Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Let Me Clear a Few Things Up

Thanks to each of you that have been faithfully following this journey of grief I've been traveling. Thank you for the massive amounts of love and prayer I've received. I know this is a result of being so transparent, because probably wouldn't even know this recent tragedy I've experienced ever even happened in the first place.

However, being transparent also comes with a cost. It allows folks to see a snippet of you...but not enough to make fair judgments. It allows people to faithfully pray for you when you ask for it...but when you might be a little blog or social media quiet, it's easier to forget. I understand that. We all have lives to live, which include our own set of difficulties. But, being transparent also causes many people to want to offer advice, correction, rebukes in love, etc. over the way you should/should not be feeling. That's where I'm struggling today.

Monday's blog post is still what I'm clinging to...I CHOOSE JOY! Even in the midst of the pit that I've found myself back in today, I still choose joy. However, I find that there are some days that I find it a little easier than others. Today is not one of those days.

Today...I see Chris' face in a picture on my phone, and my heart flutters with panic over suddenly realizing my loss all over again.

Today...I pick up a piece of paper that he's written on, and I'm stopped in my tracks just staring at it and retracing every letter with my fingertip.

Today...I face the fact that while I'm progressing in many "normal" respects to what the "experts" say I should be doing, I've got a long way to go.

Today...I find myself angry over the lack of local support groups for CHRISTIANS that have lost a spouse to suicide.

Today...I am bewildered over the number of people that think I should act a certain way (or not post certain words) throughout this process "because I'm a Christian" and yet have never walked in my shoes.

Today...I am frustrated that I'm having to deal with this pain to begin with.

Today...I am angry over the fact that I should be excited about my upcoming She Speaks conference, but instead...I'm a bit overwhelmed and question quite often if I should even be there (don't worry P31 gals...I'm still coming).

Today...I am overwhelmed at the amount of "stuff" still on my to-do list.

Today...I am probably in much greater need of a vacation more than ever, but that doesn't appear to be in my near future.

Today...I STILL choose joy through this process. Today...I still give thanks for ALL of God's blessings - some I have yet to see.

But, today...I felt the need to clear up the fact that I'm still hurting deeply, and it's normal. I still have good days and bad days all mixed in together, and that's also normal. But, unless you've walked exactly in my shoes...there will be a piece of this that you won't understand. And...that's also normal. Just please don't judge my grief, and how I go at it. It hurts enough as it is. And, if it's too painful to watch, you certainly don't have to hang out here with me.

What Satan would love to see me do is "shut up" and internalize everything. Well, that is one thing I'm definitely not going to do. So, if you feel led to pray when I send out a prayer request...bless you and thank you! If you feel led to comment a word of encouragement...bless you and thank you!

Some posts are just going to be REAL and probably not too pretty. This is one of those, because I'm...

Continuing to heal...


  1. Still thinking of you....although it is not like losing a spouse, the loss of my friend Carrie is still hard. I totally relate to the post about seeing a pic on the phone. I cannot bring myself to delete her contact information or remove her from my Facebook page. In a way, it helps me keep her close to me. Hugs to you!!!

  2. Post on, pray on and keep on living the best you can. I love your honesty. There is only One that can understand you, and He will keep you and advise you and comfort you. Jesus is the salve for a wounded soul... <3

  3. Girl, bless you! May Daddy wrap His big, strong, loving arms around you and comfort you! Don't worry about anyone else! You grieve the way YOU NEED to! Grief is different for everyone and as long as you continue to cling to the Father, I know you are doing it right and real. I can't wait to meet you at She Speaks so that even for a moment, I can be a physical representation of Daddy and hug you with my big, strong, loving arms.;-) Praying for you, sister! Keep choosing joy!

  4. Amen. Too often our fellow Christians think that "faith" means the suppression of grief, anger, fear, and depression. One wonders if, in their eyes, the man who cried "Why hast Thou forsaken me?" could have been a Christian. On the other hand, the larger therapeutic culture dismisses joy as being denial of grief, which is not the case a lot of times.
    For me, the life of Christ has meant that joy and grief come together, love and suffering come together. If you haven't walked in someone's shoes, if you aren't willing to enter someone's suffering, you aren't able to love them, and your prayers are empty.
    Keep up your strong walk!

  5. Much love, sister. No need to "pretty up" grief - it isn't a pretty thing to go through. And you will probably never know this side of eternity the many people who DO read this who you give validation to - that what they're feeling and going through is normal and that when they've experienced uncaring comments or "well-meaning" but hurtful statements that they are not alone. Keep blogging! You're blessing me! *hugs*

  6. And TODAY...I will continue to lift you up to our Father, Who is the ONLY ONE that can truly comfort you at this time.

