Category Archives: LOSS

The Day I Made A Word: Cele-dread

Reposted from 4 years ago…

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Cele-dreaded this day!

This is the day – you know –
the one you CELEBRATE  because it acknowledged a great accomplishment by people you care about.
But also the day you DREAD because it reminded you that something is not right about this day.
I’ve worked hard to ‘prepare’ myself for this day
I didn’t know how having it all happen just before Mother’s Day might affect me!
I’ve cried- or needed to cry- often
I couldn’t figure out why-
Why do I feel so very sad
Why do I feel so full of grief
Why can’t I stop thinking about her
Why…does…it…hurt…so…bad…???
This is the day when
her close friends are graduating,
I’ve known that Jameson & Kelsey & Abby were all graduating this May. I’ve been excited for them and watched closely as they posted pictures and updates of all that is happening and all the plans to come.
This is the day when her sisters, Caitlin & Brielle,
are getting engaged,
and hunting for the right dresses
And choosing bridesmaids,  and colors, and flowers
and planning showers, and weddings and receptions
But this also the day I remember- that she isn’t here!
The day I ponder in so many ways what could have been, if only…!
This could have been her year to graduate from some college
To have a boyfriend
Maybe even to be getting married too.
I can see it happen.
I celebrate these dear people and the steps they are taking
But I dread the emotion because it reminds me that it will never, ever be ‘right’.
No matter how hard I/we all try.
She will always be gone- the bold, boisterous, life of the party, troublemaker that she was
We will always miss her presence with us
I always miss her
Cele-dread!
But today Tim read 1 Cor 13- 3 times he read it during Shalom
Each time the words I heard were
‘if we do not love, we are nothing.’
I loved!
I still love!
Just because she is in heaven doesn’t mean I have quit loving her!
It’s because I love that this day hurts so very deep.
It’s my love that causes my heart to break
On this day
On all of these days of celebration.
As I look as these precious people- men and women that she loved too!
Some that she never got to meet
I rejoice for what God is doing in them- through them- around them
I celebrate the love I feel for them- and they for me
I cherish it!
I could NOT not love them.
That would be far worse to me
To have never have loved at all
It might mean that it would not hurt so much now
But what would make life worth living without that love.
I could fear losing and therefore not love so that I would not get hurt
But truly to ‘not have love, means I have nothing’
I have a heart that is full- of emotion, of sadness yes, but also of joy, and gratitude,
For the life I knew
For the sense that I am loved
And that I love still!
That’s something!
I celebrate!

Where Do You Live?

 

Recently a woman I worked with spoke these words, 
I never made it home.

Instantly I saw a split in the meaning of the words.

On the one hand she was saying she had never made the place she lived feel like home. Instead she had resented this house since life had fallen apart and she had been forced to settle there.

But the words resonated loudly for me with another, more poignant meaning.

I never made it home.

I’ve pondered that phrase often since the day we spoke.

How many times have women that I have met with uttered phrases very similar to that?

I never made it home. Continue reading Where Do You Live?

So. Much. Pain.

I’m in the people business
Know people
Care for people
Feel for people

Because of this I have to be very aware of how I take in the emotions & pain of others. It can effect me not only emotionally, but physically as well.

Over the last few days a series of losses took my breathe away.

Death of a 26 year old friend of Leisha’s
Death of a 16 year old friend of a friend
Our friend’s 17 year old fighting for his life

Watching our parents process letting go of strength, while mourning each week the death of another friend or loved one.

Watching the girls navigate life and wondering what’s ahead for them and any future generations.

I’m not trying to take on all this pain but I’m struggling about what to do with my own emotions as I create a bigger picture for ministry I know I am part of
That involves more people
More stories
More pain.

Ah!
There it is!
The truth!

I fear feeling more.
Hurting more.

Then I reflected on the other messages
Continue reading So. Much. Pain.

Plans to Give You Hope!

I’ve read this passage so many times.
I memorized it as a child.
It was given to me in cards and notes over and over again after Leisha died.

God has plans to prosper me- not harm me

God has plans to give me hope and a future.

But I today I read the verse in context of chapter 29.

