Daily Battle: Tempted to Give Up

So many things raced through my mind in the first five minutes of hearing the news:

Oh, God!  Is it true? (I have to authenticate his identity);

How do I tell everyone? (I have to make phone calls);

What do you do when your child dies? (I have no idea how to plan a funeral);

and on

and on

and on.

Of course, that doesn’t touch the FEELINGS flooding my heart.

I don’t really have words for that, even now.

But as the days of crazy activity and people everywhere gave way to the weeks and months of silent sorrow, all I wanted to do was to give up and give in.

What was the point of carrying on if it meant carrying this weight of sadness until I was also in the grave?

At first, my motivation was to help my husband and children through these crisis moments.  My training gave me tools to give them words and ways to frame the pain. Hours of home “therapy” drained me but also gave me a sense of purpose and  direction.

It was a couple of months into this journey when  I faced my first test:  I suffer from a gastrointestinal condition that predisposes me to catastrophic GI bleeds.  Combined with the medications I take for RA, I woke one morning to find I was losing large amounts of blood.

It was nearly welcome news.

As weakness overtook my body, I could feel the lure of simply drifting away into eternity.  I was tempted to lie down on the bed and allow my heart rate to decrease, my blood pressure to dive and my soul to break free from this body of death.

But I didn’t-because I could not knowingly add to my family’s heartache.

No one was home so I drove myself to the emergency room and was admitted to the ICU. Several days and units of blood later I came home, restored to life but not unburdened of grief.

And so it goes.   Each day brings its own temptations.

I will be honest:  I am still motivated more strongly by love of my family than a sense of mission or purpose this side of burying Dominic.

Perhaps that is sin.  I don’t know.

But for right now, that’s enough.

Every day, even almost three years later, I wake up and must choose to go on.

I’m not suicidal!

I’m willing to stick around.  But I am no longer afraid to die.

I can say, like Paul,  “To live is Christ, to die is gain”.






Pained Sister

Jesus is mercy and grace. He loves and He heals. He sees and He cares.

Susie Stewart


you have known much pain

You have been doubled-over

in life

for such a long time

And yet,

you have faithfully come

to worship

You have begged for healing

from your low-perspective infirmity

And yet it continues

and continues

Faithful sister,

your God has seen your pain

Your God has seen

your circumstances

He has seen your faithful heart

Continuing to trust

continuing to come

to Him

And just when you think

it has been too long

to be noticed

He speaks your name

and sets you free!

And your bowed position of humility

and pain

has produced in you

a strength and an inheritance

for eternity

You are loosed

from the weight

of the world

Sister, I see your faithfulness

and your love for the Master

You praised Him bent over

and you praise Him standing tall

Always trusting

bringing glory to Him

– Susie Stewart

One Sabbath day…

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Lenten Lessons

Although I have observed Lent off and on for many, many years, it’s different for me now in a profound way.

Some of you may know that Dominic was killed the Saturday before Palm Sunday and buried the Monday after Resurrection Sunday, 2014.

Each year since then I’ve felt like I had to endure two sets of “anniversaries” because his death date and burial date are not only days of the month but also marked by moveable church celebrations.

It has been very, very hard.

As the sun rises earlier each morning in spring, the weather turns brighter and the flowers bloom, my heart grows heavier and heavier. I want to crawl in a hole and wait for the time to slide by-as if not noticing will make a difference.

But I can’t.

Life must be lived, not only endured.

So I am choosing this year to try to guide my heart gently through this hard season with purposeful action that forces me to engage with God’s Word, with God’s people and with God Himself.

I think that leaning into Lent-giving up some things, grabbing onto others-is a good way to do that.

I’m not certain what I’ll give up-as one gal commented on my wall, “I’ve already given up a child, I don’t have anything else to give”.  I will probably try to find a less-than-profitable habit to lay aside for these 40 days.

I do know what I am grabbing onto.  I am going to write 40 notes in 40 days (the idea came from this link:  Love Notes)

I am also going to be more faithful to write in my paper journal instead of only on my blog.

My goal is that I will emerge from these days free of some bad habits and bound my some new, better ones.  

Will you join me?


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