When was the last time you felt your heart break?
There's an older country song that talks about prayers going unanswered and I don't know about ya'll but I could not be more thankful for them.
When we are "down on our luck" or "going through hell" it's sometimes easy to give in and want to give up. We want to throw the towel in and say "That's it, I'm done."
One thing I have learned is that it's not without these deep and dark days that we don't learn to appreciate our biggest favors. I look back at times in my life when I was at the lowest of lows and see them as the BIGGEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL gifts I've known.
Let's back track on my life for just a bit...
October 1990. A Marine Corps aviator ejected from his plane. The parachute did not open because, as The JAG experts say, the pilot was out of the envelope. The pilot did not survive. This Naval aviator, was my dad.
Losing my dad when I was only five years old did not seem like a "big deal" in my childhood brain but, with age I came to realize that I would never get to know the man that so many say, was a wonderful Christian and all around great guy.
This tragedy taught me to appreciate life. To grab hold and cherish all things. It taught me that my two older brothers were going to be my best friends. It opened my eyes to be kind because life is short. My mother, quickly became my lifeline and remained so until her passing. Another lesson I took away was when it's your time to go Home, there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Fast forward to April 2014.
Possibly the worst word known to man these days. Mom, who was my confidant and my soul's heart was diagnosed with cancer. All of this was during my nursing program. Talk about when it rains it pours huh? One thing I can tell you, if something is EVER going to happen to you, it will happen while you are in nursing school.
So, here I am in third semester of nursing school and I'm dealing with working a full time night shift job, trying to be supportive of my mother while she went through cancer treatments, all while getting just a couple hours of sleep before clinicals. Failed my OB nursing class that semester AND I lost my job.
Remember what I said about it raining and pouring??
So that December after my last class I packed my bags and I went to see mom. Ya see, she lived 8 hours away so it wasn't like I could see her whenever I wanted.
We had such a great visit. I stayed the entire month and even over into January. We tried to get her enrolled in a cancer drug trial but still got to enjoy each other with some quality time. First week into January, it was time for me to head home. I had school starting back.
So here I was in the first week of school, getting my orientation packs and all the syllabi. My phone vibrates and when I look, my heart sinks. "I think yall should go ahead and come down. Things aren't good."
I just left her. I just hugged her neck. We just had coffee together.
Three days later, my mother joined my father in Heaven.
I know they are both pain free and finally home with our Lord.
What I went through after losing mom is nothing short of depression. Screaming, crying, not even talking... DEPRESSION. This went on for months.
One day as I laid in the bed crying, I knew I needed to eat something. I'm telling ya, the smallest things seemed so BIG during this time. I got up, one foot in front of the other, and started walking to the kitchen.
Halfway through the living room, I crumbled. I hit my knees hard and screamed out to God. "Please take this hurt away. Please comfort me. Please help me."
At that moment, tears streaming down my face and my eyes squeezed so tightly shut... I felt it. I felt Him. I felt Him place His hand on my shoulder and rinse His grace over me. His hand upon me, I felt... relief.
If you've never experienced something like this, it's truly awe inspiring. I've always been a believer but never had I felt so close to God as I did in this moment.
From that day forward, my pain was less and I could grieve my mother in a healthy way. I could laugh again. I vowed that if I can handle losing my mother, that I could face anything this world throws at me.
The two biggest struggles in my life have been losing the two people who meant so much to me.
What I did not know, was that they would also be my inspirations for being a better and stronger person.
Now, I cherish the little things. I cherish life. I hang on to goodness and love. I let things go and try to not hang on to resentment.
What I'm saying is that, sometimes our biggest struggles can be our biggest blessings.
Be blessed my friends.
A Gypsy Soul