When my husband died, I immediately took a break from posting on ModMomTV.com. As you might expect, my main focus was on my three boys. I wanted to be fully present and available for them, as we began our grief journey.
But one of the things I’ve learned, as I’ve processed my own grief these past months, is I’m not the same Natalie I was on August 14, 2018. It’s hard to say this, and even more difficult to wrap my head around, but I know: I AM BETTER.
Wow, really? Can I think that? Can I speak that??? It seems harsh, bold and disrespectful to Wayne. But losing my spouse has drastically changed me…for the better. I am a better mother, a better friend, a better child of God because of the immense pain and sorrow I’d never known before, but have now lived through these past months. I now feel things more deeply AND I express those feelings to the people I love. I appreciate the small joys, the mini blessings, the fingerprints of God in my life. I no longer hide behind layers of “strength” to keep people at arm’s length, but instead I choose to be vulnerable and allow myself to peel back those layers revealing a rawness and realness to the people around me.
On my personal Facebook page, I gave my friends small glimpses into my grief journey. It was a way for me to process the pain, plus I hoped it would encourage them to be better, too. I don’t want people to wait for a tragedy to be the springboard of change for their lives. I want my friends to:
- Choose to be real.
- Choose to give more of themselves.
- Choose to live in the freedom that comes when they allow themselves to be the people God designed them to be.
Facebook is a great place for sporadically sharing personal stuff with friends, but I feel called to something bigger and more tangible.
I’ve always enjoyed musical theater and performing on stage. God has gifted me with the ability to communicate from a platform in a way that inspires AND also entertains. I also love to write and create content.
It was around 3am and I was wide awake. I sat down at my computer and within an hour I had written a one-women show entitled “How to Live a Great Story: Maintaining Your Faith When the Chapters are Rewritten.” It was amazing to see how the words and songs lyrics poured out of my fingertips and onto the page with such order and clarity.
But what do I do with it???
Well, I’ve been teaching my popular “Couponing 101” class to groups all over Dallas/Ft. Worth for over 10 years. I’d love to revisit these groups and share a completely different message. I also have the desire to take it to women’s Bible study programs and church retreats.
But this isn’t like a typical talk usually heard from a speaker on a platform. I bust into song on multiple occasions. (Really, I do!) And I’ll probably make people cry. I aim to make them laugh, too. But most importantly, I hope audiences will hear my story and leave knowing that no matter what unthinkable, painful circumstances we may encounter in life, every story has hope.
- After the loss of my husband, I endured horrific pain and trauma. But never despair.
- The goodness of God was always surrounding me even when my world was shaken to it’s core.
- I saw God and I continue to see Him in ways I’ve never seen Him before.
- I have a hope for my future and I know, without a doubt, that God works ALL things (even the death of a spouse) together for good to those that love Him.
Yes, the future I’d planned out in my head is different now. But that doesn’t mean my story is over. It’s just being written with different chapters.