The Greatest Pain And The Greatest Peace

Peace is with us all the time
Peace is with us all the time | Source

NOTE: What is written below is solely based on my personal experiences and how I perceived each circumstance. ~Sparklea~

AGE ELEVEN:

My twin sister and I live with our grandparents on our father's side. Our dad, age thirty-five, lives two hundred miles away in New York City. He visits us as often as he can, mostly on birthdays and holidays. We love him so much, and we get so excited when he is in town.

On June 16 my sis and I awaken to the sound of our grandmother sobbing in the living room. We are told our father has been found dead in his apartment. My sister and I are devastated. To this day his death remains a mystery.

AGE SIXTEEN:

Our grandmother who raised us dies on our sixteenth birthday from a massive stroke. The worst birthday of my life. Words cannot express our pain.

AGE EIGHTEEN:

My boyfriend of two years breaks up with me. I am heartbroken. We had originally planned to marry.

AGE TWENTY-EIGHT:

My husband leaves me for another woman. One week later, my grandfather, who raised my sister and I, dies of cancer. I am filled with anger and grief.

1993:

My sister's husband commits suicide. The trauma on the family is unbearable.

1999:

My husband unexpectedly loses his job. It is one of the most difficult trials we have encountered.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001:

911 Attack, New York City. The nation is paralyzed.

DECEMBER 29, 2001:

Someone extremely close to me walks out of my life. The pain is unbearable. I feel like humpty dumpty: I will never be able to put the pieces of my broken heart back together again.

MAY 26, 2004:

I am babysitting my sister's sixteen-year-old cat, "Happy" for a month. The cat has two seizures. She is diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have to have her put to sleep. My sister, sobbing, calls the vet long distance and makes the arrangements.

"Happy" lays in the front seat, curled up, asleep, on the way to the office to be put to sleep. So trusting. When I pull into the parking lot, she stands up on the seat, and she purrs...as if the say, "It's okay. I understand." My heart breaks in two as I carry her inside. I cry, cry and cry the rest of the day.

HEREIN LIES THE GREATEST PAIN:

LOSS.

Loss of someone you love, regardless of the circumstances. Loss of a loved one. Loss of a pet. Loss of a job. Loss of a home. Loss of good health. Loss of a great leader. Loss of a pastor. Saying "good-bye" or having not had the opportunity to say "good-bye." The hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach. The emptiness. Having to go on, some how, some way.

A MOVIE SAVES MY LIFE:

It is three days since my loved one walked out of my life. I am filled with despair. He has refused my request to meet with him. I decide to leave the house and see a movie. I enter the theatre in a daze, and I purchase a ticket for LORD OF THE RINGS.

I have since seen the movie twenty-five times. It's a story about a hobbit, Frodo, with a horrendous task to destroy an evil ring.

Inside a cave, Frodo says to the wizard, Gandalf, "I wish the ring had never come to me, I wish none of this had happened."

Gandalf replies, "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. ALL WE HAVE TO DECIDE IS WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE TIME THAT IS GIVEN US."

Galdalf's statement SAVED MY LIFE. It occurred to me that, yes, many 'rings' had come into my life. I DO WISH they had never happened. But I COULD DECIDE what to do with the rest of the time that is given me!

HEREIN LIES THE GREATEST PEACE:

ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN MY LIFE. DECIDING WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE TIME GIVEN ME, AND ON MY OWN PERSONAL, SPIRITUAL LEVEL, DEPENDENCE ON GOD EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.

IT'S ABOUT CHOICE.

It's about treating time as a gift, making time my friend, giving it the opportunity to heal me.

It's about action: action absorbs anxiety.

It's about focus: contributing to the happiness of others through writing and public speaking.

It's about remaining silent. I do not wish to talk in the darkness. Going on and on about a negative circumstance only makes me feel worse.

It's about being a beacon in the presence of others, and trusting God as I walk my daily path.

I wrote a poem about my loss, and I entered it in a contest at my work place. It won first place.

I quit my job, and I created non-credit courses to teach at my community college: How To Be An Empress; The Mystery Of Coincidences; Writers Helping Writers and Finding a Purpose In Life.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM LOSS:

-I am happiest when I am active. Action cooperates with time. Action has contributed to my healing and has given me a positive view of life.

-If I love myself, I love others. If I love others, I receive love in return.

-God is a God of restoration (Joel 2:25: 'I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.") Locusts in my life have consumed precious time and energy. God is returning to me one hundred fold all that has been lost.

-I have learned I cannot fix people. However, I can make the world around me a more peaceful place.

-When I hurt another person, I injure my soul. I am thankful for my conscience. I repent, repair, and vow not to repeat.

-I have learned resentment and bitterness destroy.

-Most important, I have learned I am nothing without God. I find that if I forget myself and concentrate on being of service as much as I can in this world, having lost myself, I will find my higher self...my real self...

Finally, the person who walked out of my life ten years ago? I had lunch with him last week. He gave me a birthday card with a note and a gift card to Barnes and Noble. The word, "Love" accompanied the signature. He now emails me, and always ends it with "Love you," or "All My Love." But you know what? The ONLY thing that mattered to me was the one word: LOVE.

Blessings, Sparklea :)

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Comments 48 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Sparklea, I am so touched and moved by your story. You are a strong woman to have suffered so much and yet remain faithful. I have read The Lord of The Rings series at least three times and watched all the movies at least ten times. They are so deeply spiritual. I am glad to see that there is some restoration in the future for you. May God bless you in your walk today, friend.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

teaches12345 Thank you for reading my hub and for your comments. I am very captivated by LOTR movies, and Elijah Wood will ALWAYS be Frodo in my book. We have a cat named Frodo. There is so much to learn from life and the positive lessons I have learned, I want to pass them on. I have gleaned alot of valuable lessons from movies, and I take a tablet with me and take notes every time I attend a film. Blessings, Sparklea :) Thanks again :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Wow, what a testimony of perserverance and strength. This is a very powerful and beautiful hub. Thank you so much, Sparklea, for writing this. Your beautiful smile is also a testimony to your faith. We are able to love, as He first loved us. If we do not love, we do not know God. (On another note, thanks for pointing out to me about no comment section on my latest hub; I'll have to investigate) Voted up, Awesome, Beautiful (as YOU are) and interesting. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Faith Reaper, your hub is so great and I know people will want to comment. Are those pictures all your view? I want to sit on the porch with you! Thank you for taking time to read this hub. NOT having a pity party, just sharing VALUABLE lessons I have learned over the years! I am STILL STANDING and eager to encourage people that no MATTER WHAT, God is in control and all things work together for good. I TRULY believe that! Blessings, Sparklea :) I will stay in touch! :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

You are precious. Yes,I wish you could sit with me on my front porch too. I truly believe that as well. God Bless, Faith Reaper


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

this is the most precious hub I have ever read. and you are so precious dear one.... It takes all of that to find how how important our Lord God is too us doesn't it? and It's amazing what HE can and will do for us if we let HIM.

my prayers are with you..

this has been such a blessing to read

Debbie


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

That was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time and that is a remarkable piece of writing my friend.

From the depths of despair to the lofty pinnacle of hope and acceptance. Wow! I am so happy that I read this and so proud to call you my friend.

bill


Jesshubpages 4 years ago

The grace of God is evident. NO amount of circumstances in our lives can blur the Father's eyes watching over us. He is always with us no matter how heavy the pains we suffer. He never abandon us. You have reminded me the song, "Foot Prints in the Sand." Indeed God carried you through out the troublesome trails of your life. God bless you


glmclendon profile image

glmclendon 4 years ago

This was a good write. God has truly been with you. We don't always know how blessed we are until we look back on what we have been through.

God seems to bless us in so many ways we can only rejoice in the Father and cry out about His grace and mercy.

Your writing makes one know for sure God is good.

Stay Well


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

You know, Sparklea, I never would have guessed that there has been so much pain behind that beautiful smile.

