Over the years, as I hit each of my growth spurts, I vividly recall the pain that would radiate throughout my legs each and every time the bones and muscles in my body would stretch to new lengths. Although a necessary part of getting older, I dreaded each time the growth spurts came just knowing that I would have to experience that feeling all over again.
Growing pains are an unavoidable part of so many stages of development throughout our lives. It forces us to stretch ourselves in ways we don’t necessarily want to, but we know we have to in order to get us to where we want or need to be. For the longest time after Andy died I wanted to shield myself from the pain that I knew would come along with creating a life where he no longer existed. I didn’t ask for this life nor did I want it, so I believe I subconsciously delayed the inevitable. I was eventually forced to face it, feel it, and figure out what I was going to do about it.
If you’ve been reading my previous blogs over the past year you already know that I’ve hit some pretty huge milestones in my journey of life after loss. It’s forced me to grow in ways that have forever changed me. God has truly tested my limits, which I thought he had done when Andy died but apparently he wanted to be sure I was paying attention. The decisions I’ve had to make have forced me to get to know myself in ways I never thought imaginable. Some of my friendships are stronger and much deeper, because I’ve finally understood who I need to be surrounded by in order to make me a better person in this world.
Even though the pain associated with change can be excruciating, whether it’s getting older or just simply stretching yourself in ways you never thought imaginable, it’s an unavoidable part of life that opens us up to a world of possibilities including new beginnings and forever changes our perspective on what we are capable of accomplishing in this lifetime.
Today marks three years since Andy left this world yet I sit here feeling conflicted. While I still want to grieve the loss of my best friend to share the rest of my life with…I’m also at a place of peace knowing that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve gone, and the experiences I’ve had are ones that could’ve only been accomplished on my own. I miss him every day yet embrace this new life I’m living with open arms. I know he watches over me with a smile on his face knowing that I’ve faced this new life with renowned strength and bravery. Change, and the growing pains that come along with it, is never easy and can be the most challenging times you’ll ever have to face. However, the outcome will have led you to a place you never thought possible and will leave you with the desire to experience even more amazing things in the future.