#death #Disease #Divorce – they leave us with painful memories of traumatic moments. Yet, we must find a way to grab life by the horns and keep living, not merely existing but truly living.
Words to live by: Remember…. But do not forget to keep moving forward. Or as my husband will say, “It is OK to be where you are, but it is NOT OK to stay there.”
In the movie News of the World, Tom Hanks says to the little girl: “It does you no good to go back to the past; keep moving forward.” She replies, “Sometimes you have to remember in order to move forward.”
In a couple of days, it will be the 3rd anniversary of my first husband’s death. I find myself unwillingly reliving the anxiety of that tragic and traumatic night. My sleep is consumed with dreams of death in general. I work hard at not remembering and not thinking about that night, yet my subconscious finds ways to take me back there. I know this, it is not easy to forget; I work hard daily at ‘not remembering’ the final images embedded in my brain, the moment of truth, the moment when my world was brought to a screeching halt for just a few moments; then it started to spin nauseatingly out of control.
For the first 6 months, reality was too painful to accept; so, while my head tried to forget my heart just would not catch up with reality. Then, the painful reality of loss hit me and grief that I can only describe as a deep, dark hole consumed me. I still fought back, hard. In those first 2 years, I ploughed through life with desperation – I had to survive! My girls and I were going to make it through.
Remembering was not an option because it weakened my resolve to fight; however, forgetting was not an option either because my subconscious would not let me. I buried myself in work trying to keep my mind from going places I did not want it to go. Several times in those 2 years I hit a hard, unyielding wall and crumbled like a cookie. I yielded to grief, but only for a short season. Then, I dusted the crumbs off, put on a straight face and decided it was time to fight again. This process was exhausting, and I needed a breakthrough.
One fine morning a year ago, I decided to fight a different kind of fight. Not the fight to forget but the fight to find Joy. I understood well that we were never made to be in a prolonged state of sadness, but we were meant to be vibrant reminders of God’s faithfulness. The scriptures state, “Weeping will last for the night, but Joy comes in the morning.” I decided to seize the ‘morning’ and to pursue ‘JOY’. That was the birth of our new ministry “Joy Comes in the Morning!”
Much has changed in this last year – a year filled with remembering and moving forward.
Transitioning from one state of life (widowhood from my first marriage) to marriage again; this required me to work hard at forgetting. It required me to not look back but to learn to embrace the present and dream of the future. Yet, for me to do that successfully required me to ‘remember’ and then make a conscious decision to move forward. My most recent act of remembering was an entire day of going through photographs, cataloging them so my daughters and I would some day be able to go through them and remember. Those pictures right now represent pain, but someday they will represent memories and stories to be shared with spouses, children, and grandchildren. I had to ‘remember’ so that I could continue to move forward.
On days like this memories flood my mind. Memories of intensely painful moments surrounding the loss sear my heart. Yes, I will remember; but I will keep moving forward. My life is a story of victory! It is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in the storms. It is a reminder that even though you feel alone and abandoned in your darkest hour, God has never left your side. It is a promise of tomorrow.
If you are in this journey of pain and grief, remember to make a decision to move forward. Remember the past as a means to your healing; but embrace the present with its promise of tomorrow.
When you lose hope remember this:
THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN BECAUSE THE SON NEVER STOPPED SHINING ON YOU.
I pray that you will remember: JOY Comes in the Morning! A very Good Morning to you.
Cynthia Waits (Mascarenhas) is the Founder of Walk with a Widow, a ministry to widows worldwide; You can also find us on the web. Walk with a Widow Group is a support group on Facebook, serving almost 500 widows from over 13 countries around the world.
Cynthia and her husband David Waits, are subject matter experts for Joy Comes in the Morning #Death #Disease #Divorce, which can be found on Facebook. We hope to help you in your journey of finding Joy after a season of despair. Joy Comes in the Morning!