure. And contrary to my nature, I chose not feel guilty.
I just have not had the capacity to add guilt on top of anger and bitterness. And it is those two latter emotions that have consumed my heart, my very livelihood for almost 2 months now.
I'm sure some of you who know me well, or at least see me on a regular basis, are now wondering what "angry Melissa" looks like. I wondered that too. I don't consider myself an angry person; though I do have my moments in traffic. My anger and bitterness have been an internal struggle, one always brewing in the back of my mind, one that has left me utterly exhausted mentally by the end of each day as I put on my "somewhat happy face" to push through my daily responsibilities.
I had really hoped I could skip this "stage" of grief; it was a recurring dream and some deciphering from my counselor that led me face to face with it.
I decided I had better confront it head on. And for me, that meant simmering in it for a while.
It is an emotion too deep, too painful, to try to brush off, or to try to make all rosy-colored, or to avoid all-together. It is an emotion that would come back with a vengeance if not dealt with the first time around.
So, I put on my big girl pants, stepped into the ring, and I wrestled with it.
And I wrestled with God. And I wrestled with thoughts and emotions regarding Tony. And I wrestled with all that I have lost due to circumstances beyond my control.
And there were plenty of tears, plenty of bitter words cried out to my God. I was just completely honest with Him. I mean, He knows my thoughts anyway.
Still at every turn, at every round of the fight, there was something to spur me on, to keep me fighting, to not allow me to give up.
It came in sweet moments on the beach, reflecting on actually making it to another wedding anniversary to throw another marble away. It came in accepting the "Tony Edge Scholarship" at Emory, an endowment of over $115,000 raised by Tony's EMBA classmates, as a legacy for Tony. It came in my brother getting notice of getting into graduate school. It came when friends reached out at just the right time to remind me that I am not forgotten about, that I am not alone. I have had an audience of fans surrounding me, even though most did not know why or how they we cheering me on.
And yet, all those great things, great things were just not enough. They are not enough to lead me to victory over my anger.
I was beginning to think my bitterness was setting in stone, hardening my very heart, my worst fear. I feared my anger would never let up, that nothing could quench it, that I was succumbing to overwhelming odds.
That was until I was led to Psalm 73 last night. These thoughts from King David in verses 21-26 depict this fighter in me so well...
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
It is those verses in bold that are my victory.
I was overcome with cries of bittersweet joy as I read aloud God's promise, "and afterward, you will take me into glory." Oh, what a glorious promise. Just glorious.
Those verses are enough for me to win over my anger, enough for my triumph over my tragedy, enough to spur me on for this life and the one to come.
Because, as it reminds me in the very next verses, nothing, NOTHING, on this earth compares to my Jesus, nothing else is enough.
He alone is ENOUGH.
And He is gently leading me to finish this fight. And He will provide more than enough to allow me to move forward on this earth...until he takes me into glory.
Dearly loved, fighter,