Monthly Archives: April 2014

Memories you aren’t in

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We dreamed of this, Europe in Springtime. But I go without you, how can I go without you? It’s so conflicting, how can I go without you? I would have cancelled 20 times if it wasn’t for letting others down and losing a stack of money! I’m going somewhere without you, making new memories that you aren’t in. I just don’t like it.

It sounds romantic when we hear people speak of “seasons of life”, “new chapters in the story of life”, or my unfavourite “when God closes a door, He opens a window!” Behind the cliché lies a truth about keeping on living, but the connotation of leaving my old life behind is crippling. You are not a door that closed, by the same analogy it was more like a house exploding into a million fragments…it can never be put back together the same way. It’s not a new chapter, it’s a complete do-over. It’s memories that you won’t be in.

Memories are powerful. I can be drawn back to a moment in time anywhere in my past 44 years instantaneously. It draws instant emotion as if you were there again. I can find myself smiling as I remember how it felt when you held me. The warmth, your breath on my neck, the tightening of your arms around me; it was a very safe place and I can feel it now. Of course there are some very traumatic memories as well, the ones that can stir around my head late at night when I try to sleep. I do not smile at those, nor do I want to describe them.

I know you would want us to be happy and never give up living, I do, I know that. You could never say it, I know you didn’t want to die and leave us, so there was no need for it. But I know your heart, and you most certainly would want us to live on. So I will, even if you aren’t there to make a memory with. Courage looks like many things, and right now it’s hopping on a plane without you and determining not to mourn forever. It’s knowing it’s OK to continue making memories without you.

Europe in the springtime.

Let’s see how I go!

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He Loves Me First

My hope had disappeared overnight. After my loves passing I struggled to find hope, any hope. My 20something years of Christendom appeared a little foggy and distant. I couldn’t see tomorrow, I could hardly see today. What seemed incomprehensible and unsurpassable, the circumstances of it all darkened my soul. I knew one thing and one thing only – I needed help!

I am a little stoic, not always finding it easy to reach out. I have often been on the other side, the one offering counsel and providing the support, I didn’t like the reversal. So desperate I sent out a text to a few friends, literally “SOS, I can’t do this”. They appeared in moments. God’s hands and feet performing the actions that I could not. God was loving me.

My next reach was for professional help. I recommend it highly. My doctor acted quickly to arrange family counselling. We needed it, I didn’t know what to do, how to lead us, and I had an overwhelming sense that I was going to mess us all up. The counsellor was gentle, reassuring and more practical than I could have hoped. He was able to speak the words of God I couldn’t find. God was loving me.

I accumulated many books, but at that stage found it hard to read, or to concentrate on anything. Sometimes I think new widows shouldn’t be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery! So I reached for an old favourite, because I knew the message already. I re read “The Shack” (William P. Young, 2007). Skipping the tragic bits, I had my own, I scoured for hope and I found some. “I am with you and I’m not lost… you are not lost.” Although I felt like it was actually the end of my world, it wasn’t, I was found, found within Gods fold. God was loving me.

The greatest thing my husband has left me is his unswerving knowledge that “God Loves first”. Before, during and after my tragedy, God was always loving me. He loves me first.

 “ We love Him, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19


Grace

“I am wounded, and while I have deep holes in my heart, they are not empty.

They are filled with grace.”

Jonathan Merritt (A Thread Called Grace)


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