Monday, December 31, 2012

God Never Wastes Anything






Sometimes I, like many, have wondered over the years, why the heck I've had to undergo certain trials and tribulations. The most major one, of course being the death of my husband son and daughter in one fell swoop.

If I look back at how God used that experience for "the good," I can see how God will "never waste a good crisis." (ala Hillary Clinton) What I  learned-- and shared--about trusting God helped others that were similarly struggling. "Like" helps "like"...oil and water don't mix...but oil with oil and water with water unite perfectly.

When others tried to comfort me after my children died-- and had never had a child transition--I found myself letting what they said "go in one ear and out the other." But let a fellow bereaved Mom speak to me--and I was all ears, hanging on every word.

Sometimes people have shared with me only a sentence or two...but that was exactly something I needed to hear, at just the correct time. Most of the time they never even knew that, because it was said very casually.

If I ever feel "prompted" by the Spirit to say something, even if sometimes it seems "off" to me, I try to respect that and say whatever that is. Maybe someone really, really needed to hear something that was said. It needn't be anything particularly scholarly either. It could be just about anything.

We can't give what we don't have, therapists are fond of telling their clients. If we don't "have" --we can't receive either because the person receiving has no context to draw any understanding from.  Being relevant in advising means having been there and done that and gained food from tilling the work field. From our supply of food, we can help nourish others.

Going through a personal situation lately, God has been Spiritually instructing me about how things went from what I thought originally "good"to worse...Without the insight He gives, I can't make sense of what happened. I ask God to give me understanding and since He always hears us, He gives me "illumination" to clear up the darkness when I'm struggling to find my way. After this time of struggle, I know from past experience that God will use my suffering and bring something beneficial to others, as long as I'm willing to let Him utilize me as He sees fit.

Somewhere in the Bible (!) God is speaking and says "Is anything to difficult for me? Is anything too hard?" and I remember what miracles He's already done for me and stop my fretting. At least for awhile. I don't want to insult God by worrying and fretting so much about something, as if He didn't have the Power to instantly save me with but a Word... He speaks and "it" is accomplished...I like that efficiency!

God is "The Ultimate Recycler." He's into "composting" too . . .  He utilizes every rotten thing (and of course good things, too) that ever happened to us. He then brings people into our lives that can use whatever fruit that experience bore within us; helping them be fed.

"Waste not, Want not"-- that old saying takes on a whole new meaning to me, when looking at it from a purely Spiritual point of view. Resolve to share your experiences with others and let God water that seed...God loves to feed the hungry!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

BELIEVING THE IMPOSSIBLE


Mary believed that God can and does deliver.  Mary wasn't the only one that  delivered Jesus that blessed first Christmas Day...God "delivered" the Goods --just as He promised He would. Mary thought He was worthy of trust...so I can, too! She is my blessed example.
"Mary" Christmas!

For bereaved Moms, it's so easy for us to get bogged down. We tend to focus only on the pain for the longest time. It feels like an eternity of pain --especially early on in the journey. Seeing anything positive in the future is beyond our ability at that low point of near-desperation.

But it helps me to remember that Joyful Easter was preceded by the horror of Good Friday...And at Christmas, how Mary was asked to believe the impossible -- both before Jesus was born and after His death.

Before Jesus' birth, Mary took that perilous journey of traveling to see her elderly cousin Elizabeth. She must have been somewhat of a risk taker, because it was a dangerous trip for a young girl to take, scholars tell us.  Just as soon as Mary learned that Elizabeth was essentially, having a "high-risk" pregnancy... she was on her way to help out.

Before making that 4 mile trip, Mary had been asked to believe the completely impossible...that Mary would be having a famous baby soon... without her "having known a man." Something that does not happen in the normal course of the way this world operates...!

Wondrous things happened only after Mary essentially replied "Ok, I don't understand how this can be...I really don't get it-- BUT-- I will believe that it can be possible..."

Mary was willing to give up "the usual" and expect the unusual. Something the world at large would have said utterly impossible!


I embarked on my own perilous travel after my family died in the wreck. Just like all bereaved Moms do...
I started my journey attempting to believe the unbelievable about my children being "OK" without me. I felt like I'd just gotten downsized. "OK, you're done, you're through...we have no more need of your services now, thank you." Hell, my baby was still nursing! It was a surreal experience... throwing away in the trash what used to be her nourishment. I was a provider with nobody to provide for anymore.

