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When Hope and Grit Collide

Posted: May 8, 2017

Hope gets us up in the morning. We can get through the rough stuff when we believe that something good is going to happen. But sometimes, out of the blue, grit shows up and stops us dead in our tracks. It may be a call from your Doctor’s office, an accident, divorce, bankruptcy, death or other bad news that changes everything and time stands still. That is what happened to me three months ago.

Grit showed up in the way of a panic attack. I’ve only had two panic attacks (after the death of my first husband) so I was familiar with the sensations and breathing my way out of it. But it was a panic attack that would not stop and days later I was diagnosed with PTSD. I knew Jack’s (my second husband) death was traumatic and I thought I was dealing with that deep pain during the long winter months alone in my large house. But I found that that if grief and trauma are not dealt with fully, our subconscious takes over and shuts us down until the healing process is completed.

So how do stay hopeful when hope and grit collide?

  1. Tell yourself: “Today I have a choice. I can get discouraged and lose hope, or keep my peace and know that God is in control. Things may not be perfect where I am, but if I am going to be happy in the future, I need to accept where I’m today.”
  2. Let trusted friends guide you to find professional help, and listen to them when they tell you that exercise is vital for recovery.
  3. Remind yourself: “This situation is temporary, and spring is coming.” In the same way that seeds are dormant in the ground during the winter season, those seeds will sprout new life in the spring. Hang onto this solid spiritual and physical law.
  4. Ask your friends and family to help. I am so grateful for my sister and her husband who took me in and looked after me for an extended time. Then my loving children took turns for a week at a time. First came my daughter Michelle, then Janice and right on her heels came my son Donovan to cook for me, drive me around and shower me with love.
  5. Ask everyone you know to pray for you.
  6. Remove all stress. Take time to immerse yourself in God’s promises. If you are too heartbroken or have brain fog and find it difficult to read, listen to encouraging messages on your phone or i-Pad.

The last three months have been the grittiest and hardest in my life. It almost broke my heart when I had to cancel all my speaking engagements and my trip to the Ukraine with Margaret Gibb and her team. Yet I knew I had to do this in order to heal and move forward. I had to accept and believe that God is directing my steps and my future, and that God does not allow difficulty in my life unless He has a purpose for it.

I smile as friends tell me my eyes are starting to sparkle again. I can feel the healing and my winter is turning into spring, just in time to see the landscape blossoming all around me. I’ve almost made it through the grit and my hope is fully alive. I am watching and waiting as God unfolds my glorious future and works all things out for good.




Posted in: alone, community, death, Families, friends, grief, grit, happy, Hope, Kindness, panic attacks, trauma, trust

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