I decided to write about grief again. It used to appear more regularly on this blog, but it has been quite a while since I posted on this topic. There seems to be some misconceptions about what happens when we suffer losses. All losses involve grief at some level, but some are more intense than others. Of course the loss of a loved one is at the top of the list. We encounter deep grief when someone close to us dies. Our hearts are filled with a heaviness that is indescribable.. loneliness at the deepest level possible. One thing that troubles me in our culture is the absence of information on grief.. the denial of grief and the way people feel like they need to hide their grief. What a tragedy this is. God allows us to feel grief and it is a very natural part of life. No one…
I love this phrase. John Eldredge uses it when he teaches about benevolent detachment. It is a way of releasing things to the Lord .. letting go of people, situations.. everything and everyone. It is helpful because often we feel overwhelmed with life.. we are surrounded by needs.. our own and other people’s needs. There is no way we can carry the weight of all that..
There are so many burdens we can carry.. our concerns about ourselves and those we love. Our hopes for the future can feel like a burden because we are moving into the future without God. Our fears about not having enough. We may fear that we will lose something or someone and carry that around with us.. It is all too heavy.
So with this phrase in mind, we can let go.. begin giving all of these things to the Lord ..He is able to carry all of it and in truth He will do a better job when it comes to caring for us and our loved ones that we could ever do.. I am so grateful to know that.. to be able to rely on Him to fall on Him and know that He will catch me. Sometimes I just need to fall apart and believe that He will come for me…He has promised to do that.
So during this holiday season if you are dealing with sorrow, loss, and disappointment remember that there is not much room on your plate.. mine is full. This is the time to start giving it all to Him.. believing that He will take it and do impossible things that we cannot imagine.. His word says He will.
Now all glory to God who is able , through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish inifinitely more than we can ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever. Amen
Yes, I am still writing on this blog. I thought I was going to retire it, but then I checked and saw that people were still reading it even though it has been months since I wrote a post.. that was encouraging. So I am going to attempt to breathe new life into this space on the internet.
I chose the title “Forgiveness” because the Lord has been leading me towards a greater understanding of what that truly means. Throughout my life I have desired to forgive those who have hurt me and spent many hours praying and searching for tools that would help me let go of any pain that was lingering. I made progress but never felt like I could truly let go of the past.. the wounds were so deep.
Then the Lord took my husband Steve home.. almost 2 years ago.. I lost my home and most of my possessions.. I lost my life. This tragedy could have been prevented.. by God. Yet He allowed it. This was fertile ground for the enemy to turn me against the Lord and fill me with bitterness.. I had to forgive God for causing me so much pain.. it was very difficult. I wrestled with it .. I hated it and I continued to turn towards the Lord and not away from Him.. where else would I go?
August 30th will be the two year anniversary of Steve’s death.. it seems like it just happened and it seems like it was a hundred years ago. In these two years my relationship with the Lord has deepened as I spent hours and days alone with him.. there was Covid and I fell and injured my back.. l was living in isolation. For months I could barely do anything.. no driving and no walking.. then I began to heal.. I can drive.. but not too often and I can walk.. but not very far.. the pain is better but not gone.
So what happened during all that time? I began to depend more and more on the Lord and less and less on myself..as I drew near to Him I prayed for healing of my body and emotions. He gave me the desire to forgive everyone who had hurt me and then provided a way for that to happen.. I found myself forgiving people from the past.. some of them I actually saw in real life.. others I did not, but I was able to let go. I told the Lord that I wanted to be cleaned out and to let it all go.. to be set free of all bitterness and pain.
I am entering a season where there is much more freedom and the past is losing its grip on me.. it is amazing. With this new freedom is a deeper revelation of the forgiveness I have received from Him.. it is all tied up together. So the worst thing that could ever happen to me happened and it is bearing fruit in my life. Everyday is still challenging, I miss Steve terribly and I truly don’t enjoy living alone, but I have hope now.. hope that my trial and journey will help others. Hope that I can truly say to those who are suffering ” He is with you and He will pick up the pieces of your life and make something beautiful.”
Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom!
Spring is really here. It is a beautiful spring day where I live. The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming. I am grateful for the beauty of this season. It is so comforting to realize that Spring will come every year even if we still feel like we are in a winter season.. that would be me. The grieving season does not end when Spring starts.. but the colors of the flowers and the bright blue sky give me hope. I am thankful I can begin to enjoy things.. little by little.
There are many dark days and nights for me.. I miss my husband every single day but there are also glimmers of hope. Days when I feel like maybe I really do have a future.. when I may actually have a new life that brings me joy and happiness. God has given us His creation and seasons that enable us to feel a certain security in these insecure times.. The beauty of the earth is timeless.. the seasons are never late. He is still on His throne even in the chaos of this broken world and in the sadness of our lives.
This season of my life has been very difficult and I am learning more and more on the everlasting arms. He is my rock and my security. Standing on His promises is the only safe place right now. My hope is in Him.. He is the same .. yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is our protector and our provider. His ways are not ours.. We are His people.. the sheep of His pasture.. He is our Shepherd we have all that we need.
I pray that the Lord is revealing His love for you daily.. that you are resting in Him and that you find the green pastures and quiet streams .. the places where He can minister to you and restore you.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
It has been a while since I wrote on my blog.. I began this blog in March of 2010. So here I am 12 years later living a life I could never have imagined. If you have been following me, you know that my life turned upside down in 2019 when my husband was hospitalized for early onset dementia and he went to be with Jesus in August of 2020.. during the pandemic.. I moved, gave away everything and eventually ended up where I am living now. On March 30th of 2020 I moved here.. that was our 18th wedding anniversary.. if he were here we would be celebrating our 20th anniversary in a few weeks.
My life started over … living alone for the first time.. widowed for the second time and now facing a very uncertain future. How long will I be here? What lies ahead? Is there another season for me? I was only 51 when I was widowed for the first time and it was clear that I would have another season.. in many ways it was the best part of my life.. My daughter married, I married again and the grandchildren were born. Now I am much older and the grandkids are almost grown.. It is more difficult to imagine that there is more in store for me.. yet at the same time, I am here and I could live much longer. My mother just turned 100 in November.. good genes.
The biggest challenge is living in the uncertainty daily. What is God up to ? Will He help me to find a new path.. a new direction.. a new purpose? Well.. He knows me and He shaped me so I believe He will do all these things and more.. but the waiting is difficult. I have never been a patient person.. it is hard to live without knowing. .Yet there is one thing I do know and that is that He is faithful and will never change.. I lost my husband, my job, my things, and even my health has been challenged, but I cannot lose the Lord… the losses are hard, the grief continues , but He seems more real and closer to me than ever before. He is with me, He is for me, He follows me, and He leads me as I trust Him.
The Bible verses on fear have helped me so much during this time.. here is one of my favorites.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Do you face an uncertain future? Look to Him .. He will never fail you.
Welcome to my blog.. actually it is not a new blog at all.. I have been writing on this blog for 12 years..but this is the first post of 2022. I never imagined that I would continue to write on it when I started.. in fact I did not know the first thing about blogging. There have been so many times when I felt like giving it up and then suddenly I see that people are still reading it and I remember a promise I made to the Lord. If I am doing something that He has given me to do and it helps even one person.. I will continue to do it.
The title of this post comes from 2 different scriptures that continue to go through my mind. They are connected, but I never saw that until today. The first is Romans 8:28.. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. I learned to lean on this passage over 40 years ago as a new Believer.. reminding myself of His goodness . The second passage is from Isaiah 43.. “Remember not the former things ,nor consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
Do you see the connection? He has promised to work all things together for our good.. that means everything all the time. And He is doing a new thing.. which is exactly what happens. When we walk through trials we are being shaped and refined by the suffering. We can cling to his promise to bring good out of it.. even when it looks hopeless.. and all we do is hurt and question, because He will do something new in us and through us as He has promised.
