The past. The present. The future.

So I have been thinking a lot lately about life and in looking back at my past life it seems like it belongs to someone else. Even as I browse through my old blog posts, it’s as if I’m reading about someone else’s experience. I get lost in the memories and confuse them with questioning whether it was a reality or a dream or a nightmare. I can quickly get myself upright when I look at pictures of me and Brittany or watch a video of her – but still it seems like it happened a lifetime ago.

Then I realize that the same thing is happening to me that happened to me after I lost my mom. My best friend in life. I began to forget her voice and what it felt like to be hugged by her. It’s happening again and it’s so hard to digest it all. I’m losing the ability to remember Brittany’s voice and her laugh. I can see it pictures or hear it in videos – and I’m so grateful for that. But losing the ability to recall her in my life has been a bit startling to me.

In the early days of my grief I could still feel her and sense she was around. I longed for her, to hold her and get my little hugs at the end of a long day. But now, I can’t even feel it. Even when I try to feel it. It’s just gone. As if she never existed. How can that be? Why does that happen? How does one reconcile that? I do not know. I know I have been dealing with loss for a long time but this one is just so hard.

It used to be so hard to live in the present  because I wanted so much to go back to the past where we had each other. Even though life was hard dealing with chronic illness and the financial woes that came from caring for her – I’d never trade for anything. Never. But living in the present is easier now – it’s a distraction – a means to distance myself from that painful event, like so many others. Don’t get me wrong, I still consider myself blessed for all that I have been given and still receive today. I’m loved by many and feel that love every day. It has been my life line. But not one day doesn’t go by without understanding the void that resides in my heart. Not one day!

The future, my hope has always been grounded in Christ and knowing one day all this pain and sorrow and loss will go away and we will be reunited again. This is how I have made it this far and how I will continue to love, cherish, extend grace and walk in the light of Jesus. Helping others with grief. Still not sure what that looks like but this blog is part of it. My book will be part of it. My life will be a living offering to my fellow grievers and I hope in some way I am helping you by sharing my story and the story of unimaginable grief and unexpected blessings.

I can’t help but think about the many people who join this journey without ever asking to. My heart goes out to those parents and families of those who recently lost their children, their husbands, fathers, and friends to such a violent act. My heart is broken for them because this journey is not easy. It’s hard. It takes a village to carry them through it. I pray for them daily and I know God is walking beside them and I’m fairly certain carrying them in the most darkest of moments. May God bless them and wrap his arms around them as they begin to navigate their grief.

Until next time,

M

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The weariness continues….

In chapter five of Max Lucado’s book “Traveling Light” he talks about the Burden of Weariness. How much of it relates to a lack of sleep, too much noise in your life, not observing the sabbath. I decided to take a different spin on this topic as it related and still relates to my life today as a mother who lost it all.

The weariness continues….

My favorite quote of his in this chapter is “Repeat these words after me: It’s not my job to run the world”.  That quote couldn’t be more apropos than it is right now in my life. But seriously….when  you have lived the life I have – it’s been all I know. Running my world, running my families. Always on guard. On post. Ready for protection to fight the battles. Little did I know that it was God fighting my battles – I was the one who was thinking it was me, therefore; paying the consequences. But God – He was in control all the while.

We never quite see that picture of God being in control when we are in a middle of a life crisis. It’s always in retrospect that we see how God was moving at that time in our life – right. I look back now and think “how can there not be a God” seriously – it can’t be by shear luck that I have survived this mess of a life up until now. God’s hand has been all over my life and especially these past 3-1/2 years.

A few days ago I got a chance to listen to one of my favorite pastors, Bishop TD Jakes. I download his podcasts and listen when I can. For some time now I have gotten out of the  habit of doing so, but God, being the God he is, all caring and all loving, gave me a little nudge to listen again. And oh did I get a good message.  The message is named Growing in the Dark part 1 and my goodness did it hit the mark for me.

He talks about how when  you are weary, tired you tend to lay your head in the wrong places. Meaning you make mistakes, poor judgements in areas of your life that you wouldn’t have if you were rested. It looks at Sampson’s life to show the comparison of his times of weariness to ours and it really spoke to me that I have been laying my head in the wrong place, therefore unable to rest and become stronger.  Bishop Jakes spoke that  you cannot be tempted by what you have enough of, it’s the things that you never received that you are tempted by.  Think about that….it sure opened my eyes.

When you are weary it can blind you to see what is really in front of you. What is in front of you looks good and you are blinded or impressed by what you see. But you don’t see who they are, or what they stand for. You see what your weariness lets you see. Because when  you are tired you can’t see the reality of your situation. Temptations come so quickly and from many directions that you cannot see them coming. Then you find yourself in a situation you cannot see a way out. Then there is God.

When you pray for the weariness to leave you, pray that you will not be tempted while  you are weary. For temptation comes to the weary very easily. I know for I have been tempted when I am weary. When I have laid my head down and trusted – the dark one comes to tempt you with what He knows will take you out. My friends be very careful of weariness for it can destroy you. It can eat you alive and it allows the dark one to enter your life and destroy all that you have left. Keep God at the center of your life and take rest as he has commanded us to. When God gives you favor – He opens your eyes to what is standing before you even when you are weary.

  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” – Eph 2:8 NIV

God can turn things around – even your weariness. Even as a strong person, there is vulnerability….God see that, but so does the Devil. The contradictions of life can blind you to connect to the very things you hate and stay away from the very things you love. We are walking on shaky ground here. A foundation that is crumbling because of weariness. On exhaustion.  Get some rest. Rest in God’s word. Crawl up in the Lord’s lap and sleep. When I say sleep – I mean spend time with Him. Take in all He has to give you.

I’m alive today to speak about this – I know first hand how God can reach down and grab ahold of you when He has a life for  you that you have yet to live. And I, I reached up out of the darkness and grabbed His hand. You know life doesn’t just stand at your door waiting for you. Just like God, He is right there for you, but you have to hold up your hand. Just like life at your door, you gotta open that door and walk through it in faith. That my friends is a work in progress for me. Is it for you?

Until next time,

M