Five Years Later

“Don’t forget in the darkness what you have learned in the light.”  
-Joseph Bayly 
“Yet sometimes the darkness descends so thickly that we can barely remember the light.” 
-Phillip Yancey 

Grief, like a cloud, rolls in and fog descends 
to blanket your entire world.  
You lift your eyes and see all silvery-white,  
only a few feet before, everything else is hidden.  
You live in a world submerged, unable to observe,  
to grasp that life is moving on without the one you love.  

They say time heals the pain.  
 Time just soothes the ragged edges,  
but Jesus heals the heart.  

Slowly the morning light pours in and the fog begins to lift.  
You start to see the world around, still living life,  
but you see through new eyes. 
Grief has altered your vision,  
given a new perspective, a changed outlook on life.  
Life is not to be taken for granted,  
those closest, held dear, every day treasured.  

They say hindsight is 20/20,  
but until heaven, we see through a glass darkly. 

While blanketed in the fog, you reach with outstretched arms,  
yearning to feel His love and compassion.  
Without fail they are there, ready and waiting, always. 
When the fog has lifted, you look back and define  
beauty in the moments He gave grace,  
see His strength supplied to climb the next high mountain.  
There was comfort for the days overpowered with tears,  
mercy when we lashed out in anger, 
and peace in the middle of the storm.  

Rather than demanding God answer our “Why?” questions, 
may we instead ask “What would you have me learn?” 

Five years later, 
questions still crowd our minds, queries with no answers. 
We will live with those questions for now,
trusting God’s sovereignty. 
We live understanding that walking a fiery trial 
is not easy, it is not without pain, grief, and days of sorrow.  
Are we better for having walked this road? 
Grief has softened, taught grace, mercy, and love. 
We have learned to cherish, to hold with an open hand.   
We understand how pain and joy co-exist in life.  
Heartache made us wise, suffering strengthened us, 
and we held onto hope, gripping desperately with both hands. 
We walked the fiery trial and we learned to rest in God, 
who holds all things in His hands.  

On the foggiest night pain is real, but so is hope.

Of Words and Grief

Tris was a quote collector.
His phone was full of all kinds of screenshots, photos, memes, quotes and you name it. Imagine everything from serious to funny and he had it saved.
I can still hear him laugh when it was a good one.

Since October I have screenshot, scribbled down and saved more things then ever before. Words that jumped out at me from a book, something that helped right at that moment, or something that was sent to me in the mail or by text. I was looking through them and the vastness was overwhelming for a post, so I just picked out a few that I have saved or created lately.

Isaiah-43-2

Without this promise, there would be no hope.
Grief-walking is a sad and lonely road, but Jesus never leaves our side.

Gone

A beautiful word picture I never tire of reading.

Family grief

We’ll send the rest of our lives missing him.

Christs Holds

There are days when everything would just swirl down the drain if it weren’t for Jesus.

duck

Never assume a grief-walker is really okay just because everything looks okay.
They may laugh and seem to have a good time, but underneath they are paddling with all their might to keep their head above water.

grief-changes-us

It changes you alright.
It changes so much about you, sometimes you don’t even know who you are inside anymore.
It changes the way you look at life, changes your perspective.
You become a different you.

Helen Keller

This is not a family any of us wish to be part of, yet as we are ushered in the door, we are surrounded by loving, caring and concerned grief-walking members. They come with open arms, understanding hearts and many tears, for our pain and their own. They know how we feel because they’ve walked this road of grief. It is ugly to relive grief, yet they allow that pain to wash over them again and again, just to walk along side the next person coming through the door. And so we are family now, no matter how much we dislike it, we are part of this grief walking family, for the rest of our life.

Hope

Even the tiniest sliver of light can be seen on the darkest night. hope.

I need help

Hope Heals - Katherine Wolf

This one is hard. I read and re-read and shake my head and wonder how it can be true.

notions of grief

If only grief were five tidy steps we could process and be finished.

