Kairos Time


“Someone talked to me when I was grieving about the difference between two kinds of times.  Chronos time is the kind of time measured by clocks and calendars.  Kairos time refers to the time within which personal life moves forward.

Kairos time is measured by the movement we experience as a result of moments of awakening or realization.  Kairos time refers to a deepening process that results from our paying attention to the present moment, a process through which we are drawn inside the movement of our own story.

As we experience the full grieving process, Chronos time is valuable only in that it gives us a span within which to experience our own Kairos time.  The passing of days and weeks and months and years does not within itself bring resolution to our conflict.  Therefore the calendar time it takes to finish the work of our grieving depends completely on our own Kairos time (which we move through by making our own choices.

That’s why the grieving process is different for every person.  Why there’s no right and wrong speed with which people do their grief work and why a cliche like ‘Four seasons of the year brings an end to grieving’ has no meaning to someone who is engaged in authentic grief work.”

Elizabeth Harper Neeld, PH.D/Seven Choices

Relearning How to Listen and Trust

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My 13 year old grandson Jacob spent the night with me last Friday night and discovered that I have a GPS navigation system in my car.  He was curious as to why I had gotten it and I shared with him that his Grandpa had been the one that was great with directions always getting us where we needed to be.  Now that I have to go places alone, I need help at times to get there.

I shared with Jacob that I have had to learn to listen to the man’s voice on that GPS and trust that where he is telling me to go is right.  As soon as those words were out of my mouth the Holy Spirit said, “That’s exactly what you are to be doing with God.”

Listening to the directions on my GPS were a bit confusing at first.  I didn’t know how to judge a distance of 400 yards and would turn too quickly.  The system would figure out my mistake and then calmly direct me back to where I was supposed to be.

As I purposed to listen more carefully to directions given, I discovered that the voice told me step by step where to go  and then would say, “Turn left” a few moments before the turn.  All I had to do was focus on listening carefully to each step he was giving me and not think ahead.  That was hard for me to do because I have always been a person who prepared ahead of time for everything in my life.

I am much more aware of God at this time in my life than I have ever been and I am having to relearn how to listen to Him and trust Him again.  My thoughts are always of Him and I have this running conversation going on with Him from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed and then again during the night whenever I awake. I’m trying very hard to take life one step at a time now and that is very frustrating for me, but God is using my GPS navigational system to retrain me how to listen and trust Him.

The Grand Entrance


Isaiah 55:12

For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

I think so much about what the moment of death was like for my husband.  I wonder about it.  How did he feel?  What was he thinking?  What did he see?  Who in the heavenly realm was there with him?    Did he want me and need me there with him?  Was he afraid?

The ICU nurse told me afterward that he had such a look of peace on his face just before and after he left this world for heaven.  I like to think that in both those moments he could finally see Jesus face to face standing right there with him holding his hand assuring him, comforting him, loving him.  I like to think that he had no fear whatsoever and that he for the first time in his life was experiencing the most perfect peace and tranquility.

I also like to think that at that moment God let him know that He was going to take care of me, that he need not worry about me anymore, and that he was able to just let go of all that responsibility of being my husband knowing that I would be okay.

When I read Isaiah 55:12 this morning, it gave me the perfect picture of what it may have been like when my husband took God’s hand that morning.  He went out with such joy!  He experienced such peace as he was led forward into heaven!  The mountains and the hills broke into such glorious singing as they rejoiced to see him coming home!  The trees of the field clapped their hands in praise! Oh, how wonderful that must have been for him!  What rejoicing there must have been in the heavenly realm that morning!

It has been almost two years since that day and I am comforted to know that I will see my husband again one day.  I rejoice for him as I weep for myself.  Yet, I look forward to the day when I, too, see Jesus face to face and experience all that perfect joy and peace, hear the mountains and hill singing, and see the trees all clapping their hands at my grand entrance!

God’s Comfort

Losing the 3 people who loved me the most in this world and losing them all in 4 months’ time has been devastating.  God did something special to comfort me with each one of their deaths.  With my husband it was the ICU nurse that came to tell me afterwards that she had seen a lot of things, but he had such peace on his face right before and after he left this earth.

The morning of the day my mother went to heaven, she had the most beautiful and radiant smile on her face as she gazed up at the ceiling in her room.  It was the first time in my life that she couldn’t say something to me, but her face said it all.  Her eyes were the most brilliant blue and kept moving back and forth as if she simply couldn’t take in all that she was seeing.  I truly believe that she was seeing straight into heaven.

