The stability of my mental health felt nonexistent as I drove my 14-year-old and myself home from the scene of the accident that cost my husband his life. My heart was broken, the thought of my best friend being gone, and now the reality that I would be doing life alone echoed throughout the car. I felt completely lost as I pretended to be strong for our youngest son. I couldn’t reveal the fragility of my nature in that moment because I had to be the strength he didn’t have. As I witnessed his inability to digest what he had just heard when the coroner stated, “I’m sorry, your husband is dead,” I was left with no choice other than to numb my own pain to be his example of strength, faith, and promise. Yes, our world had been turned upside down.
Although I had every right to fall victim to the tragedy that had just struck my family, it was imperative that I choose wisely. As detrimental as it would be for me to fall subject to the hurt, it would be even more harmful if my three sons followed. For a split second, my thoughts wrestled with the idea of wanting to be mad at God for taking away my wing that provided so much love, joy, peace, and wisdom to our family. My husband was the pillar that kept us solid, making sure our foundation was rooted in God. Our focus when relocating to North Carolina had been on finding a church home, and we were overjoyed that we had found that place at Elevation Church. But even with that as the reason for our relocating to NC, our plans were still shattered right along with our intended happily ever after. How was I supposed to overcome the brokenness I was standing in?
It seems almost impossible when faced with tragedy or disappointment. Your emotions will take you on a rollercoaster ride that has the ability to land you into dark places if you’re not careful. Now in a place that stripped me greatly, I had to go back to what I knew to work time and time again — my relationship with God. God was responsible for my faith, which had been the catalyst to my belief system, allowing me to see through the impossible like all the times before. Certainly, He would navigate me through this storm, too. He was faithful; His track record said so.
My history with God was the compass that drew me closer to Him, and I became anchored in His Word with each step, preventing damaging thoughts from traveling through my mind. It was in this place that I was positioned to hear God’s whispers the clearest. His instruction was intense because it quieted my flesh. I had been reduced to saying less. I sat in silence because that’s what He told me to do while everything was changing more and more around me. It was then that healing was able to begin.
It was a struggle at times, wanting to give into my flesh and act from my pain, because hurt people hurt people. But my closeness to God led me on the spiritual battlefield to defeat the giants that were standing before me. I talked to God a lot until I got tired of hearing myself speak at times. I chose to be alone because I did not want everyone to have access to me in my most vulnerable state. When I ran out of words, my stillness in the room spoke to God through my tears. My release let God guide me in a way I had not trusted Him to do before. The process cut deep with revelation, but it was necessary for me to do the work. Scripture reminded me that no matter how difficult this journey felt, it was designed to take me deeper with God. He knew the testimony He was building within me would be greatly needed.
In life, we all will experience blows that feel like life has been snatched from within us. But we have a responsibility by how we react that holds us accountable, even when we didn’t ask for it. For some, it may require you to shut up, to be still, to seek therapy, or to implement new habits to provide a remedy that restores wholeness. However, you will need to avoid anything that isn’t producing peace from the inside out. If it does not promote stability, it is keeping you from the healing you deserve. Life is too short to put your focus in places that minimize your chances of living a life that cultivates seeds of healthiness — both mentally and physically. We all have purpose, and sometimes it has to come through pain, but how you react does not. God is not punishing you, but rather positioning you to be a much-needed light for someone who will need your testimony to keep them alive. When you find yourself in a space of uncertainty, trust God more than you trust yourself.