I’ve been shocked, since the loss of our daughter, by the number of people who have contacted me and sympathized out of shared experience. It has been helpful to hear from those who truly understand, and comforting to be allowed to speak truth and hope to them as well.
Because our dialogue has been such a blessing I want to continue communicating with you all, and decided to add a ‘Page’ just for us who have lost a child. My plan is to share hope, helps, resources, links, and a place to communicate.
I’ve been emotionally overwhelmed reading and hearing others’ stories. I feel I can safely say I understand when you say you will never be the same, because I know I never will be. I’ve read that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other major celebratory events are challenging and depressing for many who have lost a loved one. Reading it and experiencing it are worlds apart. I have lost interest in some things, but I have not lost faith. Faith is actually keeping my head above water and giving me hope and strength. But I can understand how it would be tempting to let the grief and loss overwhelm you. Yet, I believe God is calling me to be an encouragement and help to others who need strength continuing to live with a hole in their heart.
One of the things I read that greatly impacted me (possibly one of Susie Larson’s prayers) was to let my history with God help me trust Him for my future. Journaling (I either write in a notebook or make notes in my Bible’s margins) noting prayer requests and entering the answer, or date of the answer, has always restored praise. Reviewing those answers when enemy darts (doubt, accusation, temptation, guilt) weigh me down gives me peace and hope. The reminder of those answered prayers, says God helped me there, God was with me through that, or God enabled me to bless someone else through that. That history with God underscores His presence – His trustworthiness, and His faithfulness. If I then focus on the truth – God’s unchanging character – instead of my emotion, I can affirm that He is the same past, present and future.
If you don’t have a history with God, be comforted to know He has a history with you. Read Psalm 139 and I John chapter 5 for a peek at how God loves you and wants to give you assurance and hope.
The book of the Bible that has helped me the most since Laurie left us was one I long avoided – the book of Hosea. It was illuminated for me by Bob Hostetler in his book Falling in Love With God. (More about that next time). I would appreciate hearing what books or scriptures have helped you.
Our Daily Bread has a couple of booklets I can recommend:
Finding Peace at Christmas contains Dan Schaffer’s article (excerpted from The Real Spirit of Christmas). You can order it here –http://discoveryseries.org/discovery-series/the-real-gift-of-christmas/
Beyond the Valley by Dave Brannon – also from Discovery House (https://dhp.org/te236.html)
I love you!! And I so miss her, her smile, her laugh. More then once I’ve been in a store and there’s been someone that looks like her. Today it happened again. I almost took my phone out to take a picture of this lady, Thank you for sharing her.
Terri, Yes, I miss Laurie hourly. I constantly find myself thinking I have to share this or that with her and go to call or email…. I also saw a lady coming out of Aldi recently and she turned because she felt me staring. Once I stopped crying, I thanked God for the glimpse and reminder of the lovely woman my daughter became, and felt warmed with the reminder that she IS alive and with Him. It makes me want to leave now (no packing required :). Thanks for your love.
Oh, you made me cry. I guess he’s sending these people our way to remind us she still with us but in a different form. And you can’t leave, you have work to do here. And you’re very welcome.
Delores, Thank you for your Words, I am going to take another look at Hosea, and with a new perspective. There were three Scripture verses in particular that I clung to and were my strength in the first few years after my son died. The first was Psalm 30:5 – “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” The second Psalm 56:8 – “Thou has taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?” and the third was Ezekiel 36:26 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” After praying about each of these, my beloved God showed me that He in fact did love me, He saw my tears and cared about them so much that He put them in a bottle for safekeeping, that He intimately knew my heart-shattering pain. He assured me that He knew my time of weeping and mourning, but that it would not last forever, that my dark night of pain would ease into the light of a new day, and with it, my joy in life would return. And most of all, that when I was ready, He would take that deep pain out of my heart and replace it with the ability to love and laugh and feel again. These comforting, in fact life-saving Words to me, saved my life and kept me going until I could stand on my own once again. For me, it took about 5 years before my dark night of weeping ended, but end it did! My joy did come in the morning. After 10 years, I could talk about my beloved son with joy and only happy tears for the memories. Yes, my heart is scarred, yes, I still have days of grief tears, no, I will never forget or stop celebrating the life that was my beautiful son, but now I am living again, with a new heart that loves life again. Thanks to my beautiful Savior, my Heavenly Father, who loves me enough to carry me when I need it, and replace my old stoney heart with a new one ready to love again.
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Mindy, I am honored for you to share part of your courageous journey. Each time I hear another story of loss I feel shattered, yet grateful to also see how, in time, your thorn was removed. A new heart, and a new spirit are amazing promises and offer a wonderful hope — a hope I know I could not live without. Thank you for sharing.
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Great reading this Delores. The scriptures are so comforting. One of my favorites is from Is 43:2,3 ” When you pass through the waters I will be with you: and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned: the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
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Annette, That passage is good encouragement because the truth is we do have to pass through deep waters and fiery trials. And it does feel sometimes like I am about to drown, or be consumed. I am re-learning to practice the presence of Christ – sometimes moment by moment calling out to Him to lift me up and out of the dark places. He is faithful, and you have been a faithful friend. Thank you for years of prayers and encouragement.