What does God look like?

•February 27, 2017 • Leave a Comment

What does God look like?

I posted this in 2010 and felt compelled to repost.
Today at church the message was about the story of David, in particular what he wrote as his “song” or “poem” to God. I know that for me this message was so important for this moment because I have wanted to for some time now write about how I have seen God and what I believe He how I believe He manifested Himself to me during the last 3 years since my daughter died.

I have written from time to time on this blog about some incredible people who have come into and out of my life. The various ways they came into my life and how at first I wasn’t sure who they were and how they would impact my life. Some of those people were people I hadn’t seen or heard from in years and some were mere acquaintances that have become life-long friends.

So in our pastor’s message today we were asked to write our Psalm or our Song to God. And I have to be honest it wasn’t hard for me. I began to wonder if that would have been the case 3 years ago. In the moments after Brittany died. In the moments where I thought I couldn’t see or feel anything. And, I have to say “yes” – yes I would have been able to write my song.

In the days and weeks after my daughter died, I went to church seeking, longing desperately to see God. To hear from God. To know that He was hearing my cries of pain and anguish. You see my daughter died on a Friday and her Celebration of Life was that Sunday. One week later I was at church.

Now understand, I was at church, but I wasn’t my usual spiritual self. I sat in the back instead of near the front. I tried to sing, yet the words were silent that came forth from my mouth. The tears flowed like blood from my heart as I heard the songs from Ken Reynolds and the choir that sounded like angels singing. I was asked how could I be at church so soon, and my response was “I don’t know where else to go”. This is where I felt closest to God and to Brittany.

So my friends I know this one thing for sure – God heard me. He heard me loud and clear. He sent Himself in the most extraordinarily simple ways – through His church. What do I mean by His church? The people like you and me who faithfully believe that God is everywhere and God is all-knowing. He feels our pain and He is angered when we are hurt by others.

Not long ago I had a chance to say something to someone who was hurting. Someone who wasn’t able to see God; to feel God. They had felt He was out on the periphery and just out of their reach. My response was this “God is not some glowing cloud of mass that will fly down and be present in our face in times of trouble” “God makes Himself present and available through the people who are here – right now – in your life” “We are the extension of God’s hand – take it because that is what He wants”. Trust that God is all around in us and through us; which makes us the very extension of God.

Brittany said to one of her friends during a candid conversation about God “God is everywhere, He is in every snowflake that falls”. How profound to see that at such a young age. To be able to understand that in the most simplistic terms God is always right beside us even though we cannot perceive it.

In writing my Psalm to God or my Song of Praise I am reminded that God sent Himself to me in my time of grief and loneliness through some very special people. So this I dedicated to them and to my God.

“Lord you have reached down and pulled me up from the depths of despair. You have breathed the breath of life into my broken-heart. I sing praises to your Holy name. You are my rock, my refuge, my ever-present strength for always and forever. Amen” – Malissa Moss

until next time

m

Our job is to lift up

•February 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Why as a human race do we find pleasure in tearing people down and little pleasure in lifting people up. It appears that we are more entertained by the “gotcha moments” than helping lift a spirit with a small gesture like a smile or a cup of coffee. I know we are better than that, we come from a great legacy that only instructed us to love. Yet we (including myself) find even that hard to do. 

This does NOT mean we shouldn’t hold people accountable for their actions. But it is in the way we lead and love that can make all the difference.

I pledge to do better and I hope others do as well.

#dotherightthing #loveNOThate #liftUPnotDown

Spiritual Growth Begins with Letting Go

•February 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I was reminded today while watching a show on spirituality that I had forgotten a very important aspect of my continued journey on healing. The letting go of who I was. Letting go of who I had become, letting go of what I thought I was to become, and letting go of the life I had come to know and love.

In order to find who I am to become I have to let go of who I had become. For they cannot exist at the same time, in the same space if I am to move forward. Saying that sounds strange, believing in it even stranger. For so long I lived for my daughter. I gave her every part of me. I had to. At least I felt I had to. I don’t know if it was guilt because she became ill at an early age and I wasn’t able to get her the help fast enough to avoid the neurological deficits that were to come or because it was the lack of attention I received as a child. Or was it that I had waited so long to have a child and so grateful to have a child, that I gave all of me to her. I also lost my mother while pregnant with Brittany and maybe the unconscious me was holding on for dear life trying to make sure I didn’t lose her. In the end I did. I lost everything.

In giving everything I had – I lost myself somewhere along the line. I forgot what it was like to just be me. I forgot me. I was living a life that I thought I was suppose to be living. Maybe I was – for that time. Now is the time I have to let that life go. Can I be real here and tell you that the thought of letting that life go and starting over is daunting to me. It takes me to places you don’t want to know. But that was yesterday. Today I realized that it’s time to become the person I was meant to be. It doesn’t mean I am forgetting who I was or that I am forgetting my beautiful sweet Brittany – it just means I’m letting go.

It will be an adventure I’m sure. And those of you who know me, you know you better hold on – in the words of Betty Davis – “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” Those of you who don’t know me or know me that well – you will see some incredible things happen – and it will all be because God has given me such strength to persevere and to keep going that I have to do something with it. I can’t hold onto it another minute. The expression of love and desire to help others is where I see myself going and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.
until next time

m
*originally posted in 2009

A New Year

•December 27, 2016 • 1 Comment

As we close 2016 I am struggling to come up with something positive to say. Unfortunately I am not feeling so positive about 2017. I’m concerned for our country and where we may end up with this new administration. I’m concerned for healthcare and what may happen to many who rely on the Affordable Care Act. I understand all too well how healthcare can be difficult to understand and navigate and that healthcare can destroy families.

