justmeI can imagine we’ve all been there a time or two. Wondering if we had it in us to keep on keeping on? I know I have, and some days are tougher than others. Thinking back to a day earlier this year as I was sitting and writing with my ankle propped up on a tall chair, still on ice 12 days post mishap. It was all sorts of colors, twice it’s size and pulsating heat. For the second week in a row unable to work I had to trust that God had it all under control (and He did). My all-time favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This always makes me think of the importance of doing our part in the process of the success God would have for us.

We all have our own free will and therefore we must do our best to walk according to Gods will for our lives. Oftentimes however life’s circumstances can make us feel well…. LESS THAN. This is where we need to be courageous and step out of our comfort zones. Around 10 years ago I found myself in a place I never imagined I would be. Raising three children as a single mom, life had taken some less than perfect turns and I had to learn to roll with the punches. In the last decade I have lost more than my share of loved ones way before their time due to, once again, unforeseen circumstances that seemed to have come from out of the blue. It is so easy to make poor choices when our hearts are crushed and we feel lost. In these times, we (or at least I) tend to question our faith God and so much more.

fb_img_1473223828799I can honestly say I got stuck, for far too long. Most of the questions I found myself asking were why? Why God did you allow two of my best friends to die way before their time? Why did they not get a chance to tell their families goodbye? Why God did you take my brother at only 31 years of age. He was still so full of life and left behind two very little children who will now have to live without an amazing man. Why wasn’t I a better wife? mom? friend? I had to figure things out, mostly through trial and error. I have so much to be apologetic for and also so much to be thankful for (mainly God’s grace and forgiveness).

Raising three young kids in a single parent home made me scared. I decided I had to go to get the education I didn’t get after high school at the age of 40. It was frightening, I had been out of school for 22 years and truth be told; I didn’t do all that well the first time around. Fast forward five and a half years; I finally graduated (Summa cum Laude) due mostly in part to my three amazing kids, a non-existent social life, hard work, discipline and a lot of prayer. Jeremiah 29:11 still holds true and 2016 is going to be the year of increase and restoration. Let’s make this our best year yet. Anybody with me?

18 thoughts on “Sometimes We’ve Gotta Just Smile Through the Tears”

  1. Hi Cary, life is not always as it should be. But the challenges we face make us stronger people.
    I can relate to your story, I lost my wife when our son was 3 years old. He is now 15, after a long road as a single father I am now starting to see him grow to be a fine young man.
    Lots of tears, frustration and lessons learned.
    Great post

    1. Kevin,
      So sorry to hear of your loss. I have lost far too many close to my heart in the past decade myself.
      I know the pain of having to raise kids on your own. It most certainly can be a challenge, but one
      that I’m sure you’ve done well with as your son looks like a very happy boy. Thank you for sharing
      a little of your journey with me. Much love and many blessings to you and your son.

  2. Your testimony was heaven sent. I appreciate your words…You are not alone. I have lost one the most important persons in my life earlier this year…my Mom. Life has a lot of turns and we all have to stay encouraged. You keep on posting..and we all are smiling through the tears.

    1. Nay,
      Thanks so much for visiting and I just want to say… I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Hang on to the good memories and be so grateful for them. I find myself smiling so big at times when I miss my brother the most. All I have to do is remember a time when he made me laugh. There is a picture I have of him doing what he loved. Painting houses…. He was up on high on a ladder smiling and painting away. It was one I hadn’t seen before. I was all teared up when it appeared on FB. I saw his smile, and just began giggling as I said… I miss you droopy drawers. (His pants were sagging a bit). I miss his smile, his laugh, his just poppin in to get the mail unannounced and mostly his hugs. Remember the good times and don’t ever forget. You’ll be in my prayers.

  3. I’ve seen my fair share of hard roads. These past few years have not been easy. I can’t speak as a parent, but after living away from my own parents, on my own for almost a decade, I made the hard decision to move back in with them. My own goals I had to put on hold and a strange feeling just told me to head back. Turns out, it wasn’t a step backward. My parents needed me there. They went through hard times while I was away. They needed me around.

    I feel very blessed and try not to forget it. Nothing feels quite like no longer being the baby carried around and instead being someone relied on. This year has been one of much change and we’ve gotten stronger through each phase. I’m so grateful for the support my parents and I have in each other. With all the messes and uncertainty going on in the world, spiritual, emotional and physical support is the last thing someone should let slip through their fingers right now. If any parents are reading this and wonder if they’re doing anything right: if you’re child asks if you’re okay, and you say yes, even though you’re not; that moment when your child gives you that band-aid ANYWAYS…you’re doin’ pretty good. That’s what support’s about. Those acts are what gets my parents and me to smile through many tears.

