“What Are You Reading?” Wednesday

I just finished reading Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff. It is a book that Katie gave to me. She had to read it for a class, and said she thought I might like to read it. I am glad that I did. The book is written by a man who lost his 25 year old son. It expresses his thoughts and feelings as he walks through his grief. Although his grief is from the loss of a son and my grief is from the loss of a husband, the Lord used this book to show me that all grief is the same….yet all grief is different.

All who grieve after the death of a loved one seem to go through the same emotions. Emotions that cannot truly be understood unless you, too, have experienced this huge loss and life-change. As I read Mr. Wolterstorff’s words, I could really identify with his pain and so many of his thoughts. I found myself thinking, “I know exactly what you mean.” Those of us who have lost someone so close to us are kindred spirits…we know how one another feels.

At the same time, grief is different and unique for each of us. No one can possibly understand the one-of-a-kind relationship that Greg and I had even if they, too, have lost their spouse. No one can understand how deeply that loss has affected me and how my life and world have been completely altered. Nor can I possibly understand how others affected by loss..even the loss of a spouse…feel or have had their entire lives altered. Those of us who have lost someone so close to us are kindred spirits…but we can never know how one another feels.

This is one of my favorite passages from the book:

“To believe in Christ’s rising and death’s dying is also to live with the power and the challenge to rise up now from all our dark graves of suffering love. If sympathy for the world’s wounds is not enlarged by our anguish, if love for those around us is not expanded, if gratitude for what is good does not flame up, if insight is not deepened, if commitment to what is important is not strengthened, if aching for a new day is not intensified, if hope is weakened and faith diminished, if from the experience of death comes nothing good, then death has won. Then death, be proud. So, I shall struggle to live the reality of Christ’s rising and death’s dying. In my living, my son’s dying will not be the last word. But as I rise up, I bear the wounds of his death. My rising does not remove them. They mark me.”

I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading lately! Feel free to share!!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

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Thanks For Lending Your Faith And Hope!

I received this GriefShare email, and the words are so true. Just wanted to share it and thank all of my friends and family for walking beside me, praying for me, encouraging me, taking care of my children and me as we walk this journey of grief and healing. Thank you for lending us your faith and hope!

“Faith is what carries you through,” says Dr. H. Norman Wright. “It is vital. But the problem is, during an intense loss or trauma or crisis sometimes you wonder, ‘Where is my faith? Where is my hope?’ And that’s when you need somebody else to walk alongside you and say, ‘Let me lend you my faith and my hope until your own comes back again.’”

A strong Christian friend will be invaluable on your grief journey. This friend will listen, be available, and uphold you in prayer. He or she will spur you on to a deeper relationship with Christ.

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:11-12).

Your friend, in turn, will grow and be blessed by the almighty God who greatly rewards those who follow His commands.

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Monday’s Memory

Easter 2000

Easter 2000

Love Is Not Always Pretty, But It Is Always Beautiful!

sandra:

I sat down this morning to write a post about Good Friday. A day that humbles me and brings me to tears as I think what Jesus did for me. For me! I will never get over the fact that He did what He did….for me. The pain, the humiliation, the agony, the injustice, the cruelty that He endured for me. I just could find no words, then I remembered the post I wrote on Good Friday last year and I believe it really captures my feelings on this day. I pray that you spend some time today reflecting and thanking Jesus for His great love for you.

Originally posted on Trusting His Plan:

Good Friday…..it’s always seemed like sort of an ironic name for the day that we celebrate today. The day that Jesus was crucified. The day that He was mocked and humiliated. The day that He was killed. Really…..we call that day good??? And if that were all that had happened on that day, there would have been nothing good about it. The sadness, the pain, the cruelty, the ugliness, the violence, the suffering, the blood, the agony, the gore, the tears….nothing good about that day. It was not pretty.

BUT, that’s not all that day was about. That day represents freedom, grace, mercy, healing, redemption and LOVE! Jesus willingly went to the cross. He willingly took my sin upon Himself. He willingly took the spikes in His hands and feet, and the spear in His side to pay the debt that I owed, but that I could never, ever pay…

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So Grateful For Those Who Are Willing To Give!

sandra:

I originally posted this exactly two years ago today. Greg was recovering from open heart surgery. Today is a great day to reflect on and be thankful for the blood of Christ that He willingly shed on the cross to give us eternal life. What He did for us……there are no words. I am humbled and overwhelmed by His great love for me.

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

Originally posted on Trusting His Plan:

Settling in for a long night.  Blood transfusion is underway.    Thankful for those that give their blood to help save the lives of others.  Even more thankful for the blood of Christ that He freely gave to give us ETERNAL life!

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Monday’s Memory

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Everywhere I Go…..He’s Not There; Everywhere I Go…..He Is There

I don’t always sleep well at night. Some nights it takes me forever to go to sleep. Some nights I fall asleep quickly enough, but my sleep is restless…waking up multiple times during the night. Sometimes going to sleep is not the problem, but I awake really early and can’t go back to sleep.

The other morning I woke up around 4:30 and could not go back to sleep. I tried and tried to fall back asleep, but I just couldn’t quiet my mind enough. I just kept thinking about the fact that everywhere I go, Greg’s not there. When I climb into bed at night, he’s not there. When I get up in the morning, he’s not there. When I sit down to eat a meal, he’s not there. When I do laundry, there are none of his clothes because he’s not there. When I go to church, he’s not there. When I go to family gatherings, he’s not there. When I sit on the couch to watch tv, he’s not there. When I go to a restaurant, he’s not there. When I have parenting issues, he’s not there. When I am sick, he’s not there. When I have to make big decisions, he’s not there. When I’m afraid, he’s not there. When I don’t know how to do something, he’s not there. When I have a birthday, he’s not there. When I’m sitting on the beach, he’s not there. When it’s time for him to be coming home from work, he’s not there. When I expect to hear him singing in the bathroom as he’s getting ready for work in the morning, he’s not there. When we go on a family vacation, he’s not there. When his birthday or our anniversary rolls around, he’s not there. When I need advice or wisdom, he’s not there. When there’s a holiday to celebrate, he’s not there. When I receive mail or phone calls for him, it’s a cruel reminder that he’s not there. When I’m frustrated, or happy, or lonely, or anxious, or excited, or overwhelmed, or sad…..he’s not there.

I finally just got up and started my day….albeit a bit early for me. :) I made my coffee and sat down to spend some time with the Lord. I was still feeling awfully sad, when He gently reminded me of Psalm 139. This is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. As I reflected on this chapter, I could visualize and still hear my sweet little girls when they were about 5 and 7 reciting it…..all 24 verses! We worked on memorizing it in our homeschool; adding one or two verses each week, until they knew it all. I had no idea then, that the Lord would use that sweet memory and those sweet words to encourage me all these years later!

That morning the Lord reminded me that everywhere I go, HE is there. He reminded me that He knows when I sit down and when I rise up; He discerns my thoughts from afar. He knows when I go out and when I lie down. Even before a word is on my tongue, He already knows it. He hems me in, behind and before, and He lays His hand upon me. He tells me that there is no place that I can go and be away from Him; I cannot flee from His Presence. Everywhere I go, He is there!

What a kind God to encourage me in this way! He really is faithful and He really is good!

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

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