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I’m sorry. I’m afraid, I can’t. [day 2].


God tells us 365 times in the Bible not to be afraid. One for each day. You would think we would be able to get this one down pat.

Go...

I’m sorry. I’m afraid I’m not there yet.

In a matter of 19 months and then in the blink of an eye my life was irrevocably changed. So how do I begin again. It’s easy, though still very painful, to look back now and see how I got here. Yet, I’m afraid I don’t know what tomorrow brings. It’s hard.

I’ve gotten to the true grieving part. The part where most of my pain is private, inward, isolated. There are several reasons I say this.

  1. Grieving, unlike her outward sister Mourning, is a heart and spirit thing. It’s done almost entirely by oneself. But God. Thank goodness for God!
  2. I grieve privately because after 3 1/2 years people wonder why I’m still grieving, and there’s noway to tell them the truth. It doesn’t end. It simply becomes apart of you.
  3. I isolate. And I believe that most widows and mothers of the deceased child isolate, even if that was not apart of who they were before the sorrows.

Stop.

During this transition, which will end with me being okay. Though many things in this new life, that I didn’t anticipate, cause me great fear (anxiety) I run to Father God and find one of His encouragements to not fear, as I work towards courageous.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9b

Well, I found that that five minutes lasted quite a bit. Funny how time is so much more when you live in faith. Thanks for stopping by … I hope this helps someone. If I can just help one to feel not alone I’ll be happy.

 

 


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Talk about RUSH!


 

E9E7AC10-FF0F-4F26-8726-C0681712CB78FMF Prompt: Rush

Go!

I just did my first FMF 31 Day Write and posted and then realized that it starts in a month! Seriously funny! I also just did, inadvertantly, my first “schedule post”. I’ve been rushing around for going on 3 weeks now. Not my usual schedule.

My usual schedule is slow and easy to non-existance. No family to care for, except for Dad, who has needed some help lately. It saddens me that we are getting there with him. But he’s up and running again. STOP!

Life for me is a series of ups and downs. Life is slow or it is a rush-rush mess. For me, it causes stress. And, more so to add to my stress the therapist says I’m suffering from PTSD. She’s diagnosing, I’m rebuking.

So I revert to my go-to scripture. God revealed it to me when I was a new baby Christian.

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” I was so relieved knowing that God would fight my battles, I just had to be quiet and still.

Still is an issue for me! Quiet is REALLY an the issue for me! I’m working on those though. My personal experiences of the last 3 1/2 years have taught not to ”not sweat the small stuff” but rather to recognize within me what the small stuff is and what it isn’t. I’ve let God fight for me, truly and I was not surprised when He was faithful. I expected him to be.

After losing my husband I reminded God that He was my Husband and I wanted Him to care for me and my life. When my son died very shortly afterward I clung to God, and while I didn’t care what He did to care for me or not I absolutely needed Him to take care OF me. Again He was faithful, though at that point of my life I expected nothing.

Like the song, You Say says…”You say I am loved when I don’t feel a thing.”

Not feeling anything remains a thing in my life. Sadly. But God…

And I believe…

So, on a whole my love is slow. No rush in anything. Sometimes the fastest thing I do is an FMF post. 🙂

Right now I am filling the slow with filling my self with knowledge and wisdom of God’ healing deep within me so that it manifested to the fullest. And a personal study of the prophetess and judge Deborah. I long to be a woman of wisdom.

What do you fill your time with when it slows down? Share with us in the comment.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read. God Bless.

 

 


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doing life tired …


go …

question: how are you? what is the correct answer? the truth? a convenient lie? silence?

do people really want me to tell them how i really am? or just return the platitude?

wladyslaw-slewinski-sleeping-woman-with-a-cat-ca-1896-1342824718_b

Sleeping woman with a cat Wladyslaw Slewinski (ca. 1896)

Lord, i am so tired.

i don’t say that as exasperation to our society’s platitudes. their desire to connect but leave the door open so they cut an run at a moments notice.

i feel like being my friend has become inconvenient for people. i’m one of those transparent, honest kind of people. my friends, yes, i really do have great friends. more than most, i have to admit; i am blessed in that area. so my friends know i’m going to tell them the truth if they ask how i am. and some still ask. others … not so much.

