It feels like something heavy is holding me back. I feel the weight when I’m awake and when I’m asleep…which leads to so many sleepless nights. I toss and I turn. It won’t let me rest. I can find no peace. And then I hear from him…this only allows the feeling of despair and hopelessness to intensify. I am drowning…willingly. Was never able to swim but no swimming lessons would help me when oceans and seas are collaborating together to pull me under. Waves are crashing…I hear it. I feel it yet I’m stuck…going only where they direct me. I’m suffocating off of the things in nature that were suppose to cause growth. Mother Nature is unhappy with me. So I pay the price. This feeling of sadness was no accident. I had been warned. Yet I stood still. Drowning. Suffocating. Going where the current pulled me. This is so unlike me. I’ve always had direction and the humbleness to ask God to bless that direction. But here I am lost. Numb. Then in pain. Then numb again. This force seems so much bigger than me and no it is not a godly presence yet my faith tells me that God is still with me. Being patient with me. Still loving me. Waiting for me to put in the work. “FAITH without works”….the Wind whispers. “Is Dead”….I finish as I submerge from the water for what seemed to be just enough time for me to let the Wind know that I heard him. Back under the water I go. My body fighting the force. I try to teach myself to swim…for I learned recently that the ocean is not like a pool. It’s not meant to pull you down. If you stay calm…there’s a chance it will pull you up. It was meant to pull us up. I try to calm my breathing. This is no easy task so I try to quiet my mind at the same time. It is at that exact moment that I realize exactly where I am. I am down here in hell with him. Everyone thinks hell is hot but it turns out that it is tailored to our worst fears. I have a fear of drowning. So my hell…our hell…is wet and overwhelming. He can swim. I cannot. It appears he knew that this would be the type of hell that I could not easily escape for it’s built on my biggest fear…drowning. He’s pushing me under at times as he swims along. Again I try to calm my breathing. The more frantic I am is the more I go under. There was a time where I could never imagine us being in such a place. How did we get here? So many wrong turns. But what kept me here is the glimpse of who he use to be to me when I was living another hell on earth. The man drowning me was not, however, the man who rescued me from hell 7 years ago. I recognize this man. He seems familiar but as I struggle to stay afloat and he swims along so easily only stopping to push me under a wave…I realize this is a familiar stranger. Touch is foreign. His touch is hurtful. Voice is quietly harsh. I can tell he is trying to not show anger with each word but I felt it. If he had not said a word….I would have still felt it. His eyes were so unkind. It was at that moment that my gaze met his and I told myself that I was going to learn to swim today. I could no longer stay down here in hell with him because….because I paid all my debts long ago. I repaid the man I use to know. Stood by him through ups and downs. And now that the two of us can only remember the difficult times…clearly and forgiveness was no longer in our hearts…it was time for me to swim on. My debts are paid. As I learn to stroke through the water…I made a promise to myself to stay grateful. Stay in a place of gratefulness for what once made me so happy… I really lived that happiness. It was not a figment of my imagination. And even though it no longer made me happy…it was now pulling me down and making me cry…I need to stay in a place of gratefulness. This is so hard to do once you have tasted hell with the man you once loved more than anything. Stay grateful. All debts are paid. You are free…the Ocean said to me as I swam on to calmer waters. I can see the sun peaking out from the clouds. And I surprised myself by finally facing my fears and swimming onto…the possibility of new love. ~KJM on Charm School Monday. It’s time… ? May God continue to bless my steps. ??