~Happy Through Loss~
A story of loss that a friend offered to share with us...
••• This precious friend has since furthered her education with a Psychology degree and has been a big help to the development of Happy Anyway. Thank you, Mary Anna Wiggins of Savannah, GA for sharing how you were able to walk through a devastating time, happy anyway only through God's grace and help in time of need. •••
When I heard the news that my brother died at the young age of 25 I fell to the floor and cried like Ive never cried before. Not only was I completely alone at the time when I heard, I was also newly married living in a completely new state with no family or friends and my husband had just flown across the country for training. He’s in the military.
Once I finally got myself off of the floor, I immediately turned on Christian music. I needed something that I could never give myself. I played the song "I exalt thee" by Christian Culture the entire day and all through the night. The next morning, I picked up my husband from the airport after his emergency flight home. When I look back at the time and during the funeral viewing, service, and burial, I can say that I had a peace and joy that I have never felt before. It's certainly not something you can get here from earth. It comes from above. Some people may think this is wrong but we were able to laugh and smile and have true joy during that time. Yes, of course there were times we cried and fell apart, but God gave us this unshakeable peace that never left. When you surrender to God, you experience relief and rest like you've never felt before. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is time for everything- a time to grieve and a time to be happy.
Mary Anny Wiggins
Happy simply means to enjoy your joy. Another friend of mine who learned how to be happy through loss described it to me this way. She would say that there were times she needed to go "in the box" and then there would be times she would say it's time to come "out of the box" so "let's go do something fun." Grief counselors will tell you that there is a process. That process includes times "in the box" grieving and processing the loss but you gotta get "out of the box" and step away from it to enjoy your joy in the midst of it at least a little. This by no means having a cheesy grin on your face necessarily. And there is no right or wrong way to experience loss.
Lastly, loss is loss. There are all different kinds of loss and Dr. Phil's writings about this are actually my favorite. He talks of how there are all different types of loss and we all experience them differently. You can lose your wallet, your house, your mind, your spouse, child, parent, friend, your job, your entire career, your limb, your ovaries, your "all of the above" and there is no time frame or specific way that loss is suppose to look. It's YOUR loss and it's YOUR victory YOU are walking out. Just, keep walking. Sit and rest as needed. But get back up and keep walking.
In those moments where you can hardly breathe due to the depths of the pain of loss, not even sure you want to, dig a little deeper into the joy from above and decide to enjoy that joy. It may look like a tear rolling down your cheek. It may look like a smile. It may look like a choice to simply keep living. It may look like a phone call, a walk in your back yard, or the will to go from your bed to the couch snuggling with your favorite throw.
Whatever it looks like, use the below scripture to help you enjoy your joy and be happy anyway! Your Heavenly Father provided a way through His Son for you to. The world needs you to. There really is life on the other side of life if you so choose to live it.
My deepest sympathy and highest prayers are with each who read this and are struggling through any type of loss, wether through divorce, death, relational ruin, financial, mental, health, or whatever it is. Seek and you WILL find the peace and joy you are desperately searching for. The knawing ache can be healed.
You CAN be happy ANYWAY.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—”
II Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4 ASV
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 ASV
“O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:55 ASV