When Tragedy Strikes


Have you ever had something terrible happen to you that stops you in your tracks? Or, has someone close to you or even someone you know experienced a loss?  What do you do when tragedy strikes?

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.  Psalm 147:3

Over the years, I have experienced tragedies.  As a teenager, over the course of 8 months, 3 friends were killed in a car accident – one; the fiancé of my best friend.  A miscarriage of my first pregnancy. The impact of 9/11.  The sudden loss of my father-in-law. The sudden loss of my mom and even business hardships. 

Every tragic event has impacted me and or my family in similar yet different ways.  None the less, a tragedy can hurt the heart. How did my past tragedies affect me?

  • As a teenager, losing 3 friends was a lot to comprehend.  It did, however, teach me to not take life for granted.
  • Experiencing a miscarriage early on in my marriage was devastating.  I don’t know about you, but I know when I first found out that I was pregnant (I was on top of the moon), then not long after – miscarrying – it felt like such a loss. I didn’t even know this baby yet, but the loss I initially felt was crushing.  I soon learned that miscarriages were very common and being the faithful person I am – I learned that God would bring me two beautiful babies later on.
  • When 9/11 happened, even though it was in the USA, it had such an impact here in Canada.  Watching those news clips and hearing the stories was heart-breaking.  This event taught me to hold my loved ones close.  Life was too short for squabbles or disagreements.  Love one another to the fullest capacity you can.  
  • When my father-in-law passed away, it occurred so fast.  One day, he was in the hospital and the next, he was gone. We had no way to prepare ourselves.  It just happened.  Our first insight into losing an immediate family member.  A quick reminder that life was short.  Although his passing was a shock to all, it brought our family closer with memories and stories to share. Even simple acts like chopping wood brings us closer to him.  
  • When my mom passed recently…again…it was sudden and unexpected.   One day she was thinking she had the flu and the next she was in surgery for an obstructed bowel.  Thinking the surgery was a success soon led to preparing ourselves for our worst thoughts.  The feeling of emptiness and loss was something I could not have prepared myself for, but something I would later learn was grief. Seventeen months later, her passing may not hurt as much in my heart, but I have learned how a heart can heal with honouring her in special ways (for example using her recipes). 
  • Owning a business not only has huge highs with success and wins, but can also have such lows and sorrows.  Betrayal and loss of trust can certainly stifle your dreams, but it can also make you stronger.  Being able to stand tall, head high and continue to help others in the midst of betrayal can restore your heart with joy and peace.

Tragedy may strike at any time or at any place.  You will experience difficulties or sadness that can be life changing at some point in your life.  You may not see it coming, but know that you can handle it.  You are stronger than you think.  For me, I rely on and cherish my strength from God.  His words provide me comfort when sudden or traumatic events occur.  

For Example:

  1. Reading devotions like – When Tragedy Strikes by Charles F Stanley, Grieving Well by The Urban Alternative, or Hope When It Hurts by Kristen Wetherell have all helped me heal my heart in times of need. I can always find what my heart needs with the comfort of His words.  
  2. More recently, two tragedies have affected childhood friends of mine. One friend whom I have known since I was three lost her home in a tornado causing serious injury to herself.  She is ok – healing, but her spirit has stayed intact.  The joy, happiness, and positivity expressed in her words to others regarding the incident amazes me.  She is so strong – full of courage and hope.  She is a blessing and a gift for others to see how hardship cannot and will not harden her heart.  
  3. In another incident, other childhood friends of mine experienced a heartache that no parent should ever have to experience.  They unexpectedly lost a child.  A heartache that can crush a soul.  I personally did not know their child, but having known both of them, I imagine their child was extraordinary, talented, and gifted in sports and school and had a personality that shined for the world to see.  Their hearts will require much needed time to heal, but I pray that someday they will feel whole again. Their hearts may be scarred – will be scarred – but day by day, week by week – the broken pieces of their once whole heart will be mended and become whole once again.  Time does heal all things and my prayer for them is that in the shadows that may be covering them right now, they will soon see the light that will give them the strength to love again.

What can you do if someone you know has experienced a crisis or tragedy? 

  • Be there for them. Even if it’s just to listen
  • Help in useful ways if you can (food, money, time)
  • Send flowers or cards (even something so simple lets that person know you are there for them. One heart sending love to another heart in hopes of making it whole again).
  • Pray for them. Prayer heals hurting hearts.
tragedy, psalm 34

As you go about your day today, pray for your loved ones, pray for your neighbour who is living alone, pray for your friend who lost their home due to finances or a natural occurrance, and pray for that someone who recently lost a loved one. Prayer heals and restores the heart.

If you don’t know where to turn to or need someone to pray with you, or even a friend to listen, please click the link below. I’m always here for a friend in need.

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