Priorities Toward the end of EMS Weekend, we had one group session when they separated us into groups of only women and only men. Leslie was leading our women’s only group and she gave a lot of good advice that I took to heart. One of the things I distinctly remember her saying was, "Life is going to get in the way. If you need to cancel lunch dates last minute because you are having a bad day, do it.” You need to prioritize your healing right now. I remember thinking, “I won’t have a problem doing this. I don’t have any weekly activities scheduled right now so I should be fine.” Then, life hit. Somehow in between August and December, my husband and I went from no weekly activities to something Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon. I felt like I was drowning. On top of that, all of a sudden I had an influx of friends who wanted to get closer to me and were asking me to hang out more frequently. I was also leading two Bible studies during this time (something I have never done before) and spent most of my time learning how to do that effectively. Needless to say, our marriage and my recovery got put on the backburner. The one thing I did keep up consistently was going to my therapist every other week. However, I found I had an intense amount of resistance to doing any kind of homework he gave me. Recently, I have been progressing but at a slower rate than I would like. Now that the school year is dying down, our weekly activities have moved from 6 days a week to 2-3 days a week. I have resolved to take advantage of this time and have declined several dinners, baby showers, and birthday invitations to get my priorities in order. I recently read an article on Affair Recovery that struck a chord in me called "Grieving Betrayal". The author talks about the importance of fully embracing the grieving process. In her words, “Don’t give up by trying to stuff down your emotions just because it hurts or because you feel like you should be over it already. “ “Finish strong! “ "Let yourself feel this out to the very end, because there IS an end.” There is a part of me that is stuck in the Denial Stage of Grief: I don’t want to remember that we are going through this. I don’t want to do the work. I don’t want to feel the uncomfortable pain. I don’t want to let go of the parts of me I am scared to let go of. But, I recognize if I want to fully live my life, the abundant life that Jesus promises me I can have, I have to fully embrace grieving and allow myself to feel. In the article, the author mentions she set aside some time every evening in the beginning to grieve. Then, she moved to a day each week of grieving, every Tuesday from 9-2. She spent Tuesdays in her closet on her face before God allowing him to search her heart for hurts that still existed. She allowed Christ to truly heal her. She didn’t try to stuff her feelings or control her circumstances. She embraced her healing and, after a year, felt alive again. I want to feel alive again. I want to feel happiness and joy and excitement again. I recognize that in order to feel these feelings I will also have to feel the painful emotions, as well. God doesn’t want us to live our lives in oppression or unexpressed pain. He doesn’t want us to only turn to him sporadically when we can’t manage our “issues” any longer. Abundant life comes through full surrender to God who promises to bring love, joy, peace and restoration to our souls and I believe him. I believe him with all of my heart and I’m ready to experience it firsthand.