When tragedy strikes it can be so difficult to see anything good come out of it. All you can see is what is right in front of you. For me it was, I’m alone raising 2 kids. I’m lonely. Then there were just 3. Where do I go from here? Why did he choose this? It’s not fair! And many, many more would run through my head.
You can try and run from it, shove it all down and pretend you are good. I also tried distractions as a way to be happy. These things are temporary fixes that do not last. You can only shove so much trash in the garbage can until it starts overflowing. You can run but it will always follow you. Distractions are great until you get tired and again there is your junk, waiting for you.
My therapist suggested looking at things differently. Like the day my husband took his life. Look at that day differently and change the perspective. Instead it is the day my journey got started of finding my strength. It is the day this new family of 3 bonded together and learned how to stand up together. We got back up. It is a fight, but we are doing it. It truly is a beautiful thing watching my kids be strong and overcome. They are not letting this make them a victim when they so easily could.
So I tried to focus differently and shift the focus to what is good and my blessings. God gave me some amazing people in my life. People who love me right where I am and help me fill in the gaps where my kids are missing their dad. An Uncle who takes my son to a football game, 2 aunts who go and support my daughter when she has a dance performance, a friend who takes my kids for a sleepover so this tired mama gets a night off, a friend who helps my kids pick out mothers day gifts, people who help carpool when I can not be in two places at once and prayer warriors that pray over us. A mystery Angel sent me flowers on my first Valentine’s Day alone to remind me I am loved. I had a dear friend who lived out of state do my kids school supply shopping online and had it shipped to us because he died a month before school started and we were overwhelmed. I had another sweet friend bring us paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils in bright yellow, snacks and Bible verses on cards and on the bags. She thought it was random and she didn’t know what to get, she said she felt silly. But what she didn’t realize is that I didn’t have to do dishes and those Bible verses are still up on my bathroom mirror to this day. All of these things are beauty in this tragedy we have endured.
God has helped me find joy again. The joy is learning to laugh and enjoy life. Taking a vacation and allowing yourself to relax and enjoy it. Spending time with my kids because they grow so darn fast. Joy in seeing a beautiful sunrise for the start of a new day. Joy in replacing my kitchen sink or toilet handle, because I did that and didn’t think I could. Joy in growing from this. I have learned so much about myself and am chaning, in a good way.
Isaiah 61:3 says, “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” NLT. God had laid this verse on my heart a year before my husband died. It sat there, always a quiet prayer and I didn’t know why at the time. But the Holy Spirit knew I would need to grasp this and hold onto it for dear life, so that I could overcome and find the beauty and joy once again.