    1. What a tender heart you have to be able to recognize the blessing in being a blessing to your parents in their time of need. You know truth is… Your selflessness will bring you so much peace when they someday will no longer be here for you to care for. Hang onto the good times and make memories, take pictures. You’ll be so glad you did. One thing I so wish I had were more pictures and what I miss most is their voices. Their laughs and their hugs. Love and Blessings to You. Thank You so much for sharing your journey. Please come back and visit often. 🙂

  4. I’m so sorry Cary about your losses. It is very hard to lose someone you love and so close to. Love the bible verse you referred to. I’ve read that one a lot this past year. I have been smiling through the pain of my own circumstances. My son suffered an anoxic brain injury 16 months ago and our lives have been turned upside down. He is still in the hospital fighting and I’ve asked God a lot of whys myself. I admire you and this website you’ve created to help others! God will surely bless You! John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

    Thank you for Sharing! I’ll be sure to stop back and read More!

    1. Melissa,
      Thanks so much for stopping by my website and taking the time to read my blogs. I’m so sorry to hear about your sons injury. I know how hard it is some times to even pick up a bible when grieving so. Sometimes it’s all I can do to just hold the bible tight and weep. It is always a comfort to know that God will never leave us or forsake us. I will be praying for you and your family during the times of healing. I can only imagine the pain you must feel at times. I’m grateful that even though your son got injured in such a traumatic way that he is still hear with you. Much Love and many Continued Blessings to You and Your Family. I’d love to stay in touch.

  5. Hi Cary. I am so sorry you have had to live with the loss of so many loved ones. I don’t understand why such sadness has to happen, especially for people so young and with children. This is when we have to trust God has a better plan for them and believe that the loved ones left behind can find peace in knowing we are being watched over by our loved ones in heaven. You are very strong and I admire that. Stay strong. I wish you much happiness.

    1. Rachel,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes many lives have been impacted in a positive way by each ones early departure from earth. God is faithful and there is always good that comes out of tragedy. Watching my brothers kids grow up has been a real blessing. They both have certain mannerisms and looks they give that could only come from him. Its funny that even though they did not see or necessarily learn these things from him they got passed down to them. Its good to see his love in their eyes. Thank you visiting and I hope to see you here again soon.

  6. So sorry for your losses. God always has a way though. When one door closes another opens. I lost a good friend six years ago at the age of 24 due to MRSA. It took time to get over it but I did and my daughter was born months after. Things have been hard for me but there is always a rainbow in the cloud.

    1. Jana,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear of your best friends passing as well. I’m curious to know if you named your daughter after her in any way? When my oldest daughter was born I named her middle name after my best friends middle name. That best friend died 2 years ago this coming May. You’re so right. God always has a way of comforting us when we’re grieving. Love and Blessings!

  7. Ya, sometimes we need to treasure those around us, when we were a kid, we felt like everyone look young and feel like we are never going to lose them. As we reach a certain age, we have to deal with the reality of losing someone. Truth to be told, as we age, a new life is born such as a birth of a child

    1. Arthur,
      I so appreciate what you had to say. It’s so true when we’re little we just can’t wait to be big. Funny thing, when we finally do get big we would do almost anything to be a kid again. I love that you also brought up the fact that new life plays into the scenario too. Nothing like a brand new little baby. 🙂

  8. Cary –

    I am very happy for your accomplishments and please keep pressing on!

    I have had my fair share of losses, failure and success and enjoyed reading your article.

    The lesson I learned was to be thankful in both good times and bad times.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Udoh,
      Thanks for visiting. You are so right about being thankful in both good times and in bad. I’ve found that there are lessened and occasionally even blessings on the not so good times when we view them with a thankful heart.

  9. You have such a beautiful site and your posts are so easy to read and feel the love you are sharing thru them. When you live with pain every day and health issues with no known cure in the near future it takes a lot of courage and strength to begin each day. I thank you for the blessings you share with others and the sweet reminder of ‘smiles’. On those days I wonder why I am still trying to be more, & do more, and fight the negative chatter that tells me I can’t or won’t make a difference anyway…….I thank you immensely for sharing that ‘ Yes I can!’
    I read the beautiful comments on your site and you have blessed so many already with your tender words. We share God’s love with our actions and you are doing that and more.

    1. Merry,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you came to visit today and hope you come back often.
      It seems you might know a bit about living with pain and the courage it takes at time to just keep smiling
      especially when it’s hard. I’m sure you also know the rewards of seeing others benefit from seeing us push
      through the pain. Yes We Can “Do ALL things Through Christ who strengtheneth us”. I hope you have a great week.
      Much Love and Many Blessings!

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