I have spent the last few nights, up late reading your blogs about the earthquake and subsequent days. Wow. No words can describe the history you have been a part of in that country. I cannot even comprehend the myriad of feelings you must have felt and continue to feel. I would think sorting it all out will take months, possibly years.
Trauma has a unique ability to both slow down and speed up time. The slow-mo of exactly where you were, and exactly what you did in those seconds will move like molasses in the winter. The super-fast thoughts afterwards as you assess the situation seem as if they are on fast forward. Some of the sights, sounds, and smells will be crystal clear in your memory, while others will be foggy and dreamlike. I think the feeling of being outside of yourself, like you are more of an observer than a participant, is the most disheartening part of trying to gather yourself after such a life changing event. Trauma is like a punch to the gut. The air leaves your lungs and there is this knot in your stomach that will not seem to go away.
Yet, you get up, you put one foot in front of the other and you move forward. You move on instinct alone. You have to go through the motions of the days, which helps to exhaust yourself so you can sleep at night…or try to. Stringing these kinds of days together gives some sense of normalcy back when you are in a ‘normal’ environment. However, the WR is not a normal environment, so this routine that your mind is searching for, to comfort itself, may not come right away. Emotions will be heightened. Some will express anger, others sorrow. Still others will be numb. Your faith might be shaken like the Earth under your feet. Or this may be the thing that helps you to see that faith is the only thing that stands. Questions will pop up in your head, or you will not be able to think clearly. You may want to talk about every detail, or you may want silence. Each person processes completely differently and that is the most ‘normal’ thing at a time like this. Grief rarely moves in a straight line. It prefers to jump from place to place exposing the losses suffered. Exposing the broken places of the heart.
The good news is that trauma also bonds. You all experienced this together and therefore you carry a shared burden. A shared load is a lighter load. You can lean on each other because you have a built in support system. You can give one another the grace and space you need. You can pray for one another, and hold one another up. And not only are you bonded with your squad, you are also connected to the people of Nepal. Their pain is now yours. Their broken hearts and homes, have taken up residence in your spirits I am sure. The God-sized problems which you cannot fix, have served to join you in grief with those who have lost and are lost. Out of the sorrow arises hope. Hope you can share more effectively now that you know the fear they live with. Hope that stands when all else falls. Hope that is Christ reaching out to his beloved. “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. I am gentle and humble of heart; you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy, my burden is light.”
- Give yourself grace.
- Give yourself space.
- Be mindful of your feelings that bubble to the surface. Allow them.
- Cry if you need to.
- Yell if you must.
- Depend on each other.
- Rest when you can. Try to sleep.
- Give hope out and you will receive it back.
- Be silent.
- Pray…for each other…for the people…for yourself….for your parents. (I had to include them. 🙂 )
- Stand firm.
And know this…you are loved and prayed for…not just by your own parents but by all the others who have had our kids go around the world. You cannot know the fear we have of losing you. You cannot understand the love that expanded in our hearts on the day you were born. Be patient with us. We are learning to trust God with you. It is built in for us to want to fix your pain and to keep you safe. We are trying to let go. It is harder than we ever dreamed, but we are doing it. (Earthquakes are not helping us in this endeavor!) We know you are smart, and you are careful when it comes to safety, and you are able to hear God’s voice. If you must know the truth, you inspire us. You challenge our faith. You cause us to think and want to grow. Most of all, we love you with all our hearts.
Father, I pray for P squad. That you would do your work in their hearts. That you would comfort them as they wrestle with all they have seen and felt. That you would surround them with your arms of love and give them the ability to share this love with the people of Nepal. Help them to hold one another up, to give grace, and to give space. I thank you for these amazing racers, and their hearts to serve you. May they be a blessing everywhere they go. Amen.
Michelle Gunnin (WR parent alum T-squad 2013)
Hebrews 12:26 YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.