so what’s the answer? my answer is i’m not okay and i’m so very tired.

i function now. for goodness sake, Don has [only] been gone [just a short] three years; and my boy, my Shane, [only] a year and a half.

it’s exhausting keeping up with the inconvenience of my life. to function;  when it means getting out of bed showering and getting dressed. this level of functioning can knock me out with fatigue. i simply cannot explain the fatigue from functioning in a normal human’s day.

it’s complicated, grief driven fatigue. it’s apparently ptsd, too. i don’t know about that diagnosis though. i’m a God believing, born again, Christian who believes healing is for us, for today.

stop …

but wait … there’s more.

so i fane function. i work from home so i can cheat, but most days, after waking from 8 to 9 hours of sleep, as tired as i was when i fell  asleep the night before and get dressed. most days i force myself to do the housework, the office work and those day to day things we all do. when the day meets evening i am in physical pain and tired, bone tired.

and forgive me as  i say … i’m tired of being tired.

i want to engage in my gifts and callings regularly, but i cannot seem to motivate. plus they still bring sadness. Don bought my camera as a Christmas surprise because i love[d] photography, and he loved my photography,  i’m good … well i’m good when my subject is in natural light and stays where i {or God} put them … like flowers and the sky.

and this, my writing. he loved my writing and encouraged me. always and in all things.

so when I do these things [there are still pictures in my camera from a trip i took to Montana last july], i get sad, and a sense of tired discouragement comes over me, and i tend to stop.

honestly, these are supposed to be cathartic activities, they should soothe and help with the healing. but that’s just it …

one does not heal from the loss of chunks of the heart.

think about this [this thought makes my just ache with fatigue] … think about never seeing them again, never hearing their voices or feeling their touch. think about not being able to talk with someone you spoke with every day for thirty years [29 for my boy, but hey], or laughing with them … {i miss the sound of Don’s laughter the most. we laughed everyday for over thirty years.} think about having to jolt yourself to a stop because you step into a room and say their name to tell them something and in that next second of silence remember they are never coming home.

those thoughts would make anyone tired.

so the honest answer to “how are you?”?  i’m tired and i’m not okay … today.

fortunately, i can finally say … ‘today’ at the end of that sentence, sometimes … today. but there are still those “not today” days.

please do me a favor … if someone you know has lost a loved one; a husband, a child…[the absolutely most painful of all deaths, hands down], a parent, even a pet …

don’t ask them how they are. ask them to coffee or lunch even. ask if there’s something you do for them today.

or even better, just say hi! it’s nice to see you.

trust me it will make them feel alive and present. they will remember you were kind, and a true friend when their life was in utter tatters. just saying hi, will make them feel rested because someone had treated them normally and they didn’t have to remember to lie or try to stop the burst of tears, because they just can’t stop the tears when they think about “how” they are.

thanks for reading these musings of a tired widowed mother of the … son who died.

Love A signature 5minFrihttp://fiveminutefriday.com/linkup/
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Deep Quiet


It’s on mornings like this, when the house is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts, that a soft sadness envelopes me.

Don’t feel sorry for me, I am not looking for attention; just sharing a part of my life with you, as we bloggers do. Don’t be burdened by the thought that you must say something kind and comforting in the comments, you don’t. There is no worldly comfort for this and I imagine there shouldn’t be. This type of pain is God’s territory.

And this process is about trusting God and the spiritual changes that come with such a significant change in one’s life.

Moving forward in one’s life after such a loss is difficult, always. Not like before when change was uncomfortable, maybe even painful and resisted; no nothing like the ease of that.

The perspective has changed.

In the quiet I experience the changes in my life both physically, tangibly and inwardly. The full human affect. They become more real, more apart of me, as I move forward to who I am without him.

He was such an integrated part of who I was, and who I am, still. Though even after only eight and a half months that seems to be fading into the background. And while that is a good sign that I am moving right along and well, there is an acute sadness that wants to be guilt.

We, no one, is who we were yesterday.With each passing moment, each morning sunrise, we are someone completely new. Our core self, our spirit, remains intact and unchanged. But the part of us made up of our morals and values – those environmental settings built into us by our parents and cultures and religions; those are changeable, those are the things that move and adjust along with us on this plane of life. The things that change about us, if we allow it.

Our minds change. Our perspectives change.

After the loss of my other half I realize that some of those environmental and family cultural things have changed. Don’t misunderstand me here, those who know me know, that I am vastly different minded than the majority of my family; and I say majority even when I have found no one amongst my siblings, cousins or extended family who is of the same mind as I am. I don’t cling to those things that families clings to; as if I would lose who I am if I didn’t cling to the fact that I am just like everyone else in my family.

Reminding me that I will not lose myself with the loss of my husband.

I trust God and with that trust comes an ever flowing change of who I am to who I am in Christ.

Of late I don’t resist change. I’ve come to know, in this time of me without him, that the old adage is absolute truth: Change is inevitable.

Not only that, but … Control. We literally have no control over this thing called our lives. Again, this is God’s territory.

If change is inevitable. If I am not who I was with him, if I am not who I was yesterday, but did nothing purposely to change me … do you see where I am going?

And so the sadness comes in. I guess to a certain extent I am different from some widows. I don’t feel guilty that I am moving forward because I don’t see that I have a choice. I am moving forward, because back is impossible. And I don’t think I realized it as impossible before I lost him.

Before I lost that vital part of who I was for the last 26 years.

A lifetime.

Time for our children to grow into adults. Time for us to be finally considering a life for just the two of us …

Now it’s just a life for me … and that’s really sad. And it’s really okay.

… All at the same time.

It’s all so very much to take in, in one sitting of quiet. Yet, it is so very simple.

So in the quiet of this morning … with my warm cup of lemon and water, I look at the day and wonder.

Who will I be today? And I feel sad that it’s just me. And I miss him. And I get up, with thoughts of him helping my heart to beat and forge into this day.

Thanks for reading. God bless.

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Behold … the new has come


It’s the new year, and new things have definitely come.

I have only one resolution and that is NOT to bring 2015 into 2016.

I will begin anew.

I haven’t written much here in the last year. I have been writing,though I have realized that my writing has reverted back to it’s original form … pen and paper (journals).

So what’s to come of this format of writing, for me? Well … I plan to take time each week … one day here at Hope*ann*Faith and one day on the sister blog, which I plan to rename: Letters: A widows journey. Mainly because I have 2 journals … A gratitude journal and a journal that has transformed itself from letters to my late husband to just letters about my new life journey as a widow.

So there’s more to come as I journey to find the new, individual me and my new, personal journey with God.

I think I’m actually looking forward to what may be … but it is covered in a light throw of sadness. But, then, I think it should be; for a bit longer anyway.

Happy New Year Everyone. God Bless.

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Living life is emotional!


Wow … what a night we had here in Hutchland, last night!

Emotions all over the place, messy and loud. With tears and sarcasm … and maybe a raised voice here and there. But …

It wasn’t an argument. It was a venting on both The Hubs’ part and then my devastated, emotional response. I ached all night from it and I woke up aching and tried … OH how I tried to keep it hemmed in, and failed miserably.

Then well …

The Hubs let go last night. I expressed a desire to spend time together. To make have some quality time, to “do something” together. And … he lost it! Going on about how it’s not reality to want a romantic moment like in France before the “end”. It was worse than that all together … there were regrets about his life and our life and oh … it’s just heartbreaking.

He must have been holding this in forever. And yes, he’s a man, and he did. It breaks my heart that he cannot see the blessings we’ve received, how he’s touched so many people, how his children adore him, how I adore him …

He apologized in his angry way, blaming a really bad “feeling sorry for myself” day and that I caught him at a bad time … but … all those words, all those emotions …

I took it to God. I took him to God. And in my heartbroken self I prayed until I slept and then I woke up, and like I said I tried desperately to hold it in, but the hurt was so deep and I failed and off to work he went. So I sat on the couch and took to the mattresses (Haha … The God Father!) and prayed for my man.

Dear God

Dear God ….