I am rather stunned and speechless. I cannot imagine the pain you have endured and yet you have such a winning personality, enduring faith, and world-class smile.

I think next time I want to throw a pity party, I'll just shut up and read another one of your hubs...they have a way of humbling me.

May God bless you for your faithfulness - C.J. Sledgehammer

P.S. Long live Frodo!!! Voted up and away!!!


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Sparklea, what a beautiful poem and you have such strength in loving God. That is wonderful. So many people do not have this wonderful blessing you have. Mostly you read other people's hubs and say wonderful things to them. What you are is a wonderful person and a gift from God to this planet. We need more people like you. Thank you for sharing this.

God Bless you.

Michele


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Deborah Brooks: Thank you so much for your positive feedback...and thank you for taking the time to read this. Yes, I agree, God is SO AMAZING. Just goes to show that time and faithfulness in God never fails and God always remains faithful to His word. I stand on that forever. Blessings, Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

billybuc: it is an honor when I see your great picture gracing my hub comments. Your stories continue to inspire and uplift me. I SO appreciate your taking the time to read my material and for your feedback. God has never let me down. That being said, we all have a choice during our life journey: to become bitter or better or stronger or weaker. One of the greatest prayers, in my opinion, is, "God please make something good come out of this circumstance." God has never let me down. Blessings always, Sparklea THANK YOU!


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

jesshubpages: I know the poem "Footprints," not sure if is the same you are referring to, and I read the book of how the poem came to be. It is so much better to let go and let God in all aspects of life. THANK YOU for taking the time to read this hub. I SO appreciate your comments. Blessings, Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

glmclendon: You are SO right, we don't know how blessed we are until we look back on what we have been through! Thank you for taking time to read this hub, it means so very much to me! I so appreciate your comments. Blessings, Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

CJ Sledgehammer: SO THRILLED to see your name gracing this hub page! It means so much that you took time to read it! THANK YOU for your comments! Yes, LONG LIVE FRODO! His character in the movie had a profound effect on me...Watching that film 25 times that year was like a healing salve from God...and I SO looked forward to the two sequels the next two years. I also read the books. I believe God gave me Divine Adrenaline during that time and used Lord Of The Rings as a wonderful diversion. God did that for me, I KNOW IT! And I KNOW in my heart He uses other Divine Diversions for His people when they are going through any type of trial. That's why I think it is so important to share through writing and speaking. THANK YOU FROM MY HEART. You are such a blessing to the readers of HubPages. BLESSINGS ALWAYS, Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Michele Travis: I am deeply humbled almost to the point of tears for your wonderful sincere comment! I am very grateful to God for the gift of life, and, so many times I feel like a speck in His vast universe...However, I KNOW in my heart He has a Divine Purpose for EVERYONE. I daily pray to God to soften the hearts of everyone on this planet. Now, THAT is a big request, but with God, all things are possible! THANK YOU so much for visiting this hub and for your feedback, it means so very much to me. Blessings, Sparklea :)


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Sparklea, you are a very courageous woman. I admire your vulnerability in this hub. Keep the faith alive and be blessed. Leaving you with one of my personal mantra: "Whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shame, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."--


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

You know, Sparklea, I thought Lord of the Rings was going to be a real dud. I had seen the cartoon when I was young, but thought it would be too big of an undertaking with actors and such to do the story justice.

I think my mother forced me to watch it the year after it came out...I was blown away! I think it was the most amazing movie I had ever seen. I just couldn't believe it was so good. After seeing the first one, I just couldn't wait to see the next two.

I find that I can only watch them about once a year anymore, because of the emotional weight they carry - not to mention all the drama. This kind of movie can hit a guy on all sorts of levels.

Best wishes, behave, and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

CJ, so glad you loved Lord Of The Rings. I always loved The Wizard Of Oz, but I think LOTR has beaten it out. When watching the films I was in another world, had no clue what was going on around me. Totally mesmerized...the greatest mind diversion that God gave me at the right time. I even wrote a letter to Elijah Wood thanking him for saving my life with his "Frodo" character. A few months later I received an autographed picture from him in the mail. What a treasure!

The HOBBIT is coming out this year in December. I have the book and I am definitely going to see it.

SO MANY LESSONS to be learned from Lord Of The Rings. Like I wrote, it saved my life.

Thank you for your comments. Like you, I thought it would be a dud...in fact I had NO idea what it was about AT ALL.

Blessings, Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

CrisSp: THANK YOU from my heart for your comments! LOVE the mantra you shared with me! I TOTALLY agree it is STILL a beautiful world. I LOVE nature and I walk every morning when the sun is rising to absorb the crisp air, listen to the birds and watch the sky change before me. THAT is GOD saying, "Hey"...He has given me the gift of a NEW day. Life could not be any better than that! Blessings, Sparklea :)


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

Sparklea, I really have my doubts about the Hobbit.

From what I understand, Vigo will not be in it and the Gandalf guy was already getting long in the tooth 12 years ago when LOTR first appeared.

I would hate for them to make use of different actors...it kind of ruins it for me, but they have taken so long to get the Hobbit rolling, that some of the original actors may be outdated by now. :0(

God's blessings to a wonderful gal - C.J. Sledgehammer


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the tip, CJ...I have not read the Hobbit and I have NO idea the plot...I DO think we will have the same Gandalf, and the same gollum. I'll have to check it out. I do love Peter Jackson and I will decide on the movie after I read the book. I so appreciate your letting me know. I DO know Ian McKellan DID want the part of Gandalf when news of The Hobbit was publicized.

THANK YOU. I got your other message and will get back to you. Blessings, Sparklea :)


Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

Bless your heart, you went thru so much.I think this was a sadly wonderful hub.What a great writer.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Rusti, THANK YOU so much for reading my hub! Looking back, all has brought me so much closer to God, for I stand on Romans 8:28, "ALL things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose." Things always work out. GOD is in control. I so appreciate your comments. Blessings, Sparklea :)


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 4 years ago from Michigan

Wow you have been through the fire and back. You did not allow the hurts to turn you bitter. Your section on Lessons Learned from Loss is so amazing and meaty .. a beautiful attitude and choice .. good stuff. You are special Sparklea and I am so glad to have found your hubs!

God Bless YOU!

Mekenzie


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Mekenzie: THANK YOU for your comments. The key is to give every second of my life to God, and to ask Him to remind me of His Presence moment by moment. The thought life is vital...to focus on creativity, kindness, and spreading His Light as I allow Him to manifest His Life through me. I SO appreciate your taking the time to read this hub. Blessings, Sparklea :)


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Hi Sparlea.

I am very glad you have remained such a beautiful woman despite all your harship and pain.

I too have had much hardship and pain in my life but it was only through Gods grace the wounds have been healed and these lessons help me help others.

I mean this from my heart

God bless you.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

teacherjoe52: All that I am today is because of the Holy Spirit that saved me and Who resides in me. I can tell by your hubs that you have the Love of God in you even after all you have endured...then God uses our experiences to be there for others. THANK YOU for your kind comments and for taking time to read this. God bless you, Sparklea :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Thank you for sharing. You can be sure that if God had not been beside you all those terrible times you went through you would not have pulled yourself up by the boot straps so to say. I'm glad you have found faith and trust in Him. Never let go of God's hand and He will lead you through your life and you'll find the peace and happiness you seek. God bless.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Gypsy Rose Lee: THANK YOU for reading this hub and for your feedback! I look back, sometimes, and I can now see more clearly...that God is truly in everything. He gives us the remarkable gift of time. He restores the years the locust has eaten. He brings events and people into our lives to distract us and to focus on other things...good things. I pray that everything I write will, somehow, some way, bless the reader in God's miraculous way. Blessings, and thanks again...Sparklea :)


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

So heartbreaking Sparklea, I could feel the pain pin my heart. You've lost so many special people in your life. But however, we can find the greatest peace thru acceptance and eventually to learn a lesson in a certain point of our life. God is always with us. God bless Sparklea!


