It’s Time I wrote About My Grieving Process, but…

I don’t want to talk about it.

I don’t want to put words to what I feel, because I am scared of what those words will form. The outline they would create of the monster living inside of my nightmares, or my reality. They both seem to melt together these days.

I don’t want to talk about depression anymore. I have said that word so many times, it is starting to become a piece of my identity, and I can’t let that happen. I am me without the sadness, right?

I don’t want to describe the all encompassing fear. That ties my feet together, and puts a noose around my neck. It shackles my heart in the past, so that it cannot reach the hope for tomorrow. I can’t talk about it, because then it would be real.

Parts of me would unravel, and I’m not sure if I would ever come back together. The ocean inside of me is made of black acid, and there is a tsunami brewing under the surface. If I speak too soon, everything would come tumbling out.

I can’t speak on this, because I would morph into a burden to the unfortunate person listening to my story. Their inability to help “fix” me would result in a counterproductive response. They would search their hearts and rack their brain with what to say, and the taped together condolences they offer would only irritate me. I don’t want the perfect response, only an open heart.

I can’t write about this.

But I guess I just did.

And I still am…typing. Because there is more to say.

Like…

I’m scared I won’t ever be the same; that the girl with stars in her eyes died. Hope doesn’t live here anymore, and it’s not even allowed to step on my welcome mat outside. I have taken off my rose colored glasses and refuse to put them on again. I am different. And no one has even noticed. They talk to me as if I am the same Juaquina, but I’m not.

But I’m not. 

Exodus

I’m in the part of my journey no one will clap for; I am experiencing a wide range of emotions that no one will notice. When my shoulders slump over and my head droops, no one seems to care.

It’s an internal conflict.

I have been arguing with God lately. Not the most devout thing I have written, but ya’ll don’t expect that from me anyways. I have given him attitude and I have folded my arms in protest. He has been speaking…A LOT. Unfortunately, He hasn’t been saying things I have wanted to hear.

Yes, He still speaks life and speaks of a glorious future to come, but now, as I begin the journey, he is bringing me to the edge of the promise land. He is showing me the giants and telling me He won’t remove them all at once, but slowly. [Deuteronomy 7:22]

He is giving me a speech that I will indeed inherit the land, but my mind grows suspicious when he repeats the phrase “Be strong and courageous.” [Joshua 1:6-9]

What is happening Jesus?

I told God that I wanted to live at an optimum level inside of His will. I want to reach my fullest potential. I don’t want anything that He wanted me to accomplish to go unattended to at my funeral. I want to see all He wants me to see. I want to do all He wants me to do. I want to sacrifice, and love, and be successful. I want to be successful!! I want to experience all the promises spoken over my life before I was even born. I want to experience financial freedom. I want to minister to people I will never meet through my writing. I WANT THE DESIRES OF MY HEART.

And I went through a celebratory moment when God said, “Okay. It is done.” When He woke me in the middle of the night to tell me He loves me. When He repeated promises I had forgotten about. When He said it all belongs to me and this is the time everything will begin to shift into place.

But now, (excuse my french) I’m mad as hell. Because now, I find myself on the run. I find myself hiding in caves. I find myself being hunted down by the people I trusted most. I find myself alone. I find myself in a constant state of battle. [The entire life of David]

God, this feels like war.

The words I hear God saying now are “Life is hard,” “This will be tough, but I will get you through,” “Hard work is not a bad thing.” (yes God had to remind me that hard work won’t kill me). But I am yelling “GOD TAKE AWAY THESE THORNS!” The crown I longed for is starting to feel more like a punishment. I am now barely grasping how much courage it had to take Jesus to pray for God’s will to be done in the garden as I find myself struggling to say the same. [Luke 22:42]

This is the part no one claps for, no one notices.

When God delivered the Israelites out of slavery, they didn’t know they were going into war. Stop judging them. Their journey was a tough one. No one claps for them in Exodus, but what they experienced was real. It was hard. It was an everyday battle. The life I’m living is real. It’s hard. Its an everyday battle. However unlike the Israelites, I will not run from the land of giants.

I’m going to take what already belongs to me.

I’m ready to fight, are you?

 

Unanswered Knocks

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My friend,

You push me away when you need me most

Why does tragedy make you hide from love?

I want to give you what most don’t have

Support

But your isolated grief closes the door

Bolts the lock

So outside of your house

I stand

Clutching the flower I bought

To remind you of new life

I watch the raindrops fall

Hitting your window

Now rolling down my heart

When you lock yourself away

We both lose out on friendship

Your pain goes untended;

My knocks go unanswered

-Juaquina She

Steps Forward/ Vivid Colors

My dreams had faded to black and white. A stale version of what was planted in my heart. They were beginning to disappear from my memory. I was beginning to forget about passion and what caused a stir inside of me, because…nothing seemed to cause a stir inside of me anymore.

