Archive for the “grieving” Category

I have a dear aunt who is dying. [Footnote: My aunt has died since I wrote this. Thank you for your prayers for her family.]

Death is such an affront to us. It’s a slap in the face even when it is expected. When unexpected it’s a punch in the gut. Actually, it’s a punch in the gut even when it’s expected.

God didn’t intend it to be this way. And He makes it possible for death to be only a temporary separation from our loved ones. For those who accept Christ as their Savior, death is simply an entry way into the full presence of God and His eternal Kingdom.

Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)

When faced with death I am reminded that God uses all things – even death – for His purposes. Several things become clear to me when I meditate on the end of someone’s life.

Life and death are in the hands of the Lord. That is sometimes a harsh reality, but it is a reality. We are often tempted to ask God why a loved one is taken from us. Often too young. Always too soon. I can’t answer those questions, but I am convinced that life and death are in His hands (Deuteronomy 32:39, 1 Corinthians 3:22). He determines the times and places we are to live (Acts 17:26) and He has our days numbered before we are born (Job 14:5).

God is present at every death. Whenever it occurs – or perhaps I should say each and every time it occurs – each and every time someone dies, God is there. I don’t have lots of answers but I know my God and I know His compassion and I know that the One who values life so much that He knows the number of hairs on each person’s head (Matthew 10:30) and the One who loved each one of us so much that He willingly died for us (Galatians 1:4, Titus 2:6, 1 John 3:16) – that God is present at the point of death. He grieves over sin if the death is untimely, but He is there for the dying. He is even there for the dying one who has spent a lifetime denying His existence. He gives them one last chance to recognize the reality of the One True God and submit their life into His hands.

There is a spiritual realm. That might seem like a strange statement to follow the first two, but my experience and the experience of others who have lost loved ones attest to the reality of a spiritual realm. I wrote about it this way in a blog a few months after my dad died:

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is some kind of spiritual connection among the living and when someone dies that connection is broken. When Phil’s mom died, he came up with this analogy: when a computer network is turned on, the system is always sending out impulses to other computers, checking to see if they are still connected. This is called “pinging” and it’s a continuous process. Without us being aware of it, it seems that our spirits “ping” for the spirits of those we love constantly and we receive an unconscious knowing that they are there. When someone dies, that ping goes out from us but is not returned. At an unconscious level there is a brokenness, a void, a missing connection that pushes itself into our consciousness and alerts our brain that “something is very wrong here.” Our brain then transmits that information to our emotions.

Birth and death are “holy-days” in a very true sense – days to set aside for reflecting on their purposes. Of course the fact that God is present makes them holy-days, but there is more:

  • The wonder of a newborn. The awesome creative power of God given to humans enabling us to create life. The instant and intense love that binds the newborn to his parents.
  • The crash of death. Reminding us that life has its limits that we cannot outwit, outlast or outplay. Reminding us that life is for the living and we ought not to waste time on petty, insignificant differences – or even the big ones. Life is for loving and bring glory to God. That’s the earthly side. There is a heavenly side for believers making it the most holy of holy days. It is the day in which we meet our Savior face to face. It is the day in which we worship as we’ve never worshiped before. It is the day of our true and final birth.

Lord, death is hard. Help me to introduce others to you so that they may experience not only a second birth (John 3:3-7), but a final birth into Your heavenly kingdom.

LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered — how fleeting my life is.
Psalm 39:4 (NLT)

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27This is the account of Terah.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.

31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

32Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.
Genesis 11:27-32

In Genesis 11, we have the account of Terah, a key person in Jewish history, although he’s only mentioned in twelve verses, five of which are in Genesis 11. He had three sons, Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot and then died at a young age. God would later make a tremendous covenant with Abram and rename Abraham.

So we don’t know a lot about Terah. He lived in a place called Ur of the Chaldeans when his sons and grandson Lot were born, but some time after Lot’s father died, Terah packed up the family and set out for Canaan. I’ve often wondered why. What caused him to move? Something motivated Terah to leave Ur. Scripture gives no definitive indication. Three possible sources of motivation come to mind:

  • A desire to remove himself from the wickedness of Ur. It was an exceedingly sinful place. Yet there’s nothing in the text to indicate that Terah was bothered by it.
  • A whispering from the Spirit of God. Scripture says specifically that he left to go to Canaan – perhaps he was sensing a pre-Abrahamic call to the promised land. But Joshua later described Terah as a man who “followed after other gods” and again the narrative doesn’t give us any clues about Terah sensing a call from God.
  • A desire to simply escape the place of his son’s death and move elsewhere. I can’t help but wonder if grief played a part in Terah’s decision to leave. Grief and depression often trigger the escape mechanisms within us. Now to treat the text fairly, we should recognize that it also doesn’t say anything about Terah being overcome with grief.