    TODAY...I will remind you that it doesn't matter what ANYONE else thinks - every individual deals with things in their own way and your way is between you and your Father - His is the only opinion that matters anyway

    TODAY...I will remind you that I love you as my new friend and sister - NO MATTER WHAT

    TODAY...I will let you know that my heart hurts and cries with and for you

    TODAY...I will tell you that there is absolutely no way I could even begin to understand what you are going through

    And in TWO WEEKS...I will count it a HUGE HONOR to deliver in person to you a GREAT, BIG OL' SOUTHERN BEAR HUG!!!!!

  7. Thankful for your realness. Looking forward to meeting you in a couple of weeks. Praying for God to meet your EVERY need!!!! Much love!, Shelly

  8. Leah, there is no "road map" to grief. Each person's journey down this road is as different and complex as the people that travel it. There is no correct or incorrect way to grieve, there is only the way that best allows you to deal with this huge reality change.

    There are some that get stuck on the circle track and just keep going round and round. Other's refuse to even admit that they are on this trip, then there are the speed demons that seem to just fly through this.

    There is no time line, or expiration date for the grief process. There is only one foot in front of the other, moving forward, backward, and sidways, sometimes seemingly all at the same time.

    You are exactly where you need to be in this process.

    Praying that in time you will reap the bounty of beauty that you have sown with your tears.


  9. Kudos girlfriend for being real! I know it hurts like the dickens, but in order to find healing, you have to walk through the pain. My heart aches for you. You mentioned looking for a support group. Have you looked for a SOS group (survivors of suicide) in your area? I'm involved in one in North Georgia and it connects you with others who have experienced a loss to suicide. Its just a thought. Praying for you!

  10. I chose to live my journey of grief on my blog as well when I lost my grandmother and you are so right -- there is freedom in writing the words, but there is the cost. I remember when someone told me they were "sorry I was still struggling" and it felt like a slap in my face. Of course I was still struggling! It had been a month! I went into this space of feeling like I wasn't grieving correctly or that I should be over it. Everyone grieves differently. There are no timetables, I think. You have to just let the waves wash over you when they come.

    I'll be praying for you. See you at She Speaks.

  11. Wow. I just read your blog and I'm trying to hold back tears. My heart just breaks for you. And yet you are still pressing forward?!!! That is a tremendous feat of accomplishment! I know you don't know me, but I am so proud of you. And I realize what an awesome God we serve, because he is able to carry you through this.
    I have suffered for a long time with depression, for reasons other than losing a spouse, and I am going to start a website to help others with depression. Assuming that you have gone through depression through your loss, would you be willing to write for my website? Or, if you have already written on that subject, could I include some of your writings on my site? I will also be attending She Speaks. I would love to meet you. I am Angie Osborne Faulstich on fb.

  12. My sweet sister,

    I am so sorry for your loss and for your pain. I'm asking God to flood you with His peace, hope, and joy. May He reveal Himself to you in all of the details of your day, and sprinkle your path with tokens of His encouragement and love. You are not alone.

    I don't know what you are going through...but I care. Years ago my fiance was killed tragically just a few short months before our wedding. The grief was horrific.

    I remember well when "well meaning" friends/church members, etc.. would comment and say just real "dumb" stuff. I realize now (years later) they just wanted to connect and offer support, but didn't know how. May God give you the grace to hear what others are really trying to say.

    I'm also praying for your She Speaks details. May everything come together quickly, and may God so blow your socks off during this weekend. I went last year and it's just so awesome to watch Him work!

    Hope to meet you soon!
    In His Great Love,
    Cindy :)

  13. Today you are walking out real life, and today it may mean walking in the mud puddles of life, and it may mean the mud is so think it exhausts you, and you just have to stop and sit in the mud. But today and every day you serve the God of the mud, the Savior who willingly came down from Heaven for the purpiose of sitting in the mud with you. Your emotions, raw and unpredictable even (to you) do not phase Him. He is with you, He is for you, He loves your tansparency - and if it touches only one person, He is the Shepherd Who said he would leave the nintey-nine to bring back the one. That's how He divides ministry, you know, it's in denominations of one. So if 99 come and check or rebuke you but one says "you touched my heart, you ministered to me" then the Lord looks upon you and says, "Well done good & faithful, let me deal with the 99." Be you, I have been following your blog since your husband's death, and I don't even remember how I stumbled upon it, but your realness and transparency are a blessing to me. Press on dear sister, and when you need to rest in the mud, know that Jesus is right there resting with you. Much love and blessing upon you, in Jesus' name!