Being Strong When you Have to

Have you been in situations that were grim and tore at your coat tails? Did you have to remain strong because you had others looking to you for strength? I bet we all have been there. Even if it's not a child looking up to you or a younger sibling...maybe it's your spouse or even parents.

When my mother died back in 2001, I knew I should have fallen apart. She was my last living parent and with her gone, I was an orphan. Somehow, I got through that and it didn't take me out of the game the way my first husband's death did. My mom was a school teacher, she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and she loved her students, her school, and her work. It was the first time in my whole life that I remember seeing her totally happy and fulfilled.

I had just gotten remarried and we were living in Florida when one morning, I got the dreaded phone call. Her body was found in the bathroom as she was preparing to go to work. She had had a massive heart attack and she died alone. That part was hard for me to handle, but maybe God had it happen this way because I wouldn't have been able to go through a second death so close to me.

We drove the 12 hours to get there and it was an unreal feeling. I might have been in shock for a day or so, but somehow I didn't break down. I knew she had gone to church and she was a happy Christian, that gave me a lot of joy. I wanted to be strong for my younger brother and for her students as I met all them while making arrangements. I saw the looks on their faces, most sad...but I was able to hug every one of them and look them in the eye and tell them something encouraging. I was my mother's arms extended. I'll never forget her funeral. The next day, the school was closed for the whole day as a memorial of her and the students released 100 balloons in the air! She would have been so proud. One of her students even adopted her cat, Beauty, to have something of hers.

But, how did I manage to go through that without breaking down once? It was God. Simple as that. I know I loved my mommy with all my heart. I have missed her ever since. I think of her often and Mother's Day still has a bittersweet taste in my mouth. It was just at that moment in time, people were looking up to me for strength and God needed me to be that anchor.

Life happens to us all. It's not easy to say how we will react to things. Not until we go through trials, do we learn what we're really made of. If you have to be strong, admit to Jesus you are weak. Tell Him that you need His strength, His presence, and His spirit. Through that, He will make you strong to handle the tough stuff. I'm not saying it's easy, I'm just saying you can do it with Christ's help. There's no one like our Jesus!

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