Terah’s decision to move away from Ur was probably a combination of several motivations, as life decisions frequently are – prompted by things going on around us and God working in us. Which motivation becomes the trigger that thrusts us from our current condition depends greatly on how closely we are walking with the Lord. (I am so glad for Romans 8:28 – He’ll even use the negative to move us toward His plan when we continue to pursue Him.) (See Note1 for another theory on why Terah left Ur.)

I suggest that it may have been grief and depression that triggered Terah’s move because when he reached the halfway point between Ur of the Chaldeans and Cannan he “settled there.” That place was called Haran. I wonder if Terah named the place after his dead son? Perhaps Terah left Ur with the desire to go to a new place of promise, but he somewhere along the way he lost his motivation and settled in a place of mourning his dead son. And there he died himself. (See Note 2 for another theory about why Terah settled in Haran.)

This story suggests a couple of lessons and questions to me:

Lesson 1: Grief (and depression in general) are significant motivation killers. They kill our dreams and ultimately rob us of our lives. When we choose to settle in the place of our loss, depression, sadness or grief, we die there. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am a proponent of grieving when grieving is appropriate. (Click here for all of my blogs on grieving. ) Soon I’ll begin a blog about Psalm 84. It will most likely be a series but will specifically address passing through (not dwelling in) the valley of dry places and tears.

Question 1: Have you settled in the place of grief or depression? Don’t do it! Press on by pursuing God despite how you feel. He will respond. Here’s a blog from 2008 titled Recovering from the Circumstances of Life. It provides some practical suggestions to help you move forward.

Lesson 2: Without a clear calling from God, we are simply wandering through life and will settle anywhere…and we will die without fulfilling our life purposes. There is no indication that Terah had that clear calling. Abram, on the other hand, had a clear calling from God, recorded in Genesis 12:1-4. Terah settled in Haran and died there. Abram packed up his family and “they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.”

Question 2A: Do you have a clear calling from God? Perhaps it isn’t as “grand” as Abram’s call, but do you have a passion that God has put in your heart to pursue? If not, I strongly encourage you to ask Him for one – a passion or calling for this phase of your life. Do what He’s put in your heart to do, but pray, perhaps even fast, for a great vision or mission. Sometimes our calling doesn’t become clear until other circumstances fall into place. In the meantime, occupy yourself with doing what God has instructed you to do and prepare yourself for what is to come.

Question 2B: Are you pursuing what God has put in your heart to do? If not, rearrange your life and begin to do so. In both the Old Testament and the New, people significantly interrupted the flow of their lives to follow God’s command. You can too! You are never too old or too “settled” to pursue new things in God. Abram was 75 when he left Haran. Noah was nearly 600 years old when he began to build the ark. I was 51 years old when I wrote my first blog.

Don’t settle in Haran! Pursue Canaan…God will surely meet you along the way.


Note1: One commentary suggests it was Abram who prompted the move from Ur because Genesis 12:1 is past tense when it says that God “had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country…’” I don’t see any suggestion in the text that it was anyone but Terah’s idea for the family to pack up and move out of Ur.

Note 2: Some commentaries suggest that Terah was old and in ill health by the time he reached Haran and could not continue. Although they have undoubtedly done more research than me, simple math convinces me otherwise. The details are below, but my calculations conclude that Terah would have lived at least 40 years after leaving Ur of the Chaldeans and it would be unusual for him to be in ill health for many years before dying. That means he would not have settled in Haran because he was too ill to continue to Canaan.

