I am still utterly amazed that since November 2015 I have managed a blog post every day.
At first, I was writing because I wanted to make public the things I was learning in this Valley and to honor my missing son.
He had been in Heaven a year and a half by then and it was clear to this mama’s heart that (1) people (including ME before it WAS me!) had absolutely NO IDEA what life after child loss was like once the funeral was over; (2) one way to redeem this pain was to share how God had been faithful even as I struggled; and (3) I just didn’t see too many honest portrayals of life after loss for Christ followers (which is not to say they didn’t/don’t exist but I hadn’t found them).
So I wrote.
Then I realized (much to my surprise!) that there were mamas (and a few daddies) hanging on by such a tenuous thread to hope that my meager attempt at redeeming this pain was strengthening their grasp.
Then it became a ministry.
Shepherding is in my blood.
I’ve been a shepherd my whole adult life-first to my own children and then to other children through various home school groups and activities. Then God granted a desire of my heart when He allowed me to become a “real” shepherd 20 years ago to a flock/herd of sheep and goats.
I’ve learned so, so much.
I’ve learned that consistency is key.
My herd depends on my faithful feeding and my peaceful presence. They love routine and hate change. They respond immediately to my voice and run straight to me when they are afraid.
They will endure nearly anything as long as they are assured it is from my loving hand.
I am not able to shepherd every heart that reads this blog.
But I hope that a bit of my shepherd’s love and care and compassion is present in each post.
My desire is that consistency helps the hearts that congregate here every morning. I long for my words to feed hope to you from time to time. I pray that routine gives you something to look forward to even on the hard day. I pray that I faithfully point you to the Shepherd of your soul who can provide shelter no matter where you are or what is chasing you.
I pray that together we can endure and persevere and finish strong and well.
I continue to write because I love you.
I continue to write because if a single post reaches a single heart on the verge of giving up and helps that heart hold onto hope, then it is worth every minute I spend thinking about, composing and producing these posts.
And, frankly, many of you have ministered hope to MY heart.
Dom left for Heaven about when my nest became empty. Thirty years of raising children and twenty-plus years of homeschooling came to an end right when my heart was dealt this grievous blow.
All the energy and time I had poured into shepherding my children was suddenly available for a new adventure at the very moment when adventure was the last thing on my mind.
Sharing has turned survival into something beautiful.
I am so thankful for that.
And I am oh, so grateful for each of you.