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Archive for the ‘Revelations’ Category

 

images[9]I copied some of these scriptures from my online friend Ferree Hardy. She came up with quite a few more from her article: Wise & Beautiful Scriptures About Our Day of Death .

My times are in your hands…Psalm 31:15

…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

A person’s days are determined;

    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed. Job 14:5


Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Luke 11:25

Read more on her website: “Widow’s Christian Place” 

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This year, Tate Publishing and Enterprises, who published my memoir, “A Widow’s Pursuit”, went out of business. I did some edits and it’s back on Amazon with an updated 2017 version.

Get your copy now…A Widow’s Pursuit

Or buy a copy for a friend or family member who is going through grief. Grief is not only about losing a spouse or loved one, but a devastating change in our lives where a loss occurs. How do we get through and find a new normal? In every situation, there’s one sure way to get through grief and find joy, love and happiness again. Read my story!!

To update my 2017 version, my baby, Nicole, and her husband Teigan, are expecting their first baby this coming March! So soon I’ll have 3 grandchildren!!!! Life goes on…..

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I used to think people only grieved when a love one died. After my first husband died, I  learned more about grief. I realized people go through grief over many reasons. Perhaps if we know we’re going through grief, such as stages of depression or anger, we’ll realize there’s logic to why we feel the way we do. This short clip may bring more understanding to grief experiences from losses we may never have thought about…..

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griefhealing%20homepage[1]Definition of “Grief”:

Intense emotional suffering caused by loss, disaster, misfortune, etc; acute sorrow; deep sadness

There are many reasons that people grieve.

There are many ways that people handle their grief.

So how can we say “Grief” is good?

Let’s think about some of the reasons why people grieve:

  • Death- such as when someone loses a loved one to death…the grieving widow.
  • Divorce- Or when there is a divorce, we understand that family members are separated which causes another form of grief….intense emotional suffering.
  • Natural disasters…when homes are destroyed by earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, etc. Even if individuals were blessed enough not to lose any family members, they have lost sometimes all their material possessions they’ve ever owned…pictures…sentimental things. These people have to grieve over their losses.
  • Pets- There’s grief over losing a pet that is someone’s family member.
  • Moving- And do we give much thought about individuals going through grief that have moved because of a job change to a new city, or a new state. Do we realize that all the family members in that particular family are going to have to grieve? They will have to leave behind their family and friends.
  • Illness- This can be chronic, new diagnosis (cancer), amputation, aging (loss of memory, vision, hearing, etc.) This list can go on and on, but you get the idea.

Sometimes because it isn’t a death or a divorce, we don’t think about it as grief. Do we?

So what are some of the ways people handle their grief?

There are healthy ways and unhealthy ways.

  • Unhealthy ways are when people resort to drugs or alcohol to numb their pain. Perhaps someone experiencing depression may need a short-term anti-depression medication to get them through the shock, which is common. But other individuals have a way of abusing prescription drugs.
  • Some people resort to instant gratifications such as gambling, shopping, or eating. These are gratifications that I resorted to when my first husband died. I drank my Margaritas until I felt no pain. I gambled the sympathy money away. I gained 20 lbs. in 2 months which caused me to have to go shopping for a new wardrobe. Once I got hooked into these instant gratifications to numb my pain, it was almost impossible to stop until I had my wake-up call from God and suffered consequences.
  • Other ways people fall into handling their grief may seem healthier. They may work more, maybe becoming workaholics, or even become obsessed with exercising and healthy eating. Usually it’s a matter of doing anything to get your mind off of your grief.

But is this really healthy? Probably not!

Everyone must work through their grief by working through the various stages of grief. The majority of us, work through stages of shock, emotions such as depression, anger, and/or guilt, physical symptoms of grief, we then resist going forward until we gradually find hope and affirm our new reality.

Grief is hard work. We can’t bury it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Nor can we continue to numb our pain. We have to face it and deal with it. It’s normal to be depressed for a while. It doesn’t mean we’re going crazy. All it means is that we are acknowledging that we are sad because things will never be the way they used to be. And that’s OK! As long as we can move on and not get stuck in a stage, we are moving forward.

When God gave me my wake-up call, I was going down a dangerous path. I surrendered to God to help me through my grief. I’m not sure I could have done it without His help. He provided me a healthy way to work through my grief. As I worked through the stages and transitioned into a new life, I can now help others walk through their valleys of grief. I can help them realize that what they feel is normal, and encourage them that they will find hope one day just as I did.

If we can handle grief in a healthy manner, we grow from the experience and it becomes a “Good Grief”.

 

 

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images[9]Sometimes I can’t help but think…is this life on earth all there is? I want to believe, that when our loved ones die, there has to be something else! I admit that if I didn’t have faith in an eternal life, I wouldn’t be as at peace that I am now. Knowing I’ll see my loved ones again in Heaven, goes a long way in continuing on in this life that’s filled with pain, sickness, loss, etc.