And then he returned home from work early, not feeling well and slept. When he woke we got into another discussion, this one better and more productive (prayer works people, it’s really the only way) and we’re both feeling better about things. And he ate and is resting again … the first several days after a week of chemo is very rough.

I know how I feel after 18 months of chemo and sickness and weariness and traveling and trying the next thing. I cannot imagine (well now I do know) how he has felt all this time. Like I’ve mentioned over the years he’s not much of a talker. And he has every right to feel frustrated and angry; and I believe that one must get those things out of you.

(I firmly believe that stuffing these things makes one ill!)

That said, I went directly to God. It’s been repeated in various forms over the last several weeks that going anywhere but God is futile. He is the solution. I knew that, we Christians are taught that; but I’ve come to a KNOWING.

Two weeks ago my pastor and friend taught on it in her sermon … Who do you run to? and it’s shown up in scripture and e-mails and FB posts over that time period!

Our focus, here in Hutchland, needs to be GOD … because the enemy comes to Steal, Kill and Destroy! And cancer destroys much more than one’s cells. It beats at your body, your mind and your soul, if you’re not diligent in your faith. The fatigue and sickness keeps one from church and your fellow believers … one become isolated by the cancer; the sufferer and the wife/caretaker and family!

It’s a brutal test of one’s faith. One we, here in Hutchland, intend to conquer! At least I intend to.

If you followed the link and were able to read the sermon notes on “Who do you run to?” then you may know where I’m going with this post.

I’m going to the SOURCE … the ANSWER … the world does not hold or have the answers; the world’s response to all of this do the next popular thing … and then there are our friends.

I know it’s the truth for me, that I (used to) have certain friends that I know I can get specific responses from according to what I want to hear … not necessarily what I need to hear. There are specific friends I go to when I NEED to hear what God would say! Today those are the friends I go to when I need to get things out; but I, now, always go to God first.

Like I said it’s the only real answer.

Our friends … Christian or not, mean well but their listening skills have filters, their advise is humanly flawed and when we are reaching for those friends who commiserate and tells us what we want to hear … well as well meaning as they may or may not be, that is not good at all, for anyone.

And as for the ways of the world? Well, that’s just another name for the friend who commiserates, but the advise and guidance has nothing to do with God or His plans.

Life is a hard and emotional thing and we need to be able to get past those emotions that dull our hearing of Holy Spirit, who has the answer and quite frankly the comfort we need …

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17

God cares about what you are going through. And when we go to Him regularly we begin to feel His presence even in the hardest of trials. I can attest to this. Quite honestly last nights conversation had me spent and numb by bedtime but I went to God in prayer even when, at the start, I felt nothing. My emotions had overtaken me. My self doubt had me traveling back in time to a not so great past and relationships there. I felt hurt and worthless and like God wouldn’t bother with me. I had heard 99% of what my husband said emotionally, as an affront to the 26 years we had put into our life together.

(cancer’s effects are simply evil from hell!)

But soon … those prayers broke the emotional numbness and I was able to evaluate the conversation logically and through the eyes of God. And then my heart broke for The Hubs and once again what all of this is doing to him. And I prayed for Him.

*When we pray for others in our time of need it is an offering; sweet and cherished by Father God. Cherished because we are being obedient in prayer and because it tells Father that we are surrendered to Him and His plan and it frees Him up to work on our behalf. The blessings are enormous.

So I’d like to give you a few go to scriptures and encourage you to take your cares to the Lord before anyone else. For me and for our current situation, it was the only way to get things expedited. I trust it will do the same for you, what do you have to lose, except for the emotional pain and the delay of misguided advise and counsel. =)

These scriptures will begin to cause emotional healing in your life and body. When used regularly they will mend and bring your relationship with God the Father to an intimacy that will forever change how you deal with life and your emotions.

Enjoy the peace of communion with God. I certainly did by the end of this day.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalms 23:3 (NIV)

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16 (NIV)

You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Psalms 91:1-5 (The Message)

‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord. . .  Jeremiah 30:17a (NIV)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

As always my sweet and faithful reading friends, thanks for spending this time with me. Blessings to you.

