"Chanel, it's been a long time since we've seen each other" Reverend Clarke said as I took a seat across from him in his office. It's been a week since Trey suggested that I speak to him, and I finally decided to take him up on the offer. Though Trey had offered to come to the meetings with me, I wanted to have this first meeting alone.
"I know, I'm sorry about that"
"No need to be sorry, things happen. I was just a little surprised that I haven't seen you or Trey in months. Even more so, when he started coming to church without you." Ever since Trey and I's relationship started going downhill, I stopped going to church. It wasn't intentional in the beginning. Once I got pregnant, between working so much and how tired the pregnancy made me, it was hard waking up so early for church on one of the only days I had to sleep in and relax. After I lost the baby, I stopped going all together mainly because I was having trouble with my faith. "How have things been going for you?"
"Umm, not as good as they used to be" I sighed leaning back in the chair.
"Why is that?"
"Well a lot has happened lately, and I've just been having a hard time dealing with it all."
"Understandable. Trey did tell me about some of the things that you were going through and I just want you to know that I'm extremely sorry for your loss. Patsy and I have been through a similar situation and I know it's not easy to deal with it"
"You have?" I asked in surprise. I had known Reverend Clarke and his wife, Patricia, for a little over ten years, and over the years, we grew to be very close, but with everything that had been going on lately, I basically closed off everyone who wasn't family.
"Unfortunately. This was years ago before we knew you and Trey and we don't talk about it often, but I don't mind in this case because I want you to know that someone close to you went through something similar. The first time Patsy was pregnant, she gave birth prematurely. Even though our daughter came earlier than expected, everyone was more than hopeful that she would make it, but she caught an infection and wasn't able to fight through it. Patsy was devastated, she felt like she worked so hard for something only to lose it and for a long time she wasn't the same."
"How did you guys get through it?"
"A lot of prayer and finding different ways for her to channel her anger. And I just want you to know that it's okay to be angry, even if you're angry at God. There are a lot of people who get angry with him because they can't understand why He gives them all the battles that He does, and that's how Patsy felt, but look at the wonderful mother, wife, and friend she is now. She was always a great woman, but I truly believe that if we didn't go through that, she wouldn't be the woman she is today." I nodded my head and took in everything that he was saying, and even though it was nice to hear, it was hard picturing that I would ever be okay with what happened.
"But how do you become okay with that?"
"You don't" he shook his head "But you have to accept that there's nothing you can do to change it. It happened and you can't take it back. That's where trusting in God comes in"
"I know" I sighed "But that's been my hardest thing honestly. My faith has always been strong, even when I went through losing my mother, but with everything that's happened in my life, I just couldn't understand why God had to let that happen to me and for so much to happen at one time. I literally felt like I was losing my child and husband all at once. I haven't prayed in such a long time. People have prayed for me and with me, but I haven't prayed for myself."
"I get it and it's normal, but look at everything He's brought you through. Look at everything you've accomplished because of Him, you have to continue to have faith because of that"