  With Michael and Lisa dying so young, I had no experience of them ever having been on their own...of them being OK without me around. They'd never made it out into the big bad world... All I knew was that I was essential for their survival in this world. I had to suspend that belief and accept another. I didn't want to at first, because I craved the familiar. Time had to erode my jagged, basically self-serving, edges of need.

I wish I could have been more like Mary...She was willing to let go right away, of all her preconceived notions and just "be" alright with not knowing. She wasn't bogged down by our earthly "rules"--knowing that God's enormous creative power, surpassed any earthly regulatory "norms." She patiently waited, she patiently endured...and she trusted even when she didn't "get it."


Job 1:21 "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." (NIV)

I really feel (as many) that much inner growth happen after periods of intense suffering. "The name of the Lord be praised" after "the Lord has taken away"... is infinitely harder to do than praising God when our children are held in our arms! Maybe that's why the Pieta is so moving...the deceased Jesus in Mary's loving arms...

I realize I have a need to always Trust God--to believe that what He has promised me, He can make happen.  I have come to get what it means to "patiently endure." Even when it hurts... beyond "belief."

"Blessed is he who patiently endures trials; for 
when he has stood the test, he will gain the victor's crown--even the crown of Life--which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."  James1:12  (Weymouth New Testament) 

(P.S. The two verses mentioned in this journal have an interesting numerical similarity- vs. 1:21 and vs. 1:12 )



































told mme

Friday, December 21, 2012

MY ANGELS' SPECIAL DELIVERY DAY

~This is the last photo taken of them both~



Today, December 22, is the day my family died in a horrible auto accident. Instantly taken to Heaven, and me still hospitalized when their funeral took place, I only remember them happy and healthy. I am blessed.

It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that my children, had they lived, would now be adults. I envision them in my mind as I'd left them...all baby soft and squishy and sweet big cheeks...cuddable! Trying to picture them as adults seems nearly impossible!

And yet my father said he "saw" Lisa after she died...sitting at the end of his bed...her hair behind one ear (as in her last portrait.) She was a young, grown woman in this brief "vision."

What would they look like now? Well, not knowing...means I have something "wonder-full" to look forward to!

God Restores. And knowing that we will have Reunion...keeps me going and going and going...

I love you two little punkins...see you up there!
Love you both, Mom




Saturday, December 15, 2012

SMALL CREATURE... BIG COMFORT



The other day I read a tidbit about the symbolism of "birds." I was looking up information online about "The Infant of Prague" statue. A detail of the statue often includes a small bird. 

Birds, "symbolize the soul" I read. How interesting to me, because I have often been comforted by birds! I feel that they are my deceased children communicating to me that "they care."

Most of the time when I see birds, it is because I am (only human!) down in the dumps about something. Along comes birdie...staring at me for the longest time, even when other birds would have flown away...I get the message and am quietly comforted. 

One time a bird hopped over to me as I was recovering from nearly being hit by a car. Not a fun thing to have happen when you're whole family died in an accident and yourself almost killed also.

 Hop hop hop came the little birdie.. right over to my feet...stopping right in front of me, watching me quietly sob as I sat on the bus stop bench. Just intently staring at me for the longest time...he got my interest aroused-- and suddenly I didn't feel the need to feel sad anymore as this was far more "interesting"! 

Finally he flew away, the bus came and I was happily exploring London once again...God sends His comfort wherever we go...we are never far from Him and His Love! 

               ~ Praise be to God!!! ~

Saturday, December 8, 2012

ANTICIPATION VS. LONGING

I have been wondering what the reason is... why so many bereaved Moms want their deceased children...to miss them?

I don't get it! Early on in my journey, I was so beside myself, wondering if they'd had the slightest crying out in need for me--their mother. I had been told several times that they had died "instantly" from head injuries sustained in the crash. And yet my mother's heart needed more reassurance than what I'd been told. It wasn't helpful for me to read in one of the news reports a friend gave me..."It was thought for a time, that the boy had a pulse." Spiral down, down, down...

I felt I hadn't "been there" for them in their hour of need. Not that I could have, realistically. When the racket from "the jaws of life" woke me, I remember trying to get up out of my seat to attend to my babies. I just knew were waiting outside the vehicle and missing ME. With a broken and dislocated hip, fractured femur and kneecap, plus 4 broken ribs my attempt to get out of my seat was, needless to say,  unsuccessful.

