Process of Grieving

The loss of my dad was the greatest loss I have ever known. It was a blow to my heart and the very core of who I am. He was so many things to me. In his passing, the dynamics of what I lost far surpass just losing my dad.

I am walking through a grief share program to help me through this season of my life. It really has changed the way I see this and how I am managing this grief.

This week was the first birthday without him. He would have been 65 on May 22nd. It was a very emotional day but also filled with many great memories that we shared.

I had made out a list of what I lost when Dad passed away. This list became very real and physically felt this week. So many times I want to reach for the phone and talk to him. I need to talk to him. He was my rock.

The Lord is becoming for me what he never could be for me before because I didn’t need it like I do now. My relationship and how I see him and who he is for me has completely changed. It’s much more intimate, tender and even sometimes funny or silly.

Here is a small glimpse of what my loss looks like without Dad. He was just some of these things for me, which are now gone.

1. Dad

2. Best friend

3. Companion

4. Sports buddy

5. Sharer of private jokes and impersonations.

6. The one who I was never too much for and always had time for me.

7. Encourager

8. Source of delight

9. Entertainer

10. Source of comfort, arms to hold me

11. Shoulder to cry on

12. Pride and joy

13. My cheerleader

14. The one I looked up too

15. The only one who truly understood me.

I never understood the full dynamics of grief until now. It is so much more than losing a loved one. It reaches out into the depths of who they were for you. It doesn’t even have to be someone who has passed away. It can be losing someone in your life that has relocated or is no longer a part of your life. Who they were for you is a deep loss and it takes time to process through that loss. It’s so important to allow yourself to walk through it and feel those raw emotions. Otherwise, we never truly heal and it can hurt the relationships that we do have and our own spiritual, mental and physical health.

Be encouraged today. Allow yourself to process through a loss or grief that goes back years, decades or even just today. Find community and support. More importantly lean into our Heavenly Father. He is the Lord our God who heals us. Exodus 15:26.

Love and prayers,

Speak for the Unspoken

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Kisses of His Love

May our secret place be filled with the sweet nothings of our kisses. Not filled with words to fill up space or time. But the intimacy for your touch to me and mine to you.

Fill my heart with your garden. Cultivate it with your love. Arouse me with the fragrance of your delight.

I long for my heart to be fully created by you. Create and form inside the chambers of the deepest parts of who I am, a heart that fully delights in you. May my heart and will delight in you. Quicken my spirit to run to you to fill my deepest desires and needs.

My security and affirmation are in you. Only you can fulfill the desires of my heart and quench the language of my love.

You lean in with the kisses of your love. The language of your love doesn’t fall short. The love and gentle smile on your face causes me to lean into you for more.

It’s not a forced love. Instead, it’s beautifully inviting. You are the delight of my heart and of my soul. I am captivated by your kindness. I can no longer resist your advances towards me.

I am fully yours. You are fully mine.

Love and Prayers,

Speak for the Unspoken

Pregnant with Promise

Waiting does not diminish us any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We don’t see what is enlarging us. The longer we wait, the larger we become. We are expecting.

God is enlarging my border. From my distress I called upon the Lord. The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.

My eyes have never seen this before. My hope is not longer filled with doubt. But suddenly it is exploding with expectancy. For a lifetime, my hope has been filled with fear and doubt. But right now, without delay, I can see for the first time. It is beyond and feeling or emotion. Instead, it’s a certainty and belief. My hope is brimming over with expectancy.

Faith is beyond hope. Faith is expectancy in something you cannot see. It’s an enlargement. It’s a pregnancy.

God’s word does not return to him void. It doesn’t return to him without fulfilling. His promises are sure and certain. If I come to him, asking according to his will, that I am pregnant with, I will receive. If I seek, I will find. If I knock, the door will be opened. If I finally get serious about my pursuit of him, he will not disappoint. But the fulfillment, isn’t in the promise. It’s in the One who gives the promise.

It’s him. He is the one. He comes along side us and bears all things with us. As I feel the birth pains, as painful as they are, he will give me rest. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. The pressure lifts in his peace. Suddenly, a thousands pounds of pressure feels weightless.

Never. Not once in my lifetime have I felt or understood this. I am pregnant and weightless, together at once. “I have told you these things for a purpose. That my joy might become your joy, and that your joy wholly mature.” John 15:11 MSG.

