Grief and Positivity: An Anniversary Day Post

Hello Friends,

Sorry to keep you waiting as far as my blogging is concerned! I’ve been so excited to be working on a book project that has taken a lot of my time. But again, I am now focusing on speaking and my blog once more.

So what prompted my writing today? Well, today would have been Craig’s and my 3rd wedding anniversary. It was such a joyful day. So beautiful and perfect in every way I could imagine. I don’t know if you have ever felt this way, but on the day of my wedding I couldn’t help but think I didn’t deserve this wonderful gift of a wedding. Not because I was a bad person, but because so many people would never receive something so beautiful, and my empathetic heart sometimes hurts when I think that I would experience something that so many people deserve. However, 3 years later, I now see that God gave me that beautiful wedding as a blessing. A cherished memory I would have forever. I know on the post side of a wedding, we sometimes wonder why we spent so much money, or why we worried so much about the color of our flowers. I know Craig and I sometimes thought, “Why didn’t we just take the check our parents offered us instead?” (That would have been a terrible idea, however, because honestly, we probably would have blown that money within a year. Then we would have had no money and no wedding!) Well, while those are valid questions, I’ve come to realize God has a purpose behind everything. He knew Craig would be leaving me much to early in this life, and therefore, God showed His love for me by giving me an amazing blessing of a wedding.

That being said, sometimes those memories can still hurt, right? I know when I first watched videos of Craig and me, it hurt more than I could imagine, but today, I have a different perspective. It’s important that we don’t get lost in the hurt that we feel, and miss the gifts God blessed us with. In other words, we shouldn’t get lost in our desires to have whatever it is we no longer have; instead, we should be thankful for having such a wonderful blessing for a period of time.

Anyway, throughout Thanksgiving, I wanted to focus on lessons God might have for me that could help lift the heaviness of missing my late husband…and furthermore, lessons I could share that can help other people who have their own pain they’re dealing with. And after sitting still and listening for a while, I came back to a constant realization I’ve had over the last year. Everything in life [and within our relationship with God] involves choice. Loving God is a choice. A positive perspective is a choice. Holding on to pain is a choice.

You see, when we experience pain, we sometimes choose to stay there, wallowing in it. We choose to stay in the ditch of our unhappiness because we don’t want to have to accept a different life than what we had before. We don’t want to accept whatever ways we have to live differently because there’s no way this new way of life could ever make us happy. Living with this mindset is a choice that can suffocate our hearts, and bury us in negativity. You are more than the devastating situation you’re dealing with. It may not seem like it, but happiness is a choice…on many levels. It begins with loving God, which then leads us to trust Him; which then leads us to want to live for Him and His plan rather than our own; which then leads us to live selflessly; which then moves our perspective from ourselves to others. And when we live a life for God and others, we can then be filled with abounding hope, joy, and peace…no matter our situation.

Whatever our struggle, God loves us. He hasn’t abandoned us and He never will. If you’re struggling to believe these words, just look back over the course of your life and see how he has connected the pieces during other difficult moments. And whether we want to believe it or not, He’s brought you to where we are today for a reason. Wherever you are, it’s for a purpose. Whatever you’ve experienced, it is purposeful. We must only look to God for direction as to how we can make a terrible situation beautiful again. Yes. We can make the choice to see the beauty in every day. We can see the blessings in the little things. We can count our blessings every day, not just on Thanksgiving, and trust that there is beauty in God’s plan. I promise dear friend, if we can just take the time to do that, we will be reminded of all the reasons we can praise God…and we will see all the reasons to step out of the ditch that we’ve sat in for far too long.

After almost two years of widowhood, I can tell you one more important piece of advice…whatever it is that you might be turning to in the hopes that it will make you happy, I can promise you it will never suffice. The only way we can find true joy in this life is choosing to love God through every single experience we face. If He strips us of everything or gives us all our worldly desires, it is our choice to trust Him and love Him more than anything. It’s amazing all the positive things that can come from choosing to take this outlook on life. I can write to you today as a woman stepping out of my ditch of grief, and choosing a new path. The path that God intended for my life, and that He wants for yours – To know Him and make Him known. There is no greater purpose.

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for my friend reading these words. I pray that whatever they’re experiencing, whether that be a loss of hope, or just experiencing apathy towards the life they’ve been given, I pray You would give them a glimpse of Your joy today. I pray they would feel You’re loving presence, and that they would choose to see the beauty of every day. We are so blessed in so many ways and yet we hardly see it. Thank you for loving us, even when we struggle to love you in our current situations. I love You and praise Your name, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Thank you, friend, for spending time with me today. I hope you will enjoy this beautiful video of Craig’s and my weddin. What a blessing indeed to have such a wonderful video to cherish. {Video by Dave and a Camera}.

8 thoughts on “Grief and Positivity: An Anniversary Day Post

  1. jenlizzy76 says:

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful moments with us from this wedding video. Your words truly hit home and are an inspiration. I pray God continues to heal the broken hearts and give them joy during the storms.


  2. Cindy Headford says:

    Hello Helen. Thank-you for your words of encouragement and of Gods amazing presence in our lives. I too am 3 months into widowhood after 38 years with my husband. I miss him so much. Many days are unbearable and as I try to step forward without him my only hope is from Gods guidance and his love for me. Bless you Cindy


  3. Anna Palmer says:

    I remembered your story as this time of year came close. Thanks for sharing with us how you are doing. I pray and hope you are doing okay. You are an inspiration to so many. Please know yiu are in my prayers…a stranger in Pensacola Florida.


  4. Brittany says:

    Beautifully written as always!! You have changed so many lives and I know Craig is letting everyone know, that’s his wife bringing people closer to God!

    Good luck on your book it’s going to be amazing!


  5. Maylene M says:

    Thank you for writing such beautiful words and sharing your heart with us. It is amazing how God blesses us with what we need, exactly when we need it. You came across my feed and your light drew me in. Your words were just what I needed to hear today. May God bless you on this journey and may you continue to live in the light of Jesus.


  6. LW says:

    Helen, once again I am sitting here “ugly crying.” I wrote to you in the last blog post about a significant loss in my life after 12 years, and so much of what you said resonates through me. I relate so deeply to your pain, but I am also thankful that you set an example of how to have a strong faith in God, as that is something I am still learning and working on. We will likely never meet (although I’m an Ozarks local as well!), but I am thankful for your blog posts.


    • Helen Elizabeth says:

      LW, I’m so sorry to just see your comments and to just now respond. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I am praying that wherever you are today that you’re doing better. I’m so thankful my words have spoken to you and have helped you along the way. Thank you for reading and encouraging me to continue to write. Just want you to know that I’m saying a special prayer for you right now as I right this. Praying blessings for you sweet friend.


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