At 6:30am on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017, I received a phone call that would ultimately rock my world and change my life forever.
“Jen”, Kevin said calmly into the phone, “Robyn is in the hospital, I don’t know any details but you need to call Scott right away”.  Shock, disbelief, panic set in immediately and then I went straight in to action. I was in no way prepared for what the rest of that day would hold for all of us that have known and so deeply loved and cherished our dear friend, Robyn Ruth.

As I approach the 7 month mark of losing my “sister”, I find that I am finally able to put some of this pain that I’ve been experiencing into words or just kind of vomiting a bunch of random words, but whatever…you’ll get what I mean as you read.
You see, before Robyn passed away (I still have a hard time using that phrase), I was in a fairly decent place in my life. Outside of being mom and wife, I was working out regularly, I was going to church consistently, I was active in my social life and I was in the process of writing and self publishing my first women’s study with a planned Amazon release of Spring 2017. All of those things came to a screeching halt on January 10th.

I will warn you in advance that this blog post will most likely be pretty scattered and all over the place, as I’m not sure where I’m even going with it, I just know that as I was showering this morning and asking God what He wants from me now, He told me to write again. He told me that I need to get back to writing so that I can start to somehow feel some sense of relief from this pain that cuts so deep day in and day out.

I don’t necessarily want to relive the weeks and months following Robyn’s death through this post, but I will say that there is not an hour that goes by every single day that I am not reminded of her in some way, even if it’s just because I glance at her picture next to my bed when I wake in the morning or falling asleep at night. Or maybe it’s the fact that her face is on my keychain and her name is on the travel cup I drink from daily. Creepy to some, but necessary to me. You should have seen Kevin’s reaction when I suggested somehow putting her face in the new kitchen backsplash…I was joking, of course…kinda. 😉
That girl had no idea the impact that she had on my life. No-one will ever know. Robyn was the ying to my yang and she was the missing piece of my heart that I didn’t even know I was missing for all the years prior to meeting her. The friendship we shared was not one that I can ever truly describe to anyone else. We had something so unique and dysfunctional in our own very special way, that it is difficult to put into words. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that writing has been a challenge for me these past several months. The last thing I wrote before today was my friends eulogy.

So, clearly this is not the most inspirational or uplifting things that I have written thus far, so I do apologize for that, but it’s a form of therapy for me, so I’m just gonna keep at it. You’re welcome to turn away…
I am a big believer in hope in all circumstances. So my hope is that with each passing day I can release some of this overwhelming grief and cherish the blessings I had when she was a tangible presence in my life. I feel that I’m never going to get used to not having her insert herself into the life of my family (in a loving way, of course), or that I’m going to get used to not getting the random inappropriate text messages from her, or getting the FaceTime calls from her just because she’s bored or running errands and asking what I’m up to. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to having this hole in my soul where she used to be. However, I do have hope that I will learn to eventually put on a 100% full on smile, with no tears when I talk about the incredible, irreplaceable friend that she was in my life. I have hope that when certain songs come on the radio, I don’t totally lose it, I just lose it a little bit less than I did the day before. That’s my hope…for now.

I have been going back to church slowly since March, Im back to some very light work outs from time to time, I’ve eased into social activities with those I feel safest with my grief, but when it came to writing again, I’ve simply been stuck! Stuck, I think because I just couldn’t even breathe at times let alone put thoughts and feelings into profound writing.

It’s ironic, you know…my blog and my women’s ministry is all primarily based on women leaning on one another, God and their faith to find their purpose through painful circumstances. I have written about this, blogged about it, led groups surrounding this topic many times for several years and yet, here I am…lost and spinning trying to find my purpose through this devastating pain.
I thought I could write and lead on this topic with a bit of ease, because throughout my 46 years I have endured so much adversity and loss and have seemingly overcome a lot of it with the support of family, friends and of course, my God. I thought I kind of had this stuff all figured out and if any painful moments would ever creep up again, I would be strong enough to pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward. Um…not so much. Thanks for the wake up call God! This one really knocked the wind out of me. Thankfully, though, I hear His voice and I am slowly beginning to listen.

Robyn was always one of my biggest fans of my blog and my Facebook posts on my “HeartWork” page. She always encouraged me and believed in me even when I didn’t. She was a huge part of my strength. I guess I would be failing her a tad if I give up now when the pain is at it’s deepest.

I don’t know where I’ll go from here with my writing or my ministry or even just with tomorrow but I do know that I have an angel who is on my side cheering for me. For that I am grateful and hopeful today. And with each day comes a new sense of strength.
I’m so thankful for my faith, my devoted, prayerful and loving family and my relationships that have deepened beyond anything I could have ever imagined. That is where my hope lies today. And for that….I am blessed.

I’ll never be the same Jen that I once was. I will always feel that a piece of my “life puzzle” is missing and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wrap my mind around the what’s and the why’s. When you see me smiling or laughing in the days to come, it will be authentic and genuine, but if you look deeply into my eyes, you will see a sadness that will never heal. My Robyn is gone now and though I have to learn to accept this and live the life that God has blessed me with, I will always hold her close to me in the depths of my heart and in my soul.

This is as good as it gets today…