I have something heavy on my heart to share today. Some of you may know, but many of you may not know, that recently I had a horrific tragedy happen in my life. I am a private person when it comes to my personal life, and for the most part, I don’t share personal life events on Facebook. As the Purposeful Poet, my goal is to encourage, uplift and inspire people to be their best for Christ. However, today I feel the Lord is leading me to share a painful portion of my journey with you, and I hope and pray that my testimony will help someone out there get through a difficult time in life or perhaps be set free in some way.

I want to tell you about my beloved, Steven Allen Williamson, Sr., one who  was very dear to me. We had known each other for almost 6 years. He was an excellent HVAC Technician, and we met when he came over to my house to fix my boiler which wasn’t working properly. We became best friends, and after being in a love relationship with him on and off for over five years, we finally got officially engaged on August 8, 2016. September 24, 2016, was supposed to be our wedding day, and I was to become Mrs. Stephen Allen Williamson, Sr. Unfortunately, the wedding never took place. My beloved fiancé died on September 7th of a massive heart attack two days before his 60th birthday and 17 days before our wedding day. I walked into his apartment only to find him lying on the bathroom floor cold and lifeless. I screamed, I cried, I prayed, I commanded life to come back into him, I tried to perform CPR, but he was already gone. He had passed away in the middle of the night. That traumatic scenario  will be indelibly etched into my memory for eternity.

On October 8, I journeyed to Pittsburgh, his hometown, for a memorial service with his family and friends from that area. This provided much-needed closure for me. We weren’t able to do the service here in Norfolk, Virginia, because of money and time constraints. In Pittsburgh, I was able to eulogize my beloved Steve at that service. Within that eulogy, one of my goals was to relay lessons that I had learned from this tragedy that has changed my life forever. When someone very close to you dies or even when your dream dies (my dream of doing married life with Steve died on that day), if you’ll remember the following thoughts you will fare much better in your healing process:

  1. When the bottom drops out, refuse to get mad at God. Sometimes when things don’t go your way, you may be tempted to get offended at God and withdraw. This is a huge mistake because in doing so, you cut yourself off from the very Person who can heal and restore you. Instead, do your level best to cling to God, receive His comfort and instructions for recalibrating your life and move confidently forward.
  2. When a loved one dies, focus on his or her highest good.  Normally we focus on ourselves and our pain. We ask , “What will I do?” “How will I carry on?” “What will become of me?” “Who will meet my needs?” However, love is not self-seeking (I Corinthians 13:5). Therefore you must seek to prioritize your focus upon the other person’s highest good and not your own pain and loss. Surely you must grieve, but at the end of the day, if that person died in Christ, and you want to keep your sanity, you must focus on his or her highest good. Shift you focus on the reward received by the one you dearly loved and let that bring you comfort. That’s what love does.
  3. Submit to the sovereignty and omniscience of God. We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. God is sovereign and can do what He wants to do, whenever He wants to do it. He is omniscient and knows everything. Therefore, when you suffer a loss, you must understand that God knows things about the situation at hand to which you have not been made privy. Therefore, when you don’t understand what God is doing, you must shift to a mode of trusting God with everything within you based on the knowledge that He loves you and has your best interests at heart.
  4. Hold to people and things loosely. As a believer, you must give God permission to control the flow of people and things in and out of your life. If you refuse to do so, you are destined to suffer pain and disappointment as a result. Make sure that God is the center of your world and nothing and no one else. Refuse to make yourself vulnerable to the enemy, setting yourself up for the ultimate collapse of your world. When you commit idolatry, God is obligated to show you that He will not allow you to have other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). However, when God remains at the center of your world, regardless of who or what comes or goes, you stand on a firm foundation and come what may, your life will indeed remain stable.

These were lessons I have learned through my painfully tragic situation, but what gives me comfort is knowing that Steve was in Christ, and he is now in the arms of Jesus. No more stress and struggle for my baby.  He is basking in the glory of God. I loved him very much, and I am so thankful to God for the time that we had together. Steve loved God. He loved and accepted me just as I was, and that in turn empowered me to love and accept myself. He was an excellent communicator, and he, in fact, taught me how to be a better communicator. Finally, he always made sure that I knew how much he honored, respected, and cherished me. I will be forever grateful to God for the time we had together. Our relationship was His gift to me. I have been forever changed by Steve’s presence and his departure from my life. May you rest in peace, My Love. May you rest in peace.

What lessons have you learned in the midst of tragedy? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

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  1. Dear sweet Tracey, I have learned many things as a result of going through tragedy, however, I have learned just as much from watching you and praying for you while you go through yours.I admire your strength, your grace, and the love you have for God. I wished I had had a Godly woman in my life to show me how to deal with tragedy. I now know when we remain constant in His love, His presence, His glory, we can begin to help heal our own hearts. You are a woman of dignity, such class and Steve was a wonderful, gentle, loving man. May he rest in paradise. Your book Oasis For My Soul has helped me grow spiritually. I appreciate you and how God is using you in a BIG way.

  2. Tracey…I am so honored to know you and to have known Steve. You are truly a precious gift to the Body of Christ. Your strength during this time has inspired, encouraged and propelled others to a place they acknowledged, but never ventured to with God. Thank you for sharing you heart…your story. Steve will be missed…but I can imagine his proud smile as he sees your forward movement and push to stay Godward. I love you, Sis…God bless you!

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