Life After Loss: “Hope?” ..or is it “Hope!”?

fallen-angelI had mentioned a few weeks back how a friend of mine had lost their Mother abruptly. I reached out to them after class last night to check in and they had slammed home, finally feeling their loss, where they had been in denial the weeks before.

One of the things my friend kept asking me about was hope and hopelessness. Ironically, or as a twist of Grace, it was the topic we had unpacked last night in class.

So, to my friend, I dedicate this article to you. I promise. “Hope?” will turn to “Hope!”. Yes, we will always carry our losses and scars in our hearts, but life moves on, and you will find your light again.

This song was played in my church around the time I really started falling apart, and it broke me; and continues to break me. But today, it’s good tears. A reminder that, from the ashes, I’m making something beautiful from all the broken pieces.

“You can rise up from the ashes
Make something beautiful of all the broken pieces
And I’m believing you’ll come running
Into the arms of Jesus”

I really had to go back and unpack where I was when this all went down for me. Like my friend, I had a relative peace early on. My own best friend even commented to me about 2 weeks later that I seemed “at peace” with everything that happened. Sadly, that’s short lived for those of us who suffer through grief.

But I digress.. I do that sometimes.

Last night I went and did an inventory of the things that are motivating me currently. Broken into three general categories (Routines, People, Responsibilities), I realized it was a woefully small list. But, today it is a list of things that bring me joy, pride, and a will to see them through to their next level.

People: My children
Responsibilities: My job, Fatherhood, Survival, Ministry
Routines: Fitness

Just as the sun and the moon wax and wane across the sky, there will always be a new sunrise after the sun has set in a season of your life.

Just as the sun and the moon wax and wane across the sky, there will always be a new sunrise after the sun has set in a season of your life.

If I back up to a point relatively recent in my life, that list had nothing in it. Even “Survival” was subject to debate. I remembered driving in my car, eyes just glazed over, instinctively turning the wheel, and simply not caring at all about self preservation. A car could be bearing down on me and a very real part of me simply didn’t care. A dark part of me wished something would take me right then, and end the tears (which would typically be flowing anytime people were away from eye shot).

In those days, I was that person who lived on pure instinct, truly wearing a mask of happiness that fooled 95% of the people in my life. But there were some who saw right through the mask and understood the very real trauma and pain I was enduring. Some people texting or calling me dozens of times a day because they knew I was at a very dangerous point in my feelings of self preservation. As I’ve mentioned in the past.. those people who became my rock had suffered in kind themselves. Or, were still in the process of suffering, but were only a little bit further ahead themselves.

Time off, work from home schedules, weekends; any time in my life I couldn’t will my mind to focus on something else, I was focusing on her.. I would honestly pray to God to see me through hours at a time. Any attempt to think or plan beyond that was a lost cause of frustration, anxiety, fear, and despair.

There were many a week where I’d average 2-3 hours of sleep a night. I’d just lay in bed, and stare up at my ceiling fan, and didn’t know how to will my body to go back to sleep, much less “GET UP!”. I’d just sit there in an endless cycle of masochistic thought, reminding myself of everything I had, what I lost, and just torture myself, putting all the blame on myself, and punishing myself for all I’d done. In hindsight, now realizing how distorted and brainwashed she had left my psyche. But, I was not to be the first (and I will not be the last) lover in her life who’d tell her she was manipulative and controlling.

That’s when I solidified my dependency and relationship with God. He is what pulled me out of it, and to this day I still rely heavily on his whispering and touch in my life for guidance on what to do next.

You know… One teacher last night said it best.

“I wish others in my life could build this relationship with the God I know without having to suffer as I have!”

It’s true though. It’s in these moments of intense pain that most people “Get it.”.

I had attended a class for people who had hard questions about God and faith (Alpha) several months ago. I was asked by one person who was on the fence how I knew God talked to me. I remember telling him point blank that I wish he could understand the God I knew.

I can freely talk to him, and he compels me and answers my prayers. I truly am able to run everything by him and I get very clear answers back on how I should be reacting to an opportunity or scenario in my life. Including this blog and this ministry.

11k+ views for this Ministry category in the last 4 weeks!  - Keep your stories and topic requests coming (

11k+ views for this Ministry category in the last 4 weeks! – Keep your stories and topic requests coming (

The sheer number of people (childhood friends, childhood acquaintances and new friends I met and reconnected with through my Ex, family, strangers, etc) who’ve reached out to me has been inspiring. Thank you! I was touched by God to tell my story; that it would help others. I never imagined the response I’ve gotten from it.

It’s one reason to wake up and live my life.

I’m now at a point where God has provided blessings and opportunities in several aspects of my life. These are part of the reasons I can even begin to build the list of things I actively work towards every day.


It’s not a question anymore, but a cry of victory.


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