Letting Go: Final Surrender?
Note: I originally published the following entries in Facebook and MySpace. I didn't immediately notice that you could log in with Facebook and import everything from that profile, but that's fine because not all my entries make direct reference to the band. These will be in reverse chronological order because that's easier. Blessings!
June 20, 2012
Letting Go: Final Surrender?
By the world's standards, the mission failed dismally. But God measures by a different standard!
The roller coaster ride actually began the day before I was to embark on my mad mission! For almost three years I've been on a quest to personally bring a message of gratitude to a band whose certain songs guided me like a beacon and a foghorn through the darkest night of the soul I've experienced thus far. In the process I also was hoping to point out that I believe there’s a God in Heaven who orchestrates events and that He used their music in my life; therefore, He deserves the glory.
The plan was to attend the Nickelback show in San Jose, California the next day, June 18, 2012. If God willed, I would present a letter to the right person who could make a decision regarding letting me in to speak to the band members. That’s how my friends Lia and Diane and I found ourselves holed up at the Vagabond Inn at J and 3RD Streets in Sacramento on a blistering Sunday. I thought my apartment would be too crowded, so we reasoned, Why not use someone else’s AC in a nice room?
Diane was meeting Lia for the first time. Since Diane was staying with me for a while, we picked Lia up at the train station and went to dinner. It didn’t take long for Diane and Lia to get acquainted, and I figured that with everyone being so hot and exhausted, we’d all just shower, perhaps engage in prayer for a while, and then fall asleep. But God had other plans! No sooner had I gotten out of the shower than the two of them began riding me hard about some behaviors I’d been exhibiting lately, maybe much longer than I cared to admit. The trouble is that we often experience so many feelings subconsciously, and due to my own past, I simply couldn’t bring them to the surface, much less try to define them. However, my dear friends didn’t give up; they kept on me as if driven by the Holy Spirit.
They finally suggested that I should speak to my late husband just as if he were there listening. Suddenly, torrents of anguish rocked me to the core as I repeatedly cried out, “I NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO SAY GOODBYE! YOU HAD TO DIE ALONE! I NEVER GOT TO HOLD YOU ONE LAST TIME!” That was it. I finally admitted that it felt something like post-traumatic stress disorder. I believe that began the breakthrough.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink, and Lia and Diane got maybe half an hour if that much! Diane saw us onto the train on the way to the Bay Area to meet Farrell, who would go with us to the show. Zombie state notwithstanding, I approached it with anticipation and hope, knowing it would be an excellent show aside from certain songs with which I can’t agree. After working out vehicle logistics, we arrived, and Lia napped for a while. Then the time came to wait in line.
When we reached the VIP table, one lady couldn’t be sure who would be the best person to take the letter, so we were referred to another person. But as she put it, there were 400 people to shepherd into the VIP section alone. So we took the letter with us and waited. Finally, it got to the point that Nickelback would be taking the stage. It was now or never. So Farrell and Lia asked security to page the same lady. She took the letter then but said it was difficult to determine who the tour managers were and was doubtful, but she promised to try one person who might be appropriate. I said, “I have nothing left to lose. May as well try.” We left it at that, and just as with the October 23, 2010 date in Sacramento when I had first made the attempt, I purposed to enjoy the show, and in that respect, I wasn’t disappointed. What hit me after the show ended shook me to the core!
Words cannot describe the despondency that pierced my soul! I knew the utter irrationality of it; nevertheless, I found myself spiraling inexorably into a deep, dark abyss from which I feared I would never emerge. What’s going on, Lord? I cried inwardly, praying that Lia and Farrell would not perceive the extent of my inner turmoil. I had to call someone who would be relatively removed from the situation. I needed perspective.
Even the call couldn’t do much, and the the next two hours, I just walked around in a daze as we went searching for late-night dinner. Then, as if the Lord were saying, “OK, you’ve had enough,” I began to make sense of it. I realized I stood at a crossroad. I understood what that horrible feeling represented. It was as if losing the opportunity to speak to the band members also meant completely letting go of my husband lock, stock, and barrel. “No, Lord, I can’t do this!” I silently screamed. “I can’t let go all at once! I can’t bear the emptiness! Please!”
That was it. The alternative to holding onto the memory was just too scary. The word desolation kept coming to mind. Just as when I was a tiny child learning to swim and I didn’t want to let go of the side of the pool because the water seemed so deep and freezing, the alternative to holding on to him seemed too frightening—a lonely, empty existence, not even living. But then came that still, small voice. “Have I ever left you alone? Was not even the song a special gift? Will you trade even that for something you can’t bring back? Of course, you won’t be able to let go all at once. But if you take the right steps to heal from the past—and there’s so much more than just your husband--I’ll be there every step of the way, no matter how much it hurts.”
From that moment on, I resolved to allow everything to come to the surface. I also knew I loved the song more than ever. At least for the present time, I discovered that this quest had never been about delivering a message to the band. I believe that may yet come, but for now, God had allowed me to play this out to the fullest extent in order to take me through the Refiner’s Fire so I can soon be healed from many past hurts. Why else would He cause the photo file from the previous show to go missing so that I would use it as leverage for a second try? I wouldn’t have attempted it otherwise.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV)