Have you been to the rock bottom?
Rock bottom= a place with the rocky underlying surface, bedrock. But it could be a situation in your life when you reach the worst or lowest point. A labyrinth of suffering that you badly want to escape but you can’t.
I have been to this dark, painful and lonely place twice in my life. I have been tested, molded and renewed by life. I always thought I am being punished but I was wrong. Bad things had to happen in order for me to grow and to master the art of healing and to strengthen my faith. Whether I like it or not, bad things happen in life and that’s the reality I have to face. For once in our life or more, we have to be in this dark and lonely place—-the rockbottom.
Let me take you to my bittersweet journey….
December 30, 2019 exactly 7:00am
It was a gloomy day, loved ones gathered in one place—around my father’s bed where he took his last breath. I hugged him tightly, my tears fell down like a flood while my heart hurts so bad. I screamed “Papa” as much as I can but it didn’t bring him back to life. At that moment I knew that he’s really gone. The love of my life, my knight in shining armor, my superhero, my solid rock—my Papa.
The pain was excruciating and un fathomable that I can hardly breathe. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt on my entire life. My emotional pain was radiating through my physical body. Everything hurts. I couldn’t imagine living my life without my father. Thoughts came crashing in
“How do I begin again?”
“How could I endure living this life with this loss?”
“Will I ever be happy again?”
Because life without a father is meaningless.
It was a rock bottom like no other- living with grief and loss. Everyday I get to wake up and papa’s not around anymore. Everyday I have to wake up from the reality that he’s already gone. No matter how much I badly want to hug him and feel his warm embrace, I can’t. It’s a loss that I am going to carry for the rest of my life because I’m a puzzle with a missing piece that is forever gone—-and that missing piece is my father.
The next few months after his death was the most difficult. Learning to live without him is like a punishment. Months went on but the pain didn’t subside and I know it will never go away. I just learned how to live with the pain and I guess that’s what kept me going.
I went through the stages of grief and loss. I tried my very best to be patient with myself. I took time, I grieved, I mourned and I spent a lot of time alone. I had insomnia for 3 months post the death of my father. Sleepless nights, crying times, breakdowns and meltdowns. I’ve been there. I drowned in pain, fear and loneliness but God has been my saving grace. He pulled me out from the darkness. One day at a time. Little by little. God’s strength helped me to carry on and to face life again with a renewed heart and spirit.
I have understood the hard way that nothing lasts forever. Everyone you love and who loves you is going to die. Even myself. No one is going to live forever in this world and I have to accept that this life is nothing but a borrowed time and this world is not our home.
Life is fleeting and we need to focus on the things and the people that truly matter. When we love, we need to love deeply. When we care, we need to care deeply. We need to give our all and our best to the people and the things that truly matter. Cause we never think that the last time is the last time. We think there will be more. We think we have forever but we don’t. So, I focused on loving my family more. I focused on loving myself more. I focused on the people who truly matter. I focused on God.
God healed me from that loss. He spoke to me through His Word that gave comfort to my heart and my soul. Everyday, God reminds me that I don’t need to worry because my father is now in His great place. The place where there is no pain but happiness. Right at that moment, my heart smiled and the pain subsided. I am forever grateful for my great comforter, Jesus. My saving grace indeed.
6 months after my father passed away, my boyfriend broke up with me and I eventually found out that he cheated on me. I could not put into words how hurt and devastated I am that time. He told me he wanted a break from our relationship because it isn’t helping him in growing or building his career. He told me I am a baggage that he needed to let go so he could continue with his life. It broke my heart that the guy I loved whom I imagined my future with and the last and only man that I introduced to my father just gave up on me. Just like that, he decided on his own without even considering my voice. Nonetheless, I respected his decision.
Few weeks after our break up, I heard the news that he’s already engaged and he’s having a baby with the woman he cheated on me. These facts are hard to believe and absorb. At that moment, I hated him. I resent them for betraying me. I was angry and I asked God “What did I ever do to deserve all this pain, loss and heartbreak?” They said that when searching for God, it’s common to want to focus on the positive and seek peace. But when the reality of our brokenness gets too heavy, all of that light we strive for becomes fainter and finding peace feels impossible to find at times.
I thought the irrational thoughts would never return and that the light at the end of the tunnel wouldn’t be just at the end anymore. I thought I’d constantly be living in the light. Man, I was wrong.
I drowned again in despair. I tried to calm myself down but the more I fed into my desperation of internal silence the easier it was to react externally which lead to a selfless act of rage. I could feel the anxiety and the anger taking over my eyes- affecting my ability to not only see how self destructive I was but also how God was strengthening me even though I was hurting. While I was battling with fear and pain, I kept asking God for help.
When I finally was able to calm down and separate my thoughts from my emotions, I stood up, wiped my tears and I got a sense of how well everything went around me. Exodus 14:14 says “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still”. I heard this verse before but I never considered what it meant to be still or how can I even undertake a sense of stillness when feeling so vulnerable. In my eyes everything was dark because I was blinded by temporary pain. It is important for us to realize that when we reached that point in our lives where we feel like everything is slipping through our hopes, when we feel we need to go into a battle that’s not ours to fight, we must remember that no matter how deep we are in our faith, God will always fight for us and we only need to be still.
From my experience, God will make the best out of our worst.
I am also very grateful for the people around me who held my hand and never left me on this crucial time of my life. Owed it to my family and friends who never gave up on me and kept lighting the way for me. As for me, I find myself during this grand breakthrough retreating back into things that make me happy and comfortable. I am playing again the musical instruments I used to play before. I pet a dog. I started writing. I’ve been cooking a lot and making more time for my family and friends. I am more curious and eager to learn. I find myself talking to the whole new group of friends and catching up with my old friends. There is, even now, still so much to be thankful for. ☺️
There are plenty of dark and problematic things and people in this world. Yet, for a moment, I’d like to focus on the good, joy, pure and the unassailable. “In dark times, be a light. And if you can’t be a light, be a mirror, so that others can see themselves shine”. Our light is all we have. Our light is what keeps us all shining and when you shine your light in the darkness, you will find your people even before they tried to find you.
So yeah, I’ve been to the rock bottom. I’ve lived in dark times, but they are still extraordinary times. Times all of us ordinary people were built for.