What Can You Learn from Your Loss?
They say loss teaches us the worth of things. But what if loss teaches us the worth of who we are, as well? I believe we are constantly changing and growing. Loss comes in waves, yet so does growth and abundance. It’s how we handle those seasons that teach us the most about ourselves.
I remember the day our house burned down, the black under my fingernails, the worry on my toddler’s face, the sad on my husband. As worried, and sad and blackened as we all were…
A Lesson After the Fire
We had everything. We had each other. A neighbor I met in that moment said those words to me and it changed the day, the season, and my heart. I remember all of it like it was yesterday, even though it was almost five years ago now. The black beams became a dump pile, and over time—lots and lots of time—the burnt piles became a brand-new home with a “for sale” sign on it. The days in between those moments where some of my darkest and most exciting seasons ever.
Sadly, it wasn’t until the end of that season that I learned self-care and mindfulness. Five years can change a person. Where we once planned on living forever became someone else’s home sweet home and we moved our family across the country. That decision did not happen all at once …. we built the home as our forever home, and then we decided it would not be. Sometimes that feels like a loss.
We gave up something for something we do not have yet. So here we are in the middle season, the transition one, and isn’t that just the hardest sometimes? We gave up the home we worked so hard to rebuild, for a life we could give our twins.
The fire season taught me that things are just that—things. I was unhealthy in how I dealt with that season, that loss, the stress of rebuilding. I was constantly trying to steer, and I had lost sight (or had not known yet) that God is in control and that when I surrender to Him, I can free myself up to enjoy my life.
We Grow in the Struggle
By the time we moved into our new home, my ponytail was so thin. I lost my hair and caused my family a lot of heartache by not knowing how to take things day-by-day or remaining the calm anchor God intended mothers and wives to be. I am not saying we need to be steady and calm every day, but I know now I have more peace when I give peace.
So, now I choose to be grateful and remember I won’t be in the transition long; that this is a special character-building place in loss, and abundance is coming. We don’t grow in abundance—or at least I don’t. I grow better in the struggle. So, I guess they are right when they say loss teaches us the most about ourselves.
I also think something was not finished in me during that fire season and God will work on it again now during the transition. It’s in loss that He has our attention. I will try and remember that, as people, we love gratitude and appreciation and so does He. So, in the abundance we do not need to be silent, but we do need to thank Him.
Loss can teach us how strong we are. We face and go through things we never thought we could, and yet here we are. I recently was thinking about Hurricane Ian and all the devastation it caused. I want to remind those people who were impacted that the loss will hurt, but it will also be okay. God always finds a way for his people. Do not lose faith in the storm. That is where our faith needs to be the strongest. So while you look around and sort through wet piles of your prized possessions, remember those are only things and you’re alive. That is a gift we cannot forget to be grateful for.
The fire season was a dark season for me. Loss, fear, worry—yet God showed up and forced me to realize it’s all okay. It will always be okay if I only lean on Him in those moments. Those cold, dark moments where I feel the most alone is where He is waiting to take my hand and bring me back into the realization that He is right there.
Learn from the Loss
Ian, Katrina, fire, death, divorce—let the loss teach. Let the loss come and go and leave you more self-aware after it. Do not forget the loss—that’s where we get duplicate lessons when we do not allow them to teach us anything. Let the loss teach. Learn who you are and what you’re capable of.
“Choose Happy” became our family motto before the fire, and our saving grace after. So, in the loss we had a place to gravitate toward. Anytime one of us would go to a dark place, the others would make a funny face or tickle the kids to remind each other we can choose happy even in the storm. Even after the fire. Fires burn and destroys things, yet this fire taught us. It taught us that even in loss, we have so much to be grateful for.
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver. And her profit better than gold,” (Proverbs 3:13-14).
Need more hope and encouragement when life throws you a curveball? You’ll love this podcast episode: Your World Just Turned Upside Down—What Now? With Marlys Johnson Lawry – 197