Simple math – ignore this paragraph if you don’t care about the aging details! Terah was about seventy when his first son was born, but it’s likely that he was 130 – 135 years old when Abram was born. (Because Abram was 75 years old when he left for Canaan which was some time (presumably not a lot of time) after Terah’s death at the age of 205 (205 – 75 = 130). Add 20-35 years to allow time for Abram to grow and take a wife, and I would estimate Terah at somewhere between 150 and 165 years old. He lived at least another 40 years (perhaps as much as 55) and it would be unusual for him to be in ill health for many years before dying.

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Arizona Representative Giffords was shot in the head during a town-hall like outdoor meeting less than an hour ago. There are conflicting reports about whether she is still alive. There are reports of others who have died. I was preparing to upload a blog about pursuing God as I took a break and heard the news. I am holding that blog as a way of respecting those touched by the horror of the day.

Lord, bring healing to those who have not died and comfort to the survivors and family members of those who have died. Bring healing to our country and show your mercy. Send revival.

Friends, as a Christian, it is my desire that you all come to know Christ as your personal Savior. Only Christ saves us for a life that endures forever. Yes, we die in this life, whether from horrific evil, a tragic accident or from natural causes, yes, we will die in this life. But there is a life that follows this one and the choices we make in this life determine where we will spend eternity in that second life. As Joshua said to the Israelites, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) and the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2b)

Lord, open our eyes that we might see You more clearly and respond to you with all our heart. Again, Father, bring healing and comfort. Reach down into the operating rooms and sustain life. Reach down into people’s hearts and sustain life.

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My husband and I have had many conversations about grieving. Most have been quite short because we find the grieving process to be a mystery. Not that we each haven’t gone through it. Phil’s dad died when he was twelve years old, his mom died in 2001 and my dad died the day after my birthday in 2007. There were three things about grieving that surprised us the most:

  • We were amazed by the sense of nothingness – someone has departed from this world and there is now nothing where there used to be something. Someone, actually; but now an emptiness, a void.
  • We were shocked by the deep, deep sadness. It’s a persisting sadness, and sometimes an elusive one – just when you think you’re feeling better the sadness takes you by surprise once again.
  • We were shaken by the sense that our foundation had been fractured. I don’ t mean our foundation in Christ; that remained unaffected. Even though I was an adult and hadn’t depended on my dad for anything for nearly thirty years, he had always been there, and at some subconscious level that gave me comfort. When he was gone, that sense of someone having my back was gone. Please understand that I don’t in any way mean to demean my husband in this. Of course, he has my back, but he understands, perhaps better than I because both his parents are gone now, that when we lose a parent, a significant structure in our life is torn down. Something that had always been a fact in my life was no longer real and true.

One of the things that helped me through my grieving was reading about the grieving process. It helped me to know that what I was experiencing was normal and I really wasn’t losing my mind (because some days it truly felt like I was).

Here is an excellent article on grieving that appeared in Discipleship Journal.

It’s first point is one I so appreciate – that grieving cannot be rushed because until we have gone through a full year, we have not experienced all the seasons, each with its unique memories of our loved ones. Further, the article explains why grieving is never fully complete because until we have lived through later life experiences, we cannot fully know the loss of not having our loved one with us.

Take the time to read it. And take time to grieve. It in no way dishonors God and in many ways honors your lost loved one.

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Job had a hard road to walk for a time. If you’re Resting at the River’s Edge with us, this week you’ve read that Job was “blameless and upright; He feared God and shunned evil.” (1:1) He was also quite rich in love and material possessions. The Bible describes him as “the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (1:3)

And then his world fell apart. All his material possessions were lost and his children were killed. Upon hearing the news of each of his losses, he responded like this:

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
    “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
    The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
    may the name of the LORD be praised.”
          Job 1:20-21

Oh that I would always respond to all my challenges as Job did! Tearing his robe and shaving his head are a sign of mourning. Job was mourning the loss of his family and lifestyle. But in the midst of the mourning, he is also worshipping the Lord.

Having hope, as those of us who love the Lord do, doesn’t mean that we are impervious to life’s challenges, disappointments and disasters. It also doesn’t mean that we are somehow “above” emotions that are attached to such losses. We experience them just as our unbelieving neighbor does. What it means, however, is that in the midst of our pain, we have another perspective that we pull from the background to the foreground.

When life happens, it pushes itself to the foreground of our lives. It’s in our face, and it seeks to overpower all else. It requires our deliberate act of worship to put it back into its proper place, which is the background from which we live out our faith.

