How do YOU feel?
Since I made the announcement that I was going to be a grandmother everyone has been asking me the same questions..."How does it feel?". I have given everyone the same response, "it feels good". Yet, when I sat down in my quiet space, I realized that I didn't know what I felt, honestly, I didn't know how to feel.
I didn't know how to feel.
It is amazing how the truth can both hurt and heal at the same time. The truth of that statement brings tears to my eyes even as I type it. There have been so many amazing, unbelievable, ONLY God moments that I have experienced over the last six months, moments that have been in my prayers for years, moments that I have envisioned myself accomplishing most of my life, yet, when they are right in my face, when everyone around me is celebrating, I am moving on to the next thing to achieve, the next prayer to be answered, never having stopped to live in the moment, to celebrate the win, or to feel.
Here is what I had to come to terms with. While my past trauma's didn't kill me, they have caused a part of me to emotionally die. Meaning, it has blocked me from feeling the bad...or the good. Due to this blockage, instead of taking the time to experience what is happening to or for me in the moment, I keep moving, looking for things to keep me busy, or distracted. In hopes that if I don't focus to much on the good, the good will last. It's a tactic that has served me well over my forty years of life in order to survive, but I am finally in a place that I no longer have to survive, I finally get to live.
So, on Saturday morning I received the call that I have been waiting for, "her water broke..." and shortly thereafter I laid eyes on my first grandchild, a 7lb, 19.5 inch baby boy. As my eyes scanned every detail of his little face looking for parts that were familiar to me, I focused in on his eyes, they were wide open, focused and staring right back at me. In his eyes I felt peace, and calmness. He wasn't alarmed or frightened, there was a gentleness within his eyes. It finally hit me, I was a grandmother looking into the eyes of my first grandchild. The Lord had allowed a new generation to be born into my lineage from the seed of my first born child, that, just a short twenty months ago, was almost taken from me. Yet, I still couldn't feel that spark, that thing that all the other grandma's told me I would feel. What was wrong with me?
Yesterday my son Jamir called me on Facetime. His girlfriend had made a target run with her mom to grab a few things and left Jamir home alone with the baby. Jamir was feeding him and wasn't sure what to do next so he did what he always did when he needed help, he called his mom. I walked him through how to properly burp his son, he was nervous that tapping him on the back would hurt him. He then changed his diaper, swaddled him tight, and placed him in his bassinet. Before we hung up he said,"thanks ma, I love you". As I hung up, I began to cry. I finally felt the spark, that thing, that feeling, a mix of unconditional love, extreme joy, and a wave of peace.
Apart of not being able to feel, is based in fear. Fear of what can or cannot happen, a fear of releasing control and being vulnerable to the natural consequences of life. For me specifically the fear of not having anymore love to give to another human. The fear of having more than enough love to give and losing them. The fear of my first born no longer needing his mother because he has become a father. The bible tells us that there is no fear in love (1 John 4:16-18) so why have I allowed my heart to feel fear instead of love?
When we choose to feel fear instead of allowing our hearts to be vulnerable to love and all that accompanies it, such as heartbreak, we do ourselves a disservice. We miss out on pivotal moments and experiences that we have awaited our entire lives to experience. Moments that help to both navigate and shape us into who we are intended to become. We starve ourselves of forgiveness and grace and ultimately deny ourselves the chance to experience life, and life more abundantly.
So what did I do to combat fear and choose to feel? I started by deleting my social media apps from my phone. Sometimes you have to pull yourself away from feeling the reality's (sometimes false reality's) of everyone else's lives in order to stop numbing you from your own. Next, I asked God to caress my little ole heart and restart the beat. Lastly, I reminded myself that I deserve this goodness. I survived to thrive.
My little grandson is soooo precious and cute. He has, in these last few short days, revived a part of me that I didn't even experience after the births of my own children. He will be a restorer in my family. Restoring the moments, experiences, and connections that we have lost.
It is my prayer that you will also challenge yourself to be vulnerable to the natural consequences of life, cast out fear, and feel. I can't wait to see you LIVE!