Friday, February 21, 2014

Redeeming February

Sixteen months ago, my friend Kristen went home to be with Jesus after a long battle with cancer.  Gently strong and radiantly lovely, she and her husband Deric birthed Inheritance of Hope, an organization that serves and supports families living with a parent battling a life-threatening illness.  I loved Kristen deeply and found my work with the families on the IoH retreats to be challenging, rewarding, and life-altering.

{video is here}

I'm honored that the IoH staff dug the 2012 post below out of the Creekside achieves and asked me to share these thoughts at their blog.  I know, I know.  Valentine's Day has come and gone, with its schlocky hearts and wilted flowers and cheap candy.  And for many of those who are alone, it's been a beast of a month and there's not much to say except 'good riddance.'

Yes?

Maybe not ...
*

 
The love of your life is gone.  

Or has never shown up.  

Your family is all but destroyed by broken relationships.  
Or a deeply valued friendship has slowly waned away.

Dreams have shattered and hope seems forever lost.  Endless prayers weren't answered in the way that you longed for.  And now Valentine's Day approaches.  
 
And it's anything but a holiday.

Enter any store and you are assailed on every side by hearts and flowers.  Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate candy and bouquets of red roses and sappy cards seem to flood every aisle.  The sight brings anything but happiness.  Hurt, frustration, sadness, hopelessness, and despondency creep in, entwining around your already wounded heart.  And once again it hits home.
 
I.  FEEL.  SO.  ALONE.

Click here to finish reading ...






= sharing with We Are That Family

8 comments:

  1. My SIL reminded me of getting my eyes off my navel on my Valentine's post. In a world with BIG strruggles--being alone on a silly holiday distressing me is JUST HOG WASH! What a compliment to have your blog reposted---shows how profound it was,

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    Replies
    1. We all need someone who knows how to speak truth to us ... but can do it with gentle sensitivity and a heavy dose of humor. Those loved ones are cherished, for sure.

      Thanks for starting out Friday with me, my friend ... I hope that your weekend is filled with love and joy.

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  2. being that i am religious & what not. i always wonder why we folks get so down in the dumps when folks die. not saying that it is not sad that they are gone. but to think of my family members away from this crazy insane world makes me beam with pure delight. they are heaven without fear, pain, or any other earthly feelings. it is a place we truly know not of what is really going to happen. we only know stories or thoughts from the bible. we can only hope for ... personally i can not wait. i have loved my time here on earth & i will not wish to rush it. but for once in my life ( i use to fear death, it was my ultimate fear) i can honestly say that i don't fear it (& without a doubt) ... i welcome it. (to folks who don't have a religion or spiritual feeling/way of life, won't get what i mean) but i you know where i'm headed it gives you peace. a meaning. a point. a reason to continue on if you will. that is all. (i have said enough.) good day. big big hugs. ( :

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    1. The joys of heaven that await those who love the Lord are unspeakable, awesome, glorious! Absolutely!

      But there is a searing loss, an excruciating pain, an untold grief for those who are left behind that we just can't begin to comprehend til we go through it ourselves. Especially for the children.

      Grieving well is necessary, and it's hard work that can take years, no matter if death was long and painful in coming, or quick and unexepected. Some of the most powerful conversations I've had have been with people who are in the process of dying, or who are watching someone they love walk through its shadows, or who have had to bury the light of their life.

      Blessings to every reader who reads this post ... yes, there is life after the death of a loved one. Our Redeemer can redeem your pain and heartache and loss. Others who are suffering will come onto your path and they'll need a touch, a shoulder, an ear that only you can give.

      Because you've been there ...

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  3. Yes! There is always someone who is hurting. Even though it is so difficult to pull yourself out of your own personal grief, to focus on another is healing. When I miscarried, I had four others who depended on me - and I'm grateful for that! Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. And from now on, I think we'll celebrate Friendship Week at our house!

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    1. Oh, for grace and strength to focus on others ... we don't have to look too far to find someone who's in worse distress than we are. And instead of comparing war stories or commiserating or wringing our hands, how cool is it when we can find creative ways to encourage and bless and uplift each other.

      'A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken ...'

      I'm grateful you stopped by today, Carrie!

      ;-}

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  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, Linda. Life is full of tragedy, but I'm so glad she left a legacy of caring to carry on a true message of "hope." What a beautiful thing God birthed from her death. And thanks for encouraging the weary and heartbroken here. This time of year can be so hard for so many. Love to you, my sweet prayer warrior!

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    1. Yes, yes, to encouraging the weary, the heartbroken, the discouraged. I know full well what it's like to be in those desolate valleys. So this I can do ... for Him. For other travelers.

      Love to you, valient warrior.

      ;-}

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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