I am writing this after one of the most difficult years of my life. My husband died in 2020 and I was in deep grief when 2021 started.. I fell on New Years day and that began a year of physical pain that was worse than anything I had ever experienced.. I am much better, but still recovering. The grief is no longer fresh but there are many days when I wish Steve was here and I feel very lonely and sad. God is beginning to renew my hope and helping me to trust that He will bring good out of all of this and I can sense Him doing new things in my life as I rest and recover. These promises are coming to life right in front of me. If anyone had told me that He was going to use this for His glory a year ago I doubt I could have heard that. If anyone had told me that He was going to use my 5 year journey, with Steve suffering from early onset dementia and eventually dying at 65..during Covid,.. for good, I would not have heard it.
Today I am able to see it and believe it and know it. Because of His grace I never walked away or gave up and because of His grace I see a glimpse of the good He is doing in the midst of this.. I share this in the hope that you too will hang on to our anchor.. to Jesus our rescuer and the lover of our souls. He will come for you.. I can promise you that.
I have missed writing to you.. I truly pray this year is unfolding in a promising way for you.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.“
A conversation I had with a friend this morning made me think deeply about choices. We have so many of them in this world. Everyday we are choosing without even knowing it. The Lord gave us free will and He gave us a mind. Both of these enable us to choose.. He seems to be very in favor of that or He would not have created us with the ability to choose so freely. I realize that there are people who think we should choose everything that feels good with no regard for anyone else.. I am definitely not in that camp. Then there are those who believe if you do not choose what I choose.. then something is very wrong with you.. not in that camp either. Choices are very serious and they are messy.
What prompted this blog post was the realization that we may have more choices…
“Fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices
O night divine, the night when Christ was born
O night divine, o night, o night divine”
Christmas morning is just around the corner. This season of advent is coming to an end and we will once again pick up the pieces and venture into the end of 2015 and the beginning of a new year. Before we do that let’s take the time to remember. Remembering is such an important aspect of our lives with the Lord.
Tonight we are remembering that God interrupted history to become “ one of us.” He came at the perfect time and did the perfect thing for us. He sent his son to become our much needed savior and He broke the chains that held us captive. This is a good time to remember what Jesus said when He was teaching in the temple…
As you can see I haven’t posted in a couple months.. so I am taking a break from writing.. I know I will return to it but not sure when.. right now I am focused on art and really enjoying it. I feel close to the Lord when I create and art is my first love. There are lots of posts on this site so I am not taking it down.. and I may return to it but not sure when.
Thanks to those of you who have read it over the years.. I appreciate that and hope you are doing well.. Until later
Monday will be the 1st anniversary of my husband’s passing into eternity. In some ways it seems like it happened yesterday and in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago. The Lord has me set aside by a back injury.. I spend almost all my time alone. I would never have signed up for this season.. I loved my life with Steve before he got sick. We enjoyed each other’s company and I felt loved every single day.. I know he did too.
Without him, I feel homeless.. he was “home” to me. I lost the place we were living in and the things we both enjoyed.. that was hard, but it was stuff.. and none of that matters anymore…without him. I am learning to live on my own for the first time.. realizing the presence of God more and more. He has me set aside and He is healing some deep wounds that needed attention. He is teaching me to turn to him since there is no one I can lean on.. I have wonderful friends and family, but no one is able to truly understand my feelings and sorrows. That is truly how it is for most of us, but we find ways to fill up our time so the grief we and wounds we have inside never come to the surface..
It takes time away from other people and activities to truly get in touch with ourselves.. lots of time. This time for me is a time of reflection and growth. A time to look at my relationships with others and with myself.. I see that I needed that time and the Lord has given it to me… He is doing a deep work and it is often painful.. No one wants to suffer, but I am more and more convinced that it is in the suffering that we see His face and He is able to heal us. He loves us so much that He will allow these hard seasons to show us just how real He is and how much we need Him.. We can claim to need Him and love Him but it is only in the ” valley” that we experience that love coming from Him and find that He is there for us in impossible situations.. I am so thankful for that reality.
“For He wounds, but He also binds up, He injures, but His hands also heal”