Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Then the conversation switched to how her life had changed for her and her mom after her dad died. She shared how many of their Christian friends did not know how to respond to her mom as a young widow. And how I could relate! I know a lot of widows in our retirement community but don’t know any that are young. I think at times we expect more of our Christian friends because they know God; but sometimes when they have not shared our experiences, they can do more harm than good because of their lack of understanding and desire to see us let go and be healed. They may know God but at the end of the day, they are just forgiven people who are healing from their own pain while stumbling through their own lives and trials. None of us are exempt.from trials...sometimes people just are not transparant. This beautiful girl shared how her mom and dad was in ministry and how people just didn’t know what to do with her mom, and how she and her mom felt misunderstood and left out of things because people simply did not know how to respond to this young, grieving family. Although well meaning, sometimes people add more injury to those already hurting and letting go of so much.
Each of us grieves differently, and the grief is often tied to the depth of the relationship or change that has occurred and the value placed by the one left. Each person’s journey is different. Some take longer than others; some never heal; others have more to grieve than others because of the time, love, and energy invested. When the degree of love is great, I believe the grief is much harder to walk through. The letting go is more painful when you have poured your love and heart into something or someone. I knew exactly what this girl (who was old enough to be my daughter) felt like. For example, many girls lose their dad; but for my daughter, her loss was profound because she was a “daddy’s girl.” Some daughters, unfortunately, never have that kind of relationship with their dads, or they don’t even get along with their fathers, so the loss is differentAs we stood in the Coke isle, this young woman shared how God had brought healing to her heart, and I was encouraged. She was someone who I felt really understood some of the pain I had experienced, and I understood to a degree what she was talking about. What I have discovered in my journey through grief is, often times, I just need to be heard and held to get through the painful times. Love, encouragement and understanding is what we need. That is what helped Job.
Back to the wonderful girl I met in Wal Mart. -- She also encouraged me for my own kids’ healing, and I know God will heal their hearts of the loss of their daddy, too, as He has hers. And this precious girl offered to pray for me! I have prayed for a number of people when I have shopped at Wal Mart, but this time I was the recipient and someone was interceding for me! What a comfort and blessing my shopping experience was. So, the moral of the day is: Go to Wal Mart, and go down the Coke isle! Seriously, God knows our needs, and He understands and will meet us if we keep seeking Him.
My days have been spent letting go, healing, getting taxes done (Joe, where are you when I need you?), talking to attorneys and others to help my parents get things in order, having lunch with friends (a huge deposit in my bank), helping a little at CWJC, and attending two writers groups, and talking to my in California, and all the while discovering new life takes a lot of energy! I even went swing dancing last night with another couple because a girl must dance no matter what she goes through!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
My recent "and suddenly" moment came when God opened a door for me to go toGod has been writing many things on the pages of my heart and I am learning what it is to be romanced by the King. He is full of surprises, healing and adventure. I cannot imagine walking thru life without Him. He is my security, strength, confidence and hope.
for a conference at The Mission in Vacaville CA featuring Graham Cooke. I had contemplated going to the conference back in January but dismissed the idea until someone kept insisting I attend. I am so glad she did! Graham Cooke has been one of my mentors for a number of years via books he has written. His books have challenged me. About six months ago his ministry restructured their prayer team and you had to apply to be a part of it. I applied and was accepted. It has been good to keep me accountable, rub shoulders with other believers that are warrior class people….people that don’t just want to survive their circumstances but thrive in. adversity. My time at the conference was an amazing deposit in my bank…although I had been asked to attend as part of the prayer team I took 43 pages of notes to process and was overwhelmed by the love from the other 7 members of the California team and was honored to be a team member. I know I received more than I gave. Texas
While I was in California, I got a call at 4:20 am that my dad had fallen…this is the second time that has happened since I was gone. He was alright, but just getting the call puts me on high alert. I love my parents dearly and want to help them maintain their independence and quality of life. The roles have reversed in our lives and that is difficult but it is a part of life. They need so much help right now and I try to do what I can.
I still shake my head at times and say…”this is not my life…but it is:”
Advancing and shaking my head,
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
My life has recently been a mixture of things…from the difficulty of once again letting go of something precious to an intense time of God speaking many things to me. But I have come to understand that life with God is about walking in extremes. If you read the Bible you see that through out the lives of many of its characters. Letting go of my role, the everyday routine and the people that were part of that routine has taken a lot of energy to process. When life suddenly shifts, no matter how good it is one must find their balance and find out where they are in this season, who God wants to be in this season and who am I in this situation. I say process because healthy grief is a process and it must be gone through to come out healthy emotionally. We live in an instant society and we must not ever sacrifice going thru things properly at the expense of speed. My job is to travel well through the process even when people do not understand. I know too many people that deny their pain, idolize it or simply choose to pretend it doesn’t hurt their hearts. I have learned from past grief that one can only move on to new life to the degree they process the change or loss or it will come back to bite them later in life. My job was not just a job but a calling and I loved the people I invested and was involved dearly. To simply say it is over and let’s run on to the next thing would be denying the power and fruit of the process of letting go once again of something precious to me. God’s grace is sufficient therefore I know I have to embrace it in order to move on. I feel like I have finally found my balance again and I know from being a gymnast, when you loose your balance on the balance beam…you cannot finish the routine until you gain your balance. When life changes or shakes our plan up, the only way we can find peace and joy is found in trusting Him to get us balanced and thru…the quickest way out of a situation is to go thru it. That is why it is so important that we should always seek to know God more and His heart for us, His nature…not just facts about Him.
I personally have been practicing loving and extending grace to those around me as I have felt those are things I need right now in my own life. In the kingdom of God when you need something you first have to give it away. The scripture tells us that mercy triumphs over judgment all the time. Jesus endured hard times for the joy that was set before him and he is our example. Although I have gone thru much loss and constant change I know that it is part of the training and the gym I have been in to develop new spiritual muscles for the next season. It is time to rest a little and then move on. I know I am learning gentleness, forbearance, patience and steadfastness and there is no easy way to develop these qualities. Someone spoke the other day and said, “Kathleen, the plan is bigger than the pain.”
Learning, Balancing and training,