thank you all for your prayers and sweet comments, and even more for your support throughout my life. love is all i got for ya!
i'm afraid i forgot something really important in my post yesterday. the aftermath of the aftermath: healing.
well... how did i miss this? healing takes time. wholeness is possible - it is what was always intended from the start. i had to learn not to expect anything less than these. and joy... joy has nothing to do with pain and circumstance. Joy is knowing God. And that's that.
So though i struggled through pain for years regarding what i had suffered through the shooting that day, it was not all consuming.
This is when everything changed: A few weeks after the end of my Junior year, my boyfriend who muttered those words i will never forget, dumped me at my parent's house one evening. A few weeks after that, i found myself feeling quite lost. Mom and Dad took Janelle and I up into the mountains - to Estes Park - for a week of relaxation and family time.
I was questioning a lot. I analyzed that last year - the year after the shooting. I had withdrawln myself from classes my second semester at Columbine (except for choir, of course) because i was having too many flash backs and the pos-traumatic stress was unbearable and driving me to be a crazy person. I was seeking psychiatric counseling and was perscribed medication that i refused to take. I still was sleeping each night with the light on. There were things that I had leaned on - places i went to for sanctuary and for healing: singing, sports, church, self destruction, and the boy. And without him, with school out (no sports, no choir...) i was finding myself quite lost and confused and pretty much nowhere nearer healing or restoration than i was immediately following the shooting over a year earlier. And i felt helpless. I felt hopeless.
We spent those days in Estes Park enjoying the beautiful Rocky Mountains and each other. One afternoon, i was walking through a cold rushing river alone. I was thinking about my life and wondering if i would ever be able to move beyond the hurting. I was all alone with freezing, wet feet, listening to the birds, feeling the sun on my face, and i decided to sit on a rock that divided the roaring stream. I let the cool water run over my toes, i dipped my fingers in the river and felt like some pain in my heart was being taken from me, into the river, and i was invigorated. And as i sat there in still silence God spoke to me. As he had only a few times before, but never so clear: "Let me heal you" he beckoned to me. And i realized that i had been looking to everything else for comfort and i was nowhere better, if not much deeper in the suffering than i had ever been.
And he did. Not immediately. I'm not sure how to explain it to you. To me it was a miracle, though i don't want it to sound so foolish or extraordinary to you. As i decided to let God be the one to comfort me (it had to be my choice), and not look for the reassurance and shelter elsewhere, he gave me clear opportunities and direction to let him do that work in my heart and in my life. He was very intentional as he led me through a healing journey the next several years. When i learned to live in the joy of his love and to look to him instead of to fear and self pity and boys and busyness and sports and whatever else....he did an amazing work of healing and restoration in my life.
Did i mention that yesterday? There has been victory in my life - God is the victor. He has so easily won over all else that had somehow once consumed me and dragged me down. He has healed me to wholeness. And it has been none but him - only i can know this - don't disbelieve me. God is active in this world and if you have not heard him, he is beckoning from the side of the stream that you are wading through - "let me heal you".