My husband is dead.
No miraculous eleventh-hour healing.
No rising from the dead for him.
No happily ever after for me.
He’s gone. Now what?
When Bryan was diagnosed with cancer, I called family and friends to let them know. They would share the news with others, who would then call me for details.
A couple of weeks after “the C word” entered our lives, it was preceded by the word “terminal.” And “I’m sorry” from our oncologist. And others. A lot.
Not good news. Now what?
Our house was small enough that my husband could hear every word I said on the phone, constantly reminding him of his imminent demise. Out of respect for Bryan and to keep me from crying continually, I decided to send emails every day or two instead of calling everyone.
After only three months of messages with increasingly bad news, one final note was sent to let everyone know that Bryan’s battle was over.
The flicker of hope has gone out. My life has turned to ashes.
My thoughts turned to how Christ’s disciples felt after his death, and I could relate. All their hopes, dreams, and plans were gone. How would they adapt to their new normal? What would the future look like without the one whom they loved and devoted themselves to?
He was gone. Now what?
A few days later, the disciples’ lives changed in ways they never imagined. When they learned that Jesus was alive, their fervor to tell others about him increased. They became bolder, even to the point of surrendering their lives – literally – to telling others.
My metamorphosis took a little longer. As Bryan’s health worsened, I had asked God to show me some hope and encouragement that I could share in my emails. When all the bad news became clothed with hope, folks had shared those messages with others, so over a thousand people were following our journey.
After Bryan’s death, many of my email readers encouraged me to put my thoughts into a book, so I attended a writer’s conference to learn how. Since that time just a few years ago, I’ve become a fulltime writer and speaker, published three books, mentored others, and taught and spoken at conferences, retreats, and other gatherings.
This transformation surprised me. I had never dreamed I’d be doing this, but my life has a new meaning and enthusiasm. Like the disciples, I’ll tell anyone what I’ve learned and how they can experience the same – how to live through the worst life has to offer and bounce back. And face each day with a positive attitude.
So what’s your passion? What do you get excited talking about? That’s what you can share with others, even if you’re not an expert.
- Use what you’ve experienced in your life.
- Share what you’re excited about and help others deal with the flames and ashes in their own lives.
- Communicate your excitement and light a flame under someone else.
- Help them rise from the ashes to share their fire, like you did.
In the process, you just might rekindle your flame as well.