But wanting my deceased children to continue to miss me? Hell no! I would rather they be so enjoying themselves in Paradise that the thought of missing me never enters their minds! 

I know we'll be together again...God promises this to me. Why would I want their joy to be overshadowed by their longing to be with me before my work here is over? They want what God wants and when He says it's my time to join them, they know I will!

When my son was overseas for awhile, I missed him terribly, worried about him and all of that. But the minute I heard he was heading for the airport to come home, my concerns were transformed immediately into joyful expectation of our reunion! He wasn't with me yet...but I still found intense relief and joy at our upcoming reunion!
My grown son was not in my embracing arms at the time my sorrowful longing and concerns were taken away at the knowledge we would soon be reuniting...

That is what it feels like now, at this point on my journey...  My deceased children WILL be reuniting with me at a time only God knows. Maybe tomorrow for all I know! But meeting me again, in person, is the next thing to happen! We WILL be reunited and I don't have to worry about them any longer. I don't need to be consumed by excessive sorrow-- They're fine! I'm on my way...they're on their way and God will join us back together again! Do I miss them? Of course! But that is overshadowed by my knowing they are in BLISS even as I write this...and the assurance that we will be reunited again! It will be BETTER than it was before we were apart! New, improved and FOREVER together...can it get any better than that?

A wonderful party of sorts is waiting for all of us bereaved Moms. Jesus does like to party a little we read, doesn't He? Water into wine only for "medicinal purposes"...yeah, right!!!  :-)



Saturday, December 1, 2012

AN "ADVENT ACTION" ADVENT CALENDAR



I was pleasantly surprised to find an online Advent Calendar from EWTN. I clicked here and there on the calendar and was pleasantly surprised. Very often, there is a requested "Advent Action" to be done for the betterment of one's soul, through kind actions toward others. I know of Lenten practices of self-denial...but have never heard of something akin to this during Advent!

Here is the link:

http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/advent/

I plan to participate in this wonderful idea for Spiritual nourishment...care to join me?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Abraham Lincoln Read





Several years ago, I purchased "Abraham Lincoln's Daily Devotional"- a reprint of Lincoln's own devotional, from TBN. The title for the "November 29" selection grabbed my attention...seeing as how I am all about "reunion" these days...!

NOVEMBER 29
~~"Of Reunion with Glorified Spirits"~~  

What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? (1 Thess.2:19)

We soon shall join the throng.
Their pleasures we shall share.
And sing the everlasting song
With all the ransom'd there:
Hallelujah!
We are on our way to God.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"GIVING THANKS" For Nourishment


I have been enjoying reading a new book that was recommended to me, titled "Proof of Heaven- A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife."  Something that I read really made me nod my head in agreement with the analogy. The author is talking about his experiences, while temporarily in Heaven. This is what was written:


     My situation was, strangely enough, something akin to that of a fetus in a womb. The fetus floats in the womb with the silent partner of the placenta, which nourishes it and mediates its relationship to the everywhere present yet at the same time invisible mother. In this case, the "mother" was God, the Creator, the Source who is responsible for making the universe and all in it. This Being was so close that there seemed to be no distance at all between God and myself.


I love that imagery; God is so nourishingly near and essential to continued life, health and well-being...He is our "placenta"!

That incredible proximity of our Creator the author speaks of, was also made very clear to me when I experienced my Near Death Experience (NDE). At that time, I felt as though He had always been with me (us)-- as close as my breath! And I knew then with utter certainty, that the Love with which He loved me, (us) was stronger than any love I had ever experienced or ever will. It was if God alone gives "The Summit" of all given love that can be felt. And there was a certainty within me,  that in no way could our Creator's love ever be diminished or taken away from me (us)...no matter what I did! Or didn't do!  His Love was of a gentle, pure and flowing nature...not a restrictive or static kind. There is no "temporary" love, with God!

As I write this, I am thinking of the whole woulda/coulda/shoulda nightmare that just about all bereaved Moms have to endure at some point on their journey. When I went through that horrid stretch of road, I was released and set back moving forward... by being willing to forgive myself. 

My experience with The Light has shown me that God's Love and Forgiveness are so intertwined as to be inseparable. How safe I felt, knowing that the Almighty God loved me (and us) with more intensity than that between a mother with her newborn. Surrounded by The Loving Arms, safe and "at home"...I recall the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech...

"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" 

Happy Thanksgiving!











