Last night I talked about my fear that I was losing the intensity that I felt in my relationship with Julia. I said that I still loved her, no, I still love her. It’s not past tense. But I could feel the intensity waning and that concerned me. No, that’s not strong enough. I feared losing her. Well, I will never lose her, she is in heaven, and here with me in my memories. But things have changed; I have to face that reality. She is not here next to me; or home when I come home from work. She won’t come around the corner in the next minute to surprise me. That part of my life has passed. Whatever happens from here on in, she won’t be a part of.
As I was driving to work early this morning I felt Papa say that the intensity had to wane. That was a part of the healing process. If I kept the intensity of our relationship, I wouldn’t be able to move on. He said that in order to fulfill my destiny, I had to allow that intensity to decrease. I really didn’t want to accept it, even though I knew it was the truth. Then I got an email from a dear friend who had read my blog. She is wise and has walked down the same path that I am walking now. She told me this, and I am going to quote her because it is so right on:
“As you look down at your hand now, there is no ring, it is empty of everything. There is nothing to tie you to the past. As long as you wear that ring, either physically or in your heart, each time you look at your hands you see that memory, and it tugs at you. The Lord has given you clear permission to move on. It's time for you to give yourself the same permission. I sense that you feel a great guilt that Julia died, and that you are alive. It's almost as if the ties to that are holding you back. Every person who loses someone experiences that. But what is, is. Forgive yourself and release yourself to empty hands and a powerful destiny. It's time Tom. Your future is as bright as the starry skies and nothing can change that except holding on to the past. Trust me, you will not ever forget Julia, EVER! But the intensity has to change in order for the new to come. It's a healthy step forward, because it means you are trusting God to bring the "new" and it will be good. I knew Julia well enough to know that she is "shouting" at you to get on with it. THIS is what she prayed for and anticipated all these years. Yes, it looks different because she's not at your side, but she would never want you holding back because of any guilt you feel over her not being there.”
There it was, confirmation for what Papa was telling me earlier. Have I been blaming myself because she was gone? Yes, early on. But I have gone through a level of healing and forgiveness for that. Maybe there is still more, probably so. At any rate, I will be getting a sozo with school and if anything is still there by then. So, I accept the fact that things are changing, perhaps more than I really want. But I have never been afraid of change; no I always choose to embrace it. So I embrace this change now. It’s not a change that I would have chosen, but I embrace it none the less.
I put the ring on a chain around my neck, and it is there still. But I am sensing that I can’t leave it there. I feel like Frodo in Lord of the Rings. I have the ring and I want to put it on my finger, but to do that would keep me from the future. And it sometimes feels real heavy around my neck, while when it was on my finger, I felt safe. I can’t wear it to feel safe. I’m not safe, and I don’t want to be safe. I am called to press forward, to find the edge and dare to step over. I must do this in this situation also.
The funny thing is that this has nothing to do with me wanting to be “single”. I don’t. Right now I want to keep my life uncomplicated. I have enough relationships; I don’t need a romantic one. The ring is all about safety and the past. I love the past, and I will never forget it. I will continue to write about it and relive it in this blog. But my destiny is not in the past or in safety. My destiny is out there. I really want to “boldly go where no man has gone before”. The thing is, I am free to do it. I’m free to do anything and that is a blessing in the midst of all the heartache. To not use the blessing would be to waste all that has gone on in the past few months.
So the flip that I did in the ocean for my baptism really was a prophetic act. When I cam up out of the water I knew things were different. This is the first fruit of that difference. As much as I want to hold on to the past and to Julia, I have to let go. I have to begin to take positive steps to move on. Tonight I take one of the first steps by letting go. Letting go of the safety of the past and the security of our relationship together. Nothing has changed in my love for Julia. But something has changed in me. I choose to look forward and I choose to look forward. I know that I will continue to miss her terribly. In he next few months I have her birthday and all the holidays. There will be times of grief and rightly so. But I know that she wants me to move forward, even as I think of her. So I guess after almost nine months this is the first step of letting go.