There have been two times in my life I have felt the adage, “When it rains, it pours” has applied. The first was the culmination of losses over the course of 2008. One of my best friends suddenly lost her brother, a wonderful guy with a real carpe diem approach to life. My dog past away suddenly. She was the dog of a lifetime. Then, one of my best guy friends died suddenly in his sleep. He had been my date to prom, one of my closest confidants, and one of a dozen students who I went on a high school exchange to Germany with. I still miss him dearly. All of these losses were underscored by my then undiagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At the time, I felt like my foundation had truly been shaken. For months after my friend’s passing, getting a phone call from any friend I hadn’t heard from in a while would immediately evoke feelings of panic, fear, and concern until I knew the purpose of the call. There were two real graces amidst this period of loss. First, I very quickly saw how quickly everyone rallied around the families who had lost these young men, offering any instrumental or emotional forms of support they could. Though there isn’t a way to compensate for the unexpected loss of a young person, the willingness and eagerness of everyone to drop everything to be at their families’ sides was reassuring and beautiful. The second grace during this time was that I was diagnosed with GAD. Receiving treatment, and therapy have proven to be life changing. The losses were a catalyst in finding out that I had been battling a disorder that could be made so much better with the right tools.
More recently, I have felt the torrents of rain come back. This current storm is one that started off much more gradually. And fortunately, the stakes haven’t been as high as the loss of young life. My nana passed two weeks ago after we received some other difficult news. The latter is something that my family is working on and working through.
Fortunately, I’ve come from a faith-filled family. Woven throughout my entire childhood were the statements and the genuine belief that, “God doesn’t close a door without opening a window,” and “God works in mysterious ways.” My childhood was filled with hope and positivity even when times were difficult. A poem that I cherish so deeply when times are tough is grandfather.
The storm hasn’t broken yet, but on the horizon is the prospect of radiant sunshine. Through our hard work, sacrifice, and our willingness to talk through the times we’ve just wanted to shut down, there quite literally is something pretty spectacular not too far off.
When time are tough, what are your own sources of inspiration, comfort, or faith?