Tami Fite profile image

Tami Fite 4 years ago

Bless you -- touching -- voted up -- following!


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Unknown Spy: Thank you for taking time to read this hub! What I have lost, God has restored. He never lets me down! Yes the greatest peace IS acceptance of that which is gone. And deciding what to do with the time that is left. We must live every second of our lives with passion. Blessings Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Tami Fite! THANK YOU for taking time to read this hub! God is SO amazing, and He has never let me down, not once! Blessings, Sparklea :)


Tami Fite profile image

Tami Fite 4 years ago

:) Amen -- YES! He is is :)


snowdrops profile image

snowdrops 4 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

Let God heal the scars caused by pains and heartaches. God bless you Sparklea.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

snowdrops: THANK YOU for your kind words. So very, very thankful for numerous blessings throughout my life, one of them being wonderful writers, like you, on HubPages. God bless, Sparklea :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Dear Sparklea, this is a most profound and touching hub. I can relate, and I agree all the way with you. We have to come to terms with our losses and move on; the future always presents new opportunities to love more and better and to be grateful for all the good in life we have the privilege to enjoy. Voted up and beautiful :)


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Wow.. words are hard to write after reading this work of art ..

I must say that this... is one of the most beautiful hubs I have ever read. Your words are so inspiring to me .. having went through many trials and still in the process of battling a day to day fight of addiction to drugs . I have been uplifted from your inspiring write and the courage you have shown ..that life is always there even after you have think you have seen the worst. I will follow you now ..for it is meant to be .. I am only a humble poet and a writer ..but I will always look up to you .

Michael


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Cleaner 3: I am almost in tears ...yours is one of the most beautiful comments I have ever received. THANK YOU FROM MY HEART. I have kept a prayer list for the past year and a half, and, believe it or not, you have been on it...For some reason I added you to it, as well as other hubbers. I will continue to pray for you daily. I just got back from a big vacation, and I took my list with me. Believe me, prayer works...it is NOT an experiment...it is a fact. I am honored to hear from you. God bless you real good, and, THANK YOU AGAIN. Sincerely, Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Martie: Thank you so much for reading this hub and for your comments. Also for your votes. So much appreciated!

I hope to encourage readers by sharing my personal experiences.

I am honored to hear from you, and God bless you real good.

Sincerely, Sparklea :)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Thank you for sharing that. It takes a special person willing to open up and share their life to help others. ^


ananceleste profile image

ananceleste 3 years ago from California

I am so proud of you my dear. The endearing power of inner peace is achieved by those that raise above pain to help others heal. Is a true blessing isn't? The moment that a person stops,stands up and keeps going forward in spite of loss and grief, commands admiration. You are such a person. A warrior that even though it's wounds are still present, wears them as badges of honor. God knows how to help us to become stronger, and ultimately heroes for others to follow. Don't feel cheated. You are who you are today because of your experiences, not because of what you lost, but for the compassion that your heart gained. Blessed are those that endured darkness, for greater is their joy when they finally see the light. Blessings dear.


Kathleen Kerswig 3 years ago

I want to thank you for sharing so intimately with us here on HubPages. You mentioned "love" and I believe that love will always be the most powerful force in my life. Thank you so much for giving us this reminder. Blessings!


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Kathleen: Thank you for your lovely note. I agree that love is the most powerful force...and I firmly believe there is much more love in the world than hate. I also believe Love cannot fail. What we put out there returns to us, especially in the case of love. God bless, Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Jackie, THANK YOU for visiting this hub and for your lovely comments. I am overwhelmed by the encouragement received from my hub friends.

God bless and I am filled with gratitude. Sparklea :)


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Ananceleste: Wow, what a lovely comment and thank you so much, from my heart! Your comment, "You are who you are today because of your experiences' really nailed me. You are so right! We can choose to become better, not bitter and stronger, not weaker. I so appreciate your taking time to read this hub and to comment. Blessings Sparklea :)

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