Where Will You Be Sitting?

Holidays are undoubtably the hardest times of the year for widows as families gather together to celebrate. There is always that empty chair in her mind…….someone  especially loved who is missing. The first few years are terribly hard, but eventually she learns to put on the face of quiet acceptance.

Nonetheless, the sweet memories of her loved one don’t fade into the background. Instead they rise to the forefront so that she can take them out and polish them as precious jewels. In time she learns to cherish them as something rare and priceless. When that time comes, she is able to find herself sitting in the “Thanksgiving Chair”.

Where will you be sitting this Thanksgiving?

http://http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6znqpPaYzM4

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Help Somebody Cry

There may come a time in your life when your friend or even a relative has lost someone very dear to them.  People flounder around trying to find the right words to comfort others.  Here is the best way to comfort someone who is grieving and to be their Jesus with skin on. Sit there with them as they cry.  Don’t be afraid to cry with them.  Their tears don’t stop after the burial.  They can go on for years. The following song says it so much better than I can.

Someone you care about has a broken heart.

You want to be a friend, but you don’t know where to start.

There are no words to speak that could ever be enough.

How can you show them your love?

Help somebody cry. Be there for the tears.

God will use your life to show that He is near.

There’s no easy way to make it feel alright.

You don’t have the answer to why.

Help somebody cry.

Time may heal the wound, but that doesn’t matter now.

So lend your friend your faith.

Walk them through the doubt.

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do but hold somebody’s hand to pray them through.

Help somebody cry.

GOD PULLED BACK THE CURTAIN

This Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of my husband’s first day in heaven. Several weeks ago God pulled back the curtain of my life and let me see how He was working during the last year of Bob’s life. At the beginning of that year I had begun asking God to give us a real home to live in. We had been living in a double-wide for 25 years. I was very specific in telling Him what kind of home I would like to have.  Six months later Bob’s health suddenly started deteriorating very quickly and that prayer was forgotten.

Fast forward to the same week God pulled back the curtain.  I have a large unfinished room upstairs that I had been thinking about finishing.  When my oldest daughter Leah told me that her mother-in-law is moving in with her family, I then knew that extra room will be needed whenever my two out of state daughters and their families come to visit.  My financial adviser asked me to get him a very detailed estimate so that he can help me make a wise decision.
I contacted two different carpenters who arranged to come give me their estimates.  However, they never showed up.  In frustration I asked one of my neighbors for a recommendation and she gave me a name that I thought I recognized – John Harrison.

I gave John a call and he immediately set up an appointment to come begin the estimate process.  When he asked for my address, he said, “I built your house”.  I asked him if he recognized my husband’s name.  He did.  I knew then exactly who this man is.

When Bob and I first moved to this area over 30 years ago, Bob worked for awhile with a housing construction crew of Christian men.  John was one of those men and Bob thought very highly of him.  After Bob was hired at Nissan, he lost contact with him.  I was able to share with John and his wife Rose that at the beginning of the year Bob died, I had begun asking God for a real house.  We had lived in a manufactured home for 25 years.  When I was praying, John and Rose were completing this house.  The house sat empty for a year until I bought it.  I told them that as soon as I walked into the house, I had a sense without a shadow of a doubt that this was the house God had prepared for me and I was to buy it.

Now God sent John back to hopefully finish the extra room upstairs so that my expanding family will have more room to spread out when they all come “home”.  Do you see the awesomeness of this?  God was working behind the scenes  before Bob died preparing a house for me using a man that Bob knew and had worked and fellowshipped with. I was going through anticipatory grief wondering where in the world God was when all the time He was right there with me in all of my sorrow and grief.  How much God loves me.

A few days after God pulled back my curtain, Linda Lint, a widow who lost her husband 3 years ago, posted this on her blog Sparrow Scrolls.  She graciously gave me permission to share it with you.  When you read it, you’ll understand why it hit me in the heart.

The Meeting

Date: October 18,2010
Time: 4:30 am
Where: Heaven
Present: God
              Angels

Good Morning. I have called you all together at this early hour to tell you that my Sparrow’s beloved has just suffered a stroke.  This has come as no surprise to Me. It has, however, shaken her immensely.  It is not in My plan to heal him, for his time to come home to me is
drawing near.

The upcoming months will be most difficult for her and she will find her faith tested almost beyond measure. I, however, know she will remain faithful throughout the days ahead.

I set a plan in place several months ago to have her assigned to a position in the school directly across the street from the hospital. She will find herself working for a group of teachers who will be incredibly supportive, tolerating her ringing cell phone, last minute absences and her sometimes “foggy” days.

