Friday, February 20, 2015

CRUSHING GRIEF



There's a component to grieving the death of my children, that I did not experience with other deaths. With my father, mother, sister, brother and close friends…after their deaths, it was quite different. 

With the deaths of my children, every little indiscretion I had ever done…was magnified to the umpteenth degree. Every shortcoming of mine, was accelerated to "Mortal Sin" status.  I agonized over how I failed them, no matter how small. For instance, once when I was in a hurry, I had on my "to do list",  trimming little Lisa's fingernails. But I nicked her fingernail skin, and she even bled a bit. I felt very badly at the time, but after she died I was a wreck remembering that happened. I even picked up a nail clipper and…you can fill in the rest.

With no other kind of death, have I agonized over any supposed "failings". I might have a quick thought or two about something I did or did not do-but there was never the soul crushing, "How could I?" that accompanied my children's deaths. 

I look back now, and I can focus on the fact that I was trying to do a good thing... that later went all wrong. In the beginning of my grief, I never could focus on anything I did that was "right" oriented. Only the negative outcomes were focused on. And they were my constant accusers, and thought torturers. (Satan is called "The Accuser" for a reason!)
And with the amount of soul pain that caused me, I cannot imagine the agony of survivors of those whose children died by suicide…

Finally telling myself that I was turning my back on God, by refusing His forgiveness for any of my trespasses (real or imagined) against my deceased family, is where I  found my soul- peace. If God Himself said I was  "forgiveness-worthy"…who was I to say, "No, God…that 'aint gonna happen…"  By allowing God to forgive me, and giving myself permission to forgive myself, I finally found rest for my soul.

"Goodbye" has a word origin that I never knew until recently. It comes from the contracted phrase, "God be with you." How fascinating to me, that what we bereaved Moms struggle so with-"The Goodbye"….that this word "goodbye",  has at its roots, the presence of God being invoked! 


Not having been able to have had any last words to my husband or children, caused me so much pain... It seemed to me at the time, there was no more communication possible.  I realized after awhile, that because they are "with God", when I communicate with God, we can communicate with each other- through God!. That there really is no ceasing of communication after death. "God be with you" …changes everything! Because with death, "Goodbye" also means, "Hello Again!" Thanks be to God.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

OPPOSITE STRATEGIES


Scattered throughout the New Testament, are Jesus' urging His followers to stay awake, alert and to be watchful. With that in mind, I've often thought about 2 Cor 2:11... 


...in order that Satan might not outwit us.  For we are not unaware of his schemes.
 (2 Cor. 2:11 NIV)

Definitions of "schemes" include:  

An underhand plot; A clever and often dishonest plan to do or get something; A systematic plan of action…

I get a little nervous, thinking that our daily enemy is truly, actively, plotting for our ultimate ruin… Some people refuse to believe that there really are forces of evil present and working in this world. For that refusal…it's score 1 for the enemy. He's pretty big on using deception of all forms on the battlefield to his advantage. 

Thankfully for us, 

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4 NIV) 

Because God is for us, we can lift up our heads and keep trudging along the road-knowing that HIs ever-present help is always available. 

Speaking of tactics, in my life, I've noticed some operational tactics that God appears to be employing, in order to restore me and to foster learning. One thing I've noticed consistently, is a "reversal" of things. 

For example, I went through a period of time where nobody would have thought of me as being "strong-minded"...And yet, now, after the tragedy of my family's deaths, I can't count how many times I've been given the compliment of being "strong-minded" (through Christ of course). Thanks be to God, who treats us as He did the groom-- who ran out of wine in Scripture. We are erroneously praised... while all the time it's been Jesus working behind the scenes…making it happen! What we can be rightfully praised for I feel, is for being willing to take Jesus' hand, and to let Him help us.

For a physical reversal, there's the time my elderly landlord, spryly pushed me around the Mall in my post-hospital wheelchair. She and I laughed at that later on. 

 I've been "used" for reversals, too. More than once, I've had the luck of physically resembling someone's "enemy"…and I ended up doing something to help them of an "above and beyond" measure (according to them).  

Initially scary people, have turned out to be incredibly softy, helper-types that I resonate with. "Grandmas" have turned out to have fascinatingly youthful, imaginative sides. 

 Where there was seemingly nobody around..someone mysteriously arrived and offered comfort to me.  LIke at the gravesite…Or that time my empty dining table chairs-suddenly each held the Spiritual presence of my departed family.

When lost amidst the towering skyscrapers in the heart of heartless downtown Chicago-an office man "happened" to be outside, approached me and kindly gave needed directions. And there was the employee at Butchart Gardens (in Canada), who seemed to vanish the second after seemingly materializing only to tell me where the water fountain was. I was incredibly thirsty, and had only seconds left before my tour bus departed. Not only did I have my thirst quenched, I was given increased reassurance, that God knows our needs...and responds. No matter how far away from "Home"…I LOVE God's tactics! (does happy dance!)



COMMENTS WELCOMED AND ENCOURAGED!!!

My Blogs Listing