Without realizing it, it occurred to me that I have often lived my life waiting for the other shoe to drop. It doesn’t take a session being psychoanalyzed to know this comes from the fact that both my father and daughter died unexpectedly. When a traumatic death occurs, we face the unfortunate fact that our lives can change instantly. I don’t know your story, but have you ever felt this way?
Waiting for the other shoe to drop can be challenging because we always sit on the precipice of worry and anxiety. Hardly a peaceful existence, is it? Yet, generally speaking, peace is something we all yearn for each and every day of our lives.
Once we realize the enormity of how an unexpected or traumatic death has affected our lives, it may be at this place where we can begin to find peace, hope, and security once again.
We can’t control our pain, but we can decide whether it will make us bitter or better. We can determine whether it will be a stepping stone or a stumbling block. We must remember that, even in our pain, God is working for our good.
Whenever those “not-so-good” feelings rise within me, I cling to what I know can bring me the peace I long for and crave. After all, who really desires to live in constant anxiety and stress? No one.
So, what can we do? First, I begin to remind myself of all the good that I have in my life. I know it’s so easy to recall only the difficult, sad and hard times. But, remembering all the good in our lives and bringing gratitude into our hearts can help turn things around. I also put on my favorite worship music. The sounds of praise quell the storm rising up in my chest. I may begin taking a few deep breaths and try to focus on the most peaceful picture I can imagine. For me, maybe it’s the beautiful beaches of Bermuda, or the breathtaking colors of a sunrise or sunset. There are a few favorite verses of scripture I quietly whisper to myself, which is really my heartfelt cry out to God, The Prince of Peace, who I need now more than ever.
Yes, death can be unpredictable and unexpected, changing our lives instantly. But we don’t have to live with the constant fear of wondering when the next shoe will drop. We can run to the Father and cling to Him as our life preserver amid the mightiest storm. I’m not a veteran who has overcome this, but I am a child of God who continues to lean in and learn at the feet of her Father.