Well, after I got back to Manitoba from my father's funeral (last post) it felt strange. Like I was leaving him and everyone else behind again, even though I know where my place is. Back to the same room where I got the news, just staring at the walls, feeling numb to the whole world, with no purpose for anything, even taking showers and eating. I mean for me that is strange too, as I love to eat, so when I don't, then I worry that something is seriously wrong. Like I was someone else and I was on the outside looking in on everything.
The week I was down there seemed like perhaps the deepest week of my life, despite everything. And it was as if God had protected all of our hearts with some special invisible barrier, or else we would have all broken down like a bunch of crazies; that's for sure. There were some good family moments and some good faith discussions that made us think of the real meaning of life and things that comforted us together, but after that, there we were back to regular life away from it all. Away from the realness?
I did the music and sang at church at Christmas Day, but then realized why it was far from my best. (I so bombed it due to some allergies, my guitar, and hard notes, but that was another story...) Because my heart was not in it at all, even though I did try to re-connect to Jesus becoming man again for our love. It was a quiet day but at the same time I felt ok knowing my family was having a crappy time too. Like at least we were all in unity. I had actually forgotten that (apart from my mom) I didn't call my brothers or the kids in the 3 weeks I was back. It was like that same deep dark depression and sadness had taken over me and I didn't know who I was again.
I kept asking myself when am I going to have a big huge breakdown as I had barely cried; just here and there and still felt in shock, due to some circumstances. It was then I arrived at the Rise Up Conference in Winnipeg for the last week of December, put on by CCO Canada (Catholic Christian Outreach). Basically, they are a 20 year old, non-profit organization that is across Canada on various campuses and other events big and small to reach young Catholics and inspire them with the Jesus message. And training at the same time, so that after having their lives changed, can be equiped to spread that joy with others one by one. Instead of just going to something nice and then coming home to the life you had before.
I will just say that is was beyond amazing to be in a huge ballroom with 500 young adults that share your beliefs in some way, small or big, from many places all over Canada. To a person that has gone to so many workshops, retreats, and conferences, I realized that big life changes can happen many times in one lifetime. We can never have enough, because like how life had turned my world upside down and made me rethink everything, I needed a fresh start again...and again...and again. It was little by little and talk by talk and song by song that really made such a big impact. When I first got there, I could barely move; all I could do was sit there and not a word came out of my mouth, plus I missed the first evening of talks and had to wake up early, which I was so not used to doing. It took me a while, but it was God filling me up with new stuff to help take away chunks of pain and sadness that had taken up more space inside than it should have.
Like darkness to light, from death to new life, from old turning into new, I was finding myself slowly again. There were things I was inspired to do, dreams I was inspired to dream, and life that was not all about death anymore. Even with a super duper high fever in bed during the New Year's party, my cousins came up to pray for me and I felt a light coolness come over me that somehow made me make it downstairs to join the party for a few hours. And people that party from 5pm to 3am non-stop with no booze; wow...ok...
Christmas lasted longer this year, as it seemed God wanted me to experience what I thought I had so missed out. Sometimes it is your heart and your relationship (or issues) with God that crowd out everything else that seems unnecessary. There are so many things that like the parable of the sower and the seed, that tell me about the seed that just fell however it did on rocky bad ground. Some of the seeds sprouted up but never lasted, and some of them just died on the spot. Although I feel like them alot, when things come along and stomp on the seeds and crush them and blow them away with the wind, I want to be different.
I want to be like the seeds that landed on the really good soil and the good ground, that no matter what came up, it grew strong and had deep roots and such life and nothing was able to stop it from growing into the most beautiful, full, green and huge tree that people can enjoy and little animals can make their homes in. Who will never be perfect but always useful and never giving up. So, I am just taking things as they come and know that I can handle it with Jesus' help a little more this time, because how do I know that God allowed me to go through something that to someone else, would shatter them completely. He knows time can heal all wounds and forgiveness is key and he is something more dependable than we are.