This might seem like an odd photo to start my chat off with, but really, it isn't. When I so often speak of those "shiny" moments I encourage you to watch for, this photo is kind of what they look like to me. I call them "shiny" because those unexpected blessings that arrive when we least expect them light up our eyes as well as our hearts. We get so excited, so overwhelmed when we're in the midst of a storm and an unexpected blessing comes; get so emotional, so relieved- so teary when out of nowhere, relief comes-- deliverance comes.
After being so fearful, so insecure, so miserably unhappy, one of these moments come, and all of a sudden life has meaning again. The flame of HOPE
begins to flicker within our hearts; we realize, all of a sudden that we're not alone- that somebody does care.
This present storm I'm going through, the recent death of my sweet Johnny, is one of the fiercest storms I've been through. He was here one day and gone the next, unexpectedly, since he was doing so well that particular day. It tore a huge hole into my comfort zone, confused me, caused me to lose my way for a time. His death changed the way I viewed things, the way I felt. It made it difficult for me to eat or sleep, made it almost impossible to even think. As well it filled me with a raw, aching pain I feared would never leave me. I was cold, empty, numb, unable to focus upon anything. I couldn't even think about Johnny, even when i tried too, my mind just wouldn't work.
As discouraged, sad, fearful, insecure, lost and lonely as I was, as low as I was, two long standing habits revived me. The first habit was turning to the Lord the first thing in the morning, the last thing at night, and whenever something good or bad entered my life. When bad, I'd talk to him about it and He would remind me that "All things work together for good..." The (all) means the bad things as well as the good. Rom. 8:28
When something good happened, I'd thank Him for it, and leave his presence feeling blessed, happy, and secure, having been reminded how well God takes care of His children.
The second habit that is seeing me through this present storm is continually watching for those "SHINY" moments. The watching for them keeps discouragement at bay and reminds me that life runs on opposites; if today my life is stormy, down the way the day will become sunny again. Every trial comes to its own end.
It has only been two months since I lost Johnny, but it feels as if it were only yesterday. Still, even though it is hard to start each day without him, end each day without him, the use of these two habits are little-by-little helping me cope, are little-by-little, helping me get stronger.
Many of you have lost somebody too, many of them recently. I want you to know that I am here for you. You can email me any time if you need some extra TLC. I know that having a good support system helps. I am blessed to have one. I want you to know you have one too, not just me, but other online people who truly understand what you're going through, who would gladly support you if you would but ask.
Someone told me a few years ago "Barb, I wish I could write like you. If I could, I'd not mind sharing my problems, but I can't."
I told this dear person that you don't have to know how to write in order to share with somebody. I told her that the people who want to help her don't care how well she writes, told her that many people write better than I do, are published authors. What matters isn't how well we write. What matters is that all of us are genuine with each other, that we truly care about the heartbreak of somebody else, that we are compassionate and don't judge each other. This dear person is now one of my closest friends. I shared this to encourage you, and myself too, to not get so focused on our own pain and troubles that we forget others hurt too. This is a hurting world- full of hurting people.
Have a wonderful day. Embrace each moment as it comes, never forgetting how short life is, is a wisp of smoke- here- then gone.
Love you much,