I have been ‘away’ for some time, at least from Amber’s perspective. I ‘peeked in’ last night and could see she was frustrated with being left there alone. She wants to get this over with and return to her family. I watched her go through several emotional changes while I was away. She has now spent most of her energy. It will help overall and is probably why the Spirits suggested I wait. I need to be sure she moves according to their plan and not her own.
It’s time now, so I slowly raise my head.
She starts on the lecture she spent days preparing, “Where have you been?” she asks. “I have been waiting so long. I’ve been…”
I hold up my hand.
She pauses briefly, but it is the comment I use to fill the gap that erases the tirade from her mind. “I have been in a place like the one where you will live.”
She pauses and looks at me, not sure how to proceed. What could I possibly mean by, ‘where you will live?’ She is afraid to ask. She insists in her mind, she will live with her family, but she knows she can’t. She is also sure this is for the best. The surface of her thought is not ready to admit the truth, so she stands, unmoving, but she knows.
I wait while her mind dances around itself, not sure where to land. Then, I continue, “It is quite beautiful where I was. The grass has turned yellow, and it glows against red reeds, a green river, and a bright blue sky. Just looking at it feeds my soul. I watched the river run, letting it carry away my worries and my fears, letting it sweep through me and cleanse away the demons who have tortured my soul. I do not need them anymore, Amber. Of course, I never did.”
Amber listens longingly. She knows this is where she aches to be but cannot bring herself to think of what she must release to have it. She fails to see how freely I move in and out of this place and is yet to realize all it takes is her letting go. She is not ready to allow a river to sweep through her. She fears it may carry her away.
It takes a certain kind of faith to let go like this. We can speak in our congregations about knowing God is there or how those who have died watching over us. We can discuss eternal life, but when the moment comes, when our breath leaves our body, when the rules of this world no longer apply, what do all of our words become? When our faith is finally tested, we then know what we believe, what we truly know. None of us can say we’re sure until we stand face to face with that moment.
Do we have the kind of faith in God that will allow us to let go and move into ‘His’ arms? Sadly, in the work I do, I find many have more faith in their fear than they do in God’s love. Amber’s fear of losing her family is more acute than her faith in eternal life. This part of Amber holds onto the fear, just as her family holds onto the fear of losing her. The fear of possibly losing each other overwhelms their faith in an eternal connection. If we truly find our faith again, we will know this loss to be impossible.
When we try to force a connection, it is never as pure as a connection we allow. This is the secret to inner peace. It comes when we begin to let our life happen instead of believing we can force a better plan. Life unfolds if we move out of the way of it. Our limited perspective of the world could never create what is gifted by Spirit, but this kind of faith is a miracle in and of itself. I hope to share this confidence with Amber. I hope she can surrender. I know, at this moment, all of her faith is in her family and even more in herself. She cannot comprehend having faith in something more.
We will talk about beliefs today. We will share and learn from each other, but mostly, in sharing, she should be reminded of her faith and what she believed the afterlife to be before she became lost. She will remember the path, and she will accept or reject it, according to the strength of her faith. She, at this point, has owned the fear. I hope to remind her of her who she is today so that she may choose. She did not choose this path. She survived herself to this point. Now she is calm and rational again. Now we can discuss our options.
I will learn where her faith lies, whether it is with her family or with her God. This information is crucial for determining the path we must walk to find her freedom. I have worked with her in creating a clear picture of what her family means to her. Today will be about gleaning a complete picture of what God means.
I gently step away from the pen, but I do not end my communication with Amber when I do so. This time, throughout the day, while I busy myself with menial tasks within my own life, Amber and I will talk. Away from the permanence of paper, she will share herself with me. Then, we can get to the business of setting things right again.