God keeps encouraging me to be open, which is a real challenge for me. I’m so introverted it’s tough to talk about private things. But, I’m trying..
One very private thing I felt like I should share has nothing to do with the usual topic of narcissism, but we all need a break from that negative topic anyway. I wanted to share a story with you that shows how gentle & loving God is during our times of greatest need.
When I was growing up, my narcissistic mother did her best to keep me distant from my father’s family. I wasn’t allowed to play much with my cousins or spend the summer with my grandparents. When my parents & I visited family, I had to stay at my mother’s side most of the time. As a result, I was never very close to my paternal grandparents, although I loved them dearly. Then at age 17, when the abuse was at its peak, my mother told me how they were deeply ashamed of me for how terribly I was acting. I knew better, or so I thought, but even so, when my ex husband later agreed with my mother, I thought I was wrong. After all, he hated my mother as much as she hated him- if he is agreeing with her, she must be right. As a result, in my early 20’s, I drifted out of their lives.
Several years later in 2000, I wrote a letter to my granddad. (Grandmom had passed in 1996). Shortly after, I went to visit him at his home. I was nervous, but that faded immediately. As soon as he opened the door & gave me one of his bear hugs, I knew all was fine. We ended up being very close by the time he died on May 31, 2003. He was not just my grandfather- he was my friend, confidant & cheerleader.
His death hit me very hard. I could barely function for the first month after. I asked hubby to drive me to Bristow, VA to his grave about one month after his death. I hoped maybe it’d help. Besides, the drive was beautiful- Bristow is a peaceful, country town. The cemetery there is among the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.
Off to Bristow we went. For the first time, I saw his headstone, & it tore me up. It made his death final.
Hubby left me alone for a while, & sat in the car. I prayed, telling God how painful this was & how much I missed Granddad. Suddenly the most bizarre thing happened. I heard my granddad’s voice speaking to me as if he was standing beside me. He said, “I’m always with you- in your heart. I love you. Whenever you see a butterfly, I want you to remember that.” at this point, I looked up & there were 2 pale yellow butterflies fluttering together about 5′ from me. “You tell Eric to take good care of you. I love you.”
This incident shook me up at first. I wondered was I crazy? But no, I wasn’t crazy. Hearing his voice one last time helped me to start healing.
Some people have told me I only heard what I wanted to hear, or God doesn’t do things like that, but I disagree. God knew what I needed when I didn’t, & provided that. Plus, since then, a few times when I’ve seen butterflies, God has spoken to my heart & said things like “Your granddad is thinking of you & wants you to know he loves you.”
Since that day at the cemetery, I’ve seen butterflies. Lots of them! I even saw one during the winter once, in my car. I was particularly stressed at the time since hubby was sick, & on my way home from the hospital, a little moth appeared in my car! There was no earthly reason for that, as butterflies & moths only survive in the warm weather. When I work on my car (which was once Granddad’s car), butterflies often appear. If I’m upset, I can guarantee I’ll see butterflies in the oddest places. Once in a store, I saw butterflies on t-shirts, dishes, stuffed animals, dishes & books. That was the day that God told me Granddad had been thinking of me.
If you’re in a painful place, please know God still loves you. He will comfort you if you allow Him to. It may be in a completely unexpected way like what happened to me, but it will be just what you need. And, if you’ve lost someone you love, don’t doubt their love for you has vanished or even changed just because they’ve passed away. They still love you & think of you often. Nothing, not even death, will change that. Take comfort in that. It truly helps.
As for me, I’ll continue to smile every time I see butterflies, because I know it means my favorite person is sending me his love.. 🙂