When It Hits Home

Like a ton of bricks, five years later it hit home.

My father was no longer here. Like a rushing wind and a vicious tornado, ALS had taken him away; just like that. A healthy and active family man who had never consumed any types of drugs or alcohol was now gone. A husband of 27 years, a father to his children, a friend to many people and an active leader and preacher of the church; this man of God was gone too soon.

But why had it taken so long for it to hit home? Why now? When everything in life had finally settled down and I was supposed to be extremely happy, it hit home. Ministry was thriving, Bachelor’s degree was almost completed, marriage was strong, I was a stay-at-home mom, life was good until it hit home. Why now? How was I to deal with the weight of such sorrow and grief? Everything in life was near perfect, I had no complaints, I was happy. Why me? Why our family? Why now?  

You see that’s how grief is. We all process loss differently. For me, I was six months pregnant with my first son; Justin, when my father passed. Having had a miscarriage a year before, I suppressed all grief as hard as I could, in fear of losing my child again.  A year and half later, we were blessed with the news of our new baby girl, Melody. And again I suppressed it all. But eventually it hit home, he was gone. And although through God and God alone I was able to continue, the pain was unbearable. The reality that my children would never meet this wonderful man; their grandfather, was almost too much to bear. The reality that he had seen my husband and I as Pastors in a vision just two months before he passed, and not be able to witness it, shattered my heart in ways I couldn’t seem to vocalize or express. Who could I run to? How could I continue to serve in ministry when my heart was broken to what seemed to be beyond repair?

I began to seek information and realized that grief is just that, unpredictable. But I sought refuge in the Lord and the power of his Word. Psalm 34:18 Common English Bible (CEB) says: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed.

I realized God had waited for this moment and he was ready and able to walk me through the process of healing; regardless of how much time had already passed. I knew I didn’t want to be a victim and that I wanted to help others through my experience. The lesson I learned was simple, yet powerful. This is true, especially for those in any form of leadership and the lesson was this:  It’s okay to grieve. No matter how strong we may think we are, grief debilitates us in ways we have not ever experienced. But in every moment the Lord is near, close and ready to console us with his unconditional love.

This year will be my second year riding to defeat ALS. I ride because I choose not to be a victim and wallow in my sorrow but to still give God the glory; even in my pain, because He is still faithful. ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. Essentially one is a prisoner in his or her own body.

Today, I kindly reach out and ask for your support in raising awareness of this terrible illness and that you help us make a difference and bless the ALS Association who blesses so many families with the countless services they provide, all free of cost.

Www.youcaring.com/teamcourageous http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html
 

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And if you have had a loss, know this, it's okay to grieve. Know that the Lord is near, able and ready to walk with you in the long process of healing. You are not alone!

Be Blessed,
Pastor & Friend,
Erica Canales
House of Worship & Revival, Inc.

Becky FernandezComment