It Won’t Always Be Like This

Nathalie MichelleSelf-Help6 Comments

Are you in the midst of a storm season that has you grasping for any sense of normalcy? Have you just come through a chapter of unpredictability and disruption? Perhaps you are walking with someone who has had the rug pulled out from under them and you don’t know what to say or do? I’ve been there. I can relate and you are not alone. I need you to understand that it won’t always be like this. It won’t happen overnight, but gradually and steadily, you’ll look up one day and the raw, throbbing, torment of pain would have ebbed into a dull ache that you notice only sometimes.

Does it ever totally go away? I’ll be honest with you, in my experience, I’d have to say no. However, although the evidence of your interruption remains, your response to it is what changes. There are days and periods of time where I don’t live in the shadow of the hurt and anguish that entered my world that January night in 2009; the sun is shining and all I see are puppies and rainbows. Then, there are brief snippets of space where it comes rushing back; triggered by someone else’s loss, a broken relationship, or a special anniversary. You can’t control it, but you’ll learn to thrive in spite of it.

I promise you, it won’t be like this always.

Everyone experiences a season of disruption differently. Don’t compare your reaction to someone else’s. Give yourself time- be patient with your response and allow all aspects of your journey to play out; you can’t avoid it, so submit to all of your feelings and emotions. Are you angry? It’s ok. Still crying? Understandable. Stunned into silence. Been there. Full of questions? Not a surprise. Enraged at God? I was too. Afraid of the depths of your emotions? I get it. Want to be alone? No problem. There is no cookie-cutter response to discomfort. There is no 5 step “cure.” The only way past this is through, so give yourself grace, but don’t try to avoid it.

I want to encourage you. I’m standing today on the other side of something that I was sure I’d never recover from. However, I did and you will too, in His time and at your own pace. What happened has changed you forever; you might not understand exactly who you are or what to do right now, and that’s ok. Take it one step at a time and remember you don’t owe anyone an explanation or rushed recovery. These are things I wished I had realized as I walked through my painful disruption. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself or whomever you’re supporting.

Tragic triumph. Painful strength. Newlywed widow. Some words just weren’t meant to go together. Oxymoronic in nature, they stand out as an anomaly. The brutal pairing grabs your attention, and you can’t look away. So much can change in an instant. All it takes is one phone call, text, or in my case, voice message, and life as you know it ceases to make sense. It’s been almost a decade since my life took a turn that set into motion a course of events I never could have predicted. Just as quickly as I said, “I do,” I found myself saying, “I don’t… As in, “I don’t understand what is happening. I don’t like this. I don’t want to say goodbye.” I planned my life ever so meticulously; I never left room for tragedy and painful life disruptions. Who does?

You Can’t Choose Your Story, But You Can Choose Your Response

I never wanted to be known as the woman with the sad story. I didn’t desire an identity wrapped up in my painful past. It took me years to finally grasp that my first husband’s death was multifaceted; it would launch me into another level of living with no fear, now that the worst had happened. I stopped being afraid. I wasn’t afraid to lose anymore. I couldn’t see it then, but today, I can now see that the road to purpose had to intersect with the avenue of despair and brokenness. No one envisions a painful path, but it is often through this rift from happiness, that you eventually encounter fulfilling aspirations and a platform that elevates and transforms both yourself and others. Quite simply, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I would not appreciate love and covenant the way I do now. I would not know what faith in action looks like. I would not be able to relate to others’ facing similar circumstances. My life doesn’t look anything like my original plan, but then again, I’ve begun to see that’s not always a bad thing.

If you can’t see that right now, it’s ok. If you’ve caught glimpses, I hope this aids you in finding clarity. No matter what, please know that there is someone rooting for your success and restoration.

I promise you, it won’t be like this always.

6 Comments on “It Won’t Always Be Like This”

  1. This is so timely!
    I needed to hear this. I needed to hear that it is “Ok”… to feel and emote and express my feelings, even if/when they lean towards negative. I am currently in a place where I’m navigating and learning to acknowledge the reality of the disappointments I’ve experienced without living there. The familiarity alone makes it tempting to make my bed in those painful pockets. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the first to be in this place and that I won’t be the last. Thank you so much, Nathalie, for your transparency and openness. Keep going!

    1. I’m so glad you were able to get something from my post. My aim is to be as transparent as possible, it’s not always pretty, but it is real. Please continue to take courage that you will not always remain in this place. I believe our “painful pockets” help us treasure the joyous junctures that we will eventually encounter. You’re in a tough spot right now, but you don’t live there; you’re just passing through. Learn from it what you can, and remain convinced, that you are NOT alone.

  2. This was encouraging to me today. A wife doesn’t think about losing her husband…too busy, caught up in life/the moment. Then it happens! I work hard at re-creating my life…being active…being happy…having new adventures. Ten years pass and then we find one another, share our families and call all the kids “ours.” We choose “our” home and relocate. For 11 years we share so many wonderful times together…and then it happens again. He has a major stroke, is in Neuro ICU for 6 weeks…I never leave his side except to get a bite to eat…and then he’s gone TOO. Widowed at 48 and again at 69…my “bounce back” energy seems to be gone this time. I just feel old, tired, can’t find passion for interests I’ve had in the past. The sun comes up, the sun goes down…day, night. It frightens me because I regret all the days I’m wasting…and yet I can’t seem to change that. I do ask God to help me…in fact I have all kinds of conversations with Him all day. I love you and I love your honesty. Thank you friend. I continue to pray for both of us.

    1. First off, thank you for your transparent comment. I extend my deepest sympathy to you on your loss. I can’t imagine what you are facing, but I’m in awe of the fact that you still show up. You are formidable and stronger than you think. You tried again; something others wouldn’t even think to do and you dared to love and trust again-an example to us all. The same Source of your energy, hope, and faith is the same One who will give you what you need for this unexpected chapter. I pray that your hope is renewed and your joy is restored as you rediscover all sides of who you are now. Continue seeking Him as you have, and I know that He will make your path clear, even if none of it makes sense today. I believe that He can use even this painful life interruption to provide you with new joy, courage, and a will to thrive. Thank you for allowing me to take this journey with you. You are NOT alone. There is still something in it for you and He will continue to write your life story. In Christ’s love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *