Moving on begins with one step

Whether it is a death, divorce, the loss of a beloved career or your health, learning to recognize the blessings hidden within the transition is an important life lesson.

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  • Written by Debbie Ceresa for Hope After Divorce

  • The day was rather ordinary until a dozen roses arrived. I remember the awkwardness still, the shock in the secretary's voice. "Valley Flowers delivered a huge bouquet of red roses. I checked the card twice, your name is on it."

  • Little escaped Carol's control of the high school main office. I knew what she was thinking. Beautiful red roses, but they weren't from my husband. I felt another speed bump in my life just when I thought I was moving on. The bump stopped me, again.

  • Now, instead of excitement and anticipation, I felt fear. Fear and I had become good friends that year. I retrieved the vase and carried it back to my office, only thinking about the awkward look from Carol. Those embarrassed looks were a bump, too.

  • You see, I was widowed the previous year. The roses had been from a man who also lost his spouse. We had enjoyed our friendship, but I wasn't ready to say we were dating. Dating was moving on. Didn't that mean leaving behind? That thought alone frightened me.

  • A good friend and colleague walked into my office that day. "Roses?" He sat down and made himself comfortable. Gregory didn't make me feel awkward or intimidated. I found myself sharing more with Gregory than I had with any of my girlfriends.

  • After I poured my heart out, Gregory had leaned closer and stroked his white beard. He was quiet for a few minutes, pondering my story before he said a word. Finally, he leaned back in his chair and smiled at me. "God has sent you a gift. Many times we look the other way and don't recognize the gifts we're given. Think about the gift. You'll find your answers."

  • The kind man shuffled out of my office, leaving me with my roses. However, Gregory's wise words have stayed with me throughout the years. In fact, I've made them a part of my inner strength and armor when I encounter some of life's bumps.

  • My friend's wise words taught me these invaluable lessons:

  • 1. Find your mantra

  • Mine was looking at each day and finding a gift from God. On a difficult day you may have to squint to find that present, but once you have it, you're in the driver's seat. You'll easily roll over the day's bump.

  • 2. Overcome your fear

  • Fear is a feeling of powerlessness. My husband died, and I couldn't bring him back. I was beyond powerless. However, I could accept his death. Once you accept your situation, you can begin to look forward.

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  • 3. Embrace your faith

  • Once I realized God would help me, I felt peace. I knew I could rely on him to guide me through those fearful life bumps. All of us will experience the death of a loved one, but we're not alone. Your God is always with you.

  • Moving on is a gift. No longer am I afraid of forgetting the past, those loving memories always remain in my heart. The day of the roses had been the first of my moving on journey. Now, I face the future without fear. I look for the gifts and continue to find many in my life.

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