Happy June 1st, loves! My friend, Stacey, who actually helped me with some of the copy-write on my website, is sharing today about her experience with loss.
I am so thankful for her friendship and love what she shares below about reaching out to friends with consistent encouragement... and, I know that to be so true of her, as I've been the blessed recipient of these messages.
Have any of you done something similar? Please share in the comments so we can all think of ways to love others well!
Stacey- you're pure joy, thanks for sharing, sweet friend!
Share where you currently live:
Winter Springs, FL
Share where you grew up:
Winter Springs, FL
Share about your family/your job/living situation:
My family is everything. I have recently become an aunt for the first time and my brother and sister-in-law have asked me to be the godmother! My full-time job is in higher education, more specifically, communications & events.
Share your favorite book and/or podcast:
Book- Present over Perfect by: Shauna Niequist
Podcasts - Creative Empire & Strategy Hour
Share your favorite quote and/or Bible verse:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” Romans 12:12
Share your favorite beverage:
Water & margaritas
Share one of the biggest losses you’ve experienced:
During the two years I was teaching high school English, three of my students passed away. My academic background is not in education and thus, I wasn’t as prepared as most who enter the classroom. To this day, the hardest thing I have ever had to do was look a mother in the eye after losing her child.
Share some of the choices that have been most helpful in continuing to move you forward and supporting you while you are healing:
The obvious thing to do after experiencing great loss would be to remove yourself from similar situations. I have yet to do anything within what society deems “normal.” After leaving my teaching job I continued to work with high school students but in a ministry context. One of my greatest passions lies within encouraging the next generation. I am drawn to youth because they are the ones who will continue to make the changes I cannot. Building a relationship with my high school friends and then earning the privilege to share with them my faith has been healing and rewarding.
Share some ways you have tried to incorporate laughter and fun in the midst of the hurt:
Community. There is something unexplainable that happens when you surround yourself with a loving community. You learn how to be raw and vulnerable even when you don’t want to be. Also, my core group of friends share in my love for Disney World and thus living in Orlando has its perks!
Share how this experience has been instrumental in leading you to where you are today:
I have come to realize, now more than ever, life is precious and we have but a fleeting moment with the ones we love. Every day I text an old or new friend just to remind them how incredible they are. To quote someone far wiser than I, “Live life through a lens of gratitude, and you’ll never be dissatisfied.”
Share any tips/advice/love for others who have gone through something similar:
Loss is inevitable and it’s hard to understand the why. To quote Jen Hatmaker, “God gave us an amazing tool to mitigate sorrow and seize joy by the collar: gratitude. It is a crazy effective trick.” Most days I write one or two things in my gratitude journal. Some days are better than others, but being a paper lover, I try and write at least one thing I am grateful for. At the end of the year I take some time to read through the journal and reflect on how incredibly blessed I am.