A Laundry List of Life Changing Events
My name is
All in one year, I was faced with a laundry list of life-changing challenges; my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, my marriage was failing, my father had a heart attack due to the stress of my mom’s illness, I had conflict in my job and began interviewing for a new position, we were in immense debt despite my working 3 jobs. Then my husband moved out and my mother died.
I assisted my Dad with all the funeral arrangements and helped him clear out her things, all within my 5 allotted bereavement days. Three days later I had scheduled surgery. My children were just 4 and 8 at the time. Yep, it was a tough year…
I had always been seen as a strong woman. It was a source of pride, a badge of honour, that I could “do all things and be all things”. Problem was? I didn’t want to be. Not anymore. I was tired of the strength people now expected of me. I wanted to be taken care of.
But unfortunately, there was no one in my life that seemed capable of doing so. In my weakest moments, at my mother’s funeral, still my Dad’s words were, “be strong“. I wanted desperately to be allowed to show my weakness, my grief. But it wasn’t an acceptable trait coming from me…
Through the demise of my marriage, I willingly took on counselling through a relative and her friend. One night, during a session, these two Christian women asked me if I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I said yes. Despite not having any biblical training past grade 1 “religion” in public school, I had always believed in God. But truly, I didn’t know the change I had just made in my life.
The fallout of the prior year’s changes continued; my father was absent most of the next year as he dealt with his grief, my husband and I could not reconcile and our conflict continued.
As I waited to change jobs, one day, my co–worker said to me, “Jenn, you can’t do this alone. Go home tonight and lay on your bed. Open your hands and ask God for his help”. I was stunned. I will forever remember that moment. It seemed so simple. So I did it.
And God started sending me people; people who allowed my weakness, who talked and listened. Each person different from the other but all playing such a significant role through my “dark days”. And then, I met the girl who would bring me to The Embassy, our church.
It wasn’t a fast transition. God is truly patient. But finally, I found the one person who could truly accept my weakness. God could and would carry me when I felt I had nothing left.
I had always been a glass half full, positive girl. I always tried to see the best of things and people. But somewhere, life became very hard and filled with struggle. I was exhausted, but not any longer!
Through my faith, I found such peace, such… quiet. Yes, I am still a strong woman. But I finally found a balance; an acceptance I had not experienced before. I can be strong and weak, through God.