I can see her all the way down the aisle-even if she doesn’t say a word, I know.
She‘s carrying a burden wrapped in love and buried deep inside. Someone she poured life into is no longer here. The missing and the daily sorrow is etched on her face even as she smiles.
What to do? What to do?
Read the rest here: Choosing to See Wounded Hearts
Grief can be isolating.
It separates me as one who knows loss by experience from those who have only looked on from the outside.
It opens a chasm between me and people who aren’t aware that life can be changed in a single instant.
And I can feel like no one sees me, no one cares about me and no one notices my pain.
Sometimes it even feels like God has forgotten me-that He isn’t listening, that He doesn’t care.
Read the rest here: He Knows My Name
I’m not brave by nature.
If I have a choice, I will run every time. But there are just some things worth fighting for.
My family is one of them.
I will not let the enemy have them.
I will not allow despair to overtake us, fear to bind us, hopelessness to sap our strength.
I will not let death win.
Read the rest here: I Will Not Be Moved
If you are a bereaved parent and can fly,
or walk to Hot Springs, Arkansas October 6-7
you will want to make the journey.
April Wendland, a bereaved mama with a heart to reach others with hope and love has organized a conference just for us.
And it’s *FREE* to bereaved parents.
From the website:
“THROUGH THIS VALLEY is a faith based conference designed BY bereaved parents, FOR bereaved parents.
We know the deep pain. We know the longing.
We know the questions. We know the heartache.
But we’ve also found some healing. We’ve found some peace for our hearts.
We’ve found some answers.
And we understand the Healer in new & grateful ways.
It is our desire to share what we’ve learned with other bereaved parents who are searching for answers. And being together with others who have gone through similar experiences somehow gives us all a little more strength & comfort too. You are not alone. There is hope. This conference will change the lives of those who have open hearts & ears to hear.
There is no charge to the bereaved parents for the THROUGH THIS VALLEY conference.
All speakers, attendees & most staff are bereaved parents.”
Wanna join me there?
Click here for more information or to register: Through This Valley
I’ve come to believe that my wounds and the grace God has provided in my woundedness are not my personal possession.
God did not cause my pain, but He is redeeming it. He is molding me into a different person than I would have been if Dominic hadn’t run ahead to heaven. And that person has more compassion and grace and mercy and patience than the person I was before.
If I hide my wounds then I am hiding the hope He has hidden in my heart.
I won’t do that.
“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 MSG
Nobody escapes being wounded. We all ar wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.
Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed. Jesus’suffering and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others. ~ Henri Nouwen
Thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he is our Father and the source of all mercy and comfort. For he gives us comfort in our trials so that we in turn may be able to give the same sort of strong sympathy to others in theirs. Indeed, experience shows that the more we share Christ’s suffering the more we are able to give of his encouragement. This means that if we experience trouble we can pass on to you comfort and spiritual help; for if we ourselves have been comforted we know how to encourage you to endure patiently the same sort of troubles that we have ourselves endured. We are quite confident that if you have to suffer troubles as we have done, then, like us, you will find the comfort and encouragement of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 PHILLIPS
Sharing our wounds makes us vulnerable.
When we allow ourselves to become vulnerable, we invite others to do the same.
But in this community of mutual vulnerability, healing is possible.
You’d think that being on the other side of untimely or even painful comments would shape my conversation so that I am not the one blurting out hurtful or thoughtless words.
Sadly, that’s not the case.
While I am much more careful about what I say and how and when I say it, I still put my foot in it on a regular basis.
I talk instead of listen-rushing ahead to share MY pain instead of sitting silently while someone else shares theirs.
I make comparisons instead of extending boundless compassion.
I focus too much on the words and not enough on the wordless communication of facial expression and body language.
I try to “fix” the problem or person instead of simply being present.
I overwhelm a hurting heart with too much information. Even good information delivered from a firehose instead of a water fountain is unhelpful.
I interrupt, cut people off, turn away and shorten uncomfortable conversations.
I want to do better.
I want to be the safe space hurting hearts need.
I want to be full of grace and mercy and kindness.
I know I fall short, but I’m still learning.
I need to remind myself of this every few days.
I’ve mentioned it before.
I’ve encouraged others not to resist.
But I want to be absolutely clear: Losing my son made me doubt EVERYTHING.
Read the rest here: He Will Hold Me Fast