Put yourself into the scene of Job’s life: He hears the news of the loss of his property and the death of his children. It overwhelms him. He demonstrates his mourning by tearing his robe and shaving his head. And then he deliberately puts the things of this life into the background and brings the Lord front and center. He worships God. He falls to the ground in worship. He declares truth.

Do you think it was easy for Job to say “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”? I can assure you that it was not. In his emotions, he was crying out in pain. Yet he still knew that the Lord was worthy of worship in the midst of all that life throws at us. He also knew that the way through the pain was to allow the Lord to take center stage in our life – to allow Him to become the foreground and redirect our pain to the background.

Did Job’s life miraculously and suddenly become good again? No, it did not. Did Job’s faith give him answers that satisfied his crying heart? No, it did not. And it may not do those things in our lives, either. God’s ways are beyond our understanding and He is not answerable to us.

When we allow this life to be the foreground from which we live, every bump and bruise, every break and tear, every shattered dream and lost hope, seeks to overwhelm us and take away our joy. But when we deliberately put God in the foreground, those bumps and bruises, those shattered dreams and lost hope are put into perspective. “The Lord gave,” Job said, “and the Lord has taken away.” “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

The Lord gave and I enjoyed it. I was blessed by the hand of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The Lord has taken away and I will miss it. I will grieve for it. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

In both, the Lord is sovereign. He is in control. We can have peace. We can have rest. My life is not spinning out of control. My life is in the hands of the sovereign God. Your life is not spinning out of control. Your life is in the hands of the sovereign God. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Friends, may I encourage you to live your life with God in the foreground and allow the things of this world to be the backdrop from which your faith and love of the Lord is displayed. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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This wonderful blog captures the experience of losing a loved one beautifully. Whether you know the blogger or the friend she’s blogging about doesn’t matter. Grief is grief. It affects us all.

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How very hard it can be to trust the Lord when we are in pain! It doesn’t matter whether the pain is physical, emotional or spiritual, it can be difficult to rest in God’s peace when the questions of “why?” and “when?” and “will He?” jab at our souls at every turn.

There was a time when I unequivocally said that I had the gift of faith. My ability to trust God went beyond myself — I just knew He was trustworthy and I could count on Him. That deep-down-in-your-spirit kind of knowing that you can’t really explain. That peace that surpasses all understanding.

Then life happened. Significant life. Significantly bad life. Don’t get me wrong. I am blessed. But in the midst of that blessed life, I experienced life circumstances that challenged the farthest reaches of my gift of faith.

I am on the recovery path from those circumstances. My path hasn’t been a straight one, by any means — I didn’t always do the right things — but I have learned some things along the way that might be helpful to others who are in the midst of “life.” In the following discussion, I continually use the word “healing.” Please realize that I am not necessarily talking about physical healing. If you have suffered a significant emotional blow, I mean emotional healing.

