HOPE*ann*FAITH

Living and Writing on Purpose: God * Life * Love * Realtionships * The Important Things.


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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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What I learned at church today … That moment when God reveals His Word to you …


You know the story of Job, right … God gave satan permission to mess with Job, to prove to all that Job was a righteous man who loved God … Well! The hell that was perpetrated by satan on Job was nothing less than personalized torture. In this story Job lost EVERYTHING … his life’s work, his fortune and the worst … the one thing that made Job sorrow was the loss of his children. If that were not enough this rich man was faced with doubtful and basically blasphemous friends and the words and actions of his wife are questionable (Jobs wife is for another post, soon). They certainly were not good company at the time of Job’s most desperate need.

At church today Job’s story was one used in the sermon and two things were revealed to me; some realizations that were meant to speak to my grief.

First was this scripture; Job had just been told that he had lost everything, and had just been told his children were dead …

Job 1:20At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

and naked I will depart.c

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;

may the name of the Lord be praised.”

The end of verse 21 caught my heart. Everyone sees this as Job blaming God for the tragedies that are being poured upon his life … but they misunderstand the meaning of this line …

Job is not blaming God, he is stating a fact of his, Job’s, understanding of God’s character toward all of us … Let me show you …

Job is saying I came into this world naked and naked he will leave it. You see Job understood a fundamental piece of our relationship with God the Father … that our lives are from God … He created us and we were born with nothing and everything we gain in this life of ours is God’s; and, that when we leave this earth to return to Father God we can bring nothing we’ve gained, materially, with us … yet return to His glory!

More importantly Job understood something much deeper …. “…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job understood that all he had gained in his privileged life was a gift from God. He also trusted that while the things that were taken from Him were known and sanctioned by God, that God was his provision. And  He praises God in his sorrow.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In my sorrow I continually praise the Lord … Why, some ask? Because, God did not take My Love to harm me, I know this. God did not give My Love cancer, he knew about it and it was allowed to happen, for reasons I cannot tell you, but I will know the answers in God’s perfect time.

I know some think this crazy, but I know this all to be truth. It has been revealed to me just how deeply intimate my relationship is with Father God. I have learned that Faith is not multiplied without trial and tragedy because we cannot flex it within us without those things. After all, why would we need Faith if not for trial and tragedy? We cannot grow in our faith in God without sorrow and fear.

I may be the daughter of the One True King but I am far from a coddled, spoiled child. I am a warrior for my faith and I have faced and am facing the hard things in this life.

Oh, I could justify the whole sackcloth and ashes mourning in this life of mine, many times over; who couldn’t? But I won’t, my faith does not allow me to mourn in this fashion.

I learned that God truly gives us all what we need to live this life, abundantly, and that even if it is taken from us, for known or unknown reasons, God’s plan and purpose for us is established by Him alone, and He will see to it that those plans and purposes will succeed. It is God’s plan and purpose, it is His job to establish and see to it’s success.

Isaiah 55:10-12

10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.

I’ve learned in so many lessons in this life, specifically in that last two years … that His Word does not return void.

Who is His Word?

Christ.

Where do we live?

In Christ.

Are we His Word?

Yes … when we are in Christ.

My Love returned to God having completed his mission. I know he returned to hear that most desirable line, “Well done good and faithful servant.”!

I will also return to God having completed my mission. I will not return to my Father void.

… my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

That’s what I learned today … Thanks for reading, my sweet and faithful readers. God bless you.


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To sleep perchance to dream …


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

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

Not much encourages me lately. I’m having trouble reconciling being encouraged about life, while my heart and air have been taken from me.

But God … just when I need it He gives me comfort and encouragement …

I’ve had some trouble sleeping lately. Not out of fear, I don’t think. Just insomnia, probably brought on by dragging out getting up in the morning (afternoon). It’s waking up I fear.

Well maybe fear is too strong a word. Let me use an equally strong, but more accurate term; loath.

No denial here. Just anger.

Last night I fell asleep with artificial help for maybe an hour or so last night and then I woke about 3 am to a silent home. I turned the tv back on with the volume low and laid back down and slept and dreamt.

I closed my eyes in prayer, hoping that My Love would come in a dream … he did. ❤

I remember clearly his arm around my middle, that close familiar comfort.

I talked to him about normal stuff. I remember getting up and doing normal stuff, like before he was ill. Talking to him all the while.

Though I don’t remember hearing his voice. I don’t think he spoke. He just shook his head when I asked before waking up, …

He answered me when I asked, ” Are you really here or am I in denial?”

He shook his head to both, I remember knowing he was answering both questions.

No he wasn’t really here, it was a dream to comfort me for sleep.

No I wasn’t in denial, I was having a dream.

And right now as the tears come I am comforted by the dream God allowed me so I would sleep.

I am encouraged that I will see him and have the momentary comfort of his presence, if only in a dream.

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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I wonder … and endure …


HastingsCelticWomanI’ve been struggling lately, for obvious reasons. Yet not so obvious to myself … I guess that doesn’t make sense. Anyway …

I’ve been wondering just how people endure this thing called grief. The world says there are five stages of grief …

denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Well I didn’t spend any time in denial … how does one, in all sanity, deny that death has taken their heart from them. I wake each morning to an empty bed. At 5:30 each evening, as his pup Habby sits at the window, no barking of joy marks his return. And the worst … I haven’t heard his voice or that laugh of his that I so loved in in almost a month (more really).

The bible says, in Romans 1 verses 1-5 that we have …

Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

I guess this numbness and realization that this is my new life can be defined as a kind of peace. Like I said denial was never a place I truly visited.

