That night was one of the hardest nights of my life. I was nervous and I felt like something was headed in my direction but I had uncertainty of what this “something” was. I sat in the 2nd to last row on the very end next to the box of tissues. I had a feeling that I needed to sit next to them. I had heard Kerrie Oles share her story last semester before I was in Embrace Grace. I wasn’t sure why I was there. I just kept thinking this will be just the same. I continued throughout the night listening to her and that night just seemed …. different.
Still fighting this nervousness and now anxiety, I held back the tears. I wasn’t sure why these tears were even there but they were begging to be released but I was trying everything I could to keep them in. I played with my phone, getting on and off Facebook, instagram, email and anything else I could try to distract myself with. A little ways into the class I had an overwhelming urge to just put my phone away and just listen. Soak it in. I sat it next to that box of tissues that kept staring at me.
We were handed a sheet of paper once Kerrie was finished speaking. I sat there just trying not to cry, still uncertain why these tears were threatening to overflow. I put the handout immediately in the binder and closed it, tucked it under my chair and then excused myself to the restroom. Once I escaped the room, I had the sudden urge to just run and be done for the night. I locked the stall door and just got quiet for a minute. I asked God, “Why am I having all these feelings? Why does part of me want to run but the other part wants to just release all these tears that are bottled up inside? Why do I feel so heavy and burdened? Why do I feel like I don’t have anything to write on that paper? What is keeping me chained up inside me? Why do I not even want to go there?”
I took a deep breath and walked back inside our room, grabbed my binder and staured at the paper. It then hit me … MOM. In the past few months I’ve lost her and I felt like I had so much more I wanted to say to her. We both have had a hard life. Just even thinking that word, MOM already feels like an overwhelming emotion washes over me. Those tears finally pour out so much that I was shaking. I felt so much anxiety and even cold. I couldn’t bring myself to write the word. I just couldn’t do it. That blank paper was staring at me but I just stared back.
I brushed the MOM word aside and wrote “Fear of new life and Fear of death.” Those were tough too … but I knew why I had that fear … but still just couldn’t write it.
I took my sheet and went to speak to a leader. My tears poured out more and I shakily said, “This is all I have.” She looked at me and said, “Okay I don’t have the words to say yet,” as she closed her eyes. I thought, Oh no, now what? She was quiet for a moment and then these words poured out these words that were just for me.
I know that I can’t remember everything that the leader had to say to me, but she said “I had a fear of new life – my new life as a Christian and a mother.” I closed my eyes as her words and prayers poured out over me and God showed me how I couldn’t accept the death of my mother. It was too hard to let go. And going through all the grief, all while being pregnant with a baby I never planned on. My heart was not in a good place when the semester had first started. My thoughts of this new life growing in me every day have been uncertain until now. Grieving the loss of my mother while being pregnant has been a very hard thing to do. I knew God was wanting to let it go and I finally felt ready for the first time. I was ready to give my burdens to God. It was too much to carry. I want to celebrate the life my mom had and also celebrate this sweet miracle growing inside of me. My rose bloomed that night. I feel like my heart is finally at ease. I know I still have a long road of healing ahead of me but I’m so much closer. I never thought an Embrace Grace class would help me let go and accept the death of my mother and the new life of my baby girl altogether. I know God was speaking through her.
As she prayed I had a chain on my lap and laying over my left hand. It was heavy but once it was removed, the coldness I had been feeling and all the anxiety and shaking was gone. I felt warmth and peace all around me. She gave me a hug and we said our goodbyes.
I feel lighter and more free. I’m ready to start this new season and welcome this new life God blessed me with!
Written by Mercy Lauriano. RIP MOM 08/04/65 to 12/02/12.