So many in the early stages of this journey are wondering if it will ever get better. I can say that it will. In fact, I can honestly say that now I consider this whole experience a gift (not that I don't still have some painful times).
In the last 3 weeks, we have had a member of our congregation lose her husband suddenly at age 54 and another member lose her 33 year old son suddenly. And I have realized that the gift of this experience has enabled me to support them in a way that I wouldn't have been able to before.
I can see that I would have been very afraid to deal with their grief before - probably expressing my sympathy once and then not knowing what to do. But now I realize that I am not afraid of their grief like so many are. I know the pain and that there's really nothing I can do to stop it. I know that all they really need is someone to listen - again and again - until they eventually work through it. And I am not uncomfortable with their grief - and they know it. I find that they are drawn to me - and I know they wouldn't have been before.
And so they feel "safe" at church instead of feeling pushed away as so many do. And this will only help them deal with their feelings and questions about God, and I hope I can help them do that. And as the preacher's wife, a lot of people expect us to take the lead on things. And I am so glad I can demonstrate how to support someone in their grief.
I knew that I have been changed by this experience, and that God would use it for good. I just didn't realize it would be so soon. And C. said that this is just the beginning - and I'm sure she's right.
So I'm still not sure this is "why" this happened to me - I don't think God works that way. But I am sure that God is now using this experience for good "all things work together for good for those who are the called according to his purpose." And I can actually say that this week I have thanked God many times for this experience - and I certainly wouldn't have said that a year ago!