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Moving Forward in the Midst of Great Loss: The Brave Choice to Let Go of Control

By Tricia Thirey

Brave Women Series - Tricia's Story


One of my earliest childhood memories is of the summer I almost drowned while swimming in a lake in Maine. I can remember slipping under the water into a black hole and not being able to get back out. The feeling of losing control and not being able to save myself has stuck with me for over 30 years. As an adult, I still avoid lakes and the ocean whenever possible. And if on the rare occasion you find me in the water, you can guarantee you won’t see me putting my head under by choice.


I am sure I am not the only one who hates feeling a loss of control. After all, who really likes feeling like they can’t save themselves from a bad situation?


If I’m being honest, there are days when I feel like I have had an “unfair” amount of hard things in my life. Years of struggling with infertility, miscarriage, deployments, and cancer diagnoses have made seasons of my life feel a lot like how Job in the Bible probably felt when he lost everything. So when it comes to things I can control in my life, I tend to hold on with all my might.


 

"Years of struggling with infertility, miscarriage, deployments, and cancer diagnoses have made seasons of my life feel a lot like how Job in the Bible probably felt when he lost everything. So when it comes to things I can control in my life, I tend to hold on with all my might."

 

I remember the end of 2016. I was feeling broken, depressed, and alone as the new year started. My husband, Ben, had gotten out of the military and was facing year 4 of brain cancer. We had moved to Ohio to be closer to family and had twin four-year-olds and a two-year-old. Our dreams of growing a large family had been dashed. And then our adoption plans were put on hold due to Ben’s health. I was really struggling to see the good in every day.


Ben was the epitome of brave in that season. No matter what we faced, he had a smile on his face. He took control of his health and led our family with grace. He never gave up believing that all things work together for good.


At the start of the new year, my dreams of being brave enough to face hard things seemed to be laughing in my face. And then I felt God start impressing upon me that I needed to change my attitude. Years earlier as we faced infertility and miscarriage, God led me to choose Proverbs 31:25 as inspiration for getting through hard times. She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” I came across a necklace with that scripture on it and decided 2017 was going to be the year I chose joy.


I wore that necklace through much of 2017. A reminder that joy was a choice and it was okay to laugh in the midst of hard moments. I started making a point to look for the good in every day even if it was something small. I had no idea that would be the year my faith and dedication to joy would be truly tested.


 

"I started making a point to look for the good in every day even if it was something small. I had no idea that would be the year my faith and dedication to joy would be truly tested."

 

In August, we unexpectedly lost Ben. I remember taking him to the hospital on Sunday for meds and coming home without him. I had to take my three young children into my bedroom to tell them. We sat on the floor in a circle in front of the door where I explained to them that daddy would not be coming home. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.


The months that followed were humbling for me. I recognized how little in my life I truly had control over. I clung to my faith and Scripture because I knew it was the only sure thing left in my life. As 1 Corinthians 2:3 says, “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.” The less I admitted I had control over, the closer I grew in my walk with the Lord.


 

"I recognized how little in my life I truly had control over. I clung to my faith and Scripture because I knew it was the only sure thing left in my life... The less I admitted I had control over, the closer I grew in my walk with the Lord."

 

In the years since then I have learned that bravery is so much more than the choice to let God have control. Bravery is getting up every day and looking for the good. It’s waking up each morning and continuing to live when there are moments you feel you have lost everything. Being brave is knowing that tomorrow may bring harder things than today and choosing to keep pressing forward into the unknown.


 

"Bravery is so much more than the choice to let God have control. Bravery is getting up every day and looking for the good. It’s waking up each morning and continuing to live when there are moments you feel you have lost everything. Being brave is knowing that tomorrow may bring harder things than today and choosing to keep pressing forward into the unknown."

 

I encourage my children to face their fears (and mine too). I cheer for them as they jump into the deep end of the pool and relinquish control of things they want to hold on tight to.


One day I hope my children will look back on their young lives and say, “Our mom was so brave. She taught us that we can get through anything if we put our trust in God. And she showed us that letting go of control opens us up to a world of new possibilities.


 

Brave Woman Manifesto


Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story. And by the way...


You are Brave!


No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means He equips you with His courage, strength, and power. I would love to connect more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my empowered email tribe.


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About Tricia


Tricia Thirey is a home-schooling mom and educator who lives in the Fort Worth area. As a former military wife turned widow, she is thankful for all that the Lord has taught her about choosing joy in difficult seasons. She has learned the hard way how brave it is to keep moving forward in the midst of great loss.


She shares her story and what the Lord is teaching her on her website choosingjoyineverymoment.com. Connect with Tricia more on Facebook or Instagram.

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