Finding HOPE While Living with Loss

Finding HOPE While Living with Loss   

 Loss has visited close to home recently.  From a good friend who lost her mom to a dear friend who lost her battle with cancer.  Loss is difficult for everyone.

How do we find hope in the midst of loss is a difficult question to struggle with?  I have experienced hope during loss in a couple of different ways.

Sometimes there is hope even after loss when there is also new life.

The birth of my grandkids brought some hope even in the season of grieving the loss of my own children through miscarriage.

Their little lives brought joy and laughter even through the time of sadness.  I have also had a new a new dog bring hope and comfort when I have lost my best dog friend.

Most often I have experienced hope after loss through encounters with my Loving Father.  Some of the greatest losses in my life have been followed by hope filled experiences with God’s love.

When my mom passed away, though she had been sick for 12 years, it seemed like a shock.  I was not ready to let her go.

She died on a Saturday evening and the next morning while worshiping and grieving during church service, God blessed me with the reminder that Mom was worshiping that morning too.

She had been nonverbal for at least the last 8 years of her life (due to Alzheimer’s disease) so the thought of her standing at the feet of Jesus singing praises to Him face to face brought amazing comfort and joy.

The grief was made more bearable with the reminder of where she was that morning and for eternity yet to come.

The second time I experienced God’s great comfort was just a couple of years ago, when I was still struggling with the grief of losing my only children by miscarriage.

It was a difficult struggle for years, there were so many unanswered questions.  Why would the Lord let me get pregnant only to lose my children before they ever got to take their first breath and experience my love for them.

I had so many hopes and dreams.  Being a mom had been the desire of my heart for as long as I could remember.

Again, the Lord graciously reminded me that their death was not the end of their life.  They were safe with Him and my Mom in heaven.  When that truth came to me the overwhelming peace that followed was beyond description.

I had struggled for so long with questions and confusion regarding this loss but all of that became unimportant.  They were ok and I would meet them someday, peace & hope replaced all the anger and confusion that had just been there.

Today as I grieve the passing of my friend and grieve the disappearing of my dad, I find hope in the character of God.  I know that God is Good.

I know that God loves me no matter what happens in this life, and that truth motivates me to hold on to HOPE today and the many days to come.

 

How do you find Hope, even in the midst of grief?  

I held my children in my womb but never in my arms….

My entire life like most little girls I have always wanted to be a mommy.  I never imagined I would be a mom of 2 precious children I never got to hold, cuddle, kiss or even have to discipline.

After my first marriage ended I was still hopeful I would remarry and have children.  No I would not be the young mom I thought I would be but I never dreamed I would not be a mom someday. Eccl 11:5

Then it happened.  Ron and I had been married over 2 years and I was finally pregnant.  If you have struggled with infertility you know what the monthly rollercoaster ride is like.  I didn’t even bother to take a test until I as a few weeks late.  We were so excited!  I was so sick.

It was an answered to many hours of prayers for sure.

Then it happened.  Just the Friday before our fist doctor’s appointment, I started spotting.  It wasn’t much so I was totally unprepared for the news that Monday.

As the nurse did the ultrasound she told us there were twins.  But the look on her face was not one of joy, rather concern.  Our first baby, Isaac, looked to have stop developing at a little less than 8 weeks.  The second baby, Lillian, was much bigger, at least 10 weeks old but there was no movement.  The doctor came in to confirm neither of them had made it.

I was in shock.  My heart was shattered! How could this be happening?  They were the answer to my prayers!

After losing the twins life went on and I did my best to trust God in this and wait for my chance to be a mom.  The longer time went by and we still were not pregnant the more my heart crumbled.  I had been through tough stuff before and always found God Good but this time I struggled.

How could God give me two babies and never let me hold them, play with them, or even celebrate their life?  It felt cruel not good!  I really struggled getting past it.

Thankfully I had a good friend who lead me to the lap of God and encouraged me to ask Him to understand.  Our father always wants to talk to us and bring healing, we often just don’t know how to ask for it.

That day my Lord helped me to see His eternal perspective.  He had answered my prayer.  I am a mom.  In my mind’s eye and in my heart He showed me my two beautiful children.  They were on his lap laughing and happy.  He reminded me that just because they did not grow up here on earth did not mean they didn’t exist; they just went on ahead.

They are waiting for me in heaven and we will spend eternity together.

That day I started to call them by name, Isaac & Lillian and I embraced motherhood.  Mother’s Day has always been a difficult holiday for me.  Between losing my mom to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis at 16 and the struggle of infertility and now miscarriage I would rather just sleep all day to be honest.

But now I have the vision of my mom, Isaac and Lillian all together in Heaven with my Lord and I praise my Great God for answered prayer.

