Life is full of challenges, obstacles, and defining moments. In fact we do have the option of changing course at any time, but many times we are so caught up in life and all its entanglements with people, jobs, family, friends, and whatever or whoever else… we hesitate to upset the flow by making big changes. We are afraid of both the resistance we might face and perhaps the uncertainty of what outcome the change might bring.
A defining moment is when you experience a point in life that fundamentally changes you. You are faced with a pivotal decision. This is a moment that defines us. It has a transformative effect on our perceptions and behaviors as we move forward. It leaves us forever changed from who we were.
The loss of our husband is likely one of the most difficult defining moments we could face. The defining moment is the permanent separation from our spouse, but the transition we make happens with time. Grief comes in and first leaves us in a state of shock and fog to protect us as we try to comprehend our new reality. Eventually we start accepting the fact, but it may still take some time to figure out how we live this new existence without him.
It’s taken me over three years to get where I am finally ready to seriously consider my future. I’ve finally made peace with the pain. I’ve made baby steps trying some new things. I am at the point I can reason out some of the things I like and don’t like. I can now embrace the idea I can do what I want. I can say no. I can say maybe. I can say I’ll give it a try and if I don’t like it, I’ll stop and try something else. I’ve reached a conclusion about my life moving forward…
I don’t want to start over… I want to start fresh.
I get to choose a do over!!! I don’t like not having my husband here to do life with, but since that is not possible, I can choose to start fresh. I can choose where I want to live, what kind of furniture is in my house, how I want to spend my time, and who I want to spend it with. I can take all the knowledge I gained though over 60 years of living and let it help me make better choices so hopefully life will be a bit easier and more pleasant.
Defining moments can help us harness the internal compass that guides us successfully through life. It orients us to understand what is important and helps us focus on the things and people that matter. My inner compass is my relationship with my creator God the Father, my Savior Jesus, and my co-laborer Holy Spirit.
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
Life is full of many encounters. Everything we experience is for a season. It has a beginning and an end. We can’t always see this when we are in the midst of a trial. I’ve learned when I trust God to see me through the hard times, He never fails. He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Right now, I’m ready to keep stepping forward in faith. I’m ready to open my heart and mind to new opportunities and friendships. What is faith?
Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to
acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still
unseen. Hebrews 11: 1
I can’t see my future in the natural. In fact, the future I want is completely impossible in the natural. God is teaching me to decide what I want and let Him know. He is my loving Father and He wants to do that for me.
At the beginning of my marriage, my husband and I wanted children very much. We tried everything. In fact, for thirteen long years we battled with everything from taking my temperature every single day to determine when the best time to conceive would be, to tests, surgeries, and even beginning the proceedings to adopt. Life circumstances kept knocking us down.
We were forced to move to another state. Then we tried in vitro fertilization. On the last try I went expectantly to the doctor and was told it had to be stopped for yet another surgery. I was devastated. I remember going home and sobbing uncontrollably on my bed and crying out to God. I surrendered. I couldn’t take any more.
God told me to imagine myself holding my baby. Now that just sounded crazy. I told Him what the doctor said. I was so honest with Him how I trusted Him for thirteen years and I know Abraham and Sarah waited a hundred years, but I was done. He told me again to imagine myself holding my baby. I wiped my eyes and told Him ok. I began imagining myself holding a new baby.
That very night a friend of mine at work told me her daughter wanted to give her baby up for adoption. She asked me if I would consider it. I told her we started adoption work before we moved but it was all stopped because we had to move. She asked me to talk it over with my husband and let her know.
I went home that night and talked to my husband. We didn’t have any idea how we could possibly do it, but we agreed to meet the baby and her Mom. Three days later I was holding that precious baby in my arms. One week later, through supernatural and divine help, we had a lawyer and the process was in motion. We got a call from the lawyer to come the next day and pick up our daughter. God gave her to us on our thirteenth wedding anniversary. It took another eight months to complete the process. God answered our prayers.
Last night, God reminded me of this. He told me to picture myself in the home I want and doing the things I want to do. He has been asking me to write down what I want and picture it for a while now and I have been, but it hasn’t been with my whole heart.
I was listening to a teaching on faith last night. When the teacher explained what faith is according to Hebrews 11: 1, that’s when God made the connection to me about imagining holding my daughter. Faith is putting our hope in action by seeing it in our mind and believing it will happen. I understand faith like I never did before. I’m imagining my future now as an act of my faith. I have a new level of hope I haven’t had in such a long time.
Another teacher I was listening to this week taught about using our faith to reach the other side of the storms in our life. He was using the passage from Mark 4 where Jesus got in a boat with His disciples to cross the lake after a long day of teaching. Jesus fell asleep in the boat and a big storm came upon them. The disciples were afraid and woke Jesus and said they were going to die. Jesus said, peace, be still, and immediately it was calm. The disciples were in awe.
When we are going through our grief, we are going through one of many of our life’s storms. It can be so fierce at times we fear we might die.
‘That same day, after it grew dark, Jesus said to His disciples,
“Let’s cross over to the other side.” ‘ Mark 4: 35
I’m ready to let Jesus calm my storm. I’m ready to cross over to the other side. I’m ready to start living again. I know my life can never be the same as it was. I know I will still feel the pain of grief at times. I am learning to live with hope and a life weathering faith.
I pray this brings you hope in your journey. Perhaps you can start imagining a good future for yourself going forward. We all move at our own unique pace. May something here fuel your strength to forge ahead. God bless you.