---- Podcast Host & Blogger
finding HOPE in the tears
Our life's stories matter. They make us who we are. Good or bad, they define us. They force us to choose between just surviving them or thriving in spite of them. But the thing about our stories is that they carry power; power to bring hope and power to change lives. Our stories have the ability to help other people's stories. Our stories bring wisdom and that wisdom should be shared. That is why I am here...to share my life story. And so, as my story meets your story, together we will bring hope to each other as we peel back the layers of this onion called life.
January 28, 1956 -
June 24, 2013
On the morning of June 24, 2013, I awoke to a life that I did not know. It was a life that no longer included my husband, best friend and father to my 5 children. He had risen early that day to kill himself. My new reality had arrived completely unheralded with no warning signs whatsoever. It just showed up. Uninvited. Imposing itself for a lifetime.
Don had been my every day, every night, every moment. He was the love of my life and I had absolutely no idea he was suicidal or even depressed. I was simply going along doing life, being a busy mom of our young children and running my small business. Then, in a blink...he was gone. Yet, it wasn't only his suicide that I had to grapple with, but also the realization that we had been in complete financial devastation. We had lost everything and this was the first I knew of it; the exact same moment that I learned my husband was dead. Our house had been foreclosed upon, sold at auction and we were being evicted immediately. I had to sell much of our life off, including my wedding ring, in an effort to make ends meet. I was in hell.
My faith was the only thing that allowed me to breathe during that time of grief. God began to peel away one layer of pain at a time, exposing my raw undercoat. Often, I was in torment as each layer was stripped off, indignant as to why God was so cruel. But I begin to realize that He was not collecting those peeled layers into some abyss of bottled tears, but was using them to flavor my life. Those layers of onion found me to my healing and eventual restoration. BUT, there was a catch. The catch was that while I was peeling, God demanded absolute authenticity in my pain. And because I was real with my tears, my anger, my words...my relationship with God became real. And when you have a REAL relationship with God, you have real everlasting hope.