And, when it is time for him to leave the hospital after six weeks, I have arranged for there to be a room available at the best care center in the area. There, too, she will find a supportive and caring staff.

Although she will be greatly upset that he will need to be in a care center, it is My plan for him. There are many who will benefit from his presence there and his strong faith in Me. He will tell many about Me. In addition, I wish to have this time apart with him in order to prepare him to come home to Me.

Now for your assignments: Her safety while in her vehicle is crucial. There will be many late night and early morning trips. She will also be driving while in tears and in harsh winter weather to visit him each day. Her health is also very important. Stress will be her greatest enemy during this time.
Help will be needed to navigate through the mounds of government and insurance paperwork. Make the way easy for her when she shops for special clothing and shoes for him. I don’t want her going endlessly from store to store. Protect her house from winter’s storms and keep everything in proper working order. When a repair is necessary get it done quickly at minimal expense. There is a younger couple I have positioned in the house up the street who will be a great support to her, Keep an eye on them as well and let them know when it is time to check on her.  As the months go on and she is becoming increasingly weary I will lead her to online friends. At various times these friends will need a “nudge” to send her a message with a butterfly. These beautiful creatures of Mine have always been her favorite and I want her to receive many of them. I will also arrange for the butterflies to appear in her life in many different forms – on shirts of strangers and flying across the hood of her car one particularly hard day.

Shortly after the second anniversary of her beloved’s passing she will hit a very low point. She will find herself in a very dark place not understanding how she got there or why, This too is in My plan.  At the urging of her physician and with My permission she will start medication to alleviate this darkness. In time she will come to see the light again and I will return her “words” to her.

That day will be October 18, 2013. On that day, three years into the future, she will sit at her keyboard and once again feel the joy and honor of sharing My words.

She will still not know what her future holds. But I know – and it is only good, as I have promised. For, as she relays how I have worked in her past, she will be reassured of how I will work in her future.

Ok, meeting dismissed. Now you know your assignments – get to work My angel armies!

And this my friends is what this verse means to me now: Psalm 91:11 For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

Be at peace this night dear ones, for He loves you so!

TRANSITION

Early Saturday morning a new grandson was born four weeks early to my #2 daughter and her husband.  My daughter shared with me that as she lay on the operating table, a kindly older anestheseologist sat next to her head wiping her mouth after she was nauseated, drying her tears, and quietly and calmly reassuring her.  I could not help but picture God sitting right there next to her.  And then I pictured her dad sitting there calmly reassuring her.  It’s moments like these that God uses to speak to my heart showing me that He hasn’t forgotten me or my 4 daughters.

This is an emotional week as I come up on the 4th anniversary of Bob’s entrance into heaven.  I am a person that has very vivid dreams. Just this morning I dreamed that I was talking to someone who brought up the subject of transition. As this person tried to explain to me what transition means, my heart broke as I shared with her that the transition since the death of my husband has been so very hard.  I then fell on my knees to the floor and began to sob.  I awoke to a pounding heart and heavy breathing as if I were actually sobbing in reality.

As my morning wore on, I continued to feel a sense of panic that I just couldn’t shake.   So, I did what I have always done in the last four years to calm myself.  I got in my car and drove out into the country for several hours to spend time with God and ask Him what my dream was all about.  As I drove, I turned on Moody Radio and listened to licensed clinical christian counselor Ray Kane talk about triggers in our lives.  One thing he said was:

“A trigger is pain that God allows to surface giving us the opportunity to deal with it so we can connect with God on a deeper level.”

It was then that I realized that my dream was a grief trigger – another pain that God allowed to surface giving me the opportunity to deal with yet more grief so that I can connect with God on a deeper level.  You’d think after 4 years of grief work that my work would be done, but evidently it is still a work in progress.

Transitioning from two grandparents to a single grandmother is not a place I ever expected to be.  Having new grandchildren that will never hear the booming laugh of their grandpa, experience the love that he would have for them, ride with him on his John Deere, listen to him talk to them about how much God loves them — all of these things are never to be and that is extremely painful to me and to my daughters.

It was okay for me to take time today to again grieve this loss and this transition in my life, but I have to choose not to sit in that grief when there is the joy of a new life that has been gifted to our family.  I accept the baton my husband handed off to me in his transition from earth to heaven leaving me here to be sure that my new grandsons know how much he would have loved them, but most of all making sure that they know the love of God.