His joy becoming fully mature. Fully expectant inside me. The pregnancy in my spirit being birthed into a promise. Into a land of promise. An enlarged place of promise. The promise brings attention to who he is. He becomes who I am. The core of my being is no longer defined by my past. Somehow, suddenly, it is defined by his nature and his fruit. The fruits of his spirit coming into fruition of who I am. I am defined by a promise of his spirit and the fruits of his spirit.

I am who he says that I am. I am a fulfillment of his promise. I am his promise and he is mine.

Just as the alive and present God who raised Jesus from the dead, moves into my life. Making me alive and putting to death my old nature and my old patterns. Breathing new life into me. Building a new core. A new foundation. In the breaking is rebuilding. In death, there is life and newness

I am pregnant with his promise. His promise is who I am. His promise is that we are one. I am complete. Complete in him, my promise. My promise of fidelity.

Walking and Screaming

Weekly to monthly counseling sessions have been a way of life for me for the past year and a half. Self care, priceless.

Last night, the promise land was part of our discussion. Or as I call it, the land of promise. She explained to me that she has the most unique conversations with me, unlike any other client. I am not surprised by God’s uncanny way of bringing clarity and understanding into my life. It takes creativity to get through to me.

A promise brings so much hope. Hope cultivates strength. Strength builds endurance. Endurance propels us into the land of promise.

Nevertheless, the promise can be so remote and prolonged that discouragement, doubt, fear and anxiety creep in. The wilderness can seemingly paint a picture of promises appearing obscure, out of range and and unapproachable.

Israel was being led to the land of promise after wandering for 40 years. 40 years of bad choices. 40 years of frustration. 40 years of unhealthy patterns.

Riding on the conclusion of the wilderness, Joshua was leading Israel to the borders of the land of promise. They came to a city called Jericho.

God tells the Israelites that he has given them the city of Jericho. But the cities gates were shut tight. There was no getting in or out. The promise land was sealed shut. So it seemed.

God tells them to do something that makes no sense at all. Frankly it screams crazy. For six days, once per day, walk silently around the city. Wait! What?! Why?! What is that going to do? Finally, on the seventh day walk around the city seven times. In sequel of the priests blasting their horns then he wants them to shout.

God took them through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness to the doorsteps of the promise. The city of Jericho. Then God gives the outlandish instruction to scream. Walking and screaming!

More times than not, obedience seems mystifying and without logic. It can straight up feel frustrating. I can only imagine the thought process. Look God, we have been walking for 40 years and now you want us to walk more?! Then close the deal with screaming??!!

The walls of Jericho came blasting down! God opened the prolongation of the promise. He broke the wall of separation from wilderness to promise. Not without work though. It takes work to tear down the patterns of Egypt. It is all you know. God will provide the “tools”. Pick up that sledgehammer in your hand and beat down that wall. Break a sweat. Shout God’s promise at that wall.

My journey right now is full of walking and screaming. The breaking of my will. The breaking of my plan. The breaking of my dreams. The breaking of my patterns. Walking around my walls. Screaming at my walls. Even so, a time will come and my Jericho will come crashing down. My promise will be opened up and be realized. I will see the fruition of the land of promise. His will. His plans. His dreams.

Love and prayers,

Speak for the Unspoken

Why God?

Today was a life altering day. The series at my church we have been walking through for the last few weeks is called why God. We have been looking at the story of Job.

It really hit home today. For a lifetime I have pushed relationships away. Fear of people leaving or that I don’t deserve those relationships. A self sabotage lifestyle has been a pattern of a lifetime that I have not yet broken. One that began from early childhood. Until today. God brought me to my knees in a very real way. I made a crossroad decision to lay down my pride, my idol, my fear, my pain and even my deepest desire.

My deepest desire for marriage and a family has been an idol in my life for decades. I didn’t even know it. It was made abundantly clear to me today.

When I was 25 years old, I felt like God wasn’t going to give me what I wanted, so I decided to divorce him. I told God to leave me alone and don’t touch me. I figured I would go get it myself because in my mind, he didn’t want to give me a family.

