Today would have been Mrs. Barbara’s 65th Birthday. She loved birthday celebrations. No matter whose birthday it was, she was always giddy as a kid for the birthday person to open the gift from her. Today, my birthday gift in honor of her is truly bittersweet. 270 days ago, just 8 hours after her death, I wrote this:
I feel an immense void. Oh how I rejoice at her transition from this life to the glorious next, but her journey has been a big part of mine the last year as well. What do I do now? I really don’t know yet, but what I learned from her pilgrimage to healing…to her ultimate healing…is that God is all over this. He’s had His arms around me too, and just as He led her down each road and path, He will also lead me…and I am willing to follow.
The last several months, there have been many tears, prayers, joys, and setbacks as I have tried to follow God’s will for my life. I know that I get in the way, but more recently I have felt a consistent nudge. A nudge can feel uncomfortable. It can take you out of your comfort zone and make you fear yourself and your abilities. “Am I good enough?” “Can I really do THAT?”
What do you think of when you first hear the word fear? I think of scared, trembling, dark, isolated, unknown.
When do you feel fear? Maybe in an unsafe, unfamiliar place or going into a meeting that was unexpectedly called or when worrying about your kids when they’re out of your control?
What is the purpose of fear? Protection, to hold you back…or a tool for growth, to motivate or move forward.
Have you ever thought of what is on the other side of fear? We’ve been scared before. What happens when we’re no longer in fear? It’s usually a different emotion – relief, contentment, joy, anger, or acceptance. It’s also where dreams can become reality. It’s where we put our trust in something bigger than ourselves, and take a step forward.
Fear is an emotion in a moment. What’s on the other side of it can be a journey…the path to where we’re supposed to be, what we’ve needed, what we’ve longed for.
Despite my fears, I am ready to follow this path on the other side of them. So…where am I headed?
For those who don’t know, I am a Registered Nurse. I worked in the Neonatal ICU before I had my own babies, and have been at home with them the last 7 years. Last Fall Mrs. Barbara and her journey motivated me to consider my career from a different perspective. I didn’t want to go back into the hospital but wanted to work with adults and families to help them navigate all the confusing health information and assist them on their own pilgrimages to healing. Shortly after Mrs. Barbara’s heavenly birth day, I became a Certified Health Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.
As I began providing health coaching to some clients this spring, I felt something was missing. And this summer…I felt the nudge. And I know it was from Him. I know because I questioned it again. “Are you sure?...ME?” I could list so many reasons it wouldn’t be the right time or that I’m not the right person. I even hesitated to bring it up to Chris. I asked God to please give me direction…that I didn’t want to go off on something that was actually MY will and not His. The very next morning, I brought it up to Chris. I expected him to shoot me down because of the money, time-commitment, and all the other reasons, but he didn’t. He was excited! Elated! I believe God speaks through our spouses, and He spoke through mine that morning. That day, I began the application process and last week was accepted to a Master’s level program to become a Holistic Nurse Practitioner, an advanced practice nurse specializing in a holistic approach to health and wellness. Holism is natural in nursing. We look at more than just the condition, but the whole person.
Chris and I have decided to form a business for my nursing practice and health coaching. We’ve decided to name it: Pilgrimage to Healing. We are so excited to share this with you all! All of you who have prayed for us, supported us, and guided us in some form or fashion. Starting a business is intimidating and scary, but exciting and purposeful. It is a way to honor Mrs. Barbara (especially today), to keep her memory and story alive, while being able to reach our friends, family, community, and the world with trustworthy information and supportive care.
Many things we go through in life require healing, and healing takes time. Pilgrimage to Healing will focus on educating and empowering people to take charge of their health and provide them the tools necessary to make changes in their lifestyle with support and accountability while respecting the time it takes to get there.
How will Pilgrimage to Healing help others? Well, I’ll have some more exciting announcements and offerings early this Fall, but I have a website with a newsletter and access to the services I will offer. I will continue blog posts and there will even be a Facebook group where we can connect more personally about the issues you’re facing and realize you’re not alone. I will face some of my personal fears, and speak to groups of people, take videos of myself, and dare to believe that people want to hear what I have to say. I won’t let my fears dictate my life. I will use them to move me forward because this is so much bigger than me. People are hurting, and I have something to offer them. God didn’t put these life experiences and passions in my heart to have me hold back now. I plan to share a wealth of knowledge, tips, support, and inspiration. We’re not meant to journey alone. Mrs. Barbara journey was and still is my inspiration. She brought me along on her pilgrimage to healing, and I would be honored to walk alongside you on yours.
I would love for you to visit our new website at www.pilgrimagetohealing.com. Please let me know what you think, and if you're struggling with your health, I would love to be a part of helping you get back on track!
What’s waiting on the other side of your fear?
Heavenly Father, the void is still there, and it hurts. I miss my Mother-in-Love. I couldn’t have anticipated all the ways I would be reminded of her, but I am grateful for the life she shared with me. Lord, I pray for all those still grieving her loss here on earth. Thank you for the other side of fear, Lord. I’m grateful for the blessing I have found there. Lord, I pray for Pilgrimage to Healing. I pray that it reaches those who are in need of support on their journeys and that You bless them, nurture their roots, and make their lives fruitful. I pray all those impacted see You as the light in their darkness. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.