There are many times in my life when I’ve felt small and unseen.
Many times when my spirit sank so low I couldn’t even remember “up” much less find it.
But there is no moment so humbling as the one when I came face-to-face with the undeniable FACT that my son had exhaled for the last time.
Read the rest here: Blessing The Dust, A Prayer For The Broken
I despise the platitude plastered across social media memes: “Hard times either make you bitter or better”.
It makes it sound so simple.
As if all I have to do is make a single choice between two equally available paths.
Enduring deep pain and unchangeable circumstances requires continued commitment to face the fork in the road over and over, and to choose well each time.
Read the rest here: A Daily Struggle
Fairy tales and favorite movies aside, what does love really look like?
How can I see this feeling that has driven some to distraction, some to destruction and even more to dedication to another in spite of whatever obstacles life has placed in the path?
It’s not often writ large.
In fact, it’s usually tiny stitches in the tapestry of life.
Read the rest here: How Can I See Love?
One of the things even the most uninformed person understands about loss is that the first birthday, the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and all the “firsts” after loss will be hard.
But one of the things no one tells you about is that a heart will mark the “lasts” just as much.
The last time I saw him.
The last time I spoke to him.
The last time I hugged his neck and smelled the unique fragrance that was my son.
Read the rest here: A Whole Series of “Lasts”
It hurts my heart every time I hear it or see it written at the end of a long, heartfelt post in a bereaved parents’ group: “Am I normal?”
Because in addition to bearing the weight of child loss so many mothers and fathers wonder if what they are feeling, what they are thinking and what they are doing is within the range of “normal” for those who have buried a son or daughter.
If we didn’t closet the deepest and most difficult aspects of grief and loss hearts wouldn’t have to fret about whether or not their experience was common, expected, typical, ordinary and very, very NORMAL. ❤
I just came home a couple days ago from a weekend retreat for bereaved moms and was reminded again that the range of “normal” in grief-especially child loss-is so very wide.
Still crying after a decade? Absolutely normal.
Trouble getting dinner on the table or remembering your child’s school schedule? Yep. That’s normal.
Read the rest here: Grief-So What’s Normal???
Life is really rather unforgiving, isn’t it?
I can only live forward and there are no do-overs.
No amount of regret can roll back the clock and give me another chance to do it right, do it better or just do it at all.
Read the rest here: The Best Time To Plant A Tree
I remember as a young mother of four working hard to keep my kids safe.
Next to fed and dry (two still in diapers!) that was each day’s goal: No one got hurt.
It never occurred to me THEN to add: No one got killed.
Read the rest here: What is Safe?
A few decades ago, faulty research methods made popular an inaccurate statistic that a disproportionate number of marriages fail after a couple experiences child loss.
Like many urban legends, once fixed in the minds of many, it’s nearly impossible to dislodge.
And that is more than unfortunate because when marriages falter (and they often do) after child loss, lots of people just give up because they think failure is inevitable.
But it’s not.
Read the rest here: Child Loss: Can My Marriage Survive?
I’ve thought a great deal about friendship since losing Dominic. I’ve been blessed by those who have chosen to walk with me and dismayed by some who have walked away.
It takes great courage to sit in silence with those who suffer. We must fight the urge to ward off their pain with chatter.
Quiet companionship requires that we allow our hearts to suffer too.❤
For fifty years I was on the “other side”-the one where I looked on, sad and sometimes horror-stricken- at the pain and sorrow friends or family had to bear.
Read the rest here: Loving Well: Being a Friend
If you have lived a blessed life where the greatest challenge to your faith has been disappointment and not destruction then I am so, so happy for you. Really.
Some of us have dragged our broken hearts through the church doors out of habit with little hope we might find the genuine comfort we need to survive inside.
Because experience taught us that while it is perfectly acceptable to raise a hand and ask for prayer one or two weeks in a row, it better not become a predictable pattern. Patience with unsolvable and messy ongoing situations runs thin as leaders turn the discussion toward “victory in Jesus”.
But that isn’t what Christ came for-not that we don’t have ultimate and even some temporal victory through Him.
He came for the broken and breathless. He came in the flesh because our flesh is weak and life is hard and bad things happen.
We’ve got to do a better job welcoming and ministering to hurting hearts.
We have to. ❤ Melanie
I am a shepherd. My goats and sheep depend on me for food, for guidance and for their security.
And every day I am reminded that a shepherd’s heart is revealed by the way he or she cares for the weakest and most vulnerable of the flock.
But most of us are far removed from the daily reminder of pastoral life that was commonly accessible to the authors and readers of the Bible thousands of years ago. So it’s no surprise that we tend to forget the connection between a shepherd’s life and a pastor’s calling.
Read the rest here: Loving Well: How the Church Can Serve Grieving Parents and Other Hurting People