I’m pretty sure around 11 months ago I wanted to punch people who would tell me that somehow “good things” would come from the tragedy of losing my husband. However, after nearly 40 total hours of counseling and many more hours spent on my knees, I’ve come to realize that silver linings do come from saddness. Here are a few of mine…
1. Improved/deepened family relationships I have always had strong family ties and good relationships with both my immediate and extended family. However, through processing and handling this loss, many deeper and more loving family connections have been made. I no longer take my vast support system for granted and I am thankful daily for my tightly woven family.
2. An improved outlook on humanity My son and I were eating a super nutritious fast food breakfast the other day when an older gentleman struck up a conversation with me. He told me the world was terrible and that there was too much evil. I told him that I’d basically turned off the TV because my family had processed enough saddness this past year. I now just read my news. I also told him that the saddest days of my life had been filled with people loving and praying for myself and my children. Many times those people were folks from my community, from my school, people who just loved us through even if they weren’t our closest family and friends. These many beautiful, kind acts had really renewed my faith in humanity. This kindness continues even now- extended to us day after day. I know there is evil in the world but I also know there is SO MUCH good!
3. The importance of church family I grew up in church, my kids are growing up in church, it’s just part of who we are. However, until the chips were down, I never gave nearly enough thanks for church family. My church loves us so big and so hard that sometimes it feels like my heart is going to burst. My church family has hung exterior lights, stained our swing set, fed us, cried with us and prayed us through so many stages. I know my church makes Jesus smile.
4. Nurturing friendships Like many married, working mothers, I neglected a lot of my friendships for many years. Losing Patrick has brought renewed closeness with so many of my friends. I treasure the humor, perspective and joy that they bring to my life. My friendships cheer me on as I navigate this single, 40 year old mom path and encourage me to be myself no matter how wacky or difficult that self can be. I know God has put each of these people into my life for specific purposes- his planning is perfect as always.
No one ever really wants to hear about silver linings when they are in the threshold of grief. It’s after you come out of the fog and take a look around, that you really see how God has never stopped working in your life through all the people around you. I once read somewhere “rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” I think that might just be true…stay tuned. 💙