Heartbreak to Strength Blog

Finding Hope in the Unexpected Picture of Your Life

I was speechless.

I hung up the phone shocked by my friend’s words.   Her doctor had called with devastating news.  We were not prepared to hear the cancer diagnosis. 

Sometimes life does not go as we hoped or planned.  Our “picture perfect” life takes an unexpected turn and leaves us shaken up.

Have you ever received news that left you shaken up?  Maybe it was a death of a loved one or a doctor’s phone call like my friend.   What do you do when life is not at all how you pictured it?

This week on my Depth Podcast, my friend, Emily P. Meyer, shares about her story of how she found hope in the unexpected picture of her life.  At the young age of 19, she lost her father and her whole world got turned upside down.

Losing her father was not the only heartbreak she experienced.  She also walked through infertility and miscarriage.  As she experienced these multiple heartbreaks, the picture of her life kept changing, but she noticed that one thing did not change.

I love what she says “My life has been filled of unexpected pictures, different pictures than I ever thought my life would look. But the framework that held my picture together has never shattered or never changed even when the picture changed. The framework has held my life in place and that framework is our faithful God!”

Our faithful God is still holding us up even when our heart is shattered into a million pieces.

Friends, even when your life picture changes, God never changes.  This brings me hope!  I hope it brings you hope too.

God can use these different life pictures!  I love how Emily says that “God can make them our testimony, hanging them up confidently in his gallery where our stories of brokenness intersect with his story of resurrection.”

Our broken pictures placed in God’s hands can become powerful masterpieces sharing God’s faithfulness.

Friends, God never wastes our pain.  I pray that your broken story can become a powerful testimony that touches another hurting heart!  Praying you find hope in the unexpected picture of your life.

Love, Jodi  

To listen to this week’s podcast, click on this link: https://link.chtbl.com/vZzTid7o

Are you missing a loved one this Holiday?

Are you missing a loved one this Holiday?

It felt like there was a hole in my heart.

I was waking up on a National family day without my family. Honestly, my first Thanksgiving without my kids was one of the hardest days after my divorce.

Are you missing a loved one this Thanksgiving?

Perhaps your child is serving in the military and deployed this Holiday season.  Maybe like me, the reality of sharing the time with your kids at Holidays is too much to bear. Or maybe this is your first Holiday since a loved one has passed, and you deeply miss them.  If this describes you, let me first say that I am so sorry.

Grieving the loss of a loved one is hard, but Holidays without your loved one is the hardest.

Since Holidays have a way of magnifying our grief, let me encourage you by sharing some things that helped me during my grief. 

Give yourself lots of grace if you are missing someone special this Thanksgiving.

Ask God for strength and energy to get through the day.  Invite friends to pray for you too.

Surround yourself with people who care and can empathize with you. This could be your family, friends, or your small group at church.

Be honest with how you are feeling and let others know what you need.  Journal how you are feeling if that helps!

Talk about the loved one you are missing.  Let yourself cry if needed; I remember shedding lots of tears.

Don’t put any expectations on yourself to do the same traditions you have done in the past if it is too much for you. 

Guard your heart by taking a social media break.  Social Media makes you think that everyone has it all together, and you are the only one whose life has been shattered.

Fill your mind with truth by listening to worship music or reading a helpful book.

Please don’t rush your grief.  Don’t worry about anyone else’s expectations.  You set your pace for the day.

And most importantly, remember that “It is okay not to be okay.”

I know how hard it is to miss a loved one this Holiday so I will be praying for you as God helps you get through this day.  Sending you a big hug!

Love, Jodi