One lesson I have had confirmed this past year is that loss is a part of life. A year ago this week my heart was deeply saddened when my dear friend Tammy's mom left this earth, heavenbound. A few days later I celebrated what was to be the last birthday of another sweet friend; Debbie went home to Glory in January.
Add my tragedy and 3 is company. Yet loss continues to strike my friends, random folks in the news, someone somewhere nearly every day.
And that was no different in Biblical times. Just read Genesis and you will see story after story of death and loss. Even Jesus was not immune, weeping over His friend Lazarus. I love that God included this in the Bible because it justifies our own pain and tears in our grief.
Still our society - and sad to say even many in the church - prefer to sweep grief under the rug, to not deal with it, to not entertain it too long for fear it will happen to them.
And those of us who death has struck like a thief in the night are left with a choice. Do we run the way of society? Or do we put on our big girl and big boy pants and confront our loss head on?
Yes, we all own a pair of these pants. So just humor me and imagine me saying that phrase in my most Southern charm. My friends who know me well have heard it time and time again.
I have to put mine on when I face situations or circumstances where I would rather just tuck my tail between my legs and hide. So a couple of days after I lost my love I made a choice to put on my big girl pants and deal with it. I told myself and God that I was 30 years old and I could not let Tony's death, no matter the unrelenting pain, destroy my life. For if I were to live the average life span I was only a third of the way through.
And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt Tony would want me to make that same decision too.
And so these big girl pants have helped me through 6 months of a very hard, long journey, and I know that is just the beginning. Just last week I was so proud of myself for spending my first night alone after Tony's accident. It seems like such a small step, but to me it was a giant leap.
I take no credit for my ability to deal with hard things. It is my God who enables me to put my big girl pants on. He prompts me, He sends wise counsel to nudge me, and in times when I just can't put them on, He gives me comfort and assurance that I can trust Him.
So for those of you facing hard roads, facing tough decisions, I in no way mean to diminish your feelings or circumstances. Yet, I do have one bit of encouragement...
Put on your big girl (or boy) pants and deal with it. You will become all the stronger when you do.
Dearly loved, sporting my big girl pants,