A few hours after my dad joined both my husband and my mom in heaven, my granddaughter was looking out the window and began to exclaim, “Look!  It’s a double rainbow!!”.  This above picture is what we all saw and all of us knew that it was God comforting us letting us know that Mama and Daddy were together again.  You’ll notice that one rainbow was shining brighter than the other.  That symbolized my mother because she’d been in the presence of Jesus 2 months longer than my dad absorbing all of His light and glory.

Thank you, God, for giving me these 3 comforting things to tuck away in my heart and take out to remember and comfort myself from time to time.

Singled Out For God’s Assignment

Golden Morning Press/1996

Leona Choy was married for 45 years and served with her husband Ted in mission, church, and educational work in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and the United States.  On the 2nd anniversary of her husband’s death, she realized that she had set higher expectations of herself than God did and had been trying to hurry through her grief journey which God lovingly provides for those who lose someone they love.

Leona sincerely assumed that a Christian “should grab a vine, as Tarzan did, and swing over the chasm between loss and moving on”.  She attempted to be “superlady” thinking that was what everyone expected of her.

“I had to learn that a widow’s journey is not an airborne experience by which she can fly over the inevitable, prescribed landscape of loss.  I can’t take a helicopter over grieving just because I have strong Christian faith, trust in God’s sovereignty and am sure that my husband is safe and happy in the presence of Jesus.  We can’t hop in a plane called HOPE and rise above normal, human feelings.  Good grieving is a ground transportation experience. ”  She decided she must go back to confront and embrace her honest emotions.

Many widows suffer from depression unable to adjust to their new roles alone and have difficulty functioning in daily life.  Others can’t see themselves as having any meaningful future.  Leona “addresses a wide variety of facets arising from widowhood….blending her biblical knowledge with an intimate understanding of the emotions experienced almost universally after the death of a spouse..  She writes from the vantage point of having weathered them–but not without struggles–in the years following the death of her husband….allowing herself to be vulnerable, admitting mistakes she made as she attempted to skip parts of the grieving process because they didn’t seem ‘Christian’ to her.”

The chapter titles in this book include:  Singled Out by God, Experiencing Good Grief, Don’t Push Me Through the “Stage” Door!, Making it Through Those “Firsts”, Checking My Scriptural Anchors, Refocusing My Relationships, Potholes on Adjustment Avenue, Resetting My Compass, and Receiving God’s Assignment.

“Your spouse has gone on ahead, but your Lord has further marching orders for you, too.  Perhaps renewed marching orders in the same direction, or different in some respects–or totally different.  Whatever God’s assignment, you will no longer carry it out as a married couple.  Nevertheless, you will carry it out as a couple!  There will still be twoGod and you!  Calling ourselves widows symbolizes a continuing connection to our marriage, but death ended that tie.  However wonderful our marriage may have been, it is now in the past.  Widowhood isn’t a rut to get stuck in forever, or a no-exit cave in which to settle.  It is a tunnel with an exit.  The Lord, our Light wants to lead us through this tunnel of widowhood not somehow, but triumphantly!   As we make our way through, we will gradually begin to understand the assignment He has for us.”

One of the things that Leona talks about is the importance of hugs and how human beings seem to thrive on the warmth of touch at any age.  She copied the following from a health magazine:

*  Hugging is healthy: It helps the immune system, cures depression, reduces stress, induces sleep.

*  It’s invigorating, rejuvenating and has no unpleasant side effects.

*  Hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.

*  Hugging is all natural: It is organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients and 100 percent wholesome.

*  Hugging is practically perfect: There are no movable parts, no batteries to wear out, no periodic checkups, low energy consumption, high energy yield, inflation-proof, nonfattening, no monthly payments, no insurance requirements, theft-proof, nontaxable and non-polluting.

*  Of course, hugging is fully returnable.

This is one of those books that a widow can read over and over again and continue to find more and more rich treasures to help her through her journey.  Many thanks go out to Leona for being honest enough to share with her readers that being a follower of Christ doesn’t make a widow a “superlady” — especially when it comes to grieving the loss of her husband.

Life is One Bumpy Road


“Life is one bumpy road, full of potholes and sharp curves and more than a few dead ends.  Having faith doesn’t mean the road miraculously changes into a smooth one.  And faith isn’t like some road crew that comes along and fills in all the potholes or eases  the curves or puts up barricades to keep you out of the dead ends.  Faith just means you bump along, get stuck in a pothole once in a while, take a curve too fast, or find yourself backing up after reaching a dead end.  With faith, you just know, deep in your heart and soul, that faith will get you to the end of the bumpy road and lead you safely back Home.”

Delia Parr, Day by Day