Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Sometimes it would be really easy to curl up in a dark corner and withdraw from the world, wallowing in pain. I long for how my life use to be when we were an earthly family of 5. We were happy, fulfilled and it was a lot easier. Despite this longing, I am continuously amazed at how God continues to pick me up, giving me the strength to focus on my blessings. He gives me strength to keep doing the next best thing even when I don’t feel like doing it. Three years later, doing the next best thing has turned into a beautiful life.
Each day we push forward, dancing with both joy and sorrow. Happy moments are bittersweet that we don’t have Chad here to experience them with us. We still have many heavy moments of being hit by another grief wave but are learning to wrap the heaviness in budding new life. Curling up into the corner is not God’s plan for me and my kids and so we press on.
The bible tells us to think on excellent and praiseworthy situations. Such amazing and helpful advice. Where our focus is, our energy flows. Focusing on how much I miss and long for Chad does not help my children or solve any of my heartache. Choosing instead to focus on how grateful I am for Chad and our relationship changes my perspective and softens the pain of loneliness. Focusing on all that is still right in our world fills me happiness. Focusing on the promises God has made for us and our future fill me with joy.
God has also been whispering to me about the strength he sees in me. I have been having a list of accomplishments I have managed on my own pop into my head, reminding me I am doing this and can continue. Some of these are small but any widow knows accomplishing any meager task on our own in the beginning is huge success. Focusing on how far I have come helps me have strength to know I am going to be okay.
Jesus tells us that this world will have many trials and sorrows but to take courage as He has overcome the world. John 16:33 Jesus promises we can get courage from Him to continue pressing on through our trials and sorrows. What comfort to know we can count on God to give us what we need to persevere. I find great comfort to know this temporary life is so short compared to the eternal joy and happiness we will experience forever once we get “home”. Focusing on that as a family takes away the sting of this hard widow and fatherless life.
Today is yet another day of waking up from a dream of Chad, to find my house feeling too lonely to want to get out of bed despite having my three beautiful children down the hall. Today is another day I need to decide to reflect on all the heavenly gifts I have been given. I need to focus on all the good that is promised yet to come. God is writing our story and so I can trust in his goodness and face another day. Today I choose joy.