Of course, none of which I have any control over. I have figured out over these many years that I can control only what I do and say or think. I can do the very best that I can do to:

  • uplift those in need
  • offer a hand to those who need support
  • love those who feel unloved
  • support the causes that are dear to my heart
  • comfort those who grieve
  • create opportunity that promotes positive change
  • exude gratitude
  • pray
  • meditate
  • exercise

Being part of the mourning mother’s club I’ve learned that our world is always complicated and it’s hard to navigate around any given minute, hour or day. But when we put others first and we walk in love; accept others; serve those in need; we begin to mend our broken hearts. Notice I don’t say heal but rather mend. A scar that will forever hold the place where our child, our old life lived before their death. It’s a sacred place that only we and our God understands and loves.

It’s a choice each day to look forward and not behind. Grief is hard work and it can be exhausting, but the reward is that love will sprout in another place and joy can return. You just have to be open and willing to take that first step forward.

Happy New Year

Until next time,

M

 

 

The Will Not to Cry

•December 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Tears are healing they say for the soul. I’ve read it many times that allowing yourself to cry releases the pain you hold onto during times of grief and pain. I believe, through experience, that this is true. During my journey I have come to understand the importance of allowing yourself to cry when  your body tells you it’s time.

So much is distilled in our tears, not the least of which is wisdom in living life. From my own tears, I have found, when  you follow your tears, you find your heart. – Ken Gire

In reading Susan Duke’s book Grieving Forward – Embracing Life Beyond Loss she speaks about tears and how in her own life after the death of her son it took her about six months before she could will herself not to cry. I think that timing is probably different for many, but I think for me it was about three months. Perhaps through my previous experience of loss I was able to “deal” with it better. I am not sure, but it also was at the holidays – where I cried endlessly for days and nights. I think at some point I was spent.

Through my many readings on grief, I came to understand the importance of crying and how if you hold it in for too long, it can cause many physical and emotional symptoms. I used to call it “the lump in my throat” – seemed like it lasted forever. Now after five years, I can manage my tears well. I have control over when I let it go and when I keep it in. I also understand that it takes constant viligence to keep things in check. It doesn’t come natural and if anyone thinks it gets easier – it does not. You just learn to manage it better.

Duke says “Deep sorrow requires release”. She goes onto explain that unexpressed grief can become a “powder keg” of emotion. And that tears are part of our immune system and if not released, can bring about harmful effects both emotionally and physically. One of my most favorite quotes from  her book is:

“Let your tears flow, for they are the silent voice of  your heart.”  (Duke)

So if you need to cry – cry. Don’t be afraid of your tears. Find the time to give  yourself a break and release the pain and sorrow that resides in your heart. It is crucial to your healing to continue the journey, to not get stuck because you are afraid to speak your child’s name or to tell their story, or to just reminisce about them. It’s ok. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.

until next time

m

Who she might have been….

•November 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Twenty-Eight years ago I gave birth to what would be my only child. Seventeen year’s later just one month shy of her eighteenth birthday she returned to heaven.

On this day, November 30th I sit and wonder who she might have become. A fashion designer, a teacher, a poet, an artist. I can only dream of that now. I have some idea because I knew her passions and what she believed in. She believed in the basic right of a human being regardless of ethnicity or religion. She did not see color. We raised her that way. She championed those who were disabled. She would put herself out there in a public way just to make a stranger feel welcome. I should of known that would have been my daughter in her teen years because as a five year old she would stand at the end of our driveway and using her Fisher Price Sing-a-Long she would put in her favorite cassette tape “Lift Jesus Up” and would sing her heart out to anyone passing by. That was her true spirit. 

It wasn’t to be for her. God had other plans. Not sure I will ever understand that but I’ve handed that over to God a long time ago. Otherwise I’d have never survived her death. I have learned to live my life like I think she would have – full out enjoying life and not really caring what other people think. Just to be free to help others and to lift those up who can’t lift themselves up.

I have very big shoes to fill and when I feel down or sad, I know I get this gentle nudge from her saying “not now mom – there is work to do” “love your life and spread that love around”. That is what I hear her saying to me. It doesn’t help my loneliness for her, but it does give me the strength I need to keep marching forward. One foot in front of the other and when I get that tap on the shoulder or that whisper in my ear – I know she is guiding me to my next adventure.

I am blessed to have been her mother. And for that reason my pain is great. But the equalizer is love and when you have love in your life – it softens the blow of loss and it keeps me from sinking too far into the abyss called sorrow. I miss her more that any words on paper could describe but until I find a way to translate it – I’ll just keep blogging.

Until next time,

M

Things I miss about her.

•November 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I think about my late daughter almost every day. Sometimes it is a fleeting memory and sometimes it is a story in my memory bank about something she did. Either way, she is in my thoughts daily. 10 years has not created the distance from my heart to hers. She lives in me every day and I would not want it any other way. The things I miss about her….

The incredible way she made people laugh

Her love of God 

Her steadfast belief that she could do ANYTHING

Her fun spirit that cheered me up on days when I did not want to be cheered up

Her hugs

Her voice

Her calling my name “mom”

Her resilient attitude to get up every day and face whatever came her way

Her singing in the shower

Her goofy look at things

Her dedication to uplifting people who were bullied

Her smile

Her love

Her

Until next 

M

 
%d bloggers like this: