Literally the first couple weeks after losing my husband, I started receiving emails and texts of job postings from friends. I realize this came from a place of genuine concern for my family’s financial well-being, but geesh. Too soon! I was a walking grief zombie the first month, for sure. They knew I had been a stay-at-home Mom and full-time caregiver and homeschooler and so they worried about me. But they made a lot of assumptions. I appreciate the love and concern, but it felt like extra pressure. That’s when the burden of people’s expectations of me, of how long I should grieve, and what I should do next began.
About five months later, I began writing. I created Extra Grace Required and felt excited and confident about my purpose. I was going to turn my pain into purpose in hopes of healing and in an effort to be an honest, yet encouraging voice for others also walking through grief. I wasn’t focused on income, but instead, my purpose. It was and is important for me to be available to my children as they walk through their own grief. I wanted to keep life as consistent and safe as possible for them, and for me.
Lately I’ve been getting that question again. “So, when are you going to go back to work full-time?” Again, I know the question comes from a place of support and concern, however it feels like judgment. It sometimes sounds to my ears like “Why aren’t you over it yet?” “Aren’t you bored?” “Don’t you need money?” “You are lazy.” And then I feel guilty. I begin to believe all of these things and I start to question everything.
But then I stop. I center myself in thought and prayer and come to the same conclusion every time. I AM working full-time. I’m a grieving; single mom who is responsible for frequently running her kids to separate counseling appointments, dentist and doctor visits. I’m a single mom who spends a lot of time writing, working on steps to become more emotionally healed and healthy, and busting her rear trying to make this site into something that might one day help support my family.
I don’t know if Extra Grace Required will grow into my dreams for it, or if it will just be for a short season. But I feel strongly it is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Will it develop into a blog with thousands of readers? Is there a book in here somewhere? Will it allow me the opportunity to speak to groups about grief and faith and hope after loss? Will it open a door to an opportunity I haven’t even considered? I have no idea, only hopes and dreams and a God gut feeling. Only time will tell, but for right now, this IS my full-time job. Parenting my children through this first year or two is my purpose. I know I’m “lucky” to be able to do this right now. That isn’t lost on me at all. In fact, every day I think about those who may not have the same opportunity. These people are heavy on my heart every single day. Daily I give thanks for the way my husband provided for us. I am grateful for God’s provision in all of this as well.
The future is scary and uncertain, which is why I try to stay in today as much as possible. There’s merit in planning, setting goals and mapping out a master plan, but Matthew 6:34 warns us, “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Perhaps I’ll look back on this time years from now with regret. Or maybe, if I follow my heart, God’s purpose for my life will continue to be revealed. This is my prayer. Obedience is frightening, especially when others may not understand it. I just know I am supposed to be doing this right now. Maybe it’s so one of you feels less alone. Maybe it’s to help me through this time of grief. Or maybe God has a plan so much bigger than all of those notions. I don’t know, but I will continue to follow what I believe is His plan for me right now.
Will you help me? Can I ask a few favors of you?
- Will you pray for this web site and for me? I would appreciate it so much!
- Will you pray for my kids? For B, Lolo & Gman?
- Will you share this website, share the Facebook page, share specific articles with anyone you know who may find it helpful or comforting. If you don’t know anyone grieving, perhaps share the How To Serve The Grieving article with your friends? Will you help me continue to introduce this website to new people? Subscribe if you haven’t already?
- Will you comment or “like” if something resonates with you?
Thank you, friends! Thank you for staying with me. Thanks for trusting me with the HUGE decisions I’ve been faced with this year. And thank you for caring about me. I feel it.