  • There probably is no straight path to healing. Expect that you’ll take two steps forward and then fall back a step. Over time, the number of steps you move forward will begin to outweigh your backwards steps at a much greater ratio.That might mean measuring your progress in terms of months at first instead of weeks or days. Physical issues demonstrate this well — for the common cold, people expect to feel a little better each day, but recovery from abdominal surgery might take six weeks, and recovery from a stroke might take six months. When recovering from the surgery or stroke, you won’t sense that any healing has taken place on a daily basis. For those more significant setbacks in life, don’t even try to measure your progress toward healing on a daily basis — measure your progress in weeks or months.So don’t think of your goal as being past your current circumstances. Make your goal to move closer toward healing each week. Your ultimate goal is to be healed, but work toward the smaller goals and celebrate those incremental victories. There was a time when I said to my husband “I haven’t been angry for a week.” That was a step in my healing that took several months to achieve. It was worth celebrating.
  • Don’t let setbacks discourage you. Don’t live in them. Don’t overly coddle yourself. Accept them as reality, set aside the disappointment, and continue moving forward. There is so much to be learned from the physical realm here: I am always shocked by the fourth day of a cold. Colds typically run something like this for me:     Day 1 — feel yucky
         Day 2 — feel like I’m going to die, or wish I would
         Day 3 — I’m amazed at how good I feel, Praise God that this cold was so short-lived
         Day 4 — feel only slightly better than I did on day 2 – what happened to yesterday?
         Day 5 — almost better
         Day 6 — back to normalThat’s the cycle that colds have run for me for the past 30 years. Yet each time I get a cold, I’m shocked at day 4. “How can I feel so bad when I was doing so well yesterday? I must be really sick!” Don’t be like me. Don’t be shocked by day 4. Don’t look forward to it, but don’t be shocked when you get hit by it and don’t be derailed by it. Set your discouragement aside and look toward tomorrow.
  • Have someone that you can confide in who will reassure you of God’s goodness and of His continued love for you. I needed this more than I could have imagined. I needed someone to say, “Sandy, this is an aberration in your life. God is still being faithful to you. He still loves you. He will still use you in His kingdom.” It greatly embarrasses me to admit that my faith wavered so much. Like I said, I was a woman of faith. I had the gift of faith. I had always been able to believe God for things that others couldn’t see. In the midst of my pain, though, I couldn’t even see the things He was doing right in front of my eyes. I needed regular encouragement. And throughout the long process, I was continually reminded that my strengths were not my strengths after all. Qualities that I considered to be my strengths were fractured and broken, teaching me that I didn’t “own” my strengths — that I couldn’t sustain them, but that they were loaned to me by God and were sustained by Him alone.Notice that I wrote “have someone.” It is not healthy to go over your story again and again, even though that may be what you want to do. Have one person that you trust to whom you can pour out your heart and reveal your fears, and with whom you can celebrate your successes.
  • The body requires rest to heal itself, whether from physical or emotional issues. Sleep often and don’t beat yourself up about it. Quit being superwoman or superman for awhile — drop some of your activities so that you have plenty of time to rest.
  • Consider the importance of play! Be sure your schedule includes some things that bring you joy. Whether dancing or drawing, watching a movie or playing with the dog, be sure you take time for these things. You need the positive endorphins that your body releases when you are enjoying yourself. Make time for it.
  • Be proactive about spending time with friends — probably in short duration at first, but be careful not to shut yourself off completely. The tendency when we feel pain is to draw back. If the pain is emotional, that means withdrawing from those who love us. Work hard not to do this.
  • Don’t rely on your emotions. Your friends are still your friends, God still hears you and He still loves you, those closest to you still love you. Your world is not closing in on you. It may feel like it, but your emotions are not reality.
  • Practice kindness and forgiveness in situations where kindness and forgiveness are easy. No matter what healing you need, forgiveness will play a part. You may need to forgive someone who hurt you, you may need to forgive yourself for past decisions or actions, and you may even need to forgive God. That doesn’t mean that God sinned against you. He didn’t. However, you may be laying things at His feet that cause you to be angry with Him. The process of releasing that anger is for you to forgive God for allowing you to go through the circumstances you’re in.
  • In your heart, you will need to recognize that God’s ways are above your ways and that He is accomplishing His purposes through whatever has happened to you. But during that process, you may need to say, “Lord, forgive me.” ….. Grow your forgiveness muscle by forgiving all the little things that need to be forgiven. Some day you’ll be able to forgive the big things, too.I’ve learned that wounded people bruise easily. I caught myself becoming quite angry frequently during the process of healing. My latent anger turned into impatience at those around me. I needed to practice regular forgiveness for little things during that time. For example, a person who said something unkind offended me when in my “normal life” it wouldn’t have even registered. I needed to forgive her. The people around me in the grocery store all seemed more incompetent than they used to be. No, I was just less patient. I needed to confess that sin to God and extend kindness to every one of them.
  • Don’t forsake God. Stay in church. Find a new church if you need to. Continue to read Scripture regularly, even if it’s just a few verses at a time. Continue to pray, even if you feel like your prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling. Do those activities that make you feel closest to God. For me that’s worship; for some, it’s study, and for others it’s service. Feed your soul. Your pain will rob it of it’s stored energy, so feed it often.

This blog has been a long time in coming. This morning during my devotions I read a verse that finally prompted me to write it:

8“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
            Isaiah 55:8-10, NLT

God is bigger than my pain. He always has been and always will be. His ways take my pain and turn it into a golden treasure. I am not yet at the point of seeing that treasure, but if there’s a progression from pain to treasure of clay, to treasure of silver, to treasure of gold, I would guess that I am somewhere between clay and silver. For that I am very thankful.

