Momservation: If you could gain perspective on what really matters in life without the heartbreak, why wouldn’t you seize that moment?
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I believe spiritual messages come in 3’s because 3 is a spiritual number. For example, I knew my son was going to be a boy because I had three dreams that he would be. Same for my daughter. Same for my eternally 6 year old sister, Sommar (pronounced Summer), who had 3 dreams someone was going to take her away before she told my perplexed mother, “Mommy, I’m not scared anymore” and then left to go be with God in the fateful event that took her life 32 years ago last week. She would be 39 this Friday—dying 11 days before her 7th birthday in an accidental electrocution.
I’ve cried a lifetime of tears since then, both in sorrow and joy—something you can’t ever image feeling again when you are in the midst of heartbreak. I learned at a young age that the pain of loss won’t kill you, but it sure feels like it will. That’s why I was so susceptible to the 3 stories of heartbreak below that caught my attention all in one powerful 24 hours:
- I cried like my own heart was broken for a perfect stranger whose full-term baby died in womb before she could be delivered. As Gavin from the Wake Up Call on 107.9 The End bravely shared on air his family’s heartbreak for the loss of their Phoebe, it was clear he wanted his baby’s legacy to be for all of his listeners to take nothing for granted; that love is what binds us together. Love for a baby who never got to be, love for a radio personality and his wife whose hearts were broken, love from thousands who did not know them but tried to comfort them anyway.
In that moment of connective heartbreak and compassion I knew that any time I heard the name Phoebe it would be a heavenly reminder to take nothing for granted. Kiss your kids, call your grandma, thank God for your good health, or the sweets spots in life. Let go of your anger at the guy who cut you off, the woman who wrote a check in the Express Line, your husband who left the seat up again. Because all that matters in this life is that we love one another.
- As I woke up this morning, my heart still raw for Gavin and Stacy’s devastating loss, my son and I turned on Sports Center for Top 10 Plays. Instead they had an E:60 piece on about Chris Singleton, a brave young man whose mother was one of the 9 black parishioners gunned down in a prayer meeting at a Charleston church by a white man trying to start a race war. The opposite actually happened—strangers of every race opening their hearts and grieving collectively for the loss of 9 good souls. This was kick-started by Sharonda Singleton’s 19 year-old son, Chris, who less than 24 hours after the shooting announced he had forgiven his mother’s killer because “Love is stronger than hate” and because that’s what he knew his mother would do.
Again, I cried in shared heartbreak for Chris and his siblings. I was moved by Chris’ courage to embrace forgiveness when anger and bitterness seemed the easier road. In that moment I knew I would never forget the name Chris Singleton and his grace, illustrating that even in the throes of hopelessness love is stronger than hate.
- And then as I sat down today to write my weekly blog, wondering what today’s message should be, I checked Facebook quickly to see what was trending. I saw a video from the Today Show on Kathie Lee Gifford’s return after the death of her husband, NFL legend Frank Gifford. As a football lover I had been saddened by the loss of Frank who was synonymous with the sport. I watched Kathie Lee’s message and for the third time in less than 24 hours I was moved to tears by divine truth.
Kathie Lee spoke about how she hoped Frank’s legacy would not just be football, but the strength of his faith that had been tested but never broken over early hardships. A Christian man, he practiced to the end the cornerstones of his faith: forgiveness, grace, and hope. She and Frank kept a stone from a religious journey that was meant to represent the gifts God gives us. For each of their children’s graduations they gave them a stone representing their gifts, their future, and their commitment to God asking “What is your stone and where are you going to throw it?
In that moment I knew what I was going to write my blog about. I wasn’t going to try to make people laugh this week. I wasn’t going to moan about the hardships of raising kids. I wasn’t going to “phone it in” because I was too busy to write something meaningful. I was going to do what I prayed to God for after Gavin and Phoebe, Chris and Sharonda Singleton, and Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford opened my heart leaving it ripe for heavenly guidance:
I was going to throw my stone and throw it well. God has given me the gift of touching people’s hearts with my writing and if I didn’t get the message once to share these inspirational stories of love, forgiveness, grace, and hope, if I didn’t get the message twice, I definitely got the message the third time.
Thanks for the 3 guiding messages, Sommar. You got my attention. Happy birthday.