Everyday I am given the ultimate gift – another day to celebrate the life that God chose to give me. Each day the morning sky signals a new beginning and I am given another chance to seize whatever lies before me.
But loss hovers on the horizon. Loss that changes your life dramatically – loss that refines who you are and how you handle difficult situations
Loss that takes your breath away and leaves you panting, wondering whether you you will make it to the finish line. Loss that comes in threes over the last seven years. Loss that brings with it life lessons where endings become oh so glorious beginnings.
Three moments – three life lessons – God’s goodness intertwined, breathing life into my grief-filled soul!
Moment one began with a divorce from my husband of 21 years – a loss of love, friendship and intimacy. The moment shifted abruptly when two years later my ex passed away suddenly and in the blink of an eye, my sons lost their father. The fragility of life became the centerpiece of my story and the table settings changed dramatically. The swiftness and unexpectedness of this loss left me dazed and hurting for what my sons would have to endure. Questions to wrestle with are how will my grown sons model fatherhood for their own children someday and what is my role in providing support when needed.
Moment two occurred a year and a half ago. The loss of a job position changed my identity in the workplace, shattered my confidence and created a sense of disbelief in how the situation was handled. I lost the job based on not being a good fit for the position. What I gained was the true hero of this story. The question I wrestled with was why didn’t I say “yes” to God sooner in other situations in my life.
Moment three is still so fresh because it happened a month ago. This loss has been the most difficult – God knew it was time to call my mom home and in that instant I knew I would never stop needing her. The lingering question is how do I move forward without the guidance of my mom for “in the storms of life, we never stop needing our mom“.
Loss creates an emptiness, an uncertainty and an awareness that life as you knew it has taken a different path. Loss can be sudden or slow and laborious but the result can take your breath away. For me, loss has provided life lessons from my Heavenly Father that have created glorious new beginnings.
All three of these moments have left a void in my heart that will never completely be filled but God has taken this emptiness and turned it into good. He has taught me that living my life for Him everyday is where it’s all at. Moment one allowed God to show me how quickly a life can fade from our lives and in this lesson we need to take our own fragile life and live it strong and courageously for Him.
Moment two taught me the lesson of how God is always with us and in that minute of absolute devastation we just need to say “yes” to what He had planned for us all along. I have a job and God knew that going back to the classroom to teach 3rd graders was where I needed to be. The bottom line is that radical obedience reaps radical blessings. Losing a job taught me that holding onto something with a white-knuckled grip that was not mine to hold onto allows God to step in and freely extend His grace. Letting go allowed for God’s provision and grace to turn my mess into peace.
And finally… God is teaching me gracious grief over the loss of my mom. Picture the gift of friends offering help, co-workers stepping in to share the load of lesson planning for 25 third graders, text messages from loved ones who are just checking in and most importantly the gift of time – this is grace magnified and received from God who extends these gifts as a way to gently put my shattered heart back together. All He asks is for us to openly say yes to the grace and pay it forward when we can.
These are my recollections, my personal experiences, my memoir of a snapshot of time that has so profoundly altered who I am and how God has stepped in to make my story His story!
Prayers for all today that we love well, are blessed and delight in every moment!
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Oh just beautiful- thank you for sharing your story.
Blessed you stopped by! Praying that God sees us through all life’s messiness and we willingly let Him lead us through it. Blessings!
This is beautiful… I just love how you showed us the grace of a good God even through the pain. Thank you so much for sharing your heart friend.
So glad you stopped by Tonya! I look forward to meeting you on the blog in the future! Blessings,Mary!
God is teaching you much and “blessing us” with the lessons found through each of these trials and losses, Mary. I’m praying for you as you grieve your sweet mama. I hope you feel God using the memories you had with her to bring comfort, but most of all, comforting you with His love that passes all understanding. Love ya, sister!
Memories do provide comfort-trigger more emotions perhaps-but ultimately remind me that God is in everyone of those moments.Sending love your way today! Thank you for being a blessing to me!
First, I am so very sorry for the losses in your life – but amazed at how God is working through them! I understand as this has been a big theme for me as well. I am always glad to see the takeaways that others find through loss. God bless you!
Your words are appreciated! Loss is universal and I pray that we all meet God at those moments and feel His comfort in order to make it through and beyond. Blessings!
Mary, I’m so sorry for your losses and can relate on some level to all of them! I wish we could grab a cup of coffee together (well, you know, hot chocolate for me) and share face to face. Maybe one day we will…if not here, then over There. Thank you for encouraging us to see God in the face of our losses. And thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday.
I’m so sorry you’ve gone through all of that. I see the beauty from ashes in God shining through your post. Thanks you for sharing your difficulties.
Thank you for stopping by! God continues to show me the beauty by finding delight in the everyday routines of life. It’s a beautiful thing!
How brave… and underneath it all, I can smell hints of hope, blooming and growing, bringing beauty. Praying for you and so glad you posted this!
Thank for your prayers! There is beauty and God is teaching me how to tap into that especially in those moments when grief becomes overwhelming! Blessings to you!
I lost my father 3 years ago and every year the grief changes a bit, looks and feels different. It’s the kind of pain that morphs from relief that he’s not suffering to white hot grief, to the dull thrum of his absence. As I read memoir I always look for themes that resonate widely. You’ve tapped into loss which is so widely applicable, (it can look like a job or a home or a loved one or anything really) that everyone has felt or will feel it at some point. Thanks for joining in this exercise, Mary.
Alia- first it is such a blessing to be part of this writing group. Second, your encouraging words carry me during this difficult time. Blessings!
Oh, I’m so very sorry to hear of the many trials and losses you have had to endure. As one who is also familiar with grief, perhaps this would be an encouragement to you?
Another Letter to Grief:
May the God of all comfort continue to be your source of comfort as you find your hope and strength in Him.
Kate – I appreciate the encouragement in the form of your letter to grief! I loved the visual image it provided me of the feelings that are always present. Thank you and blessings to you!
I continue to pray God will show me the way and my hope is I will be able to do it with the same grace and determination you have shown during your difficult times. Thank you for sharing your journey in this forum!
Lynne, I’m praying for you and the journey that you are on right now. God’s grace is freely given to all and all it takes is for us to say “yes”!
Hugs to you!
So many good points Mary! Even in the grief of loss, we can hold firm to the promise that God is right there with us and will bring beauty from the ashes. Carpe diem my friend and marvel in the exciting journey God has prepared for you!
Thank you sweet friend for your encouragement. New beginnings followed by sudden endings are consuming and scary but God promises we are never alone. Tuesday blessings to you!