Picking Up The Pieces

Picking Up The Pieces

What do you do when the entire world seems to be crumbling around you? How many times have we been through a situation in which it seems that there is no escape? My guess is as you read this blog you will raise both hands in agreement. 

Let me share a part of my story with you. The last two years felt as though every step I took to move forward I was pushed two steps backward instead. It was really difficult. My sister Paulette took sick early 2019 and passed away in June of the same year. Pea as she was affectionally called was "the backbone of the family”. When she passed away it affected the family really hard. How were we supposed to return to Jamaica and plan a funeral for someone who was normally in charge of everything? She knew everyone we would need to contact. Who was going to do all the planning that needed to be done for her funeral? This was when God stepped in the middle to remind us that He has the answers to all of our questions. 

My brothers in the country and friends from the community got very involved in organizing everything. In a short time, everything was arranged. This proved to us once again that with God all things are possible. There is a big gap that's been left in our hearts as we will forever mourn the loss of this beautiful soul. Her four kids were left without a mother. Her youngest child graduated high school this year and her other three kids are pursuing their chosen careers. We thank God that they were able to cope with all the emotional pain and pushed  forward. This was not easy but they continuously have the support of our family.

Fast forward to 2020, a year of so much pain and turmoil, I believe for almost every single person in the universe. COVID19 pounced upon us with a vengeance prepared to wipe the entire earth of every living person. What a sad year it was! My mom and I also suffered from the virus in March 2020. Thank God it was not fatal, but I must tell you that was the worst feeling that I had ever experienced. To all the families who lost their loved ones to this deadly virus, I offer my prayers and condolences. I know just like myself that those who have recovered are still experiencing some residual side effects. But we keep praying that someday we will all be 100% healed. 

It was during this period in May 2020 that I lost my dear husband Ivan. He was a loving husband and a caring father to our 16 year old son Matthew. Ivan had been sick for over nine years but was doing better over time. I’m grateful that he was not affected with COVID19, but unfortunately, he died from a heart attack. He practically died in my arms. One minute he was fine and the next he was gasping for breath. How do you recover from that experience? 

It has been a long hard road but every day it gets a little easier. Our family will cherish the good times but we will also remember the bad times as well. Sharing my experience has been very therapeutic for me. I pray often, asking God a lot of questions and I've gotten a lot of answers. I've come to realize that with God by my side everything will be alright. Matthew is now 17 years old and graduated high school this June 2021. He is also coping with his father's death really well. You know, God has a way of protecting his children throughout life’s most challenging circumstances. 

When I reflect on all that has happened since my husband's passing, both financially and emotionally, I'm in awe of how God has proven faithful to us. Still, I'm reminded that when we think that all is lost or that we won't be able to make it to the next day, God shows up. He is truly an on time God! 

There is this fable that all things come in threes, right?  My pain of loss was not over yet. My sister called us in August 2020 to announce the death of her husband who was ill for a while. Another death, another period of pain and suffering within two years, a total of three unexpected deaths. We haven't had time to mourn the death of our dear sister and my amazing husband, but here comes another one. How were we supposed to comfort each other when we were all experiencing the same pain?

The question of "Why Lord why?" kept popping in my mind. However, I was reminded of Romans 8 vs 28 which says, "All things work together for good for those who serve the Lord." But how was I supposed to wrap my mind around that scripture? How can this be working out for our good? 

Over time we reflected and the thing all three of our loved ones had in common was their continuous pain and sickness. All three of them were born again believers in Christ. God relieved them of their illnesses and took them home to be with Him. How can we be mad at God when our loved ones aren't suffering anymore? 

We will never forget them as we continue with our lives. Their memories will always be with us. We will laugh and reminisce about their memories. We have some amazing stories to share. We thank God that He gave them to us even if it was only for a short time. 

For everyone who reads this who has lost a loved one, remember they are forever in your hearts. Remember them with love, God knows best. God works everything for our good even when we are hurting and don’t understand why.

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Thank you for your transparency and testimony! “This is how we overcome” we go loud and not silent giving Him all praise, glory, and tears that many fail to see but, He alone sees, feels, and will heal. Blessings upon blessings.

Ms. Phillips, I am truly touched by your story, very inspiring to see how you pressed forward after all those heartaches.

I thank you for sharing this beautiful message with us.

Valene Murphy
Thanks for sharing!
What a powerful testimony. Thanks for sharing. You have indeed given me hope.
Crystal Green- Pusey
Yvette: Thank you for testimony! I know that as you mentioned , it was therapeutic for you, it will be a blessing for someone else. I too lost a loved one in 2020, my dad. It was difficult but I know that him and my mom are together and that gives me peace. Thank you so much for sharing.
Regina Martin

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