As I was shoveling a path through the snow drift in front of my house, I marveled at how the prairie was free from snow. In my opinion it was all blown into the most inconvenient place just to aggravate me and make my life hard. Yes, I know how snow is blown and the resulting drifts that are created in particular places given the structures and obstacles in its path. The reality of how drifts occur is simply not as interesting as the story being played in my head. I felt "dumped on" in the most literal sense of the word. I understand that my challenge was minor in the big scheme of life.
A friend of mine from childhood is being laid to rest today after taking his own life a few days ago. My heart grieves for his wife and children, his siblings, his mom, and all of his relatives and friends. Unfortunately, this scenario is not uncommon. The pain, the depression, the loss of hope, and a list of other complicating factors can bring people to make decisions that are difficult to comprehend. They can't see a fruitful way to cope with the circumstances in which they are encompassed. The only path out that they can see is to simply end it all, and the heartache for the survivors is immense.
The suicide rate in Wyoming is high. As massive lay-offs were announced yesterday in the coal industry impacting Wyoming overall, and a few communities in particular, my concern grows for those who will struggle through unemployment and financial distress. The resilience of these communities through the boom and bust cycles of the past is evident. It is my hope and prayer that we will see the power of good through these difficult days as well.
My question today is straightforward. Where do you turn when life "dumps" on you? What role does faith play in your overall life? Who is in your support system? My dear readers, if you--or someone you know--is struggling to cope with the challenges of life, please seek help. Turn to family, friends, your Church community, a counselor or doctor and get help. You don't have to face the difficulties of life alone. Follow a path that leads to healing and hope.
To all who are hurting today--please know of my prayers for you. As we near the completion of the Divine Mercy Novena, I am confident that we will witness God's love, mercy, and compassion in abundance through the most difficult circumstances facing us. Keep clinging to hope in Jesus Christ.