Tag Archive | grief

Remembering​ Those Gone

Thoughts gather about the ones
Whose lives once intertwined with mine.
Who invested prayers and time
To try and help me my life to shine.
The loved ones I hold so dear,
Whose paths have gone to another time.
Who are at peace and now have no tears.

To not miss us, those who’ve been left behind
It must just be the notion we’re coming soon,
As if we’re only next door or in the next room?
We’ll be there before the clock strikes noon?
Perhaps that is what death truly is,
A passing from the earthly to Heaven’s room?
Still I think of them and grief makes me sad.

Oh, the Homecoming we will surely have
When at last we’re all gathered home.
To be in the presence of our Holy Father,
And know from Him we’ll never more roam.
All together we will love God more,
And so love one another in our Heavenly home.
I can remember those gone and smile.

                 dfav 5/16/17

—Donna

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Another in Passing

Woke up this morning,
You on my mind,
Wondering how it is,
You left us behind.
There were conversations,
We still needed to say,
Questions to answer,
Prayers we’d be okay.
Wanted to talk with you,
Such a simple dialogue,
The void that’s there,
Like the heaviest of fogs.
Bittersweet your passing,
It’s painful to me,
How much more so,
For your sweet family?
Dearly we love you,
Though we do understand,
That God has us all,
In the palm of His hand.
           dfav 10/23/16

—Donna

A Final Tribute to my Friend

In loving memory of Richard Reid.

My dear friend has passed away,

He’s with Jesus this very day,

He left behind a family strong,

Who miss him and it feels so wrong.

We must pray for them everyday,

That’s the legacy he passed our way.

I tell myself he’s better off at Home,

This fickle world now for him gone,

Though I miss him everyday,

In a hundred different ways,

There are folks who miss him more,

I pray for grace to never shut the door,

On memories though some be bittersweet,

His walk is now on Heavenly streets,

Yes, His time on earth is through,

Now his time is spent God, with You.

                        dfav 7/25/16

—Donna

Emotions in Times of Grief, 5/5/16

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If I tell you that today,
All I say,
All I can feel,
Is that I’m angry.
Tell me that’s okay.

Come along beside me,
We’ll certainly see,
Our God is large enough,
To handle my storm,
Naturally.

If I tell you I’m angry,
But know how for it to be,
Before destructive,
Will you be along beside?
Graciously?
-dfav 5/5/16
—Donna

I Am Not Job


When the losses

And the sorrows

The misunderstandings

And the judgments

Keep piling up on me

This year I heard myself

As I cried out,

“God, I am not Job!”

 

Job was like near perfect

He focused on doing what

Pleased God with his life

Satan wanted to devour him

Push Job to deny God

God agreed

He lost everything,

“God, I am not Job!”

 

“I am not Job!”

So I need You

To hold my head

Above the waters

The ones threatening

My very life

I need Your strength

Or I am going under.

 

“I am not Job!”

It will have to be You

Who keeps me

Who encourages me

You will have to

Be Job in me

Because, “Lord,

I am not Job!”

    d.f.a.v. 12/5/14

—Donna

Grandma’s Journey

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In memory of Grandma Joyce Manuel.

Death made its appearance
Another person has gone on
Their journey is complete now
They hear the angels song.

Their passing was peaceful
Life’s pressures felt no more.
God has welcomed them to Heaven
There to live forever more.

Aches and pains have drained away
Eyes feast upon the sights
Angels and family rejoice with them
In the warmth of Jesus, the Light.

Here on earth we will mourn our loss
Recall the love and good olé days
While up in Heaven joy flows on
A party done in Heaven’s ways.

Her life was put a vapor
Though she lived ninety years
With all lifes joys and sorrows
She laughed and she shed tears.

But in Heaven now it is not silent
Joyce Manuel kneels before God’s throne
As all of us must someday account
For how we made the trip home.

On earth we’ll miss your presence
There was truly only one of you
And Heaven gained a new citizen
For on earth you just passed through.
         d.f.a.v. 9/30/14

♤♤Donna

When a Blessing Dies

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Her eyes open and her heart pounds,

Her pulse skips a beat and a spark twinkles

Slipping from the bed she quietly steps

Gently shutting the bathroom door

A dream that has budded before

As the wrapper comes off the test

Whispered prayers for positive

Three, five minutes she knows and

Soon they celebrate…

Doctor confirms and they share

Grandparents rejoice, friends congratulate

Plans begin to form for the future

All she can see is a sweet little face

Precious life wrapped in lace

He comes home with a doll and ball

There is a new smile on their faces

Nursery decorating is discussed

Dreams are real…

Then there is a little cramp

A slight discomfort

She can’t ignore the fear

And she prays and she hopes

There has to be a way to cope

Then in anquish it is over

The life is gone like it came

Silently slipping away and

Before the doctor…

Her eyes open and her heart pounds,

Her pulse skips a beat and a breath catches

Slipping from the bed she quietly steps

Gently shutting the bathroom door

A dream that has died before

As the blood washes away

Whispered prayers for strength

Minutes passes in sorrow and she knows

Soon they mourn…

Why would God answer “yes”

Then take away a blessing

Was she not good enough

Did He no longer love her

She’d always been so sure

Then a quiet voice reminds

“Be still and know that I am God”

He weeps with her

Records her tears*…

    d.f.a.v. 2-2-14

The pain of a miscarriage is great and recovery never happens quickly. A woman’s body has to adjust but her heart and spirit also must recover. I’ve known this misery and eventually had to accept my body would not carry a child to term. Physically sometimes the pain was barely noticeable, other times it was terrifying. But for women everywhere who desire to have a child and can’t, God knows your anguish and stores your tears. Don’t give up on His ability to bless your life or forget that there is equal joy in adoption.

