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How Do I Go On?

How Do I Go On?

Her cute pixie haircut and shining dark eyes hid the pain well, so her question surprised me. “How do I grieve with my child? I don’t know if I should share what I feel or if I should protect her from it.”

An unwanted divorce had changed the landscape of her life, requiring a new state, home, and job. However, due to their lengthy trial separation, the upheaval was almost routine for the three-year-old involved. But not to the young mom seated on my sofa. Romantic ideals trampled, she struggled to embrace single parenting.

The transition hadn’t been easy for me either. In fact, at one point, I told my mom I could only handle thinking about it three months at a time. Widowed young, with two small boys, long lonely nights passed slowly.

But the question wasn’t about how I processed my pain. It was about how I balanced grief and motherhood. So as I thought about how my boys and I overcame, I remembered a few things.

  • Whenever possible, I credited God for meeting our needs.

When men from our church came to replace our aging back door or to build shelves in our garage, I explained to my boys, “Jesus is our daddy now. And He’s using his helpers on earth to take care of us.”

Knowing it would be easy to blame God for our pain and loss, I determined to set our minds on how the Great Shepherd intervened on our behalf instead.

  • I facilitated fun even if I couldn’t participate.

I often needed time to process my thoughts while my wiggly, young boys needed movement. So, we spent hours at parks or indoor fast food playgrounds so they could run unencumbered while I poured my hurt into a journal. Arranging fun was important to counter the heaviness I carried.

  • I assured them that God turns tears into rainbows.

As trite as that may sound, one of the most amazing moments occurred after a night of weeping. Afraid my boys had heard my deep sobs, I spoke candidly on our way to school, “Mommy had a sad night last night. I cried more than normal. But I want you to know that just like it takes water and sun to make a rainbow, God loves to shine His light and love into our tears and do the same.”

I didn’t know if they understood until later that afternoon when my oldest son came running into the house, “Mommy, come. It’s your rainbow. God put a rainbow right above our home for you.”

Sure enough, on a clear, blue-sky day, a tiny rainbow reflected in a sparse cloud.

The more I leaned into God’s faithfulness, the more faithful He showed himself. And that faithfulness got us through. One day. One sorrow. One victory at a time.

By: Susan Schreer Davis lives with her husband, their cat named, Eggs, and the challenging effects of mitochondrial disease. She likes wispy curtains that hang to the floor and life with toilets scrubbed clean. Learn more about Susan, her new book, and her music at www.coffeefaithandchronicdisease.blogspot.org.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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