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Archive for the ‘Revelations’ Category

 

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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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