Ahh…yes, the long awaited holiday season is here. The smell of “pumpkin-everything” is around us, nonstop holiday music is all we hear and everyone or (most people) seem to be in high spirits. It’s a beautiful time of year. The weather gets cooler (which is not always the case here in Houston) and you get many days off from work to spend time together with family. For many people this is the time of year they wait for, the best and most exciting time of the year. I’ve always loved this time of year; it brought with it a change of the everyday routine that you may experience from January through October. But for many people this is a very hard time.
About two weeks ago, I was at Lakewood Church, my church for the past 8 or so years. (love it!) Pastor John Gray was preaching and he mentioned this fact, that the holiday season is the season many people around the world sink into a deep depression and sadness fills their days. Why? You probably know why because while we come together and celebrate the holidays we are forced to think about the people in our lives who are no longer here with us. I thought about this for myself and realized not everyone is fortunate to be surrounded with countless family members during these times. This thought made me realize that for myself, having lost my father 4 years ago, I could easily sink into depression during these times and feel tremendous sadness about losing one of the most important people in my life. When I lost my dad in the summer of 2011, I realized that whenever I would be faced with any challenge or unthinkable event in my life I could take one of two choices which were: To feel sorry for myself and let the negative feelings of sadness, grief, depression, anger, and bitterness overpower me, or to take a moment to ask myself, “what can I learn from this?”, all the while knowing and trusting that God had a plan and that nothing comes as a surprise to him. I made a decision that I would always go with the second choice.
I don’t think I’ve ever shared on social media exactly how my dad passed away, but I wanted to share with you all today so you can understand were I’m coming from. A few months before my dad passed away in March of 2011 I joined a network marketing business where we would travel every 3 months and in June of 2011 we took our first trip ever. We flew to San Jose, California for the weekend. It was my first time ever getting on a plane. I was pretty excited because I had not done very much traveling during my 21 years of life. Before my sister Ester and I left to the airport on Thursday, June 23, 2011, I remember going outside and saying goodbye to my dad. He was outside on his hammock where he spent a lot of his time since he did not work. I hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek never realizing for one second that would be the last time that I would see my dad. Just thinking about it now and reliving it brings me to tears.
Losing someone is, in my opinion, one of the hardest things a human being can go through. Knowing that you will never see them here on earth again is painful and something I don’t allow myself to ponder over too much. I do believe we will be reunited one day once again. My dad did have his share of health problems, we would take him to the doctor and no one really knew exactly what was causing his obvious decline in health. On the night of June 25th, 2011, my sister Brenda called from back home in Houston, TX. My sister Ester and I were in our hotel room in San Jose, California clueless about what had been occurring back home. I remember I stepped outside of our hotel room to answer the call. As I answered the phone, my sister told me that dad had suffered a heart attack and that it did not look good… I literally fell right there on my knees and began to cry. I was in complete disbelief. I never imagined this happening, I knew my dad’s health was not at its best but I didn’t see this coming. My dad passed away the following morning of June 26th, 2011.
I wanted to share with you the story about the biggest loss I have experienced in my life to show you that loss does not have to be something that overwhelms you with sadness and depression and forces you to think that life is just horrible. Only now, looking back, do I see God’s hand in this event in my life. I know my dad served his purpose and that it was his time to go. Anytime I begin to feel sad I reminded myself of all of the unbelievable occurrences that took place during this time that reassure me that it really was Gods works in my life. First off, as I previously had mentioned, in the preceding 21 years, I NEVER traveled, but the fact that I was not present, the moment when my dad suffered a heart attack at home, to me was God’s way of protecting me. You see I believe that if I had been there and witnessed my dad having a sudden heart attack, rushing him to the hospital and hearing the doctor say that my dad didn’t make it would have been so traumatizing to me and much more painful that simply hearing my sister tell me over the phone.
Another thing is, that during this time I had just started learning about personal growth and positive thinking and all the good stuff I share with you now. I do believe that the knowledge I was gaining helped me stay emotionally strong and forced me to see the situation in a different light. Yet another incredible occurrence that really shows me just how much God was doing for me to prepare me for what would happen with my dad was that an amazing guy named David happened to come into my life during this time. David was one of my team members in my network marketing business. He had joined the business just a few days right before I had to fly out to San Jose. I now know that God brought David into my life at the time he knew I would need him the most. I spent a great deal of time with David during those months following my dad’s death. I had never felt such a strong connection to another human being before meeting David. As many of you may already know, it’s been 4 years since and David is absolutely the love of my life! I am so thankful for him and I know that loving him has helped me in more ways than I can even imagine.
Have you suffered a loss recently? Or even if it was a long time ago, are you are still grieving about it and hurting from the experience? Understand that I don’t only mean a death of a loved one I mean any type of loss. It can be the loss of a business, a failed relationship, or the loss of a dream. I can assure you that whatever type of loss you have experienced in your life did not come as a surprise to God. There is a purpose behind that loss. It’s here to teach you something great that you have yet to learn. I chose to gain from the loss of my dad. In my opinion, the greatest thing I gained was a new perspective on life. A beautiful new perspective to take charge of my life and chase after the things that really matter to me, to not concur to the rules of society but to create my own set of rules, to really cherish and love the people around me, to not be afraid to share with the world who I really am, and to show compassion to people I know and strangers alike.
I do believe we are all given lessons; some lessons are harder than others, to shape us into the people that we are meant to become in this world. My hope is that you will see the loss you have experienced differently and that you will choose to learn from it. You might just surprise yourself on how much you just might gain from a loss. <3
I would love to hear from you! What has been the biggest loss thus far in your life and what can you gain or have gained from it? Share your comments below.
And as always,
Wishing you so much happiness, success and a lifetime of bliss!