When my son died by suicide back in 2015, I was halfway through a four-year term as a municipally elected official. For the two years remaining in my term, I felt overwhelmed and stressed. Life was not a good place for me. My son’s death had left me questioning my faith and I felt like I had no solid place to plant my feet.
The next couple of years were spent hustling for work, dealing with a husband who had just undergone his second brain surgery and, well, trying to survive. I remember wanting the world to stop and let me off. There were days I didn’t want to be alive. Not that I wanted to die, but I was just so tired, I didn’t want to face life.
I remember calling out to God and asking him for some relief. We couldn’t afford for me to take any time off; we had no money for a holiday or to allow downtime from work. Then, in December of 2018, I had a stroke. The doctors couldn’t tell me why it had happened as I didn’t have high blood pressure or any family history. The conclusion was it had to be stress.
I went home from the hospital on December 24 and felt even more helpless. My life and the pressure I was under was killing me and I had no idea what to do about it. I started listening to Scripture as I went to sleep at night, letting the affirmations bathe my being as I slept. I tried to practice mindfulness and taking deep breaths throughout the day.
The year 2019 was spent this way; hanging on by a thread, aware something had to give but feeling unable to find a way to cope. Everything seemed like such a Band-Aid solution, even though I was doing everything I could think of to do. I prayed for peace, my parents prayed over me and so did my husband. And through it all, I cried out for peace and for the world to just stop and let me off.
I Finally Got Off the Carnival Ride
Then, in early 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 hit North America. Within weeks, everything was on lock-down and we were stuck at home. The world ground to a stop. My prayers were answered, and I had the opportunity to get off the merry-go-round.
In Canada, the federal government created a program that gave $2,000 per person to those whose employment or business was impacted by the virus. Both my husband and I qualified. Then, the banks began to offer a 6-month deferral for all qualifying mortgages. Suddenly, for the first time, we had enough money coming in regularly (we are both self-employed) to pay our bills.
Like many people, we began ordering our groceries and using curbside pick-up. All our appointments and meetings were canceled. Time was abundant. And there was no point stressing about money or what the future held. My life was completely out of my hands and I wasn’t competing with the world anymore—because we were all in the same position.
I Felt Like I Had to Keep It Secret
I was keeping quiet about how God’s hand was working in my life for fear of offending someone.
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