My Story of Loss
Life gets really hard. We all have gone through or will go through emotional valleys as the years go by. Where our mind ends up at the end of the valley will direct our paths into the future.
My mom was diagnosed with leukemia about ten years ago. This started the most challenging years of my life. My mom was the type of mom everyone around her aspired to be like. She was so wonderful, fun loving, always serving her family, drove all over the country to be at every event, and welcomed any person into her home that walked through the door. My mom is the main reason I made the choice to be a homemaker.
I remember walking in the door one day after school when I was about fifteen after having a bad day. I had no intention of talking about what had happened and just stuffing those feelings away. As soon as I walked in, she could see it in my eyes that there was something wrong. She knew each of us kids that well, and cared so deeply. Of course she saw me through the problem just like she always did. She always knew the right thing to do and how to solve any problem. I want to be a mom like that. I want to know my husband, my kids, and other loved ones that well.
Back to about ten years ago, she had been sick on and off for a couple months. I then received a call I will never forget…she had cancer. This perfect person. How could this be true? She was too strong and healthy for this to happen to her. Why her? My heart and stomach sank with grief. I still trusted that God would see us through, and I prayed for healing in her body so she could remain on earth with us into old age. Even though I trusted God, my world was shaken and would never be the same.
I got married the year before this battle began, and needed her here with me for so much longer…to see me through raising babies, buying a home, sending kids to school, activities, and everything else that still lays ahead of me. I couldn’t do all that without her and neither could the rest of my family.
She fought her battle, was so strong and positive through all the medicine and pain, and then joined Jesus in heaven about five years ago. Nothing can prepare you for a loss as big as this. I knew I would miss her, but I didn’t know that I would have to change my whole perspective on life. I didn’t know I’d have to find a new “normal,” because life would never be the same again. It seemed impossible that my family could figure this out without her.
It took me six months to a year to lose the numb feeling I had. I didn’t want to feel the emotion and be constantly reminded of my loss. Everything, everyone, and everywhere there were reminders of her.
What God Taught Me
By the grace of God, He saw me through. God pursued my heart, and I began to trust Him in a deeper way. I began to understand that this life is temporary. We are here on earth for such a short amount of time. So many things I used to value just don’t seem important anymore.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God’s power is made perfect in my weakness! I choose to “delight” in difficulties, because God can use the terrible things that we experience in our lives to show His strength.
Through the loss of my mom, I have a better grasp on reality that this life is short. What are we choosing to spend our time doing? What are we investing in? What is it that really matters to you when your life is done? Focusing on these questions has helped me on my journey to honor God with my homemaking. By knowing our answers to these questions, we can live more simply and fully.
No matter what comes your way in this life, strive (with me!) to be content with your relationship with God. Is He the one you desire most of all? Are you relying on Him for the peace that passes all understanding? We are guaranteed struggles in this life because of the sin in the world, but “take heart, He has overcome the world” (John 16:33).
My Challenge to You
If you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one, or have chosen to cover your grief with distractions, then I encourage you to find ways to open your heart to what God has for you. Don’t mask those emotions, but get in the Word in a deeper way. Serve others around you. Have conversations with others who have dealt with loss. Allow yourself to deal with the reality of eternity, so that you can have an eternal perspective on everything in your life. How would this change your priorities?
Soon we will be with our Savior. The pain and sadness will be wiped away and we will experience complete joy in perfect fellowship with Him. What are you choosing to live for today? Choose joy from the hope we have in Jesus.