Isaiah 4110

Robert Rogers - Into the Deep

This! This sums things up very well.

waves of grief

 These waves have the strangest way of catching us when we least expect it. I was at a garage sale the other day and there sat a Jeep in the drive. It was one of those waves and I just couldn’t stop the tears. I have wanted to call him so many times to tell him about something I saw, something interesting or something that would make him laugh.

you will grieve -reality

You will never be the same, all the price of loving someone.

WeMayFindRelentless

We cannot lose hope;
without hope, we have no reason to go on.

He has achieved

This best described him. This is who he was.

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Musings of Life

One day runs into the next, one week follows the week before and I’m not quite sure what happens to the months, but they just keep slipping by.
Time is long and time is short.

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We think to ourselves, how can it be that long? Wasn’t it just yesterday? And in the next minute we think of how long it’s been since we last saw him, entirely too long.

The evening sky lights up and we breathe a sigh and ask,
“Oh Lord, how long? How long before you come?
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.”

~~~

Life goes on, life changes, but still life remains the same. Children grow, but on the other hand, children remain the same. Even as they stretch upward, they continue to stretch you in areas you didn’t know you really needed stretching. I didn’t say a thing about arguments, disagreements, and other such things, did I?

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With only one son in the family, people worry for us that he might not be too much of a boy. Fear not, people, I have plenty of evidence to put your minds at ease. This was a wrestling match that nearly shook the foundation. All the while it went on, the little one calmly snuggled in her blanket, right in the middle of it. Rather fearless you might say.

The other day after much activity I heard him run up to one of the girls, lift his arm and stick his arm pit into her face saying, “Sniff, sniff. Smell under my arm. Do ya like that smell?” He ran off laughing while she yelled. He may live in a house full of girls, but fear not, he is still a boy at heart!

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One moment he’s fighting with them and the next minute he’s jumping up and down with excitement when Madison suggests having a tea party!

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Trying to get that little pinky to stick out.

~~~

Life is never dull around here.

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If the opportunity presents itself, you just go ahead and hunt from your daughter’s bedroom window. His photographer/videographer just may have jumped a few inches when he finally shot. One thing I did learn during this experience was that I lack greatly in the patience department. Ok, I already knew that, this just confirmed it once again.

~~~

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When one day is hard and each day following continually get worse, it’s a gift from God and a friend when a box shows up on the steps. A little bit of something for everyone and little notes stuck all over. I pray she is blessed for her generosity. When I called to thank her, she said I had been on her mind so much the week before so she decided to send something. That was God coming through! Listen when he gives you those nudges because it really does bless the one you are thinking of when you let them know.

~~~

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Since Madison does my baking, I decided to get a head start on my next cook in hopes of working myself out of a job.

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Since the man has taken over the grill, I really am not left with much to do in the food department and trust me, I am quite happy about that. He was prepping a pork loin for our Bible study group. It turned out quite delicious.

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One day when I picked up the girls from school we sat at this stop sign and had a little life lesson on thankfulness while we watched these little guys. “How would you like to walk to school?” and many other such questions followed. The girls quickly agreed they have it quite nice. 🙂

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Go pick ya self up a little bite of Valentine Chocolate or ask him to get ya some like this. They really are too good to miss. Oh yes, I am still the one who rarely eats and does not really love chocolate, but I will make an exception for these little guys.

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HOPE

A very long, hard week ended at the INSPIRE 2016 women’s retreat. The theme this year was “Living in Hope” by Jen Miller. It was just what my heart needed to hear.
Life is tough, but we have this anchor of Hope, a reason to keep living.
It was a very good 24 hours, much wisdom and words from God. All along I have known these truths in my head, I just needed to be reminded to apply them to my heart again. The application of some of these things will be hard, surrendering, giving up my wants and wishes, opening my hand to God and saying, “Write my story!”

Here’s a word Jen taught us:
Hopelifting: noun
The art of passing on hope to someone else.
“Hope is contagious. It is carried from person to person and is transmitted by contact.”

Go give someone a lift today by spreading a bit of hope in their hearts.