–Donna

Psalm 56:8

“…a time to weep…a time to mourn…”*

*Scripture reference: Ecclesiastes 3:4

It is difficult to know what to say to someone who endures any part of the bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday. To the families of the 3 who lost their lives in this senseless act there are no words to bring back their loved ones. Nothing one can do to allow them a final goodbye to the person they loved and not merely the body that held that person’s spirit.

What can one say to the still increasing number of injured? I especially identify with those who lost limbs being an amputee myself. How drastically their lives and the lives of their families and friends were changed in mere seconds when those bombs exploded! For what cause will these people live with for the rest of their lives missing a limb?

To those who were eyewitnesses to the carnage and the mayhem during and after the bombings what can one say? No words will ever erase those images, ever wipe away those memories.

As a nation we will again react and feel the shock waves of yesterday’s act of violence against innocent people. There will again be the hesitation where we pause and wonder “could it happen here?” The answer is yes, yes it could.

As individuals, especially those directly involved, there is no doubt the question of why did this happen is running through their minds? What motivated someone or more than one someone to do such a thing? Theories abound I’m sure. But even if we learn the truth, which is likely not to make sense to us, will it be enough? Is it ever?

There is a quote I wrote in my journal that came to my mind as I read the Scriptures yesterday and this morning. It was said by Maryanna, a character in The Guardian by Beverly Lewis, “I’ve learned that sometimes I have to give up my right to know and simply believe that God’s knowing is enough. Not that I don’t want to question. Ach I surely do.”

It is difficult to arrive at that point when the pain is so fresh and so deep. It is difficult to arrive at that point when the wounds are scarred over too.

Ephesians 3:16-21 reads, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.** Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask, or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (**emphasis is mine)

May this love of Christ indeed strengthen us in this time of mourning and of rebuilding lives. For the living must go on living for life does not stop for the rest of us when it ceases to be for an individual.

“Abba Father, You are Holy, You are Righteous, and You are Emmanuel. We need You now O Mighty God in this time of mourning and questioning. We need You now as lives are forever changed. We need Your Spirit to comfort and strengthen us. We need Your love to hold us up. Abba shield us from more pain and suffering if it is Your will as people recover. For each victim Abba I pray Your will to be accomplished and I know You do not will anyone to suffer from such acts of violence. For the person or persons responsible for such an act of carnage Lord we pray Your redemption of their soul and that Your justice will be done. Amen.”

-Faye

…a time to laugh…

Before reading this please know that if you are dealing with depression, anxiety, grief and any number of other difficulties in life that seeking professional help is not only advisable it is most likely necessary.  I do not advocate EVER using tools such as laughter, praise and prayer alone to help ease the burdens of depression and other such illnesses.  There is NO SHAME in allowing God to use all His resources to help you.

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“…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3:4 (N.I.V.)

“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”  Proverbs 15:30 (N.I.V.)

The dearest friend I could ever have and I have been separated by hundreds of miles since 1998.  During the times we have those “catch up conversations” it is a time of sharing the troubles of our lives but also the joys.  Those reunions are seasoned with love, enduring friendship, caring, understanding, compassion and a healthy sprinkling of laughter.  We giggle (yes, grown women can giggle) and that compassionate laughter of recognizing the challenges of our own growing up (yes, we are all still maturing) and our surviving.

We laugh at our reactions to the events that have occurred in our families.  (Oh the stories our families give us to share!) We laugh at what we were thinking at the time and how it seemed perfectly acceptable then, but which we have to acknowledge now, were impractical or way off base.

Yesterday as we hung up from just such a conversation I realized that one of the things I value and love most about Pattie and the friendship we share, is that we can be so honest with one another and laugh at ourselves through the eyes of the other.  We are both “serious” people (well, most of the time) but together we always manage to find reasons to laugh!

The laughter we shared yesterday was much-needed by me and I don’t have a doubt Pattie as well.  We are both in stages of our lives where our children are rapidly growing up, our husbands are knee-deep in their careers and we are transitioning ourselves into new stages of life, aging (oh the horror of that realization) and new self-realizations.

Laughter sometimes has to be sought in life.  If I allowed myself I could sit and drown in the tears I shed in mourning the loss of the woman I was…mourn the loss of my left leg, my job, my independence…and I confess there are days, sometimes stretches of days, that I do.  I sob.  I hide away.  I MOURN, I grieve and I wrestle with God over the losses, the changes, what I want, who I was and who I am becoming.  But, no matter how hard, I do try to find something positive, I try to allow Abba Father to nurture the flame of hope that my relationship with Him fuels.  Laughter is often a huge part of that.

My challenge to you today dear reader, no matter what you’re going through is to find some reason to laugh!

MC900434743If you need help rediscovering joy then –

  • Spend some time with young children as they play.
  • Call an old friend and catch-up, share your sorrows but try to find some joy to share as well.
  • Put on a CD you love with some upbeat music and dance!
  • Crank up the stereo in the house or car and sing to an audience of one!
  • Entice your child to share some karaoke minutes with you and laugh at both of you as you sing and dance together!
  • Look at some humorous stuff on the internet.
  • Pop in a funny DVD and lose yourself in the comedy.
  • Watch puppies play.
  • Pull out your child’s joke book, the one they read to you and you moan at the bad puns and weak punch lines and read it with the mindset of your child.
  • Sit down with someone for coffee who has a cheerful outlook on life and just bask in their being who they are for they are people we need in this world for just this purpose among others.

Yes, I know it’s hard!  Yes, for some of you I know what I’m asking seems impossible!  Believe me I KNOW!

  • I KNOW life can bring you to a place that you feel as if you are down for the count and just can’t get up again!
  • I KNOW depression, anxiety, fear and a multitude of other feelings and things can immobilize us!  I KNOW my friend, I know.
  • I KNOW depression’s heavy blanket can suffocate!
  • I KNOW addictions, any addiction, erodes your energy, it takes all of you to fight it.
  • I KNOW grief is overwhelming your soul!
  • I KNOW you hear that countdown and giving up would be easier, it would be a relief but DON’T GIVE UP!  Do this, it won’t make all the ugly go away, I know, but it will help your heart, your spirit to survive.
  • Trust me, I KNOW!  It’s not a magical phrase or giggle that will erase whatever it is you’re surviving but IT CAN HELP you cope!

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“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”  Proverbs 15:13 (N.I.V.)

-Faye

P.S. I know one more thing, someone is reading this today and tears are pooling in your eyes, grief is tearing at your soul and I want you to know, I pray for you even as I finish up typing this last sentence.  God bless!

Follow Your Heart? Follow Your Mind? Follow Your Faith?

On the surface it seems like the best advice to tell someone making a big decision in their life.  One suffering in grief.  One anxious over a job situation.  One in the midst of their first attraction to a member of the opposite gender.  One fearful of how decisions today will effect tomorrow.  So we say, “Just follow your heart!”

I’m old enough to have learned a few things and one is that the heart is filled with feelings and feelings can be deceiving.  I’ve also come to understand that as a Christian faith is not always logical.  This means I’ve learned one more thing, to seek the answers in the place I know the answers are honest and steadfast – the Word of God.

My NIV dictionary tells me that the heart (for modern usage) is the seat of the affections (Gen. 18:5; Ps 62:10) and the seat of the intellect (Gen 6:5) and of the will (Ps 119:2).  According to  Genesis 6:6 it also signifies the innermost being.  The word heart is used over 900 times in the Word, almost never literally with the exception of Exodus 28:29.

As Christians we encourage and seek people to “let Jesus come into their heart”.  We use the analogy that Jesus is knocking on their hearts door waiting to come in.  Faith, we know, often defies logic – for that is the wonderful and freeing part of faith.  And of the 900 plus references to the heart in scripture I found:

  • Mans heart has got him in trouble (or her) since before Noah.  Genesis 6:5-6 “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” (NIV)
  • Deuteronomy 4:29 reads, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
  • The Lord doesn’t look at how we look outwardly but at the person we are on the inside in our hearts. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:29)
  • Proverbs is rich in instruction about the heart including 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
  • Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 and in 15:18 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things make a man unclean.” as well in 22: 37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

As believers in Jesus we can’t “just follow our hearts” alone for clearly a heart out of sync with God is going to lead us to decisions that are outside of His will.  To keep a heart capable of knowing and acting upon the word of God we must fill it with the same.  That means not merely giving lip service to Him but having a RELATIONSHIP with Hm and yielding to His guidance.  We also can’t approach our faith life from an intellectual viewpoint alone either.

Faith defies logic.  Faith says wait when our hearts say go.  Faith holds on in the storm when our hearts seek the first possible refuge whether it is of God or not.  Faith is walking the other road when society walks another.  Sometimes our faith conflicts with our heart and it is those times we must cling to our faith-based on what our heart knows and not on what our minds tell us.

I’ve gone through such a faith crisis many times and I once wrote, “Faith is walking into the largest, darkest room with your fear because you know there is a light on the ceiling and a switch on the wall.  But I got 1/2 way across the room and simply can’t go any further.  It’s not the absence of God it is the absence of me.”

Had I listened merely to my heart’s emotions I would have given up.  Had I listened to logical thinking I would have given up.  But in listening with faith in my heart entwined with God I found myself belly crawling across that dark room until I reached the wall and though I floundered, God guided my fingers to the light switch.

To each of those who stumble through a faith crisis I urge them to not stop seeking God’s answer in His Word.  I remind them that God can handle our questions and our doubts.

What about you?  Where does your heart and your faith meet?