As a result, I made an entire mess and created over a decade of heartbreak, damage and self destruction. It was a bad decision on my part to walk away. After 12 years of rebellion, 4 years ago like the prodigal son, I came back. Pleading with him that if he still loves me to take me back along with my rags and bleeding heart.

To my surprise he did. He has loved me unconditionally and patiently showered me with grace and mercy. But I have once again made my desire for family and marriage an idol. Because of the prolonged singleness once again I have been questioning his love for me and stuffing my feelings.

7 months ago I lost my most beloved family member, my Dad. He unexpectedly passed away in his sleep from a heart attack and it has crushed my world and heart. I haven’t allowed God to walk with me through the grief. Instead, I have been allowing anger to put a wedge between me and God. I have been pushing my friends away and have been harsh with them putting them in a box. They don’t deserve that nor does God.

Today, I broke down on my knees and laid down my anger, rage and bleeding heart of grief and asked God to forgive me and heal me. I wrote down on a why God card, if you never give me a husband or family, I will not leave, I will stay. This is my building an alter of remembrance for me and for God of what I surrendered today.

Laying down this idol is the hardest thing I have ever done. To openly confess it on my blog is a bigger step of action. I’m putting myself out there to God, declaring…enough. Enough before I ruin my relationship with God and those closest to me.

Why God is very real to me. Why God did my dad die? Why God did I have to lose my dad and best friend? He was my rock and I loved no one more. Why God do I destroy the relationships with those I love the most? Why God have I not allowed YOU to be enough for me? Why have I isolated my heart and life from others to love me back? Why do I withhold friendships from those who only want to love me? Why do I hold on too tight?

I’m choosing differently today. I’m choosing to allow God to have lordship of my heart, life and relationships, even if it means I walk this life without a family. Do you know how hard it is to say that?! I’m shaking and in tears as I blog this. It is very real and emotional for me.

I want with all my heart, to let God into this chamber in my heart that nobody has had access to before. I’m inviting him in. Not to visit, but instead to live and make his home here with me. To love the good, bad and ugly and to make beauty from these ashes of brokenness. To be my husband and family if that’s all I ever have. YOU are enough for me! God, YOU are enough! YOU are my HUSBAND! YOU are the lover of my soul. Replace the lack with your absolute presence and love.

This is the “Speak for the Unspoken” I promised God when I began this blog. To share my story. To share my pain. To share those hard things that people don’t like to talk about. The taboo things. Speaking up and letting others in to see that you are not the only one bleeding. That we are all broken and bleeding. This is why Jesus came. To heal the sick, broken and lost. Your story may look similar or maybe not. Either way, we are all broken and in need of love and healing. Let’s not push love away. Let’s bring our questions and brokenness to God and be fully vulnerable and allow him to use our pain and to give it a voice. Let’s bring our idols and pride to him and let him be Lord in our hearts and life.

Love and prayers,

Speak for the Unspoken

The 80’s – My Happy Pill

The 80’s intrigue me, excite me and bring me back in time to my happy place. I’m a sentimental and nostalgic soul. An old soul, simple, young at heart and playful.

I began 2018 learning to embrace self care. Spirit, soul and body. Today, I choose to give you a snap shot of one way of take care of my soul and body.

The 80’s are my favorite decade. Many happy memories and just a simple time for me. Everything about the 80’s I love and hold dear to my heart. The family memories especially. Movies, music, pictures or anything symbolic of the 80’s make my heart happy.

When I have had an exhausting and draining week, I like to recharge my battery and take care of myself by treating myself to a 80’s movie night. Maybe even my favorite guilty pleasure, pizza.

Some may think this is silly, boring or uninteresting. For them, it very well may be. But for me it cheers my heart, takes me back in time, warms my soul and just blankets me with comfort and helps me relax. It’s my chill pill.

I encourage you, take a breather. Give yourself the gift of self care. Feed your spirit, soul and body. Find what your sweet spot is and care for yourself. Read a book, go fishing, go hunting, go for a run, watch a good movie, make your favorite meal, play a board game, get a massage, get your hair done, go shoot some hoops, put on those gloves and hit the bag around or turn on some Michael Jackson or Journey tunes and get your dance on. Have fun.

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Enjoy what you love. Laugh often, smile more and love the most.

Love and prayers,

Speak for the Unspoken