I was driving home the other night when this question hit me: Would I do it again? Would I walk that painful path with Kara again if it was presented to me? Or if I had the chance to opt out, would I?
Sometimes I look back at Kara’s passing and I wonder if it broke something in me, but then I realize all it did was bring to light the things that were already broken in me.
Like my struggles with faith…though I’ve never wavered from believing God exists, I have struggled with believing that He loves me or that He hasn’t left me during rough periods of life. Logically I can look back and know that that never happened—I was never, not for one millisecond, alone—but emotionally, I don’t always believe it. I have to go to The Word to know The Truth.
Since Kara passed, it’s been six years of on and off counseling and pain and grief and the kind of growing and stretching that causes soreness. Ultimately, the broken parts of me have become a better version of me since Kara’s passing.
Before Kara won her battle with cancer and gained heaven, I was terrible at understanding my own emotions and processing through things. Before Kara died I often shoved aside how I felt, and I had no tools whatsoever to deal with much of anything emotionally.
After Kara passed, when I was doing radio interviews for Just Show Up and talking about Kara over and over again, (sometimes numerous times a day) I just shuttered. I got to the point where I could not do one more interview. I remember an interview offer for Valentine’s Day—five months after the book had released—and I declined. It was the first time I’d done that. It was on a large platform, and I felt bad saying no, but I knew that I absolutely had nothing left in me. After five months of talking about Kara living and Kara dying, I was done.
Don’t get me wrong—I was never alone during that period. I was well loved and checked on. But I was still broken.
The first time I ever sat my bottom in a counseling chair was after that period. When I didn’t want to leave the house anymore. People in general were too much for me. It didn’t matter if they were the nicest person on Earth I had just reached a breaking point. (How many times can I say that? 😊)
But as I looked back on that time on my drive home and thought: would I do it again? I knew the answer was absolutely yes. Because I am a completely different person than I was at that time. Because of Kara I finally got help processing some things that I needed to work through. Because of Kara I was able to deal with other issues. Because of Kara I figured out that it’s okay that I have big emotions. If it weren’t for Kara I don’t know that I ever would have gone through that breakage and on to a healthier version on the other side. Now, I’m not claiming that I’m perfect. I’m never going to claim that I’ve reached the top of an uphill climb and can throw my hands in the air like Rocky and call it all good. Certainly, we are all continuous works in progress. But what I do it again? Yes.
Kara gave me a million good things even in the hard that came along with it. Though, of course, if I could rewrite that story, we would have a different ending—an earthly victory for Kara instead of a heavenly one.
I don’t know when the concept of being broken became such a bad thing. I’ve learned over my years of counseling that the broken parts of me are probably the parts that people connect with the most. The pieces of me that say I’m not enough on my own but with God I am enough…or I’m afraid but I’m going to try or sometimes I struggle with anxiety, but I still believe, believe, believe that God loves me and is with me. Lord, help my unbelief.
It’s a lie of the devil that I believed for a long time that said those were things that had to change or be fixed about me. I’ve certainly changed but I don’t have to be fixed. I just have to be in that continual motion of another day, another choice, another chance to love someone, another chance to breathe, another opportunity to pray and trust.
We’ve all been through pain that resulted in the smoothing and improving of our broken pieces. So…would you do it again?
Much love on this I’m-sorry-I-brought-it-up painful subject. <3
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