But now…

I’m different. Everyday towards my healing feels like a baby’s step towards progression, but I’m getting there. It’s like all the projects I put down, I want to start again. Not only do I want to start them, but bringing them to completion now feels achievable.

This is a good sign, and I will celebrate this milestone. Plans for the future means a hope for the future. And that was something I thought I had lost. God helped me find it.

I see the color inside my dreams again. I don’t have to sleep walk in the daytime or lie awake at night. I can live again. I am living again.

And life is beginning to feel great…

…again.

 

Always Remember…

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Photocred: Me. Juaquina Carter

I am like this plant.

Growing where they told me I couldn’t

Through the darkness

Flourishing where there is no soil

Where there was once concrete ceilings

I must have saw opportunity

My existence is a miracle

Not to be taken for granted

For where there is life

There is a purpose

Do you hear that, self?

Where there is breath

There is life

And where there is life

There is purpose.

So don’t forget that you are

Something rare

Something phenomenal

Alive.

 

Last night I tried to stop breathing, but the beat in my soul would not let me. I wanted permission to escape from the prison I don’t belong in. This confinement was starting to feel like home, and that disturbed me. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to break down the walls and free myself from oppression.

Suicidal thoughts…

…begin to sound like freedom when you have lived your life in chains. I was desperate enough to answer a call from the devil. I wanted to be happy again. But how can I use satan’s plan to get to God’s glory?

I cannot.

So, I fell into a hole not meant for living. And it is in here, I find what heals me.

The darkness is so deep, it swallows my thoughts and never spits them back out. I am afraid to even move my arm, because I do not know what surrounds me. The light came on, and all I see is blackness. A mysterious hue blocking all ambition and energy. God exposed what I was creating, what I was living. And I realize, I cannot use my own strength to get out of a castle made of sand.

“Be still.”

The duality of the moment is perplexing. Here I am, in my own sin, in my own healing. I quietly wait in the darkness while God does things I cannot see. I thought I had run out of faith, but I guess this is what it practically looks like to obtain it. Running to the ends of yourself, and having nothing to rely on except…..Jesus.

He said all I needed was a mustard seed, but I didn’t have that. So, I prayed for it. He wants all of my heart, my mind, and my soul, but I lost those down here in this pit. So, I asked him to help me find them.

He is taking me through a process that will not be over in a night. I will not bounce back in a week. Nor will I be ready for relationship in a month. No, this takes a commitment so strong, I have to give it a new name.

Covenant.

Something so powerful, it uses time its tool. God will not be rushed. And I will not be moved. We will sit here together.

I, in the mysterious shadows, will be still. I will slowly realize the the chains I could not see. I will hear them rattle every time I try to solve my own problems by ignoring them. Then I will be reminded I am still in the process.

And God? He will be faithful. He will be present. He will be working. For where I cannot see, he knows perfectly. He will bring me what I need. I must only rest. He will give me the key. He will remove the chains I placed on myself. He will teach me to stand again. He will teach me to walk again. He will teach me to live again. In truth. And as a result, I will know that…

He is God. 

And through Him,

I am alive.

Dead.

Photographer: Unknown

I had not realized the rabbit hole I climbed into until I was nearing the bottom. When you fall that gracefully, it leaves you wondering how you got there. I was confused to feel my body hit the ground so suddenly.

The earth shook.

Something inside of me broke off.

I lay there for a while looking at the empty space surrounding me. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. For my body to adjust to the pain. For my skin to adjust to the bruising.

This was my death.

I wanted to stand again, but I couldn’t. I didn’t have the energy to lift myself up. I wanted to search for some meaning. I wanted to find a way out. My mind wouldn’t allow me to delve into these desires. Instead, I just experienced pain.The pain from the fall resonated through my entire being. A part of me was touched that was only meant for the hands of God. And she wept.

For days. For weeks. For months.

An entire season of rain passed through the desert land of my heart, but my soil was not watered. The seeds of love drowned inside of what was supposed to make them grow.

This was my funeral.

I could not open my lips to pray. I did not ask God to save me; I did not have the energy to reach for Him.

Instead, God came to me.

Rest.” That was first word I heard. The only one that sat on my ears for a while. Then more came…

I love you.

Confusion on how a God can love someone who causes themselves harm filled my mind, but my response got lost in my exhaustion. So I rested. And I allowed God’s love to cover me like a blanket.

Except this was not a blanket meant for sleeping. It was one of restoration and of life.


To be continued.

Rebirth.

Today is a new day.

But…

Nothing makes sense right now. Or I guess…nothing is supposed to make sense.

I have watched everything crumble. I have seen strong buildings fall and systems collapse. I have heard the cries of mourning and wiped the tears of afflictions.

I am not talking about society. I am talking about me.

Today is a new day. But nothing makes sense…

yet.

I am taking things step by step. I’m not sure what my story will be, but I know I have a story to tell. So, I will continue to write until things make sense again.

I will move forward with hope, because today is a new day.