Today July 25 I have reached a turning point in my life. I'm standing here naked in the quiet of my bathroom hair dripping wet and as I look upon my body all I can say is thank u Jesus! I have not slept more than a couple of broken hours at a time in a month. I never could have imagined how much the events of June 23rd would affect my life, my mind, my health. Stress kills folks. It's not a game. It's the truth. The enemy wants us stressed and uptight so we can destroy ourselves from the inside. We are not made to carry around large amounts of cortisol day in and day out. Yet we do. I didn't realize I was not sleeping until Thursday last week. Ironically that was one month to the day that my son died in my arms and was miraculously returned to me. I realized I never processed that anger, fear, joy, gratefulness. Never. I had not cried out in a negative or positive way. Nothing. It happened. And life moved on. I felt like life said "I don't care about what happened to your family, it's time to move on". I never gave myself the opportunity to grieve. I don't believe I thought I needed to. We one right? Why are u upset? I did the right thing. I know I could not have done it without my savior Jesus. But we did it. He did it. It's over. Move on. Apparently that's not how this thing works. I did need to grieve. I was upset. I was hurt. Some friends helped me to force sleep. Magnesium supplements and two Benadryl put me out for 11 hours yesterday. Much needed sleep. But I did not rest.
Today, early this morning every thing changed. I woke up to a picture of myself that my cousin posted on Facebook that was taken last night. I didn't recognize the woman in the photo. That's not me. I don't look like that. I asked him to take it down. I knew at that moment something had to change. I was allowing something that was not me to attach itself to me. To oppress me. I saw it. My husband has told me in the past that as Christians who have Jesus living inside of us we can't be possessed be we can be oppressed. That just came to me right now!!! Thank u Jesus! Thank u for blessing me with such a wise man of God to be the head of our household. He is my blessing 😊. I kissed my husband. He asked why I was not trying to sleep. I told him "I think I need to just have a cry fest or something I don't know". He asked me if I was upset about the picture. I told him "no, but I asked him to take it down". I came into the bathroom shut the door and looked up one of my favorite worship albums to cover the sounds of the tears I knew I was about to let flow. It surprised me how long it actually took me to start crying. I knew I needed to. I could feel it. It hurt. It was heavy and ugly and I didn't want to carry it anymore. "Please Jesus help me. Take this from me. I cast these cares onto u". Why isn't it leaving, I thought? Nothing is happening. I started to speak in tongues and really talk to Him. " What is it? What am I doing wrong?" Clear as day He said "you don't think it's ok to feel upset and it is ok. U can be upset, that's your problem". It was like a weight was lifted off of me. I suddenly realized I was trying to be strong for myself, my husband, my family, my job, my God. He never asked me to do that. He was here to be strong for me! I got it. And then the tears began to flow. That moment in the shower I couldn't tell where the water ended and the tears began, it all ran together. I cried and cried. Ugly snoty cries, soft whimperey cries, I cried and cried. "Why did this have to happen to us. To my son. Why did I have to be the one to go through this. Why didn't my family rally behind us like my friends. Why did I have to be put in a position of helplessness. That's not me. I'm never helpless. I am always in control and capable. But, thank you for being there for me! Thank you for saving him! Thank u for hearing my screams! Thank u for acting on my prayers even though they were mixed with strength, fear and desperation! I don't feel like I'm the strong faithful warrior people say I am. Thank u for letting this be ok. Thank u for letting me be ok. Just me. You love me for me! You love me for me! It des not matter what other people do or say because you love me." This is where I needed to get to. I needed to realize that no matter what He was here to love me. He wants to love me and carry this for me. I was doing this to myself. I was making myself sick. I was allowing this oppression. Because I didn't give it to Him to carry. I thought I was week to need to give anything away. I thought I was not strong enough in my faith if I was hurting. What did I have to give. Lies. I had a lot to give over to my God to carry. I was grieving, hurting, angry. I was not allowing myself to feel those things because I though that it was in some way disrespectful. I should be happy and joyous and grateful. He let me know in those long moments that it was ok to feel all of those things. It was ok. I went through the motions of feeling all of those emotions. I allowed myself to feel every single one right there in my shower with my Heavenly Father. He held up. He listened. No judgement. No anger. Just love. Just love. I have a new respect for my Father. I have a new understanding of what casting your cares onto Him really means. I don't have to be afraid to feel. He wants me to feel it processes it and let Him carry it. It's amazing. I don't know how long I was in there. But it was long enough for me to come out feeling renewed. Praising him for my life, the life of my son, the life of my family and for giving His life on the cross so I can talk to Him whenever I need to. That's so amazing.
Before I stopped to write this I was looking at my body in the mirror. A body that I had come to not be very fond of. I looked at me. "He loves me anyway". Thank you Jesus for loving me anyway. For blessing me with a husband who loves me the way I am. Then it dawned on me. I have to love myself that same way. I looked at my feet. Thanks feet I love you. You carry me through 13 hours of night caring for other peoples children. You are strong. I looked at my legs. They are beautiful they have brought me through 41 years of life gracefully. My belly looked back at me with some extra sag on it from carrying three beautiful babies. Hey belly. Your ok too!!! I love u! We may need to put in a lil extra work at Zumba and Yoga but man you have worked hard. My breasts. Sheesh. Ok. They're awesome!!! It's funny how you admire others for things then u look at your own and your like well maybe if I just lift them up a bit. Lol. I will not complain about "my girls" anymore. They have fed three humans!!! They are still giving my youngest nutrition that could not be duplicated anywhere else!!! I never liked my breasts as a young lady. But no more folks! Today is a new day. I will embrace all of me! My arms. They carry my babies!!! They did CPR on my son!! I love you arms!!!! My head. It's big!! Lol Cause I have a big brain!! 😊 It's ok too!!! I love my head! My unibrow. My locks!!! I love my hair!!! Even right now! It's ok if it's not neat and twisted to perfection! It's mine! It's clean! It's my crown! It's strong and beautiful like me!!!! Jesus loves me. Jesus loves all of us!!! Just the way we are!!! Yes He wants us healthy and strong but He loves us at whatever point we are at!! He meets us where we are. In that moment!!! He is Love!!!! From this point on! I will rejoice in His love. Praise Him for His love. But I will not be afraid to feel. I will not carry anger, sadness, frustration. I will feel it and cry if I need to and I will give it over to you Father. Thank you for loving us all enough to carry the weight of our drama. You are a wonderful and magnificent Father. 😊
Montika Collins, BS, BSN, RN, CLC, IBCLC
This is me. Eyes red and puffy from crying. Hair half done. Feeling awesome. Feeling beautiful. #thisisreallife #innovationspcfitllc #pcfitllc