Friday, November 16, 2012

WINNING OUR WAR


I like to watch TV when I'm using a treadmill, so the time flies by more quickly. I recently watched a show about WWII (and God's Providence)-- that gave me the idea for this journal.


 The point had been made about how "deception" was used in warfare. How big a part deception was… in winning 
individual battles. How ultimately you could be victorious by incrementally using deceptive tactics.  Defeating your enemy would be much easier, the show said, if you can trick them by using deception.

Sun Tzu was mentioned in the show-- an ancient Chinese military general. He is believed to have authored "The Art of War"--an incredibly old,  yet revered
military strategy writing.  I found out something interesting in Wikipedia when I looked up Sun Tzu…
                   
"Sun Tzu's The Art of War is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program (formerly known as the Commandant's Reading List). During the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s, both General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. and General Colin Powell practiced Sun Tzu's principles of deception, speed, and attacking the enemy's weakness." (Wikipedia-emphasis added)

All of this input got me to thinking about our own War on Grief... also known as bereavement.

Deception IS used in our Grief War, and this is how I think it is applied. Remember... this is 

~FALSE INFORMATION~ pretending to be true and used here merely to illustrate my point!

Your ENEMY will do everything in his/her power to have you believe:

1). My child is DEAD with a capital D.

2). I will never see my child again.

3). I will ALWAYS feel this miserable. (This is closely related to number 4)

4). It will NEVER get better.

5). Memories are all I will EVER have--(This closely relates to number 6)

6). Because I will age, eventually I will lose my memory…I will then HAVE NOTHING.

7). God, although All Loving and Merciful, has chosen ME to feel His wrath and fury. (This closely relates to number 8)

8). God is PUNISHING me. My child's death is COMPLETELY MY FAULT. (Closely relates to number 9)

9). I needed to LEARN something--THAT'S why my child died.  It is MY fault.

10). Nobody else has EVER known suffering of this severity... or ever will.

11). Everyone will forget about me if I no longer seem "needy."

12). If I keep active enough, I won't ever have to think about or deal with any sort of "issues."

13). My child died too young, he/she has been CHEATED, and so have I. (Closely related to number 14)

14). If the world at large never knew my child, then my child never had any worth or value. (shades of subjective realism …"to be is to be perceived.")

IF you maintain belief that your child continues living after death…LIES will resemble the following:


1. My child no longer cares for me, as he/she has totally forgotten about me due to the BLISS that is his/her NEW existence.

2). My child cares for me, but has NO CLUE what's going on with me. That knowledge is completely kept away from his/her interested heart.

3). My child loves everyone equally now…I am no longer deemed "special" to my child in any way.

4). Although he/she is alive, I am prohibited from reunion because "pure energy" has no physical body, thereby rendering a physical reunion impossible.

5). If I move forward and feel anything akin to joy, I will be betraying my child, who is now carefully watching for any "infraction." This includes enjoyment of ANY sensory pleasure, no matter how minutely felt. 

6). I left out my child when asked "How many children do you have?"  Now my child is SEVERELY disappointed in me and I should hate myself. (Closely relates to number 7).

7). I forgot an important anniversary date regarding my child…I am a horrible person and there are absolutely NO "valid" reasons for forgetting, therefore,  I should hate myself. 

Some of these, quite a few actually, I have been guilty of experiencing during my 27 year grief journey. If we are to be "successful" and "victorious" at winning the Grief War…we need to be very careful about refuting these FALSE STATEMENTS with all the strength we can muster, as good soldiers. 


First, we need to be aware that this IS, a tactic of our enemy. Be aware that when you start to make progress moving forward (or help another) you will most likely  encounter "enemy resistance". Also, "divide and conquer" (usually with a significant other) has been utilized by the enemy often and quite successfully to weaken his adversary.

  As a Christian, taking it back to my core beliefs-- about who
and what God is to me and how unlimited His power is-- helps me win my battles more quickly and easily. Jesus is the ultimate, trustworthy, "Commander in Chief." Arming myself with "the Sword of the Spirit" -the Word of God- is a key to victory! It is my strongest weapon against the enemy forces that want to overpower and squash any hope I have of achieving victory over my grief.
 

The show I watched talked about the important need for "good leaders" to "give perspective" to the soldiers... How hard it is to lose battle after battle and the tendency for one therefore, to give up HOPE. A good leader will help a fellow soldier remember the big picture... and not get bogged down and ultimately fail his mission.
 
Don't give in…fortify your soldier body with proper nourishment (both body and soul) and join ranks with your fellow soldiers... TO WIN THE WAR!!! One thing is for sure, our children are now FAR beyond and free from enemy territory or influence...they are SAFE... and a joyous homecoming will be awaiting all of us soldiers...STAY IN THE FIGHT!!!











Sunday, November 4, 2012

ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES



Many times grief is described as being on a journey. There's always an arrival and a departure with a journey. If we know our child is going to be away for an indefinite time and we have concerns about their safety, their happiness, their overall experience of where they're at...we can get worried. We can be anxious, distracted and basically unhappy-- as our "mother-instinct" goes into overdrive.


BUT...after going through all that pain... if my son calls and says he's heading back home...he's in town now and we'll be seeing each other soon...IMMEDIATELY I feel light, happy, relieved and stress free. Assured he's "OK."

I'm not worried any longer.  Or sad. He still isn't yet with me...but it's completely different as to how I feel about the whole situation with him being gone. Why? Because I have an assurance that I will SOON be with him.


I think it's similar to being a bereaved Mom. In the beginning, before I was able to let my faith support me completely--I had all the earlier stated worries and concerns for my children-- now gone before me into uncharted territory.

 BUT as the years have rolled on and my journey has been so long...I feel almost like I've just gotten the call saying we'll be together soon. 

I'm older now--I was 28 years old when the wreck happened and now I'm 56. Now that the last half of my life is here, I feel as though I'm giving my kids a kind of spiritual call saying, "I'll be home soon kids! " And I'm excited about that! 

Reunion is the reason I have HOPE. The reason I was able to carry on at all was the hope through Jesus and His promises, assuring me that Michael and Lisa are still alive and we'll be together again one day...

Our child's Departure from this life always means someone at Arrivals is holding His child in His arms, saying "Welcome Home!"
That give me real peace. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What's REALLY "Scary"...







Today is Halloween. Spooky cats, witches flying on skinny broomsticks and goblins...Scary? Not by a long shot...Compared to bereavement...the traditional icons of Halloween horror pale by comparison.

I'll tell you what horror is...Horror is being 28 years old and now looking  down down down the long corridor of time that stretched out in front of my young self-- alone now and without my family beside me. The years seemed endless. The wait intolerable. How would/could I do this? Stark terror engulfed me when I gave in to the fears that seemed to be lurking all around me. Everywhere I turned-no relief from the mental screaming and anguish...This nightmare seemed never ending and I was already awake-- so how could this ever end???

As a Christian I knew that my family had gone to sleep and awakened in a "safe room." Forever free from threat of anything that would chip away at their happiness. So Jesus had my back I felt, in regard to them...but my OWN suffering?...He held my head above the near drowning waters swirling all around me...

I have a pet peeve now...almost 28 years into this journey. A pet peeve that's activated when I read certain phrases and envision myself as a newbie bereaved Mom...Things said to newly bereaved moms that have "questions"-- that would have sent me ( as a newly bereaved mom)  over the edge perhaps! And..maybe not come back?

The people saying these things most likely mean well. Or at least don't intend to scare the living daylights out of someone newly bereaved. Standing there at the beginning of a seemingly never ending long hall of years and years now newly ahead of someone though...how could those words not affect someone feeling just that scared, nervous, fearful, and just plain...weak?

"You will never feel the same again."You will never be the same again." You will never...is what "I" heard. 

What I wanted to hear,  what I NEEDED to hear... was that I could "be" again...not what I would never be...
I cringe when I read this in journals. Yes, I totally understand and "get" the not being the same after our child is deceased. How could we be the same though? We are not the same from year to year even week to week...day to day? Lifelong held habits, beliefs, feelings...these all alter irregardless of our children being alive or dead... 

We WILL change...and many changes can be POSITIVE changes too, though. Why can't we be more gentle to the newly bereaved who stand at the threshold of seemingly an eternity of loss...It takes awhile for even the   most stalwartly faithful, to regain their faith footing...

It's very similar to me to when I was pregnant for the first time, and I nervously asked others who'd been there, what labor was like. Some respondents were bluntly unkind and uncaring in what they told me. Horror stories. Emphasizing the incredible pain involved. The sheer misery and terror of it all. BUT...

Others told me more gently. It was already presumed I'd know there was pain involved. Quite a bit of pain. So they didn't feel the need to punch me on the nose with that fact. What they emphasized was the joy of holding your newborn. How it was worth all that went on beforehand. How sweet motherhood would eventually be...They gave me HOPE that I could do this! That I could successfully "deliver."

Grief, being an individual journey has many variations. But one universally accepted truth is that for many of us and some have reported here, it DOES get better. The pain WILL ease up. You CAN feel joyful again without tremendous guilt...Just like a new mother brings life into the world...we who have gone on this grief journey can bring new hope of LIFE, for those bereaved moms who see and fear only nonstop pain and... death. It all depends on how we "deliver' the news...Scary Halloween-like? Or with gentleness? A "haunting" question!  "Happy" Halloween!




Monday, October 15, 2012

OLD DOG NEW TRICKS





It amazes me how long I can have pondered upon something... and never "saw" the new discovery. I had one of those "Aha!" moments earlier this evening. 28 years now, after the wreck, I've thought of something "new."

I had first been thinking about an embarrassing encounter I'd had with with a heavy, glass door at my church. Let's just say the bruise has now faded! People with depth perception problems have a"near death from embarrassment encounter" on a fairly frequent basis...! (my eyesight was affected as a result of the wreck that killed my family).

Blindness unfortunately affects one of the toddlers at our church. This beautiful child is, tragically, both blind and deaf. 

BUT...the first person she will see and hear for the first time... will be Jesus! How fantastic that will be!  That reminded me that the first person I will see with my newly restored vision also, will be Jesus! And then it "hit" me...

When  I saw the face of Jesus during my NDE-- I HAD PERFECT EYESIGHT!

Immediately after the wreck I experienced double vision from the crossed eye. BUT--

There was NO double vision, nothing distorted during the NDE -- no pain experienced-- even though I had numerous life-threatening injuries.  I had perfect vision and was completely pain-free and "whole." 


"...His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." Rev. 1:16 (NIV)

That "bright, shining light," that so many with a NDE encounter...perfectly matches the biblical description of Jesus' face "shining like the sun." 

And it describes exactly what I saw. Additionally, there was absolutely no eyestrain or after- shadows or any problems maintaining my focus on such a baffling, bright brilliance. No negative "aftereffects" whatsoever! Only "positive"!

For me, this experience substantiates the belief that there is restoration of complete and total health to our bodies after death.

 Far from decay...what really happens to us; to our children that have transitioned...is we are restored to better than new!

'No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins" Luke 5:38 (NIV)


Praise and thanks be to God for His healing and restoration to wholeness!


The healing Aloe Vera plant

Friday, October 5, 2012

Limitations of Language



Some things in the Bible can just simply confuse us. Much of this has to do with the fact that words can change meaning from one century to the next. A simple case in point, is the word "fear."

Many times in the Bible, this word "fear" is brought up and can cause confusion. I could not understand why God would want us to "fear Him"--so often requested or seemingly demanded  in Biblical passages...particularly those of the old King James version!
 

 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." (Proverbs 1:7 NIV)


 




I was much relieved many years ago, after finding out the true meaning of "fear" in regard to this biblical conundrum.

"Fear," in this context, means "deep respect" or "reverential awe"...and being frightened or scared of Him is definitely NOT what was being stated in those passages that were so troubling to me.

That's one thing we sure won't have to worry about once we get to Heaven...the limitations of language! It's another "restriction" we will then be freed from...we will have "openness"...

Words "fail us." We "can't come up with the right word." We "have a senior moment." And then there's "homonyms"... to add even MORE to the confusion!

During my near death experience, I was spoken to...but it was a transference of knowledge. I heard no words, but I gained knowledge through an infusion into my consciousness. I love how that completely takes away the limitations of language that we have during this earthly journey. Effortless!


So next time you read how we are to-- "FEAR GOD"-- don't let it confuse you...He is still the Kind, Merciful and Generous Father He has always been...is now... and always will be!




Thursday, September 27, 2012

WHY GO ON?

WHY GO ON? WHY should a Christian Mom not just give up? It's certainly the hardest thing we'll ever have to do in our lives...burying our child.




The answer is because we have HOPE. Through Jesus Christ, bereaved Moms have the promise of reclaiming our lives back again. We have the hope of LIFE again. With our children. AGAIN. It really "isn't over"--And to top it all off, it's been promised to us as a much improved life...in fact--perfection for us all! And it will never end...we will NEVER have to say goodbye ever again!

I believe in this. I believe that what God has said, God can do. Why? Because He has shown me His abundant mercy, love and His HELP every step of the way, in my most desperate hours of need.

I didn't grow up in a nurturing family. "Dysfunctional" is a highly overused yet descriptive term for my early years. There was extremely little comforting for me from relatives.

A kind, helpful word of encouragement and a big family group-hug? What's that like? I would have no idea. But there was One that always followed through with consistent, non-conditional Love with a capital "L" for me... Jesus.

Where did my help come from?
 "I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from? 
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121 vs. 1-2 (NIV)
 "Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 124:vs. 8 (NIV)


It seemed very odd to me to realize during my time of intense pain, that My Heavenly Father felt more loving and physically real and present to me... than my biological father. I could always count on Him. Only Him. Some weak-kneed "friends" may have deserted me in my hour of need. But never Him. In fact, during those extra painful days and nights, He was even MORE present to me. Through the kindness of strangers meeting a need that only He knew about; through the arranging of certain timely events and happenings-- these are things that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to me that 
"Kilroy was here."

In a nutshell...I TRUST HIM. He's come through for me before; I am sure He will come through for me again. Even though I may not like the allowance of free will and what it destructively can do sometimes... God ultimately always has a "workaround." Because nothing is impossible with God.  I need to understand Whom I am allowing "to call all the shots" in my life. Even when I can't possibly understand the "why" of it all. I still trust.

I strongly feel that "Trust" is the most important concept there is, for those bereaved of their children (and for grief in general) ...everything else builds on the foundation of TRUSTING HIM.



 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

On Life and Living



 "On Death and Dying"-Kubler-Ross' epic book,  talked about the stages of grief. In my humble opinion, not enough has been spoken "On Life and Living."

The stages that Kubler-Ross talked about were:
1) Denial 
2) Anger
3) Bargaining             
4) Depression
5) Acceptance

Before being able to resume "life" again...there are huge issues for bereaved Moms to resolve.
Resolving the issues that get us personally bogged down in our grief is of primary importance to the resumption of  "living." That can be hard work!

 What brings us to instant tears or anger?-- these are the very issues that we eventually need to work out for ourselves... to our satisfaction... I was able to tackle only one issue at a time. And that was plenty enough to handle!

 Christian Moms have to come to terms with the additional plethora of questions including the biggie, "Why did God allow this to happen?" And trying to understand how a loving, omnipotent and omniscient God could even "do such a thing to us"--"to them". 

To some questions I had, that I just could not figure out the answer to this side of Heaven, I concluded...I can't figure it out. It cannot be known in this life. That was my answer to some of my most perplexing questions.

Just having worked on trying to figure "it" out and coming to a conclusion (even if it was "I don't know") was extremely helpful to me. It allowed me to go on to another issue, to resolve to my own satisfaction.

I believe we need to fully incorporate and fully grieve our loss... their death... (our death) before we can begin to even think about "living" again. Just let all the grief out. It's like a balloon that won't stay down in water...grief will keep bouncing back up when we try to submerge it. So might as well let it out!

I came to understand that...God can restore...This is a concept that was given to me while still hospitalized from the wreck. At the time, right after the wreck, I didn't understand how important this concept would be, toward my healing. To my rejoining life again. God can restore.

We know that "nothing is impossible with God." He can restore, either in this life or the next...and that truth ultimately took away the awful "cheated" feeling that comes to us.
God can restore.

Leaning on my faith, taking Jesus' hand and using "the sword of the Spirit"--(God's Word)-- helped me to fight the battle of feeling cheated.
God can restore.


"Acceptance"-- an important prerequisite to rejoining life-- came for me when I knew my children were not coming back... and yet I was actually able to focus on other events going on in my life. A big help to healing during this time, was making the conscious decision  to focus entirely on the fact that my children were very much alive and well... with Jesus... and happy in HEAVEN. God can restore.

Of number one importance, in my opinion--is a willingness to move forward. Early grief is severe grief and nothing but one's sheer survival-- on all levels-- is expected of one. Rising above the floodwater with God's aid, is unique in its timing for all of us. We're on our own schedule. We punch our own time clock on this one...But at a certain point in our journey, uniquely ours timing-wise, we'll make a decision (either consciously or subconsciously)  as to which "direction" we'll be moving toward..."grieving" or  "healing"...
God can restore.


This is why grief is so exhausting. It's a full time job trying to process all of these conflicting emotions. Trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. Something we can barely say "Yes, it happened" to.  It's difficult to see reality in print.  Death certificates can make us feel nauseous.  Even the words "In Memoriam" made me catch my breath. But God can restore.

Working steadily on the issues that trouble us, gradually brings us increasing peace. A peace that builds upon itself. A forward momentum. Our NEW inner focus "On Life and Living" then blessedly begins. God CAN restore! And He does! Thanks be to God!
                              
                                   


Sunday, September 16, 2012

The LIfe and Death of Michael Mouse

Michael's Birthday

Michael would have been 30 years old today...he died at age 27 months old. A little over two years of walking on this planet. Swept up to Heaven by his guardian angels before he even knew what guardian angels were. Or knew that he needed them in this life...

Michael entered this world on a chilly day. But his smile warmed my heart from day one. He was smiling at me from inside the little glass cubicle where they'd placed him after delivery was over. The nurse nearby commented on his smiling at me. Later I'd read that smiles could be caused by newborns being "gassy." But I never believed that about Michael's first smiles for me.

The last moments of Michael's life ended as they began. He was smiling at me, moments before the truck struck our vehicle and instantly caused his death, and the deaths of his baby sister and father. We were playing a little game almost. He was very sleepy from having just had lunch; we'd stopped at Taco John's drive-up enroute. We had a brand new Chevy S-10 extended cab pick-up and Michael and I were in the jumpseats facing each other.

I watched as Michael's eyes slowly closed...and then opened...at which time he'd smile and then I'd smile...then unable to keep his eyes open any longer, so tired, he closed them again. We repeated this several times. THEN-- I saw the truck practically on top of us, from the window behind Michael's seat. I never saw Michael again.

                   He left me with the same gift he gave to me when I first saw him...the gift of his smile.

Later I would recall how he had been announcing "Going Home...to be with Jesus!" (see Michael's Announcement tab on blog Home page). I finally understood what that was all about. He'd told me in advance where he was going. Knowing that a loving Mom would wonder where he'd gone. And giving me the only answer that could ever soothe and then heal my broken heart...that he was "with Jesus."

I love you always, Michael "Mouse"--and I cannot wait until we are reunited, in God's perfect timing. Until then I wait... "patiently endure"... and Trust.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A BIG BEREAVEMENT ISSUE

One of the biggest issues I had to resolve for myself after my bereavement, was feeling cheated. After their deaths, I felt so cheated out of everything a new mother looks forward to, during the typically long, nine months of "percolating."

How I'd looked forward to even the smallest things...like picking out girly-girl clothing for Lisa. And indulging her with all of my own desired-but-never-received-as-a-child toys I figured we'd both enjoy. Heck, my husband and I were even squabbling a bit over just which college Michael should attend when that time came around.

Something else came around instead. The accident--their loss-- and my gain of feeling an incredibly painful sense of emptiness. And feeling just plain cheated.

"Indian giver! You're an Indian giver!" was an insult my sister and I would accuse each other with on occasion. To us, it meant the taking back of what had been freely handed over to us. To take back a gift we'd been given.

When I read grief related articles that include something along the lines of "God gave you an incredible gift...but it wasn't really yours...He just gave it to you for awhile... and then He wanted it back." Huh?  God yanked back a gift He'd given me that I was so deliriously happy about? I take  issue with this kind of "bi-polar" generosity. To me, a gift is a gift. There's no rescinding. Period.

I like to reframe the concept, and to think of God as sharing His gift with me--on earth-- for...awhile. And then this wonderful, shared gift of our child, is taken back up from whence they came...waiting for us to join them and thus be shared...again and again. Not just with me, their mother, but with all of humanity's Believers.

 I cannot think of God as an Indian giver...I prefer to think of Him as more of a "sharer of all good things, and healer of all bad things." I guess it's all in how you look at things. "Indian giver"--can mean the White men's actions that gave and yanked away from the Indians...OR  "Indian giver" can refer to the Indians that helped the earliest American colonists survive the horrid winters by providing them with food sources.

One thing I know for sure...there is no sleight of hand when it comes to God's generosity. He is definitely of the Energizer Bunny variety...He keeps on giving and giving and giving!
Psalm 145:16 (in both the King James Version and The Message version):

   Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. (KJV) 

  Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.  (MSG)



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