Your Story Isn’t Finished Yet

By on April 19, 2015
You're story isn't over yet

By Rita Schulte –

Sixteen months have gone by since my husband took his life one fateful day in November. Ours was the perfect love story, but somewhere along the line things went terribly wrong. My husband got very sick, dissociating from me and from himself. The fairytale ending I had expected went up in smoke in one terrible moment.

Trauma shatters the soul and makes everything appear meaningless. Life looses its luster, courage goes out the window, and sorrow and suffering become constant companions. Why go on, I asked myself on many dark nights of the soul. I couldn’t muster up the will to live much less think of what being a victorious Christian woman might look like down the road in the wake of such a traumatic event.

So what have I done the past year and a half to emerge whole again? I’ve screamed. I’ve wailed. I’ve been gripped with fear. I’ve been unable to function. I’ve lost hope, and I’ve lost part of my soul. And truthfully, there are still so many moments when I can’t breathe from the pain. This is the ugly side of trauma. But juxtaposed to those days when I’m one step away from drowning, there are more days of laughter, praise, gratitude and faith. And breathing (deeply) is the only centering thing that pulls me away from the flashbacks.

As tragic as this story is, it’s not the end of the story for me—or for you, in whatever circumstance you find yourself in that threatens to swallow you whole.

It could be a betrayal by someone dear. It could be the loss of a loved one. It could be a long illness, financial ruin or shattered dreams. Whatever you’re facing today, I would implore you not to give up. The reason is simple. Your story isn’t finished yet. How do I know that? Because mine isn’t.

If I can walk through the valley of the shadow of death and come out whole, so can you. You can be a victorious woman because victory isn’t the sum total of what you do. That’s not to say that what you do, or don’t do, during those dark nights of the soul isn’t important; it is. But victory isn’t succeeding or failing at the healing tasks of the heart. When we face tragedy we will all pass through the stages of grief. But real victory is more.

Real victory is a person, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when hearts are hemorrhaging only one thing is necessary—an intimate love relationship with the God who came to bind up the brokenhearted. That requires we explore our concept of who we believe God to be before the trial ever hit. Why? Because our concept of God will determine everything about how we order our lives. It will also determine the path our hearts will take.

If we believe God is distant, detached, uncaring, or, if we believe he has withheld or caused our pain, it will be more difficult but not impossible for us to risk coming close to him. If we believe lies about his nature and character it will be harder to emerge victorious. And what I have learned it that the surrender of the heart is the only way to come out of the shadow and into the light again.

The key to being victorious in any circumstance is knowing the power of Him who holds each circumstance we face in the palm of his hand. My husband’s suicide didn’t catch God by surprise. He was right there with him in the darkest place known to a man. And he was there with me too as I walked into that room and found him. My ability to emerge victorious from such a horrible tragedy was due to several key things that I feel are essential for recovery. They include but are not limited to:

  • A right concept of God
  • A strong support network
  • Walking through your pain not avoiding it
  • An ability to wrestle with God on tough questions
  • A desire to fight the battle for your heart
  • A willingness to step out and risk your heart again
  • The ability to see the bigger picture

Rest assured these things take time—lots of it. I know they did for me, and even now, a year and a half later there are still many days I feel as if I’m falling backwards. But one thing is for certain; God is always there to catch me. He is the one who rebuilds the ruins in our lives and allows us to emerge victorious. 

So may we begin to embrace even the most difficult moments in our lives, may we see them as ushering in greater growth and a purpose that we can’t see with early eyes, and may we know in the heart of our being that the story isn’t finished yet, and that one day God will make all things new!

 

Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Radio and a 1-minute feature “Consider This.” Follow her at www.ritaschulte.com, on FB http://www.facebook.com/RitaASchulte and twitter @heartlinepod.

 

About lb50

One Comment

  1. Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    April 23, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Rita, I think you hit the nail on the head here. When my father committed suicide I had only known God for three short years. I was so hurt, angry, and disappointed that He did not stop this horrible event in my life. And, I was also afraid to tell anyone how I felt. Because of this I spiraled down and became suicidal myself. Thankfully, God understood my misconceptions and rescued me. He healed me of complicated grief…not right away, there was a process. The path to healing is putting one foot in front of the other while allowing him to be a light to my path.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Story Isn’t Finished Yet