Just thinking about Heaven puts life in a different perspective. I live my days knowing that this is not my final home. Just as in the book I wrote, “A Widow’s Pursuit: Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief“, life is also about finding purpose to help others through their grief. And to know there is another final destination. It’s not here!

For widows/widowers this can be painful because we won’t be married in heaven. However, we will know our loved ones in heaven….”At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30) I’ll also admit that I didn’t like this verse for quite a while. I began to accept this more when I read a Billy Graham book, “Hope for the Troubled Heart”.

Excerpt from “A Widow’s Pursuit“:

Reading books brought comfort, too. I read Billy Graham’s book, Hope for the Troubled Heart, and then focused on the last two chapters that pertained to death and heaven. He regarded death of not being final, but another phase of life. That lifted my hopes.

“Someone has said that death is not a period, but a comma in the story of life.” Graham continues, “Everything that happens prior to death is a preparation for the final voyage. Death marks the beginning, not the end. It is our journey to God.”

 Going into Graham’s last chapter, he talked about what heaven could possibly be like through quotes from the bible.

In Revelation 22: 3, John wrote: “His servants will serve him.”

Graham adds,

 “Each one of us will be given some task that we will enjoy doing. Some may be the cooks who prepare heavenly dishes, some may play with the children. Perhaps we will be called upon to tend the gardens or polish the rainbows. Our imaginations are limitless. Whatever we do, the Bible says we will serve Him. Just think – loving the work you are doing and never getting tired!”

 This must be where Nicole serves the food!

Heaven felt like a whole new world opening up for me. I found these chapters exciting to read. He described heaven as, “The Ultimate Family Reunion.” However, one part remained hard to digest.

“We may not be married in Heaven. Some of us who love our wives and husbands very much may find that sad, but the more I think about the promises of Heaven, the more I believe whatever God has in store for us will be unbelievably more joyous, more delightful, and more wonderful than what we now enjoy.”

 Maybe when our reunion comes, it won’t matter. Until then, my wedding bands stay on.

I wore Nelson’s wedding ring on my left hand next to my ring. This notion of not being married in heaven persisted as the most sensitive area to talk about in my grief. Our wedding song had been, “Always and Forever.” In Graham’s last chapter, he concluded with a poem from an unknown poet that touched my heart.

 “Together Forever”

In this dark world of sin and pain

We only meet to part again;

But when we reach the heavenly shore,

We there shall meet to part no more.

The joy that we shall see that day

Shall chase our present griefs away.

 I can’t wait for that day to come. Heaven will be my eternal home and Nelson will be there waiting for me!

Please visit my friend Ferree’s blog, Widow’s Christian Place, and watch an amazing video, Knowing What I Know About Heaven!

 

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Our New Life in Georgia

Our New Life in Georgia

In a family shouldn’t your spouse be first and children second? But what happens when your spouse dies? Should the children become first priority?

The way I prioritize, is that God comes first. In my marriage, my spouse came second and our children came third. When my spouse died, my children stepped into second place until they became adults. It was an enormous sacrifice. They were 6 and 7 years old when their father passed. I was only 34 years old.

Keeping God first meant He was the only Father to my children. Yes, they had a huge void in their hearts from a human father, but they had some very supportive uncles and grandfathers who filled in. They were happy children for the most part. It was very challenging however to be the only parent.

Now human nature calls, and some years down the road, I’m lonely. I begin to date and find someone that makes me happy. My girls express to me that they are not fond of this new man in their mother’s life. I first feel that they have no business in my business. Luckily, they were still in second place and not first place. It was really what God’s plan was for my new life.

Keeping God in first place, I wanted to keep my lines of communication open with Him. Through my years of dating throughout my widowhood, I had made a promise with God that I wouldn’t sleep with any man unless I was remarried. My choices of men were not your men that had “God first” in their hearts, if you know what I mean. So most of the time, any dating relationships usually ended quite quickly.

All this to tell you that I remained a single parent until my daughters were adults. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The sacrifices were enormous. It was not easy but so well worth it! Both of my daughters have blossomed into caring, responsible adults that are giving purpose into this world. Isn’t this the whole point of sacrificing for our children?

And me? Once my children were independent adults, I then married a guy worth waiting for!

How many of you can relate????

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And by Grace you’ll receive God’s PEACE!

god-brings-peace[1]For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9 ESV)
There wasn’t anything I wanted more in my grief than feeling God’s PEACE. If I didn’t feel His peace, that meant I would feel the pain of loss.
The empty void I initially felt in my heart from losing my husband was very painful. I began to fill the void with the “flesh” by trying to get my needs met apart from God. When that didn’t work, I came to the point of surrendering to God. I had to learn to trust Him to take away the pain. As my prayer life increased, so did my faith in God. It’s rather a simple theory…it’s never going to work our way…so we might as well surrender to God’s plan.
Unfortunately, we have a hard time letting go of the flesh and abiding in the Holy Spirit. But by growing our faith in God, we begin to learn of His grace. No matter what we’ve done in our past it doesn’t matter. He’ll still fill our void with His grace and provide us with peace and forgiveness.
ONLY THROUGH FAITH, BY EMBRACING GRACE, WILL BRING PEACE!

