Thursday, June 29, 2017

Surviving the Worst of the Worst




Six years ago, my days went dark. I lost the love of my life, the father of my children. I thought I was going to die, too. I thought to myself “maybe this is how it feels when the world ends”.

Overwhelmed with confusion, deep sadness, anger, I turned numb.

It felt like someone just dropped off a huge brick on me, I knew it happened, it hit my head but I couldn’t feel the pain. I could hardly breathe. I couldn’t think straight. I was covered in black cloud, all of me. I could see nothing but the worst of the worst. I saw it when my eyes opened, when my eyes closed.

No ground to stand on, nothing to hold on to. I felt abandoned, abandoned by the One who says that He loves me the most. With little to no faith, I gathered the courage to ask Him “why?” With a bit of an attitude, I looked up to the sky and said “what now?” Never in my wildest dream, I would’ve imagined taking this route. The thought of walking alone in the journey of dynamic duo crushed me. I wanted to run away but I needed to stay for our children.

When life is heavy and hard to take, 
Go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions. 
Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. 
The “worst” is never the worst. ‭‭
Lamentations‬ ‭3:28-30‬ ‭MSG‬‬

The idea of asking questions, demanding answers, and running from trouble sounded good. How did I survive the worst of the worst?

Despite of my disappointments, I knew deep down that I had no other way but to run back to the One who says He loves me the most. I chose to hand Him all of my questions, my doubts, my sorrow, my pain, my fear. Some days, I came with nothing but tears. The pain, too much to bear, too much to be uttered. I did not even know what to feel and where to begin. Some days, I came with all kinds of emotions mixed together. And I discovered that He never turned His back on me. He was there listening, collecting my tears, containing my emotion and lavishing His love on me, the angry & doubtful daughter.

His gentle love captured my heart to see that the worst was never the worst. His gentle love re-shifted my focus from the worst to the One who’s always there all along, the beginning and the end.

I waited for hope to appear.




Six years ago, I chose to hold on the One who says that He loves me the most. That’s how I survived the worst of the worst. Six years later, by the grace of God, I am breathing and stronger than before. God who loves comes through every single time. God who does what He says fathers my fatherless children. God who is close to the brokenhearted becomes the confidant of this woman, this widow, this single mom.


You’re Gonna be OK
written by Jenn Johnson, Seth Mosley, Jeremy Riddle

I know it’s all you’ve got to just be strong
And it’s a fight just to keep it together
I know you think that you are too far gone
But hope is never lost
Hope is never lost

Hold on, don’t let go

Just take one step closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You’ll get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You’re gonna be ok

I know your heart is heavy from those nights
But just remember that you are a fighter
You never know just what tomorrow holds
And you’re stronger than you know
You’re stronger than you know

Hold on, don’t let go

And when the night is closing in
Don’t give up and don’t give in
This won’t last, it’s not the end
It’s not the end
You’re gonna be ok




Friends, you may be going through what you think the worst of the worst and I do wish to sit next to you to offer a shoulder, listen to your story and lend you my hope. But since there’s a distance between us, I pray and trust my Father to wrap His arms around you, to give you the strength and to help you believe that you are stronger than you know.


For His Glory,
Felecia

PS: If you ever need a friend to share tears with. I'll be here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ouch, It Hurts!



Tears started to fill up my eyes as I was caught on guard that morning. Flooded with emotions, my heart and hands started to shake. I was not at the gravesite; instead I was listening to a sermon surrounded by the people who love me on one beautiful Sunday morning. It was such a powerful sermon, while I actively nodded and shouted Amen once in a while, suddenly a simple illustration was brought up and stung my heart like a bee! It has been a while since the pain was awakened.

Ouch, it hurts!

The big hole was being exposed again. It was now out in the open. The memory, disappointments, questions, worries suddenly resurfaced. The "why?" appeared in a vision again. And I was back to square one again with that bitter feeling, nobody ever wanted to taste. Trying to wipe clean my smudging mascara while catching a breath surely was not the easiest thing to do. Slowly, the shaking heart calmed down and I was able to breathe again. Maybe some people wondered in their hearts “What just happened to her?”

