Today was a good day.
A really good day.
It was the first REALLY good day in approximately 4 years.
It was the first day that I got a glimpse of the Jill that died right along side Joshua.
Our church held a small group church cook off this afternoon. All the small groups in our congregation got together and created a menu that was to be judged. Our group picked an array of Mexican food to prepare and present.
If I'm going to be completely honest, I kind of dreaded this day. I knew it was going to require me to interact with large groups of people- something I haven't been able to gracefully do since Joshua's death. I knew it was going to be loud, hot, and chaotic. I knew it was going to require energy from me that I just wasn't sure I was going to have. It was going to require me to function normally.
I hosted most of our small group to our home after church. Our children played, we laughed and cooked and we enjoyed each others company. I was able to love my brothers and sisters by providing them with a simple, yet yummy, lunch (something I love to do). We worked together as a team to prepare the necessary dishes and we worked together to get it all transported to the park where we would meet the rest of the congregation.
And while we enjoyed a potluck style dinner with approximately 100 other people, I finally felt alive. I felt human.
I've been realizing over the past few months how much my self confidence has slipped away from me. I struggle to care for myself the way I did before children. I don't dress up like I used to. My closet consists of cut off shorts, yoga pants, a few t-shirts and tank tops, and a couple pairs of ratty old flip flops. I spend my days with small children speaking in 5 word sentences. My vocabulary is rusty, and my writing even more so. I'm the heaviest I have ever weighed. I'm also much more timid and quiet around people I don't know well.
All that to say, social interactions have been awkward for me. Throw in the grief and it has been a difficult mix for me.
But today was different. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm finally forming relationships with people who would normally be outside my comfort zone? Maybe it's because I've finally reached a place in my healing that I can allow myself to love others? Maybe it's because God is moving and healing me. I don't know.
All I know is that today is the first time in over 3 years that I have felt "normal." I was able to laugh and carry on a conversation. I was able to do what I love by cooking for others. I was able to just relax and enjoy the day.
Maybe I'm beginning to find my way.