This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

First thing I notice is to be in exile is the condition of someone being sent or kept away from their own country, village, home, etc.  CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH DICTIONARY

The Lord tells them through Jeremiah to:

Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Hmmm?  Sounds like God is saying make the most of the situation you are in – whether it is good or not, whether it is where you want to be or not.

Then in verse 10 the Lord says; ”

When seventy years are completed in Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 

And that is where Jeremiah 29:11 comes in.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

SEVENTY YEARS????

Continue reading Plans to Give You Hope!

A Broken Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving Eve, though I have seldom heard it described in such a way, not like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve. But tonight it seems appropriate. It is the day before ‘the day’ set aside for thanks and gratitude.

Yet I sit huddled on my sofa, tears just boiling under the surface waiting to spill over. Emotions are all over the place and I wonder if I will ever again feel free to experience joy without a deep sense of sadness.

If all the conditions were right, Continue reading A Broken Thanksgiving

A Journey to Be!

Below, I am REPOSTING a post from a year a go.  I wrote this during my first ever writer’s conference- TRIBEWRITER’s in Franklin, TN last August 2015.  I remember being scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this was my next right/write step. 

Today as I prepare to attend my second Tribewriter conference, I read this post agin.  I am in awe of all that has happened in a year.  

A year ago, I spoke the words “I am a writer” for the first time. A year ago I declared that I would finish writing and publish a book.  

Now it is done.  It took a great deal more to complete this task than I ever dreamed, but I have a book to show to the Jeff Goins as I thank him for helping me own who I am and  for introducing me to Christine Niles and others who inspired and challenged me through this process.

I don’t know what I will learn this year at TRIBEWRITERS, but I’m scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this is the next right/write step. Pray for me!

*******

As a child, did you ever wonder what you would be when you grew up?  Journey to Be

I did often.  It had everything to do with being a mom, and working with music and worship in the local church. And if I happened to be married to a pastor, that would be all the better. I never wanted to be anything else.

But today I sat in a room full of people and realized that is not who I am anymore.  I still have the same gifts and abilities.  I still love music and prefer to use it to lead others in worship.  I still have a husband who thinks about ways to teach God’s word and loves to talk about church leadership.

The fact that I am not what I once was used to feel like failure, then just loss.  But today I came to see in fresh ways that all that WAS is part of all that IS.   All that I have learned is part of all that I now share.

From the memories of all that I am from to the discovery of the voice that has always been within me, I am still me.

Only more!

I’m more aware!

I’m more raw!

I’m more real!

And that is good.

Today I came closer to identifying and becoming content with who I am!

I am an entrepreneur.   I own a business.

I am a coach and a speaker.

I am part of a tribe and I am a leader of tribes.

I am also a writer!

It is out of who I am now that I will write.  It might suit you and it might not.  I might speak to the core of your issues and I might not.  I might write out of the suffering more than the healing and I might not.

But I will write because I must. I will continue to explore who I am coming to be because I will not go back.  I will continue to share the truths that I am being taught.

From the memories of all that I am from to the discovery of the voice that has always been… Click To Tweet

I will not count the past as lost, or wasted.  I will see it for the training ground it has been.   I will not fear the present or the future because I have known the hand of God in bringing me to this point.  I will trust it as I continue on.

Today I have seen more of me.

And it’s ok!

So are you!

Who are you today?  What do you need to embrace in this day?

Join me in the journey to be,  won’t you?

Thank you Professor Sittser

This past week, I have been working intently to finish up details for publishing the Lovely Traces of Hope book.  I had one of those moments  as I sat late into the night reading/ editing/ proofing yet again through my own story.  

For the umpteenth time, I was reading through Chapter 14, Turning East, which I have sent to many of you already. (Click here if you haven’t read it yet.) In that chapter, I share excerpts of Jerry Sittser’s book called A Grace Disguised. Jerry literally led me through much of my grief through the sharing of his own story.

Several months ago as I was reworking that chapter for the book, I sent Jerry a letter to thank him for being bold enough to share his story because of the influence it has had in mine. 

Here was his reply…

Continue reading Thank you Professor Sittser