There are lots of opportunities for offense surrounding the death of a child.
Once your heart is broken open wide with great sorrow, there’s no defense against the bumps and bruises that are a natural product of human relationship and interaction.
- Friends and family that didn’t show up.
- Friends and family that showed up but said or did the wrong thing.
- Friends and family that abandoned me as soon as the casket closed.
- People that make me feel guilty for grieving or question my sanity or my “progress”.
But I’m learning to let go of offense.
Not only because it is too heavy to carry in addition to my grief, but because the Lord has commanded it.
I grew up reciting what’s commonly called, “The Lord’s Prayer” without much thought to the individual phrases or their meaning. It wasn’t until adulthood that I read it in context and continued on to the rest of the chapter.
Read the rest here: Forgive Us Our Trespasses, As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us
Have you ever walked away from a conversation and thought, “My goodness! I talked WAY too much”?
I can become so wrapped up in sharing my own experience, spilling my own feelings, trying to communicate my own point of view that I don’t leave space for the other person to get a word in edgewise.
Sometimes I do the same thing when talking to God-I can’t stop chattering long enough to hear what He wants to speak into my pain.
When I choose to listen, He is faithful to remind me of truth. He is faithful to lead me to the green pastures of His word where I can feast on His promises and be filled with hope.
“I wake before the morning light. Every. single. morning.
I get my coffee, sit in my chair and wait for sunrise.
I never worry that today it might not happen.
I’m never concerned that after all these years of faithfulness, this day may be the one where daylight fails to make an appearance.
There is no fear in this darkness because I know it will not last forever.
Morning is coming.
Morning. Is. Coming.
And that’s the hope I cling to in this longer darkness of the Valley of the Shadow of Death-no matter how many years it may be, the Valley has an end.
Read the rest here: Trust After Loss: Access the Truth
If you want to truly appreciate the New Testament you’ve got to begin in the Old.
Jesus is written on every page, revealed in increasing measure in every story.
From Genesis to Revelation, God the Father displays His purpose, plan and passion for His children.
The ultimate unveiling is Immanuel-God with us.
Read the rest here: Advent: Glory, Mercy and Truth
For the most part, I’m pretty transparent. Because secrets don’t serve anyone well.
If I pretend to be stronger than I really am, I hide the truth that it is Christ in me that gives me strength.
If I don’t admit that certain words or actions hurt my heart, I enable thoughtless behavior.
If I only parrot “Sunday School” answers when someone asks about my faith in relation to my loss, then I silence other hearts wrestling with questions and pain in light of God’s sovereignty and love.
If I hide my tears, my pain, the missing then I minimize this great loss, And I will not make losing Dominic small.
Read the rest here: How Transparent Should I Be When Sharing?
It’s tempting to line up our friends and acquaintances in columns under headings of “perfect family”, “good christian”, “struggling addict” or “hopeless case”.
When I label someone I justify my response-good or bad-and let myself off the hook for sharing the extravagant, unrestrained love God has shown to me.
The longer I live, the more people I meet, the more certain I am that the neat little categories we like to use are not very helpful.
If I decide they are “doing well” then they don’t need my help.
And if I decide they are “beyond hope” then why waste my time or effort?
Either way, I’m wrong.
Christmas is the story of God come down-Emmanuel-of Love reaching down into a dark and lonely world. It was hardly tidy, it was a Messy Christmas
I don’t know what the wise men expected to see.
It seems natural to us who know the story–who know the REST of the story–that they ended up finding Jesus-The King of the Jews-the One whose birth was announced by a star in a humble abode.
But I think it might have surprised those rich rulers traveling so far to worship Him.
Read the rest here: Advent: Extravagant Worship
My heart beats with Mary’s. She knew and understood part of what was going on but had no way to anticipate or comprehend precisely what it meant to be the mother of Messiah.
She pondered the shepherds’ visit and their story.
I’ve pondered too.
Read the rest here: Advent: Ponder and Praise
Hearts full to overflowing with pride, self-reliance, love of power and money can’t find room for a message that suggests they might need saving.
Empty hearts, hopeless hearts, worn, weary and desperate hearts are hungry to hear that help is on the way.
Maybe that’s why God sent a most spectacular birth announcement to shepherds who were considered the lowest of the low.
Read the rest here: Advent: Unlikely Messengers
I’m not privy to everything God is doing in the world. And, frankly, what I see sometimes looks like He’s not doing much. I want Him to step in and make things right according to my limited knowledge.
But He’s working behind the scenes in ways I can’t imagine or comprehend.
He has a purpose and plan that will not be thwarted.
I do not for one moment believe that God Took My Child. But I absolutely, positively believe that He is using what the enemy meant for evil to accomplish good.
Read the rest here: Advent: Behind The Scenes
It’s popular in books, self-help articles and even in some grief groups for people to declare , “Child loss does not (will not, should not) define me”.
And while I will defend to the end another parent’s right to walk this path however seems best and most healing to him or her, to that statement I say, “Bah! Humbug!”
Child loss DOES define me.
It defines me in the same way that motherhood and marriage define me.
Read the rest here: Child Loss DOES Define Me