Written by Libby Taffin
Sooner or later, life hands out a season of painful loss and change.
There will come a time when the bottom seems to fall out of everything, and the feeling of plunging deep into a dark, dark pit seems uncontrollable. Much like a dream experienced in the depth of night that wakes you with a panicked jolt — arms flailing and heart racing.
Somehow, even while you’re sleeping and falling all at the same time, you know that surely you will soon wake up. It’s not real. You can breathe normally now.
The reality is, you haven’t much choice. Hardship must be lived out wide awake and there is little to no time to catch your breath. It’s as if you are floating strangely still in the eye of it all and the nightmare swirls around you like a violent hurricane eager to suck you in. As you stand stunned and silently watching, your mind tells you that, well, here it is.
It’s your turn.
For so long you’ve watched as others struggled in their losses. Vicariously, you’ve lived out scenarios by proxy, or through reading countless books and hours immersed in television or movies. So far, you’ve been a voyeur, but not a partaker.
Suddenly, all of that watching and all of that reading falls away. Those things have let you down. You realize that they haven’t equipped you. There’s a pivotal moment when a decision must be made as to how you’ll be. How will you handle it all and what will you do? It’s at this precise moment something in you dies.
The naive ceases to exist.
In that split-second or two, you can distinctly feel the transition. The click of some sort of proverbial switch within. You can hear an innate call to either crumble or step up. Fall apart or rise above.
Only the experienced can tell you. The seasoned ones of life will, with great clarity, relate your moment to the moment that changed them. The moment that changed everything. The wise will recognize the nightmare in your eyes and the panic on your face. They will offer up a safety net to catch your fall and embrace your flailing arms. They’ll take you by the hand and breathe life into you, telling you, hang on.
Sugar, hold on.
For as sure as hours flow into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years you will get through this. As sure seasons turn, you will make it. You don’t know it yet, but what you need to survive already resides in you. Yes, it sure does. In fact, your entire life has prepared you for such a time as this. All you have to do is believe.
And greater still, if you let it, this circumstance will do the miraculous.
The flames of pain will burn away what does not belong. The wood, hay, and stubble of insignificance will char to ashes. What you once deemed important and allowed to steal life away, what kept you stumbling around walking in your sleep must die.
Don’t be afraid.
This change has come to do a great work in you. If you give permission, it won’t be long until you begin to see that this momentary, brief affliction will be your greatest teacher. Your most valuable gift.
When your storm dies down and all destruction has been buried, you will find yet a greater change. One that is priceless beyond your wildest dreams.You will see yourself as you are truly meant to be.
You will soon be ready to step into all that is ahead of you. Walk out of this old skin of the naive and walk into the rest of your life with eyes of the wise.
You will find yourself reborn.
And sure as anything, it will be your turn. Your turn to see the pain in another. To look into the eyes of the fearful. Take them by the hand.
You will be the one breathing life into another.
And telling them to hang on.
Sugar, hold on.
Libby Taffin is a mother, wife, and blogger in northern Georgia. She began her blog a year ago to remember her son, Michael, who died tragically in the prime of his life. She captures time and space in thoughtful, achingly beautiful prose. Discover more about this gifted writer, by connecting with her on Second Wind.