sometimes they leave you halfway through the woods...

Today was raining and cold here in NoVa, so I ditched the house cleaning, grabbed my girlfriend Marjanna and we went off to lunch and a movie. After a fabulous bowl of Spaghetti alla Carbonara and a delightful cappuccino, we saw "Into the Woods". It was a pretty cool movie. I loved when the Prince and his brother were singing "Agony". Cheesy and fabulous. 

The most touching part for me came at the end with the Baker, as he faces life without his beloved wife, trying to care for his newborn son alone. He is overcome with fear and runs away before realizing that he is not alone in this journey. He can move forward in life surrounded by those who love him and will be there to help him along the way.

I had tears in my eyes at that point, because I was seeing myself. Then I heard this line in the song "sometimes they leave you halfway through the woods". It made me pause and I actually held my breath for a second. 

My mind went straight to my Courtney. She has left me halfway through the woods, and now I have to find a new path. I am lost in the shadows of the trees.

Like...way lost in the freakin' shadows. 

I just don't know how to proceed with life. I have ALL this time on my hands, and everyone has an opinion of what I should be doing and how I should be doing. The memories of my sweet girl surround me daily. I am exhausted even if all I have done is clean a bathroom and that's it. The words and emotions get twisted in my head and my heart. I even have difficulty explaining how I feel to people, including my husband at times.

This coming Tuesday we will pass the one month anniversary of our girl's heaven homecoming. It feels like it happened yesterday. 

One month without holding her. 

One month without hearing her laughter or seeing her bucktoothed smile. 

One month without my sweet, brave, vivacious Courtney. 

My heart aches quietly, every moment of every day. Yet, there is still joy in our home amidst the struggle to remain present in my day and not drown in the sadness that can overwhelm me quickly. My husband and I share stories of our spunky Courtney, then Jonathan jumps in with his own and there is laughter. 

People email me with stories of how my girl is helping them and my heart smiles for I know this is what she has waited for her whole life. That constant joy and pure bliss of an eternity with her Beloved Jesus. She is at home with her Bridegroom and she is loved in a way I cannot yet imagine.  The thought of it makes me giddy. She did it! She finished her race with grace and strength. 

My marathon continues, and damn my legs are tired and my heart is heavy at times.  I am working on celebrating those small pockets of happiness that give me hope and strength to fight through. A new recipe successfully executed, a hug from my favorite pre-schooler, a movie date with a dear friend, dinner with my Youth Ministry kids or holding hands during an evening walk with my sweet husband. 

Small pockets but very good pockets. 

Yes, Courtney left me halfway through the woods, but I am finally beginning to see the path God is setting before me and my family, one step at a time, Courtney's sunshine lighting the way from above.

God is GOOD, ALL the time,  

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