So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars
That I’m alive and well
This is a tough week for me. Every. Single. Year. I have always turned my face to the sunshine, no matter how stormy the day may be, but this is the week that gets me. It blankets me in a dark cloud that just feels So. Incredibly. Heavy. Every year I survive it. Every year that passes, the grip it has around my heart loosens ever so slightly.
Today is my mom’s birthday. She celebrated her last birthday on this earth, eleven years ago. I didn’t see her. Didn’t get to run her gift over. I talked to her on the phone. By that point the cancer had spread to her brain, although none of us knew it at the time. She wanted to know why I couldn’t come over and eat fried chicken with her on her birthday. I told her that Brad, my first husband wasn’t doing very well. He battled kidney cancer for ten months. He died the very next day. This…this is a tough week for me.
“You can’t always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach, and response. Your options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better.”
The night before my first husband passed away, at the age of 27, I laid in bed and finished Tony Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength. I had shut the door, both literally and figuratively, on the hellish reality that awaited me, for just a time, so that I could gather strength for what I knew the next morning would bring. I turned to the Bible, and I turned to that book. Filled with words of wisdom, encouragement, grit. HOPE. I lost myself in it’s message, only to then LIVE that message in the day ahead, and the many days after that.
“We often can’t see what God is doing in our lives, but God sees the whole picture and His plan for us clearly.”
So many have asked me how I went on after losing my husband, with a toddler and a new baby so close to arriving. The answer is simple, I AM STILL ALIVE. I still have a breath. I still have a purpose. My question is always, what was I suppose to do? It is not in me to throw in the towel. To give up. To hang my head in defeat. And, maybe part of it is my DNA. Grit is in my genes. But, part of it, the larger part of it, is that I have always fueled myself with INSPIRATION. I thrive on words that make my soul feel so alive. So inspired. So full of HOPE. And, when all else fails, when I have tried to control situations I can’t control, I surrender every last ounce of it, to God. Oh, the peace that brings.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28
Everyone has a cross to bear. Every single one of us. It’s what we do with that weight. How well we carry it. And do we help others when their crosses get so heavy, or do we just watch them struggle. Do we build up or do we tear down. We are called to LOVE, but do we actually practice that in our daily lives. In our everyday interactions with people. Not just the people we love. Not just the people we like, but do we exercise our call to love with those who are not so easy to love?
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Life is hard. There will always be both PEOPLE and EVENTS that make it a GRIND. Make it HURT. There are moments that seem to last an eternity and you just don’t know how you’ll take that next breath. But you can, and you do. You search for HOPE. You cling to FAITH. And, you LOVE, and you love, and you love.
It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive
This is a tough week for me, but there are brighter days ahead. I’m alive & well. Thank you, Jesus.
As always, thanks for reading,