Remaining Strong when you have to Be

Remaining Strong when you have to Be

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Sometimes during difficult situations, we have to be strong for others like our children or a younger sibling…maybe it’s a spouse or even our parents.

When my mother died in 2001, I knew I could have fallen apart. She was my last living parent. Good thing it didn’t take me out of the game the way my first husband’s death did only 10 years earlier.

My mom was a school teacher, she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grades and she loved all her students, her school, and her work. It was the first time in my whole life that I remember seeing her totally happy and fulfilled.

I had just gotten remarried and we were living in Florida when one morning, I got the dreaded phone call. She was found in the bathroom as she was preparing to go to work. She had had a massive heart attack and she died alone. That part was hard for me to handle, but perhaps God had it happen this way because He knew I wouldn’t have been able to go through a second death so close to me.

We drove the 12 hours to get there and it was an unreal feeling. I might have been in shock for a day or so, but somehow I didn’t break down. I knew she had gone to church and she was a happy Christian, that gave me a lot of joy.

I wanted to be strong for my younger brother and for her students as I met all them while making funeral arrangements. I saw the looks on their faces, mostly sad…but I was able to hug every one of them and look them in the face and tell them something encouraging. I was my mother’s arms extended. I’ll never forget her funeral.

The next day, her school was closed for the whole day as a memorial of her and the students released 100 balloons in the air! She would have been so proud. One of her students even adopted her cat, Beauty, to have something of hers.

But, how did I manage to go through that without breaking down once? It was God. Simple as that. I loved my mommy with all my heart. I have missed her ever since. I think of her often and Mother’s Day still has a bittersweet taste in my mouth. It was just at that moment in time, people were looking up to me for strength and God needed me to be that anchor.

Maybe you’ve lost your mother recently or maybe it still feels like it was yesterday that she was here. Life happens to us all. It’s not easy to say how we will react to things.

Not until we go through trials, do we learn what we’re really made of. If you have to be strong, admit to Jesus you are weak. Tell Him that you need His strength, His presence, and His spirit. Through that, He will make you strong to handle the tough stuff. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m just saying you can do it with Christ’s help.

And, you can celebrate Mother’s Day by remembering those sweet times you had with your mother or even if you were raised or cared for by another woman you looked up like a mom. Today is the day we celebrate all moms no matter if they are/were biologically related to us or not.

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Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Kim's Studio Art" where she creates and sells Wall Art Printables and "Kim's Handcrafted Cards" on eBay where she creates and sells handmade greeting cards.