This summer marked ten years for me, ten years since my beloved husband went to be with the Lord. Three years of healing passed before I began to really think about creating a new life for myself. I wasn’t completely healed, but I was healed enough to look forward a tiny bit more than I looked back.
Recovering from a devastating event that bursts into your world takes time.
One of the many things—and there were many, it wasn’t one thing—that helped me reach that tipping point was embracing the truth. And I had to embrace many truths, not just one.
Truth #1: God Will Get You Through
One of the first truths I embraced was that God would get me through the loss of my husband.
God got me through the loss of my father exactly six years earlier, so I had witnessed and experienced God’s healing power. I witnessed God heal my mother (now a widow) and experienced my own healing in regard to losing my father.
When a life-altering event devastates your life and future plans, you need to know God will get you through. Whatever your situation, the fact that you are still here is a sign that God will get through.
I didn’t know how or when I would get through. Nor did I know where I would end up on the other side, but I knew I would get through to the other side.
Truth #2: You Can Enjoy Life Again
It took three years for me to embrace another truth, the truth that I could enjoy life again. It is possible. It will take time, but it can happen.
Three long years… Truth be told (see what I did there?), I didn’t embrace it Day One, Day Two, or Day 365. It wasn’t days. It was years.
And that is okay. I needed to be ready first. So, if you aren’t ready, I understand. I more than understand, I relate.
Once I was ready though, I’d have to be intentional about it. It wasn’t just going to happen, but it could happen. I could create a new life without my husband, a good life—good being a new life that I enjoy.
Would I enjoy it as much as my life with my husband? Maybe not… Who am I kidding!?! Truth is (I did it again) probably not—at least not in that way.When catastrophe strikes, it’s important to know you can enjoy life again. Click To Tweet
I will go even further. Would I prefer my life with Reggie in it? Of course… I can also enjoy it without Reggie. I did before Reggie. It is possible after Reggie.
I prefer my life with Reggie in it. I can also enjoy it without Reggie. Both can be and are true.
When catastrophe strikes, it’s important to know you can enjoy life again. You can. It isn’t guaranteed, but you have the ability. To enjoy it, you have to be intentional. You have to try. It isn’t going to happen on its own.
Truth #3: Life Will Look Different
Another truth is my life is different now, which makes me wonder if I should compare. I feel like it’s like comparing apples and oranges, so there simply is no comparison. And as Christians, should we be comparing anyway? I’m not so sure.
Catastrophic events leave your life irrevocably different than it was before. It isn’t going to look the same. So, whatever your catastrophic event, if you feel different, if your life feels different, that is normal.
Truth #4: Life Can Be Good Again
What I am sure of, the truth I am embracing today, is that I have created a new life, a good life, a life I enjoy. When Reggie died, I didn’t think life would be good again. Yes, God would get me through, but getting through meant I would be okay, not good. I have learned the truth is it can be good again, maybe not great, but good.
But in the wake of our losses, we aren’t feeling good—or great. We’re feeling bad—very, very bad. To know I can feel good is a vast improvement over the bad on a good day and the very bad on a bad day I was feeling.
Embrace the truth that you don’t have to feel bad forever—life can feel good again.
So, yes, whatever your loss, you may never feel what you felt before—and grieve that. It deserves to be grieved, but when you are ready to begin feeling better, I encourage you to embrace the truth that you don’t have to feel bad forever. The truth is you can enjoy your life because life can feel good again—even in the wake of your life-altering event.