We walked in faith. We prayed God’s perfect will and for healing. But in the end Don had an appointment to go home to be with the Lord. So denial and bargaining are (were always) off the table. So what is left?

Anger, Depression and Acceptance.

Well right now I am angry and depression sneaks up from time to time; but depression is just anger turned inward … so they are the same thing. And acceptance, I’ve excepted that my Love has gone home. So if I’ve logically come to terms with all these so called stages of grief I wonder how much longer the pain will remain.

When I am not in the throws of this anger; this slow burning dislike of life and breathing I feel, I know I am in faith.

I wonder … does anger affect faith? Does it change it?

I believe, no, I know that anger changes a person if left unchecked. So I don’t indulge for too long. I pray.

I look around my, our home and I wonder how, just how am I able to go on. I wonder if I’ll ever be happy again, because I am truly unhappy right now.

Is it really anger, I wonder, or just deep, deep unhappiness?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

In my faith I don’t have the luxury of denial or bargaining. In my faith I must control this anger and depression; the bible tells me I have control over my emotions according to the Word and Will of God.

But this unhappiness is so vitally deep and when I try to get to it to reign it in it goes deeper.

I guess I’m just wondering, often these days, how long it will take to accept my new life and calling in Christ. I thought I knew my roll and God has suddenly changed that … so I wonder and endure …

Thanks for reading. God bless.

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I write … dealing with the hard things in life


Why do I write? Well like my home page tells you it is to share life … to encourage others that they are not alone in the day to day things of this life and to help them live positively on purpose.

Today that’s just what I am struggling to do … amongst the hardest things I’ve ever faced in this life. After this I truly believe I will never be daunted by the day to day struggles or even the hard things quite as much ….

Life has been quite the puddle of tears and throbbing ache of late.
As some of you know, My Love, The Hubs, went home to be with the Lord two weeks ago, tomorrow.

My Love

My Love

I look at the calendar and sit in stunned amazement, and anger (today), that he is not here. I miss him.

So … I’ve been told to journal. To write. But what words can convey this sorrow. This deep and terrible emptiness and anger?

What are those stages of grief anyway?? Many years ago I wrote about them when I lost my grandfather and uncle. And while the pain of those loses was significant they DO NOT compare to the loss of My Love. When The Hubs passed with him he took my heart and air. Seriously I find myself holding my breath often … I find that curious and it’s not explained by the 5 stages.

Today I want to call these the 5 stages of dying … it’s what I imagine a broken heart goes through as it stops working … melodramatic? I guess, but it’s where I am right now.

So the stages …

Denial (this isn’t happening!)

I can honestly say I began going through this as My Love slipped from us over a weeks time. It was that strikingly fast! I’d find myself shaking my head in confusion? denial? that this was not happening. That it couldn’t be. Our love was so big, so deep that he couldn’t be leaving, not yet.
But denial(?) I’m not sure that is what I was truly experiencing … it was disbelief that it “could” be happening, not a denial of it’s reality. There was a point before he was non-responsive that I knew that he’d visited and experienced a glimpse of heaven (he told me, no in so many words, and this was a blessing later.) that I knew but continued to hold onto the hope that if he chose to he could stay.

But seriously … who after having experienced, glimpsed, visited heaven would choose to come back if they didn’t have to?

Anger (why is this happening?)

I’m not sure the “why is this happening” is truly the question. However I’ve just entered, according to my understanding, the anger stage.

They told me “weeks” and it was exactly a week from the time he was discharged from the hospital just about three weeks ago. He came home on Tuesday and was home with the Lord the following Tuesday, just about 12:30 am according to my clock.

The anger I am experiencing at this point is just anger. It doesn’t seem to have a point or target; it just is. This anger disturbs me. I’ve spent many (MANY) years getting anger under control in my life. It, for many years, was the emotion I filtered everything through. Anger is my nemesis … seriously. It is the one place, (emotional place) I can easily return to without even a sliver of thought. It feels familiar (almost safe, though it is anything but safe for me), like home to me. VERY dangerous place for me to spend time.

“Why is this happening?”, “Why?”. No those aren’t the questions at the core of this. But I cannot, today, tell you what the question is. I guess that is different for everyone going through grief.

I’m intelligent and I know why. I’m even comforted that My Love is not feeling pain or suffering what he, himself referred to as “not living”. He was very frustrated by what life had become with this insidious illness they call cancer and he had come to a place where he was regretting and angry with himself about what he was “leaving” me with.

Yes. We both knew and it broke our hearts. I sought the Word in my brokenheartedness and knowing my Bible Professor he went to the Word without the book! ❤

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18

God I miss him. It’s just empty and hollow and it pisses me off!

So yeah. This is where I am at today. And like I promised in my about me, I’m writing to share this … the hard and scary things, because in the end that is my ministry, my calling.

As for the rest of the stages … I’ll try to share them when I arrive there. No promises that I’ll have the right words; though I can promise you that my take will not be clinical or even correct according to the world’s take on where I am in the stages. Because quite frankly I’m finding that while I’ve arrived at 2 and have left the 1st. behind, that my faith in God and His Word have altered the world’s truth of what these stages are about.

Here are the other 3, for reference, for later … though if I think about it I can say I’m going dealing with the realities of bargaining too … I’ll save that for my next post, I need to ponder how to relate how I’m dealing with that one. Honestly if I think about it at all I’m currently dealing with a mean combination of Anger, Bargaining and Depression simultaneously! Like I said, that’s for another post!

Goodness my mind wanders and gets filled with so MANY thoughts all at the same time. So it’s time for me to stop right now. You understand … right? My sweet friend readers.

Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
Depression (I don’t care anymore)
Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)

As always thank you for stopping by and reading, and God bless!

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