Not too long ago a friend asked if I could help her look at her recent loss (through burglary) a bit differently. She was calling me because she knew that the year previous I had just experienced the loss of our home and personal belongings in a fire. She saw me overcome that trauma and she wanted to know how I did it. Now, by no means am I saying that I wrote the book on overcoming a traumatic event . . . because I would not. However, when you lose the entire interior or your home and 90% of your belongings, and have three little children, you develop ways to help you move on, grow and heal. And by the grace of God that is what I did, so my friend called me to help her through her a similar loss.
Here is what I told her:
Try to see God’s view. I sometimes call this the “what if” game. What if God was teaching me a lesson in this? What if, God knew that this fire would have to happen to further his plan for me? What if, this fire must have happened in order to share our story and save someone’s life? (The cause of our fire was human error.) Trying to determine God’s view, knowing he is good, loving and supportive, how could a challenge we currently experience be a part of God’s plan for us? Looking back, two years after our fire, I see at least part of God’s plan. Our family is stronger. We purposefully live with less. We are über-conscious of burners/candles/electronics being left on now. We also learned why it is important to ask for and accept help from others . . . as well as continue to help others. I told my friend, what if this was to happen for the good or betterment of you? Try to see God’s view! As painful, stressful and devastating as our loss was, we always believed we would be able to look back and know we got through it!
What are you facing in your life that may not make any sense currently? If you saw what God saw, might it change your outlook?
How do you deal with the job you do NOT get? The financial strain you did not see coming? The real estate closing that did NOT go through? The medical tests that came back showing illness? The relationship that did not work out? The special needs you did not anticipate, of your child? Do you automatically see the challenge through human eyes? Or do you believe that God knows what He is doing and continues to have you in the palm of his hand?
I will never forget standing in front of our home, now ruined and condemned by the city, crying. I stared at that orange sticker on our front door, the door that was once a warm welcome to friends and family, now bearing a bright sign that no one was welcome anymore . . . not even us. This sticker was nothing but a visual reminder to all that our home as we knew it was gone. Indefinitely. I did not know where we would sleep that night or the next. I did not know where my kids would come ‘home’ from school to do their homework, and I certainly did not know how greatly my family would be affected in the months to come, but I knew one thing.
God never leaves us, even during tragedy and loss. He uses loss for good, somehow, someway and in his perfect timing, which we may or may not fully understand.
I cannot say for certain that my friend felt better immediately. However, just like me, like any of us, if we could change our perspective even if just for a moment, and see this temporary devastation or disappointment as part of His plan, maybe it would strengthen our faith and thus allow us to continue to be the person God wants us to be, especially when life is not perfect.
Copyright 2017 Meg Bucaro