• Laura Alvarado-Newson

I must open my hands

A wise man once told me, shortly after my husband died, that it was important that I keep my hands open. I was still in shock and really didn't get it. As time passed I started to understand, because I was walking around with closed fists, literally. It wasn't until one of many sleepless nights my hand began to cramp up. That was when I realized how tightly closed they were. I had to literally tell myself "ok Laura, open your hands, relax!" That was the first night I actually slept for 3 hours straight, longest stretch in a long time. Once I unclenched my hands, the rest of my body relaxed. There are still nights where I find myself with tight fists and have to talk myself out of them. At one point, God began to show me how my hands were closed tight in other areas. I refused to admit my husband was gone; I refused to feel the emotions and vulnerability that came with such a devastating loss. My hands were even closed to receiving from others, as time went on I isolated myself, didn't want to know, hear or see...I was stuck! As long as I allowed myself to stay stuck, I would never be happy or at peace. Once I began to open my hands and allow the acceptance of his death in; as well as, allowing the anger and tears out, I learned something. When I opened my hands and heart, I not only released or surrendered emotions, ideas, thoughts, but I also received healing, comfort and strength from God Himself, as well as, love from others. Since then my journey has been that of constant release.

I'm now sitting here, it's dark and I'm tired. I get emotional when I think about how far I have come; if I hadn't listened to those wise words, if I hadn't followed God's gentle prompts, I wouldn't be sitting here enjoying God's blessings of today.

I cleaned out a storage room and came across many, many items from the past. There came many reminders of our son's accident of 2011, back braces, leg braces, equipment; as well as, baby items, preschool drawings and journals, pictures, toys and more. Each picture, each toy, each item had a story from the past, some happy stories, some very sad and devastating stories. The first couple of hours of digging through these items were emotionally overwhelming and physically tedious, so I stopped and thought "I'm not going back in there". Then I realized, first of all, I have to clean this mess up and I can't allow myself to get stuck. I'm going in with open hands, to release the sadness, disappointments, discouragements, and in turn, receive grace for today, faith for what tomorrow will bring and strength to face it all. My kids cannot be babies anymore, they are growing up; I am no longer physically capable of zooming down the street in my favorite roller blades. To hang on desperately to the past is to be stuck. I boxed up important items for girls, pictures of their dad, certificates, and awards. They are marked memories and will be there when they want to stroll down memory lane. However, I am needed in the today and, if God permits, in the tomorrow as well.

I would not be able to walk in God's plan and purpose if I hold on tightly to what was. We cannot bring back yesterday. People need us today!! And we look forward to tomorrow!

Thank you God for what was, and thank You for what is now and what will be.

With hands wide open, in the land of the living, God makes everything new!

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