Many people have been kind to me as I have adapted to my new life. Some have said, “I don’t know if I could ever survive what you have experienced.” I am here to tell you, you can.

The part that is amazing to me is we all have our own, very personalized, bag of trouble. Mine happened to have widowhood in it. Did I choose my bag? Did I volunteer to take a widow one, much like choosing a ham or turkey sandwich? I don’t know.

Unlike sack lunches, I would not trade what was in my bag. I would not trade being a widow for a huge host of troubles others have or do experience. I told my friend, a two-time breast cancer survivor, I could never survive what she went through. Her response, “Oh, I have just been sick.” JUST BEEN SICK?? She spoke as though she was just getting over a cold or something. I would rather keep my widow bag. Maybe I would keep it because I now know I am capable of surviving widowhood, not sure about cancer.

Why do we have bags of trouble to begin with? Some believe ALL our troubles are some sort of punishment from God. Nothing can be more wrong. I believe troubles are what we are given to make us grow. I am stronger because of my bag’s contents. I don’t feel like I am being punished, I am being refined and challenged.

Adapted from a post on