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Learning to live again...

A person in their thirties shouldn't need to learn to live again but that is exactly the position I find myself in. Death is brutal. I know we have hope in heaven. I know my husband is no longer in pain. I know that this earth is not our home. I know all of that. But when someone so intimately close to you dies, it is the most painful-heartbreaking-life-changing-intensely-brutal-thing. I am very transparent with the pain because I think a lot of times, especially in church, we put on this mask and this facade. We say all of the right words. We proclaim all of the right things. But inside of us, we are dealing with battles we don't want anyone to know about. The right things to say about death are "I know he is in a better place." "God is seeing me through."I trust in God no matter what happens." And while all of those are absolutely true, the truth is one and a half years past my husband's death and there are still days where the pain is still fresh. There are still nights I find myself on the floor crying so intensely because my husband isn't here. And I feel like it would be a lie for me to just share all the right words but not to share the heartbreak I am also experiencing.

But in the midst of the pain, I am learning how to live again. I am learning how to live a life I never planned on having. I am learning how to live as a widow and not as a wife. I am learning how to live as an only parent and not a co-parent. I am learning how to do things I never thought I would have to do alone. Learning to live again is not easy. It's emotional. I wish I didn't have to learn to live again. I wish my husband never died. But he did. And so I have to learn to live again. The smiles in the pictures I share are genuine. But they only tell a part of the story. They don't convey the tears that fall while we are living and making memories as a family of three because the person who made us a family of 4 is no longer with us. We are learning to live, but for the rest of our lives we will miss the person who made us a family of four. While we are living, we are wishing that he was there with us. While we are living and smiling and laughing our hearts are still hurting because the person who made us a complete family isn't here to smile and laugh with us.

But we are learning to live. We are learning to enjoy life. We are learning to smile again. We are learning to hope again. In being transparent and sharing what our life is like past death and learning to live again looks like, I want people to see that sadness is not an enemy of happiness. I hope they will see that tears are not an enemy of joy. I hope they will see that heartbreak is not an enemy of hope. It is okay to cry. It is okay to acknowledge that the pain is intense. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to admit that one's heart is still hurting. Smiles don't mean an absence of pain and it is okay to smile while hurting. We are living but still hurting. We are living but at times not feeling okay. We are living but still mourning. We are living but still experiencing days of sorrow. 

But most of all, I hope that people will see God's light shining through us. I want people to see that God gives us the strength. I want them to see that God restores the joy. I want them to see that God fills us with hope. I want them to see that God comforts us.  In our most difficult times, it is easy to pull away from God, but I hope that people can see that when you cling to God, like we are, He will give you the strength to make it through each and every day.


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