Today I thought I would share some thoughts from the book I am working on, which illustrates my story and how God has worked in my life during my grief, as well as outlines the incredible things He has done for me in the years after my daughter passed away. Some of the things have left me speechless and others have just reaffirmed my faith.
Trying to find my way in life after the loss of my daughter has proved to be extremely difficult. Whereas before, my life was the perfect “American Dream.” The perfect house, husband, children and job, until one day, it all crumbled, leaving me scared, lost and alone. After a few years, God’s light began to shine again when I least expected it.
Earlier this year, I came to another crossroad in my life. My 14 year career as a parole and probation officer had come to an end. God had given me the opportunity to stay home with my other children. I was now a full-time mom, which I loved, but I felt something was missing, thinking that there must be sometime more. I have so much to tell the world, to contribute. I wanted to find time to write, not sure exactly what I would write. I prayed daily that God would fill my mind with thoughts, ideas and needs so that I may be successful in reaching out to others and be able to make a difference in someone’s life, finding God’s will for my life. If I could plant a seed of hope, a ray of sunshine, then my goal will have been met.
Well, after five years, the puzzle is slowly coming together. Pieces are falling into place, and the picture is becoming more clear.
Now, my new identity has brought me to be a full-time stay at home mom, raising my kids with God in a country setting. I am bereaved parent, philanthropist, co-founder of a non-profit, as well as writer. Who would have imagined my resume would have blossomed into things I had never imagined?
I now proudly drive around a vehicle displaying a bumper sticker stating, “i am a mother to an angel” and carry a purse with Lydia’s photo button attached to the side, just waiting for someone to ask me about her, so I can talk about my child. And I have learned, that’s perfectly alright.
What else have I learned? Looking back and reading some of my notes for the first time while trying to organize my thoughts, it has been an incredible reminder of the life I have lived and how we as a family had evolved in those five short years. It has not been easy by any means, as we have treaded some very rough and unfriendly waters. In my first counseling session right after losing Lydia, I was told that it could take 2-5 years to actually come to terms with losing a child, to grieve, to recover..whatever the lingo was, I didn’t like it. Here I am now, at the five-year mark, living in fulfillment and joy, yet carrying the pain of losing my daughter deep in my heart, never forgetting the devastating loss of a few years prior. By living in faith and walking with God, He has allowed me to look back and view the path I have walked the last five years, realizing my amazing accomplishments, miracles, and people He has touched my life with. I am able to see the positive side of my grief and the doors that he has closed, some sad and unexpected, have been replaced with new opportunities.
Through my journey I have encountered many amazing people, places, organizations that I otherwise would not have ever come across. So many compassionate people, dedicating their life to helping others and sharing their stories. I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in the next five years. If we have faith, anything is possible!