this is how i choose to deal.

in general, i’d say i’m an optimistic person. i usually look on the bright side of things. i see the positive in most situations. my cup is usually half full. however, i’ve never suffered significant losses or walked through much grief…until this year. and i’ve learned quite a bit about myself through it all.

loss number one: my dad. when i think about my life, i never would have imagined it to end up this way. it just wasn’t what i pictured or planned on. i remember how much better life would be with my dad here and i get bummed. its always going to suck that his life was cut so short. the fact that he’s in heaven, not suffering, and that i was blessed with him in the first place does not change the fact that him being gone from my life is just plain crappy. am i able to see the positive in the situation? yes, absolutely. his death has taught me to be thankful for what i have and have had. i now know how to react to people who have suffered a loss similar to mine. my ability to handle this grief and continue on in life is a testament to god’s faithfulness and power. i find comfort in the fact that my dad is in heaven. he is happy, joyful, and pain free. but do these things change the fact that his death was a negative occurrence? no, it doesn’t.

loss number two: my future and my career. about two weeks before dad went into the hospital i quit my job. it was a job that i enjoyed. i was a family support worker at a child development center. i loved my job. great hours, great people, and the pay was alright. but when we learned that dad would be evaluated for the transplant list, we decided together that i should begin working with him and learning his business as soon as possible. me working at brewster financial was always part of the plan. i would train under my dad for a while and eventually learn the craft of financial planning. then, when my dad wanted to semi-retire, i would take over and run things with his guidance. so much for that plan. i worked with my dad for approximately one hour. he was admitted to the hospital the next week, never to see the light of day again. there goes my career. my future plans were gone forever. our dreams to build and continue brewster financial, a business built on the intellect and hard work of my dad, were dashed. and it hasn’t been fun dealing with that loss.

thankfully, i was given the opportunity to work at the office where brewster financial once was. i am extremely grateful for the fact that i have a new job that i enjoy. is it all that i had hoped for? no, certainly not. nothing would beat being able to learn from and work with my dad on a daily basis. that would have been awesome. it hurts when i think about what i’m missing and i’ve struggled to find a positive in this whole circumstance. why would god have allowed me to quit my job if he knew that i’d end up jobless and lost? the positive is that he’s given me a job to help pay the bills. is it as good as our previous plan? no, its not. its just the truth.

loss number three: our church. we began attending the rock church in brewer in september of 2009. there we many things that attracted us there: the preaching, the atmosphere, the coffee, and the people. but most of all it was the feeling i got when we walked in the door. i felt at home. the atmosphere was laid back, modern, and comforting. we got connected right away and began serving. brian took over as worship leader and i was in charge of cafe. a couple weeks before we had lucy we found out that our church was disbanding and moving to combine with the other branch of the rock church in bangor. we were very un-excited about the transition, but we knew we had to trust that the leadership was making the right decision. the whole move has been extremely hard on our whole family. jude woke up from his nap the other day and was so excited to go to church. he said to brian “three more minutes and we’re going to CHURCH!” i guess when they pulled in the parking lot jude started crying and said “no, not this church! i don’t like this one!” its been really hard for us to give up the church that we loved so much. we are trusting that god has a plan through all of this, and that things will get better. we try to stay positive, but we can’t ignore the fact that we don’t like it and we miss the way things used to be.

loss number four: a best friend. dj was not only our best friend, he was a part of our family. he was always at our house. he was one of those friends who we didn’t need to make a special plan for. he required no entertaining. he just came over and hung out. he fit right into our lives. he was content to just be with us, no matter what we were doing. its been so hard to come to grips with the fact that he’s gone. we always knew he might not live as long as the rest of our friends, but nothing can prepare you for a loss like this. its been tough to fathom that two hugely important people have been snatched from our lives in such a short amount of time. we miss dj insanely. i haven’t been able to see anything postive in this incident. i many never will and that’s ok.

i’ve struggled to understand why god has allowed these things to happen. the truth is that sometimes things happen that don’t make much sense. you can chose how you handle the losses in your life. i have discovered that i am neither an optimist or a pessimist. i am a realist. i see things for what they are, whether they are good or bad. i’m not going to convince myself that my dad’s death happened for a reason or that the church change is nothing but grins and giggles. its impossible to will gray skies to be blue. gray skies make me thankful for the blue, but i can’t change reality.

sometimes in the world of christianity, you are made to feel bad if you call a spade a spade. people act like i need to ignore my pain and thank god for my ability to walk or for the birds chirping outside my window. i’m made to feel like a negative nancy if i have an “ok” week or if i discuss how unhappy god’s plan makes me at times. well guess what, that’s life. i find comfort in being able to see positives. negatives in life have made me infinitely thankful for what i have. but i refuse to ignore that life’s losses have left me grieving what once was. and this is how i choose to deal.

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