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In the face of fear …


fear

I’ve been away from my virtual journal here for the last several weeks; and I’ve been feeling it! I’ve searched for words and phrases to inspire the words to flow, but they would not come. Writer’s block? Nah.

FEAR … I’ve been literally battling fear; so when I saw Karen’s prompt on Tuesday I shrunk back in trepidation (nice 50¢ word for fear); alerting me to the fact that I was, once again, indulging in fear. And as you can see it took me three days to be able to get this moving ….

So here we are again … my Tuesday @ Ten post on Friday at 9:30. But … thank God that those words, so backed up in my heart, are now flowing; at least for today!

So … the thing about fear … it’s a liar. The biggest liar that you will ever encounter! The creativity of a fearful mind rivals the greatest story tellers of all time, in my humble opinion.

When in a full blown state of fear, the kind that comes with the unknowns of this life, the mind can conjure the ugliest, most desolate and crushing scenarios of ones imagination. And that’s the thing … it’s the imagination!

Don’t get me wrong, there are true tangibles in life that warrant a certain self preservation form of fear, but that is not what I am referring to here. I’m not talking about the fear that stems from wisdom; that fear is called caution. I’m not talking about the natural fear we have in reference to something that is dangerous; that fear is reverence ie: I fear the lion over there.

NO … I’m talking about the fear that stems from circumstances beyond our control; fear of the things of life and death …

Fear of the things and outcomes only God controls.

Can I play my broken record here? Just for the edification of those who might not read this blog regular.

What are Hopeannfaith’s fears?

Cancer. Addiction. Loneliness in Alone-ness. Deafening silence. Loss. There are so many, we all have a list!

This post is now being written through a lens of tears! I told you … I realized with the e-mail that announced this week’s prompt that I was in a state of fear, again!

Fear is a thief! It steals my hope, my faith and my peace. It robs me of God’s presence in my day to day.

It’s the constant whisper of dread to my heart’s ear and it convinces me to give up, slowly, without knowledge … I just give in and indulge like a glutton hosting her own pity party. Curling up into the outward silence of my own isolation; unknowingly, once again, seemingly protecting myself from harm, while dying slowly in the arms of the thief.

But God …

Yesterday Lysa Terkeurst posted this gem to her Facebook wall:

Soak in these words tonight before you go to bed:

– God is the solution for every single one of my troubles.
– God is within me and perfectly equips me to know what to do.
– God is with me therefore there is nothing I’ll face alone.
– Evidence of His constant work is all around me if only I will choose to see it.

And I did … I wrote it down and I brought it to bed and I chanted it a few times before I went to sleep.

A prayer.

One that was answered this morning … New Mercies!

To me, walking in fear is a sin … it quiets Holy Spirit in me; oh, I know He’s there and I am comforted in an odd way, while continuing not to trust … I can hear the dim, muted whisper but not make out His Words as He calls me back to Him. So then He yells … using Lysa, my friends, music, whatever He has to to pull me, one of His most stubborn girls, back from the pit. And I thank Him for His Awesome Faithfulness to me.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear … ~ 1 John 4:18

Fear is the opposite of faith … and when I am out of my faith walk I begin to wither and die; we all do, I believe. So I’d like right now to give you some of God’s Word to ward off the fears that you may encounter today. For me it’s called renewal of mind and spirit … putting God’s Words in place of my own thoughts. Maybe you know it as taking each thought captive. It is that and so much more …

God’s Word is Salvation! It rescues us from the pit of hell, which is a very real place and destination.

How do I conquer the fear? God, The Word, Worship …

Take Courage … take it today and indulge there, in God’s Word and promises.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

He left us peace. God’s peace vanquishes all fear!

Are you fearful today? If you are, I encourage you seek out God’s Word on the subject. Not the subject of your fear, rather the subject of fear itself … you see the subject or circumstance of the fear is not the point, the spirit of fear is the point. It is the spirit of fear that paralyses us, controls us and causes us to separate ourselves from God our salvation!

god-has-not-given-us-a-spirit-of-fear

As I pray fear away, I am praying that all fear be vanquished today. For you, for me, for all.

God bless and thanks, as always, for reading my dear faithful reading friends.

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