An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Understanding is Valuable

March 27, 2011
I had an amazing, divine appointment this week! I had gone to the grocery store to shop for my parents. It is difficult for my dad to shop now, so I have been going for him each week. While I was shopping, simply trying to get the things he needed, I ran into a young woman I know. I was aware that her mom had been in the hospital recently because I had received prayer requests for her. It was a serious illness. Although I had compassion for her mom’s condition, I felt compelled to pray for her daughter who I knew was single. I know what it is like to watch someone you love suffer, and I knew the mom was in ICU. Also, she had lost her dad several years ago.
A few months have gone by, and the mom is much better. As I told this woman how God had put her on my heart, she began to share with me. Her words brought such life to me as she told me how God was her strength in this season and even how God had watched over her and cleansed her of the trauma she had encountered. I loved hearing about her journey.
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!
This past weekend I received a huge blessing when Mallory and Rob come on Sunday afternoon for a quick visit. I had not seen them since Christmas, and I have missed my girl! My amazing new son-in-law fixed some things for me and even cleaned the garage while my daughter and I visited! I told Rob he would receive a double blessing for not only helping a widow but for loving a fatherless girl! It is fun to watch their love grow.
Thanks for “listening to me.” Seeing so many follow our story helps me keep pushing on in life. I was thankful for a word someone gave me recently: “The plan is bigger than the pain!” I hang on to that promise. Oh...I forget to tell you that the Kerrville Daily Times asked me to write for them and my first article will come out this Friday!
Kathleen


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