Of course I would rather have had them live here with me first but I know that God is faithful, loving and good and I trust that eternity will be long enough!

Is there something that you have experienced that doesn’t make sense or goes against the character of God?  Go to Him.  Ask to understand, He will give you clarity around the situation if you ask with an open heart.  People often stay stuck in the whys of hurts when clarity can help you move forward.  Clarity gives us hope.

Being able to ask God what I needed to heal gave me clarity and brought healing I wasn’t even sure was possible.


When has God met you in a place that helped you find clarity?

Review by Rayna: Rare Bird

Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love

By:  Anna Whiston-DonaldsonReviews by Rayna Rare Bird

Rare Bird is the memoir of Love and Loss by Anna Whiston-Donaldson.  Her book is a poignant story of her journey of trying to find how to live again after the loss of her 12-year-old son, Jack.  Jack was killed in a tragic accident and Anna instantly went from a mom of two to a mom of one. How in the world do you do that?  Anna shares her journey in this memoir. She writes in an easy to read style though the subject is heart breaking.

I appreciated how she lets the reader get to know Jack in a realistic way.  Her ability to share stories of Jack with us was powerful.  Her momma’s heart was obvious but she did not make Jack into a saint, rather shared the many sides of him. This openness helped me develop a true love for him which made the loss even more real for me as the reader.

Anna also allowed me to walk with her through days and years of grief.  Her transparency was amazing to me and blessed me.  Her need for and struggle with her faith during this unthinkable time of her life was encouraging to my heart.

I cannot imagine learning to live again after a loss like Anna and her family had to but I am thankful she has learned this, not to mention her willing to share it with us.

Though Rare Bird is a difficult book to read due to the subject Ann’s ability to share her heart and the ultimate hope in our Lord is a blessing and I encourage you to go there with her.

 

You can purchase your copy at Amazon.com

 

God is Calling

eph 6 78


I clutched my chest in pain; it’s my heart.

I can hardly breathe . . .

Is this it Lord, is it time to come home already?   I thought I was called to do more?

I have always felt that the Lord had a special calling on my life.

Since I was the only one who attended church in my family I always felt that the Lord had worked especially hard to draw me to himself.  His saving grace has always encouraged me to honor and praise Him in all that I do.

Walking closely with the Lord

As I have shared in other posts, life has brought its share of heartache and stressors but I have always found the Lord to be faithful. (Read more at http://takeheartcoaching.com/making-the-lord-my-best-friend/)  I found hope in His precious scriptures and in the peace that only He could bring.

Praying for guidance

At each cross road in my life I faced it with prayer and a heart’s desire to do that which I felt the Lord was telling me.  As a teenager I had sensed a calling to serve the Lord as a preacher’s wife, so when I met and married my first husband I thought that was my life long ministry.  But when my marriage ended I was unsure how I was to serve now.

Serving when and where ever I can.

I have served as a nursery worker, Small group Bible Study Leader, Women’s Ministry coordinator, and even Financial Peace University Facilitator.  I have enjoyed wearing many hats since the pastor’s wife hat was removed.

Then I had elective surgery.

I had torn my ACL (ligament) in my knee years before playing volleyball.  I decided to have it fixed, I wasn’t getting any younger and it was getting weaker.  Surgery went very well and I was on the mend.  Two weeks after surgery, I had worked too long and my knee was really screaming at me. I finally made it home to rest.  Suddenly, I had terrible chest pain and felt that I could not take a breath.  I was really scared.  I had never experienced anything like this before.

As I stood up, I became lightheaded and passed out.

Once I made it to the hospital I found out that I had a saddle pulmonary embolism (a blood clot).  The blood clot had passed through my heart chambers causing the pain and then got stuck right where the two major arteries split and go into the two lungs.

I should not have survived.

The clot blocked 5 major arteries, which was why I could not stay conscious when I was upright.  Lying on my back the blood could pass through to the lungs and it needed to stay right where it was.  If it moved at all, I would not make it.  As I spent the next 8 days in the hospital, doctors would come by to meet me because they had never seen a person still alive who had a blood clot as large as mine.  Over and over again I was told that I was a miracle.

I knew it wasn’t me that was the miracle, God saved me.

Once I realized the seriousness of what had happened it began to hit me.  God was not done with me yet, there was more here on earth for me to do.  The feeling that God saved me for something more was clearly placed on my heart.  I don’t feel that I completely understand what it is He still has for me yet but I am ready when He reveals it to me.

 

Until then I will do everything I can to glorify His name in every way every day.  Serving in the small stuff or just the daily life stuff is important and that is what I try to do each day.

Do you feel called?  How do you live your calling?


Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

Ephesians 6:7-8 (NIV)

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