God may choose to heal you instantly. Rejoice! Praise Him! I know He can and often does heal instantly. He also allows us to journey through the healing process so that we learn to trust Him more and are able to help others through their healing process. I learned much about myself and God during my healing process. Some of the things I learned were things I didn’t want to know — how very weak and fragile I really am. But then God’s probably been trying to teach me that for years! 🙂

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My mom was rushed by ambulance yesterday from her residence at a local nursing home to the local hospital. She’s made the trip many times, but this was the first time they used the sirens, she told me later.

It turns out that she had a mild heart attack and has a significant infection. She’s now in CCU. But she is alert and otherwise “normal.”

The backstory is that mom had a major stroke ten years ago and has been largely paralyzed since then. Yet her spirits remain high, despite the extreme challenges she has faced. She’s been in and out of the hospital many, many times over the past ten years. I have been convinced that she would died almost every year for during this time. Yet her will to live is strong and she’s still with us. And for that I am very thankful.

But it feels different this time. So much so that my sister and brother are coming in from out of state.

So as I got up and dressed this morning, my thoughts have been occupied with the potential need to make plans. A few minutes ago, though, as I began to feel myself sinking, I realized the error of my thinking. A song came to mind — “Today” by Brian Doerkson. Based on Joshua 24:15 (“…choose this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”), the first line of the song is “Today I choose to follow You. Today I choose to give my best to You.”

Today, I choose to worship God, not the worry over what may or may not happen with my mom. Today I choose to bless Him.

Those of you who have read my other blogs on grieving know that I am a firm believer that grieving is an important process. It shouldn’t be ignored.

Neither should it be allowed to grow bigger than it is. And it’s not time for grieving today. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34, NIV)

Only God knows. And He can be trusted more than doctors and feelings. Because He is good. Very good.

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Today is the first anniversary of Dad’s death. Because it’s the day after my birthday, it’s a day I can’t just forget.

I praise God that I am doing really well. I am thankful that Dad accepted Christ in his last seconds of life. I am thankful to God for allowing Dad to do so. I am thankful to God for healing. I have experienced so much of it in the past year – both from the grieving of Dad’s death and from other experiences

My first thought this morning was remembering what I had been doing a year ago at that moment (helping to get dad from the table to his bed for the last time). I was immediately thankful that I was there. Thankful that I was able to be a part of his last days and moments. Thankful that I was able to show my love during that time.

My thoughts turned to how it only seemed appropriate to blog today, but I wasn’t sure what I would blog.

I guess all I want to say is “Thank you, Lord!” and to those going through grief — everyone’s healing comes differently, but there is healing!

P.S. At about 3:40pm, I realized that the time of dad’s death had passed without my noticing it. (He died about 3pm.) It was bittersweet. But the sweet outweights the bitter now. Praise God in all things! Because He is worthy and He is GOOD!

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Saturday morning at Niagara Falls was a bit bittersweet for me. As I sat in the observation lounge and watched the Falls I realized that the first time I had been to the Falls my dad had taken me there. I am thankful that my grieving has progressed and I can call the morning bittersweet. It took awhile for me to be able to experience the sweetness. But I remember how we had to get up in the middle of the night, because Dad was a truck driver and truck drivers NEVER start trips when it’s daylight. They want to be at their destination by daylight. At least that’s how my dad was. So we three kids put on warm clothes and piled into the back seat of the car. I don’t remember much about the Falls themselves. Just the trip.

I’ll Have to Tell Dad
Lately I frequently seem to have the thought “I’ll have to tell Dad that.” And then I realize that I can’t. I don’t remember thinking that I should tell Dad something very often when he was alive. I guess it’s reached the point where I miss talking to him. When he was alive I visited regularly, but we didn’t talk much. He wasn’t a talker and we didn’t have much in common. Early in my adult life I didn’t tell him things about my life because I knew he’d let me know that he thought whatever I was saying or doing was foolishness. Later in my adult life I’d tell him those things just to enjoy him telling me what foolishness it was. Maybe that’s part of growing up. I’d learned that what was foolishness to him was often right for me. I reached a point of knowing that’s just how Dad was and that we were very different. Him telling me it was foolishness was his way of trying to protect me from doing things he would never do. I miss it.

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