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Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

Do you sometimes feel alone in your grief? No one quite understands you? You are definitely not alone! There are many widows that are experiencing similar feelings and wondering what to do now. Please consider going to a Widow’s conference in February in Texas.

A New Season Widows Conference is a three day event that offers insight and approaches to the difficult process of grieving after losing a spouse. It is Christ centered  around Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” For more information please follow link to, Dallas Conference 2015 Registration and Information.

They are offering discounted hotel rates up until January 25th, 2015. This could be a New Beginning in your New Year.

crossroads

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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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This is my Gallery of Pictures of our Family:

Fam Photo

Casual Day Hanging Out- Some still in Pajamas! : Nelson, Cindy, Jessica & Nicole

 

Fam Photo 2

Dressed Up to go Somewhere- Visiting Family in Puerto Rico

 

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Dad and his Girls at home, with Shiba our Doberman

 

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Dad and Girls with Shades On

 

Mom pix0001

Loving Our Daddy- All set to go!

 

Nelson and the girls0006

Beach Day with Daddy

 

Puerto Rico

Celebrating Mom’s Birthday in Puerto Rico (the year we lived there)

 

Mission Trip 2

Mom and Daughters on Mission Trip in Costa Rica

 

Mission Trip

Jessica and Nicole Making Friends with Children in Costa Rica on their Mission Trip

 

Cruise

Carribean Cruise: Cindy, Jessica, Nicole & our Friend April

 

Mom pix0003

Jessica is going to be a Mommy

 

Pictures 160

Easter with Cindy, Joseph, Jessica & Nicole

 

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Jessica, Brandon and my Grandson, Caleb, in Puerto Rico

 

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Our Present Family in 2013 on a Vacation to Puerto Rico

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This was published for the Grief ToolBox

http://thegrieftoolbox.com/article/top-10-lessons-i-learned-grief

#10  I didn’t care what anyone thought about how I grieved:
Grief made me go crazy for a while. I was selfish and self-centered. Thankfully, my family and friends supported me through and took care of my children until I came to my senses.

#9  I prayed:

I soon realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed God’s help. (Sounds like a 12 step program!)In my prayers, I not only talked to God, but I learned how to listen to Him and heed His advice.

#8 I had to rethink my priorities:

Grief taught me what was most important in my life. God became my number one priority. I then treasured my family and relationships that I still had here. My two daughters were my main concern.

#7 Time doesn’t heal all wounds:

It’s not about time. There are people who are still living in grief 17 yrs. later. Unless you do the grief work, with God’s help, you’ll continue to grieve. God is our healer who helps to heal our wounds.

#6  My loved one was only part of my life, not my whole life:

Traveling to visit family and friends brought me my first moments of joy. Many I knew before I even knew my loved one. I realized there was a lot more to my life than just my married life.

#5  Joy and pain coexist:

As I found myself feeling more joyful, a special day would bring back the pain. A birthday, a holiday, an anniversary day, my daughters’ dance recitals, my daughters’ graduations. It’s OK. The pain makes me remember the beautiful memories.

#4  God uses suffering for good to help us grow:

God has used me as a witness to bring others to Christ through my grief.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

#3  Life is temporary here:

Some day, I will lose another loved one. I will grieve again. But I have faith that my eternal home will be in Heaven. It will be a permanent place to reunite with my loved ones that have gone before.

#2  God is in control:

I’ve surrendered my life over. God’s in control of everything anyway. There’s no “What ifs…?” My life and everyone else’s life is in His hands. I trust He knows best. He’ll always have the last word!

And the #1 lesson I’ve learned from grief is:

# 1  It’s time to serve others and pass on the comfort that I received:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

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Puerto Rico 2013 020We all need a break. Especially after we complete a life time goal. I completed my book, “A Widow’s Pursuit”, last year. I self-published it, put it on Amazon, and then threw a couple book parties to celebrate my accomplishment. After that, I converted the hard-copy into a kindle version to reach more readers. I know I have more marketing to do, but the book is done.

If I add up the time it took to journal, attend a writer’s group, (now that’s pain and suffering!) write endless drafts, have it edited, and have others read it for reviews and comments, we’re talking a total of about 17 years. An interesting fact is that I knew my first husband, before he died, for about 17 years!

So I closed this chapter of my life and celebrated my achievement. I choose to splurge with some of my closest family. My present husband, Joseph, agreed to a family vacation to Puerto Rico with our three daughters, my 4 year old grandson and his daddy. Seven of us in PR celebrating life!

Since my first husband’s parents still lived in Puerto Rico, it felt like a grand finale when we reunited and brought our blended families together. My daughters and I had traveled there several times and we also lived there for a year. So going back, one more time, felt like the circle of life was complete. It was a place I felt peace, joy, and purpose. It was a wonderful break this summer!

So what’s next? I’m planning to continue my pursuit to reach not only young widows, but others that are going through grief. There’s a purpose for everyone’s pain and suffering. It’s just a matter of pursuing God’s peace to help us through our darkest moments. During this time, our faith will grow and our purpose will be revealed. It’s actually a simple formula that promises us, life can be joyful and purposeful again!Puerto Rico 2013 068

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A_Widow's_Pursuit_Cover_for_KindleMy book, “A Widow’s Pursuit” is now available on Kindle! Click on the link to bring you to amazon.Then click on my name and it should bring you to my  author page. The few pictures are of my family and friends that supported me through my grief journey. THANK YOU! I can now give back and pay it forward:-)

 You don’t have to buy a Kindle to read the book. You can download on your PC.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALori is not only my “Book Designer” but a very special friend. I believe God places many of our friends in our lives for a purpose. When I moved to Georgia, Lori was my next door neighbor. She was an exceptional Graphic Art Designer for Coca-Cola until her life took a sharp turn. Marriage moved her 2 hours out of the Atlanta area. Although we don’t get to see each other as frequently as we’d like, we find a way when we can. We had fun working on the book cover together since it gave us an opportunity to get together. Soon after, she was able to celebrate with me at my book party!

Lori was part of an answer to my prayer, for finding the perfect cover for my book. On the first afternoon of searching the web, together we found the picture that I wanted to use for my book cover. Everything fell perfectly into place. It’s amazing when you feel God’s hand in the process. I don’t doubt for a minute that we didn’t have Divine Intervention!!! Every detail was covered. And having the best Graphic Art Designer was all part of His plan, too!

Visit Lori’s website: Lori’s Art & Photo Gallery, to see more beautiful art and paintings she has done.

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