From the Ground Up: Day One

At some point in our lives, we all face starting over after loss: death, divorce, broken engagement, empty nest, house fire, natural disaster, health crisis,job loss, or betrayal. Those and so many others threaten to break you in half. Some require more rebuilding than others. Most require rebuilding from the ground up.

When you are shaken to your core, it’s easy to believe there is nothing left to believe in, no one left to trust. No one cares or really understands.

You see a stranger looking back from the mirror. Gone is the person you were and maybe even the person you had ever hoped to be.

You’ll never be the wife in the marriage you so desperately wanted but couldn’t quite hold on to.

You’ll never be the mom with the uncomplicated child to whom life comes easy . . . or maybe you’ll never be a mom at all.

You roll over and ignore the calendar on the day your former fiancé marries your replacement.

That long sought promotion or job went to someone else. You will never reach the goal line you can see but not quite touch.

I get that. I do. All of it. As I sit here writing this post, my life is in disarray – again.

Unemployment is wrecking havoc with our lives. Again. I know many other families are facing the same hard times. It’s cold comfort tho’, let me tell ya.

My hard fought for marriage of almost 28 years seems beyond resuscitation no matter how much grace and faith and hope and counseling and do over’s have been poured into it. I wonder who I will be without it when it’s framed the ‘who I am’ for half my life now.

Another foreclosure or bankruptcy looms head. Gone are dreams of a home  serving as a hub of relationship nurturing for friends and family.

Where do you go when a dream dies? Especially if you are a person of faith who has clung to faith no matter how challenging life has been.

Image courtesy of nopparats01 at

This week, I found myself talking to God on the way to work. I was reminding him how, 12 years ago, my tween-age son cried out:

“Mamma, DON’T PRAY! Every time you pray things only get worse.”

Through tears I whispered, “But, prayer is all I have left. I will never stop praying.”

I’m older now and way more battle weary. This time when his words reach out through the fog of time and brush my heart again, I say:

You know what, God? Maybe he was right all along. Who are you? What is all this loss about anyway? All these years, I told him you had a plan and purpose and could redeem anything we lost in a day when it suits your plans.

I keep waiting for the redemption part. I wonder! Maybe my son was right all along. Maybe this time . . . maybe I just won’t pray this time. I’ve said it all anyway – in more variations of the themes than I can count.

I’m looking for a glimpse of redemption that will make my faith worth holding onto this time. Who are you? Who am I? This is not how it was all supposed to be.

In my day job, I keep telling broken folks in crisis you are too sweet not to trust. Most of them never know my life is burning down around my ears even as I comfort them. Yet, I keep telling them you are trustworthy no matter what life throws a them. Maybe I’m the world’s worst hypocrite?

Silence roars in my ears till it fees like my eardrums will rupture.  I get so dizzy I need to slam on the brakes.

I am used to the silence. It haunts and taunts me. Bitterness coats my tongue stings my heart.

I am at a crossroads with a choice to make.  I can turn my back on the faith that hasn’t failed me but sure hasn’t relieved me of all life’s woes either.

Or, I can double down, hunker down and keep at it one more day.

A battle cry builds in my soul. My battered, broken, weary soul that begins to fight back against the void.

A plan begins to form. Somehow, I knew it had to involve you too. Are you looking at a broken life in smoldering ashes too? What’s going on here between the pages of this site is for you as well then.

There are too many of us trying to redefine who we are in the face of heartbreaking, never-ending losses. I know because I meet or hear about folks like us every day.

I ask myself: What do I do now? How do I start rebuilding?

The answer comes floating back: “From the ground up, how else? “


And so, today, I start rebuilding from the ground up. It seems a crazy bold statement to make. How can I start to rebuild even as life is still imploding? I guess I will do it one day at a time . . . from the ground up.

Isaiah 43:18-19Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Do not remember the former things,
Or ponder the things of the past.
“Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even put a road in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.



2 Responses to “From the Ground Up: Day One”

  1. Carol Anne, I really appreciate your transparency in this. I am also a battle-worn believer and I think it is only through the trials that I’ve really learned to love the Lord. Through the muck, mire, and mess. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Carol Swett


      Thank you for letting me know the post resonated. You are such a sweet and spunky soul! I am thankful for your cheerful spirit in the midst of the muck and mire.


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