Ouch, it hurts!

::

“You will lose someone you can’t live without and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ― Anne Lamott

::

Friends, for people like us, who have gone through grief and survived, it is totally normal to suddenly feel like being hit on the head with a brick, through simple things, such as a casual statement made by a new acquaintance you just met at a dinner party, a movie scene even after you have read the synopsis thoroughly, a song lyric that has been sung over and over again, a lovely and delightful event that you’re invited in, small things that seem to be normal can easily awaken the pain.

Wouldn’t be perfect if people could read our hearts or maybe we could send a warning message through the social media, telling the world around us to grief-proof their lives tailored to each pain we carry? But the reality is we cannot control what is posted and planned out there, we cannot control other people’s lives. They have all the rights to live lives to the fullest, just like us.

::

So, what to do when it hurts? Let me share three things that have helped me to pull myself together when the pain is unbearable.

1. Choose to remember
With a deep breath, I would remind myself that I have a Father in Heaven who is currently looking down at me and says “I know what’s going on”. In a heartbeat, I would say to myself that He who has carried me through would continue to do so for as long as I live. I choose to remember that I am remembered, not forsaken or forgotten.

2. Choose to focus on the gifts beyond the pain
Some people approached me not long after the death of my husband and gently said “There is a gift behind your sorrow”. After a while I understood and was able to see the gifts with my clear conscience. When something came up and stung my heart, I would shift my focus to all the gifts that I have received along the journey. Of course, there will be some adjustment to my dream in the future but the gifts make it all worth it.

3. Choose hope
My heart could be broken again but I would try to get my hope up as soon as possible. God who has done it before will do it again for me and I know that my hope in God will not disappoint. I would choose to shake of the small disappointment and believe again.

::

As someone who has been going through the valley of the shadow of death, I fully realize that anything could come up anytime, anywhere, and easily bring back the pain. The best way to face it is to make those three choices and place them around my fragile heart like a soft bouncy cushion. For friends who are going through the journey of grieving & healing, please hang in there when it hurts, never take things personally, soon you’ll gather yourself and continue the journey stronger than ever. Dancing with the limp is beautiful after all.





You are not alone~


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

When in Doubt




Last night, out of my desperation, I told God "Do You really listen to my prayer?"

In the past two weeks there is a particular prayer that I have been waiting for an answer. Every morning, I prayed boldly, believing that today is going to be the day. Every night, I prayed boldly again, believing that tonight God is working and the answer will be delivered the next day. It's been going on for two weeks. The kids and the big family are all involved, praying for one breakthrough. And honestly, there were nights when my mind wandered thinking about all the what ifs and doubt started talking louder.

I felt so bad, doubting God, yet I knew that He honors my honesty.

After asking that silly question, I tucked my kids in bed and I asked my daughter to pray for one more time with that specific request.

As I was about to step out of their room, I grabbed a purse that I haven't touched for a month to look for something and there I found something different. I found an empty water bottle. My jaw dropped! My daughter shouted "That's the answer to our prayer, mommy!"

My son has requested me to find an empty 330ml water bottle for his school project since a few days ago. That day, before I left my office, my son called to remind me to bring an empty bottle (we don't normally stock on 330ml bottle at home, but the office does), yet when I got home I realized that I totally forgot to grab a bottle! (please forgive me, son!). Before bed, I told him that I will grab the bottle from the office before school time tomorrow.

But there it was, in the middle of my doubt, the much-needed-empty bottle suddenly appeared.

I knew it was God who set it up. Before I was able to compose words, He whispered 
"I am here, my child, 
listening to every prayer you lift up, 
and ready to give you the answer 
at the right time & right place".




I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD 
in the land of the living! 
Wait for the LORD; be strong, 
and let your heart take courage; 
wait for the LORD! 
Psalms 27:13-14 

Friends, we might share the same story. You and I might be in a time of waiting for one answer. Let's trust Him once again. Let's trust His perfect timing because He will never fail us. The answer of your prayer is it's way.


"If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord's people have always been a waiting people" - Charles Spurgeon

 
For His Glory


Blogging tips