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CrossOnHeart-300x225Some behaviors in grief are unhealthy which can cause serious consequences. To replace our unhealthy behaviors with new behaviors we have to change our belief system.

Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Faith has a starting point. Often it’s a wake-up call when we hit our bottom. For some it may be a D.U.I. or a trip to rehab. For others it may be a health issue over unhealthy eating habits. Or maybe what started out as a few dollars on a slot machine, turned into a larger gambling debt.

For me, I indulged in drinking, eating, and gambling until a serious consequence happened. It happened to my daughter because of my negligence. An accident that happened on the same day and time as my deceased husband’s death. On a Thursday evening at 8:00 pm. My wake-up call!

I reached a point where I had to surrender. God was waiting for me. I realized that I had to begin filling my void by trusting God. I had to begin to grow my faith. I gave up my destructive habits, surrendered all control over to God, and began to pray for peace and guidance.

What are some ways that you’re growing your faith?

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4c63cba276044235894f4fea34fd0135_2[1]An empty chocolate heart box. This is what my heart felt like when my husband died. Empty! What did I fill it back up with? Why do I grieve and feel such pain?

John 16:20 “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”

We may feel like our grief will never turn to joy, but Jesus makes this promise to us.

There was a time in my early months of grief that I went into denial. Even though I was a Christian and had faith that God was with me, some of my behaviors were not showing that I trusted God with my grief. Two months into widowhood, I was on a trip with my 2 daughters in California. I told my friend Lynette that God was taking away the pain. I said this while I was having my 3rd or 4th margarita. (After the 2nd one, I lost count!) She told me the pain would come once I returned home. I didn’t believe her at the time. But after months of drinking and trying to numb the pain my way, there came a point where drinking no longer worked. The pain would always come back and not to even mention the consequences!

There comes a time where filling the void ourselves doesn’t work anymore.

What are some behaviors you’ve been known to do to fill your void in grief?

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boredomI always thought that grief was only for death. When I became a widow, I learned grief wasn’t only about losing a loved one but a result from any major life change. Besides death, there’s….divorce… job change… marriage… baby…. moving…. illness…. losing a pet… natural disasters and retirement! When we realize we’re in grief, it’s easier to understand and cope.

  •  Divorce has different circumstances, but also a huge loss. The spouse is gone and the children may be gone or have to be scheduled in for visitation. Holiday traditions are changed and family get-togethers will be different.
  • Job Change is difficult especially if it entails moving. When changing jobs, you’re leaving your previous coworkers, and that can be sad. It’s not always easy making new friends in a new job while learning new responsibilities.
  • Marriage can cause you grief. Even though it’s a happy occasion you still may grieve the single life…the life you had with full autonomy! But you can’t have both! Just know that grieving can be normal as a newlywed.
  • Babies cause multiple grief issues. The new responsibility of raising a child is the realization that it’s no longer all about YOU. It’s about a dependent baby and loss of sleep! Perhaps this is where post-partum blues come from!
  • Moving can have either a positive or negative reason, but either way there are multiple grief issues. You’re uprooted from a community of friends, schools, jobs, churches, etc. We can be pulled away from dear loved ones.
  • Illness brings on grief in varying degrees. During a temporary illness, we grieve over things we may not be able to do while we’re sick. If it’s a chronic or terminal illness, we’ll have to grieve the healthier life we once had.
  • Pets cause us grief when they die. For some people, pets take the place of their children. Even though we realize that pets have a much shorter life span, it doesn’t make it any easier when they pass.
  • Natural Disasters such as tornados, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes are usually sudden and unexpected. The severity will depend on how much grief you will experience. It could be minimal loss or it could be devastating loss.
  • Retirement brings grief. It’s a time for realizing that we’re getting older and life will never be the same. A lifetime job may be over, kids are grown and moved out, and health may not be good. We grieve for our younger years.

The list goes on, but I’ve touched on some of the major ones. My hope and purpose for writing this post is that people can recognize grief in their life and know that it’s normal. I think of the newly married bride that is feeling a little down and sad. She may be thinking, “Why am I so sad? This should be a happy change in my life!” She’s grieving for the single life she’ll no longer be a part of. And that’s OK!

If you’d like to contribute to an upcoming post on grief in YOUR life, please reply and send me an e-mail at: cindyspursuits@yahoo.com  I’d like to educate others on the various reasons we go through grief. It can be on death of a loved one or on one of the topics I mentioned above. I’ll have a few questions to ask you in an interview format. Thank you!

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