Friday, April 17, 2015


Image result for free images of a carousel
A friend shared this example of unexpected loss and the grieving process that goes along with that. I love the visual and it is really "spot on" so I just wanted to share it.

It's like riding a carousel and everything is wonderful and as it should be. 

You have no fear of danger, then the carousel suddenly and violently stops, throwing you off the horse.  

You hit the ground hard, harder than any word can describe.  People rush to you as you lie on the ground trying to figure out what happened. Everyone is huddled around, tending to your needs, genuinely concerned. 

But they don't stop the carousel. It resumes, spinning and spinning. 

It appears that you will be okay and people slowly begin to move away. 

By the time you sit up and take things in, everyone is back on the carousel, the music is playing, and people are laughing and smiling.  

Meanwhile, you are still on the ground trying to catch a full breath with scraped knees, bruised bones, and a shattered heart. The crying doesn't stop the pain. 

Life has resumed, yet nothing about it feels like your life.

...because after all, nothing about it is your life, as you once knew it to be.

As the school year is winding down, baseball is in full swing, the temps are warming up, and the summer is just around the corner...a rush of many emotions creep in. 

I still can't believe in less than 3 months, it will be 2 years since Rod left this earth. Life has resumed. There is no doubt about that. I am grateful that there are still some people in my life who haven't forgotten and take the time to let me know that. You will never know how much that means. 

I feel like I have been slowly getting up and dusting myself off from the "hard fall" throughout this 2nd year. To most people it would probably appear that I was "okay" a long time ago. I will admit I am really good at that. But, as triggers tied to this time of year start to come more frequently, I know that underneath it all, I'm still feeling the scraped knees, bruised bones, heartbreak and vulnerability that comes with knowing my "safe" world changed in an instant, almost 2 years ago, and nothing will be the same again.

I don't say any of this for pity. I say it because I think it's so important to make people aware of. I just heard today of another mom in Little Rock, whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack and she is left to pick up the pieces with 3 young children. This world is broken. It is full of sorrow and dreams that are shattered. The only thing I can hold on to that is certain is my hope in Christ. All things will be made beautiful and new in God's perfect time. And, this world is not our home. 

I share this so that hopefully we will all take time to remember. If not for ourselves, for those who have watched the carousel keep spinning and could do absolutely NOTHING about it. So, even though the carousel resumed for some, it never did for the ones who suddenly had someone precious taken away from them. It is just something good to keep in mind. 

I think for me, REMEMBERING is the single most important thing you can do for someone after a loss. Prayer is certainly important, but if you don't remember, you won't do whatever it takes to remember well. Even if that means you need to write it on your calendar or put it in your phone to just let someone know you still care, you still think about them and their loss, and you still remember their loved one. Do it. You will never know how much it means, until you are walking that road yourself. It matters!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Realness of the Resurrection!

Easter 2012
There is something extraordinary about Easter. It wasn't until I lost the love of my life, so suddenly, that I truly embraced the HOPE that the resurrection of Jesus holds for those who believe in Him. I have always loved Easter, and have been thankful for what Christ did on the cross. I have meditated on what it means for me, as a follower of Christ. It just didn't resonate with me in the personal way that it has, since Bunky's death.

When you don't have an opportunity to say "goodbye" to someone you love so dearly. When the expectation of that person being in your tomorrow. And the tomorrow after that. And the tomorrow after that. And many years of tomorrows to completely shattered in an instant. Suddenly, your thoughts of the moment you will get to see them again are consuming.

What does that mean for me and those who have lost ones they love, especially before it seemed they should go?

It doesn't mean I won't still feel broken-hearted. It doesn't mean I won't be angry and wish it were all different. I do and I will. It doesn't mean I won't doubt God's goodness. It doesn't mean I won't wrestle with the "why's." I would be lying if I didn't admit the reality of my world.

It does mean that I will take steps of faith to trust God's bigger purpose, even though that feels humanly impossible at times. It does mean that HOPE in Christ is real. It's not some grand story. It's not something we can just imagine and fantasize about. It is not a movie or a book about something so far-fetched or far gone. It is not just something we talk about or listen to for 25 minutes on a Sunday morning, and leave as if there was nothing about it that was life-changing.

It is real.

Flesh was torn and ripped away. (I complain about a hangnail).

Torture and pain endured by a man who felt touch physically, just as I do. (And I think stepping on legos hurts).

Rejection, betrayal, mockery, denial and sorrow were felt emotionally and mentally, just as I would feel and be hurt by them. (I can be bothered for days, just thinking someone had critical thoughts of me).

Blood, dirt, sweat, and tears flowed out of every pore of the body.

Then, He took a final, painful breath. And he died.

It was finished!

It was real.

It is so unfathomable to think about what Jesus experienced, yet if we really break it happened to a man with real feelings and a real body...just like us.

Except He was the sinless, perfect son of a body with feelings and emotions...just like us. That's exactly the way it had to be, in order for our sin to be forgiven. Jesus needed to be made in our image. Just like us. In order to take FOR us, what we deserved...Death. I somehow still want to envision Jesus as able to persevere physically and emotionally more than typical man. I think it helps me digest the truth of His suffering a little better.

But, He was like me and did what He did, FOR ME. And, because of it, I WILL get to be reunited with my earthly love again, one day in Heaven.
I didn't intend to go off into a "Sunday school lesson," but my point is that I have never felt so passionate and alive about the hope I have, the peace I feel, and the gratefulness that overflows for what this man, Jesus, experienced on my behalf. I look forward to the day that, because of Easter, I will get to be reunited with Bunky. My boys will get to embrace their dad again. What a glorious day that will be.

I think The Message Version of this verse is cool:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13-14 And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

15-18 And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.

He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!