Sunday, January 08, 2012

8th January

I’m still finding church very difficult. Even after a 3 week break for Christmas, and despite the friendliest and most caring of welcomes, I find myself getting really upset all through the morning service. And it’s so bad I’ll have to think hard about a way forward as I can’t continue like this. It’s reaching the stage where I just don’t look forward to going there. The people are great, the worship is led sensitively and nicely God centred, and the preaching is spot on… it’s just me being there without Jane, it’s horrible. I come home with a headache just about every time I attend. I do need to hear God on this one as my church ‘fits’ my personal vision for church quite nicely, and I have no intention of stepping into a ‘spiritual wilderness’ anytime soon. That just wouldn’t be good. I know I’m getting stronger as I journey through this season of grief, and presumably somewhere down the line I’ll be able to cope much better with the intensity of such sensitive memories. But at this point in time I just can’t handle it and need to consider my short term options.

I went to the much smaller Kilburn meeting this evening, which is an offshoot of the city centre church. Yes I still ended up getting upset as I found myself sharing yet one more time about Jane’s final hours. Nobody asked me to, it just happened and I suppose the trauma is always only just below the surface and I can’t avoid expressing myself by relating the story. Anyway, during the meeting I did feel that the Lord spoke quite clearly to me heart, and in a way that fits quite nicely with my thoughts over the past few days. So then, a little over 7 months ago Jane died. And I didn’t. I’ve been struggling to adjust to my new reality ever since and it’s been quite a battle. Tonight I more fully realised that the person I was when Jane was alive has to become a totally different person. My life was filled with Jane and today it’s not. Or maybe I should say, it shouldn’t be. I have to embrace being alone, I am no longer a married man, I am no longer a full time carer for my terminally ill wife, I can no longer support her in her studies or new business ventures. My daily decisions no longer have to accommodate Jane’s needs or desires, I can go to bed whatever time I want, I can cook anything I want, I can holiday anywhere and anytime I want. But all of these things, and much more, are imprinted upon my DNA after a lifetime of practice and the habit of sharing everything with Jane is pretty hard to break.

So the word I heard with my spiritual ears, earlier this evening, was that the man I was when Jane was with me has to die. No, not my actual death but rather the lifestyle I lived has to die. They say old habits die hard, but nonetheless die they must. The person I was can no longer exist. I have to become a brand new person. Kind of like a rebirth. And actually that’s quite exciting, a chance to start over, to reinvent who I am. Without restraint or accommodating the needs of another. So Jane decorated my lounge with a collection of quite pretty hanging hearts. I decorated it with a 40” TV and my son’s Xbox. Jane took me on a hunt about a year ago, across Derbyshire to find an Ebay seller and collect a pouffe which matched our leather suite quite nicely. I’ve relegated it to a hidden corner next to the heater in order to keep the cat quiet. He still howls. Anyway he’s taken to balancing on top of the thing as it must be really comfy and certainly very warm. But as he snoozes, every now and then he rolls off with quite a bump, and that means he digs his claws in and is slowly destroying it. But he’s happy and that makes me happy.

The small details of my life are actually totally unimportant to me as I’d obviously much rather have my wife back, but they do represent steps into the new life I have to live. It’s the bigger decisions that could really make a difference. So should I find another church? Should I move house? Should I leave Derby? Should I look for another wife? I’m not really ready to ask let alone answer any of these questions. But I can trust that the Lord has my future all worked out already so all I have to do is fit in with his plans for my life. And that may be easier said than done.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘The old life is gone; a new life has begun!’ (NLT)

No comments: