Sunday, September 17, 2017

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY PASSES



Yesterday my 2 year old turned 35. That's how I view it from my earthly perspective. There's been no, "Now you've turned 3!" then "Now you've turned 4!" and so on and so forth. It's just like he's stuck forever in my mind at "2" turning--this year--a robust 35 years old. It's been very jarring to me as the years have progressively increased and the span of what Michael "was" and what he "would have been" contrasting so enormously now.

After the yearly jolting, I take up my mental word-armor, the remembrance of how none of that matters--at all--in the grand scheme of things. All my angst may be perfectly normal but it's still "earthly thinking." Jesus once reprimanded St. Peter because he (St. Peter) was only thinking along earthly terms--not heavenly terms.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." (Matt. 16:23 NIV).

What does it matter that Michael (or Lisa) didn't live long in earthly years--if I truly believe (which I do) that he's in Paradise and Perfected and Paired up with Jesus and happy as a lark as The Father sees fit? I remind myself to stop having "merely human concerns" and get myself back on track. Otherwise I'm a stumbling block to myself. If I get on the sad track, it speeds along at a furious pace and leaves me feeling nothing but drained of energy. Stop! I'll tell myself.

I had the electric candle I bought years ago turned on yesterday. I couldn't help but notice how cheap the fake flame looked. Nowadays they make them so much more real-looking. I did a quick assessment of whether I was failing Michael in some way by choosing to keep it instead of buying a brand new, more realistic-looking one. Again, earthly thinking about something that matters not a whit in reality! In Michael's reality!

It was on actually just prior to it being Michael's birthday as it was another day of getting to bed way too late. I wouldn't be asleep at midnight so why not light it now and place my favorite photo of him near it--now? If it wasn't lit and it was after midnight and I could light it but chose not to . . . would that indicate I didn't care? Again, earthly thinking needing redirecting. I still need to redirect even after what soon will be "33" years since the wreck that killed them all instantly. Old habits die hard.

I know almost nothing about Michael. That's the plight of those of us whose children die very young. He had a lot of sweet qualities about him and also an impishness. He was easy to please. He had a hearty laugh. When he turned two, at his party held at my in-laws, he helped a little girl he had never met before who was struggling to blow her balloon up. He told me when Lisa was crying if I was out of earshot. He was willing to sit cuddled tightly together next to Lisa in a spacious baby stroller that was really just designed for one. He liked to paint; his last picture--painted shortly  before the wreck happened--resembled an angel with wings spread. He liked the Sesame Street character, "Ernie." He was brave. While at a friend's house, the friend's grandfather dressed as a clown and dropped in for a visit. The friend cowered in fear as Michael stood his ground, more curious than anything else. He burned his tender arm on my in-laws' outdoor grill after an impulsive reach . . . and didn't even cry about it.

What has helped me the most to survive the wreck, was Michael being obedient to whoever told him to repeat after them, "Going Home to be with Jesus!" numerous times in the two weeks before the wreck. That, and how he always pointed out beautiful rainbows to me . . .









Saturday, August 5, 2017

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING

I've always been intrigued--and somewhat afraid--of the verse in Scripture that quotes Jesus saying,

"And many false prophets will appear and deceive many. " (Matt 24:11). Also stated by Jesus is: 
     
"For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and  perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matt 24:24)--emphasis mine. What in the world --even the elect get deceived? As of the other day, I can totally understand how easily that can happen. 
    
 It started by reading  a couple books written by  a famously respected New Age healer/guru who shall remain nameless. I found a curious mixture of what "I" believe in the Bible peppered with his Eastern philosophy and attitudes --which then started to subtly and then boldly stray from what Jesus taught. 
     
This so-called expert doesn't believe in a personal God. Doesn't believe in that Jesus cares for us tenderly like His flock of sheep. Doesn't believe that when we physically die we'll remember our individuality or others'. That there's a collective storage of memory rather than our own personal memories to retain after death. Apparently, we're just  all nameless unindividualized groupies of a rock-star Ultimate Consciousness. 
    
What had initially sucked me into the vacuum of being misled was the sprinkling of Scriptural truths found throughout what I was reading.  And his believing that Jesus did live and was a healer. It was like a hook, his acknowledging Jesus as real and Good. 
     
But then I felt increasingly uncomfortable with what he had to say about Jesus. That's always been the deal-breaker for me. If some way of thinking refuses to acknowledge Jesus as The Son of God, The Messiah,  Our Savior . . . I bolt for dear life.
     "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." 
(1John 4:1-4).

     What's been tripping me  up are New Agers that speak of Jesus in lovely ways . . . then go in for the kill by denying He meant this or really didn't say that or a number of other conventions to try to veer me off the right track. It just all reminds me too much of the deceiving ways of the snake in Eden's garden. The subtle planting of doubts, seeds of mistrust and confusion. 
     The Enemy's gotten sneakier these days. It's not so obvious a false prophet is what he is--especially when he's the darling of Society and comes across as all gentle and wise. Just because somebody "acknowledges" Jesus, doesn't mean they submit to Him. I think that's the clincher for the anti-Christ types. Their unwillingness to submit to the Almighty's embodiment known as Jesus The Son Of God. These types seem reluctant to be a mere creature; they seem to need to be the Head--refusing to be anywhere near the lowly Tail. I'm not falling for it anymore.  I'm  going to be apply the litmus test of conformity to all of Jesus' teaching before reading another word of an Anti-Christ.



Monday, June 26, 2017

FIREWORKS

Soon the 4th of July fireworks shows will be upon us. To me, childbirth and bereavement have a lot in common with fireworks.
     Preliminary signs and sounds clearly told me to excitedly anticipate something--soon it would be bursting forth! The beautiful transformation started as soon as the firework was loosed from its container. Shockingly bright light pierced my darkness. Such heavenly joy I found, far above earth's gravity. 

And then, bereaved, the harsh reality of the unrelenting and constantly returning blackness of this world's night set in --I couldn't even raise my eyes off the ground--completely unable to see anything beautiful again until a period of waiting time completed. Oh how I longed for more of the same beauty I previously so enjoyed! I did not want to wait!  

My children had burst upon the scene so beautifully . . . but like fabulous exploded fireworks, enjoyed tremendously, but gone far too quickly. Photographs and videos were such poor recreations of what once was!

Early grieving for me was like having bottle rockets going off constantly in my head. Just loud, startling noise with no substance. I didn't know where they were going to come from, this annoying racket suddenly making me feel unsure and unsafe. Something seemingly as innocent as "sparklers"--those tangible items of theirs I'd come across (or innocently seek out)--caused me a surprising number of user-injuries. Sometimes there'd be unexpected huge booms, making me feel I was in a real war with life or death repercussions. How so much beauty was mixed with anxiousness! 

Not until the fireworks show ended and the noisy crowd went home did I even start to think about the future again, this God-given hope I clung to of another round of beauty. My bereavement darkness finally ended, leaving me in constant, joyful anticipation. He that brought me such wonder would yet again bring beauty and after so much time waiting . . . likely a "new and improved" version. When Beauty and  I reunite, this time there won't be any more darkness to disappoint or  keep me from enjoying their presence with me . . . in non-ending, explosions of delight. Don't give up hope!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

EASTER THOUGHTS



                
I love this religious holiday. Jesus being resurrected from the dead is the very reason "I," can live again after my husband and children died. There's reason to hope again that my life is still living; because He lives, they live also. 

I like what I read once, that either Jesus was a raving madman or . . . He was telling the truth. I believe through His loving actions performed and compassionate way of living--that He spoke the truth. My family's death isn't the end of the story. God always has a better Plan B. I'm looking forward to it! I believe it will be as if we'd just stepped over into our new world, when it happens. 

My cat Abby just couldn't understand why she couldn't go outside on her leash the other day. It was too late in the day and coyotes are known to prowl for food around here at dusk. How I wished I could tell her why she had "to wait awhile" in a way she could understand. But that cannot be in this life. I wonder if God feels a little sad for us, because we have to wait for our desires and are unable to comprehend the "why" and yet He very much wants our happiness in all things.

Another interesting occurrence was found in a tiny, vintage book written in 1843. I found this for $1.50 at the library bookstore I volunteer at. Inside the book was an ancient pressed flower encouraging the reader to read a passage primarily speaking  about "It is well with my soul." Which just happens to be a favorite "God is blessing me with this song" of my friend Dale. One other page was dog-eared. I turned to that and found a passage talking all about how God "Restores." The concept of which was etched in my brain somehow, right after my family's tragic accident and been a constant focus-thought for me ever since.

Easter Day today and I just had an interesting occurrence. A little girl just asked me if she could help me as I worked on my front yard's flowers. This reminded me of when my first Fall rolled around after my toddler Michael had been killed. How I'd longed to rake up leaves only for him to scatter them again. And when I felt the saddest, that's when God sent a young neighbor boy I'd never met before--to walk down my sidewalk. Someone who just wanted apparently, to wordlessly rake leaves with me for a couple minutes and then silently continue his way down the sidewalk.

Jesus' Resurrection was huge --but small miracles abound around us if we just pay attention. 
                                                 
                                                             "Happy Easter!"

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

FROM EARTHLY DUST TO PERFECTION


LISA AT THREE AND 1/2 MONTHS YOUNG


Today--March 1, 2017-- Lisa would have turned "33" years old. Wow. It's hard to fathom that, since I last saw her physically at only nine and a half months young. From my headboard shelf where it's kept, I lifted off my favorite framed picture of Lisa . . . and saw dust. Coincidentally, today happens to be "Ash Wednesday" and the start of Lent for Christians.  Seeing that dust under her photo, I recalled this verse from Genesis (3:19):

" . . . For dust you are and to dust you will return." (NIV)

I realized I'd never focused much on the prior verses that spoke of all the toil and trouble mankind would now have after choosing their will over God's.  Lisa (and all transitioned children) have in fact been saved from having to struggle in this life and all little children that have died are guaranteed by Jesus to now be on easy street. Jesus clearly has a fondness for little children. They probably refreshed His Spirit just like they refresh our own weary spirits during our earthly trials.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (NIV Matthew 19:14 --emphasis mine.)

They "belong" there! They've got the run of the place! "Reunion" for them must have been more like "Further Union." They've never once consciously parted from Christ!

I've also come to realize that because they died so young (Lisa at 9 1/2 months and Michael at 27 months) having any kind of "rift" between us never happened. Although I did not get to see them mature to an adult age . . .  there are no smoldering regrets, arguments or resentments that can taint the mother/father and child-turned-adult relationship. I will never carry any troubling, unfinished emotional business between us to my grave or they to theirs. Like I have with the relationship memories with my own departed parents.

Those of us that have very young transitioned children  will also never have any questions about their relationship with Christ either. A big comfort to me is that they died being "as close to an angel" as is possible in this earthly life.

I've come to understand that even though in this life I've not had some of the "fun" stuff of seeing Lisa and Matthew grow to adulthood, I'm blessed beyond measure believing Jesus' Word that Heaven belongs to children--especially.

On this Ash Wednesday, when we Christians focus on the reality of physical death (ashes literally placed upon our foreheads) I remember that God in His Mercy can also raise us up to New Life. And that even though my children no longer have their fleshly bodies:

"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  . . . " (NIV John 6:63).

Earthly death is just a transitioning moment . . afterward we come to fully realize our joy of having union with Life and Love Himself. (And I believe in Purgatory being a time of fairness . . . of learning in order to truly and freely be able to make that choice irregardless of any prior harmful influences.)

                                             HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!!
                     
                                  I LOVE YOU AND YOUR BROTHER ALWAYS (and your earthly Dad!)


Saturday, February 18, 2017

FEELING WHIPPED



As a Christian bereaved mom, I sometimes feel as though I'm being whipped into submission to get back into the line of what "truly loving" bereaved moms "must" feel. This comes, evidently, from non-Believers . . . even if they consider themselves a Believer, it appears to me. 

How many times must I hear that an apparently "truly" grieving mother must steadfastly refuse to believe there can be no possible "explanation" for our child's early death? But what about our belief that God has His reasons why He allowed something horrible to happen . . .  understanding that our comprehension of the "why" not humanly possible during our lifetime. Trust in God does sound like a platitude to some . . . but it is my best "go to" answer as a Christian who believes, but is not able to understand the divine. I believe that I will have full knowledge after I transition. I don't consider myself a mindless robot . . . but someone who has spent a lifetime so far trying to understand and figure out just what I believe, after my foundation was so violently rocked at age 28. I'm 60 now.

As of now, I have no clue as to why that 10 ton truck had to be at that intersection . . .  precisely when our pickup intersected that spot. In a state known to have "the" least population; While traveling on a lonely rural highway; Just before Christmas, too. This is "the hard stuff" of being a Believer. We may never know in this lifetime why tragic stuff happens to good people. (But look at Jesus as an example of this).

As a Christian, I TRUST that God allowed it for some reason that He, being non-subject to time had knowledge of "why" this had to be. Or it would not have been allowed. I still believe that God is 100% Love and I still believe that God is 100% trustworthy. Call me a fool if you want. I will never stop believing otherwise.

This talk sounds like nonsense to a non-Believer. Their stated reasoning (or variations of):

"There is no good reason why God should allow an innocent child that was healthy, beloved and had a whole lifetime of love and life to look forward to."

If a Christian bereaved mom tries to counter the above statement with--horror of horrors--Scripture references, then a whole new slew of vehemence often erupts.

"Platitudes" and "Trite sayings" are hurled at the Christian who has found extreme comfort from just the very things an apparent non-Believer is hurling back at them in utter disgust. I can understand the anger toward Christians that are insensitive technique-wise at communicating their beliefs. There is no protest from me with bereaved moms that are angry at Christians who seem to be one-upping others by Faith bashing. But others, and I consider myself one, are trying to help a fellow bereaved mom gently find her way through the darkness by shining the Light of Christ and His assurances and how that has proven helpful to us. Wouldn't you share your food with the near-starving?

For those bloggers who trash Christian moms for trying to help others--those of you who lump us all together as bigoted bullies-- you are not helpful to one half of your listeners (or readers). 
I read today on a bereaved mom's blog, that she and others like her:

"Would want to punch her in the face" (a fellow bereaved mom and a Christian--for sharing her faith).

When faced with aggression, it's only normal to retreat. Maybe that's why some Christian moms feel it's just easier to keep silent rather than speak or write, amid the difficult-to-counter likes of:

"I love my child too much to ever be okay with their dying before me . . . it's just not normal."

"My child was taken before their time and missing out on everything good in this life."

"I hate G*d because of what He did to me."

"God hates me because of something I did to Him."

These are difficult topics to address even for those that are trained professionals, to say the least! I've had my share of put downs for trying to help other bereaved moms. That's why this blog is geared toward "Christian" moms, because I feel at least I have a starting point from which to reaffirm our mutual belief of life and HOPE following death. For both Mom and child. 

After being bereaved now for over thirty years, I have fought many battles in regard to losing instantly both my infant daughter Lisa, toddler son Michael and Tim, my husband of ten years from an auto accident. The last thing I feel like battling is trying to defend my undying love for them even though I firmly believe my Christian assurances. Bottom line:

YES!! I STILL WILDLY LOVE THEM!! 

I believe in complete and utter restoration for them of all that is truly "important" of which they've not had the chance to experience on earth. I miss them not being physically here with  me on earth. But if they had the chance to be 100% happier being away from me for awhile (I believe in Reunion after death)--then I would let them and live my life accordingly in Christian hope. BECAUSE I LOVE THEM THAT MUCH!!

I believe their honor and remembrance before God is what truly counts--not how many people on this planet currently acknowledge remembrance or love of them. So . . .  those that die young have still lived a "worthwhile" life. It doesn't matter who remembers or how many foundations in their name are formed. That even if nobody were to remember them in this life . . . (Alzheimer's runs in my bloodline) . . . their lives are worthwhile. Because God has assured me through His Word they are okay now . . . and I still believe it, even though bad things have definitely happened to definitely good people.

After my lengthy bereavement walk, I've concluded that the only things hat matter are that they were Created in Love, were Loved by both God and me, and I'm assured of Restoration and Reunion through that same Love because Love never dies and never "takes" . . . but only "Gives."

COMMENTS WELCOMED AND ENCOURAGED!!!

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