Changed Pain

Grieving can be a bit of a frightful ordeal, especially when you are in a position where almost you alone grieve loss of the person.

I was so afraid to face my loss that I opted to keep myself super busy so I had virtually no time to think about it, but of course, that’s easier said than done.

When an event I would normally be excited about came up, I did not want to go, not even a little bit, but I am now in the habit of telling myself that things are very different for me now. I have a new family who truly loves the Lord and really knows Him and I don’t have to feel the need to isolate myself and deal with things alone.  So, I went, and I am so glad I did.

At the event, two of my new family members prayed over me in a way that I couldn’t pray for myself.  It amazes me how, in the midst of my own stuff, I can come out of it to passionately pray for others but I cannot seem to do the same for myself.  Anyway, I told them how I really was, when they asked.  They held me in a way I had not been held before by anyone outside of my husband and prayed over me.  That was when the first change took place.  I realized in that moment that for the second time, I was experiencing something previously foreign to me, something that I’d never think to pray for.  I remembered in that moment, another loved one’s prophecy over me, “God is answering prayers you’ve not uttered.”, as she herself held me in a way that I’d not been held before.  To my surprise, I loved it and held on to her for dear life.  They prayed exactly what I would have prayed if I could have, I wanted God to help me to not fall apart that day.  I wanted to wait until it was just the two of us and I would pour out my heart to Him.  He answered that prayer.

I later joked about it saying that God “put a cork in my cry spout”, but as my spiritual father, Russ said, God doesn’t operate like that.  What He really did, was change my pain-again.  The sense around the loss is one of hope and peace, as with my beautiful sister Kerri, who left me with the gift of knowing exactly where she is and that I will never part from her again when we next meet.

The next day, Sunday, at a special service, I went up and led worship with the worship team.  I knew prophetically that things had changed and would change even more by the end of that service and it did.  See, I have been a bit shy about singing the song of the Lord (singing prophetically).  I thought I would have to be perfect and not get in the way and all these other religious ideas and wrong notions.  Anyway, at some point, Russ broke out, singing the song of the Lord.  He sang a line that came to him and I found myself at first echoing the line, supporting him. Then, the next thing I knew, everyone was following me as I floated up, up, up, singing whatever I was singing in my coloratura range.  I don’t recall what I was doing, I felt like I wasn’t even there, I was somewhere alone with my Abba.  I saw nothing, but I could faintly hear the worship team fully supporting me and I heard Russ laugh out loud, happy that I had finally done it.

Russ, had to later help me with this because something happened in that moment for me and I have trouble explaining it.  It was, as he helped make sense of it, as if something out of joint, was clicked into gear. Something was set aright, properly aligned- a big, heavy (though not burdensome) something.  I have been different ever since. How?  I don’t know but different, all the same, and I don’t take lightly, the growing numbers of mourning doves I am seeing, even as I type this, one is just outside my window.  Far from what their name suggests, they are a symbol of the Holy Spirit, hope and peace.  Because there are no coincidences in Christ, I latch on to the meaning of what they represent.

This week, after discovering that my oldest daughter was experiencing symptoms of grief, I decided to take off for the week.  We did no activities; and while I hate missing opportunities to pray for and prophecy over people, I know the Lord honors our taking time to just be and honor our sweet little one.  It was a good week.

Maybe I Don’t Hate Winter Anymore, Maybe I Like It… A Little…

As I transitioned from adolescence, into adulthood, I began to hate winter and pretty much everything associated with it.  Growing up in DC, there wasn’t too much snow, but there was just enough that I was very familiar with it and just little enough that what snow came, seemed to shut the entire city down.  I remember how horrific a simple trip to the supermarket could be just before, during or after a snowstorm.  To get away from the bitter cold, I decided to go to FL for college- then I missed the changed of seasons (insert eye roll).

For the last 9 years, we’ve lived in New Jersey. It gets really cold.  A totally different cold from DC and definitely  more snow than DC but nothing stops.  I remember taking voice over classes in NY during one winter. It snowed and my DC frame of mind said there would be no class.  Then I got a call from “Uncle Roy” (my teacher).  When he asked where I was, I thought he was joking but I was fully expected to show up, despite the weather.  I thought he’d confused me with the mail carrier.

Every winter here hasn’t been so bad but dealing with the bitter cold, the slipping and sliding, the near head on collision with a tree with a screaming infant in the back seat, the sweet babies who insist on coming earthside just before, during or just after a snowstorm, the fact that my air traffic controlling husband is almost always having to go to work regardless of the weather- started to really take a toll on me.  I began to hate winter and would dread the start of each snow storm that found my husband having to be out in it.  There was so much to hate about it.

This last year has been one of major changes for me so, I thought I’d see what I could do about changing my perspective and attitude towards winter.  I normally only like spring, but this year as we grew our own vegetables for the first time, I grew to love summer.  Now that Autumn is coming to a close, I can say it has made its way into my affections as well with all the beautiful colors, the wonderful food, and how the temperatures are pretty perfect-not blazing hot but not freezing cold.  Although winter isn’t technically here for a few more weeks, you can’t convince me it’s not winter since we’ve already had a few days of snow.  Today, I had to take a two-hour drive to visit a client NW of me.  I listened to Family Talk on xm radio and happily drove along.  That’s when I noticed the beauty that permeates the winter season

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No joke, I hated the season so much that I never noticed how beautiful it really is, it looks so peaceful, so tranquil and quiet.  As soon as I noticed the beauty of it, I heard the beginning of Ecclesiastes 3, starting with the first verse, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Then, I thought of how God’s love covers us and Isaiah 1: 18 came to mind,  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The snow-covered ground and trees made me remember how He has covered my sins, cleansed me of all unrighteousness and made me righteous simply because I believe and trust in Him.

My mind then turned to the idea of sleep- how precious sleep is, and how necessary it is for our well-being. I began to thank Him for winter, for a time when the nights are longer, it’s colder, so that’s a reason for the many hot baths we’re all enjoying in our home and the way it forces one to slow down a bit and rest.  Resting in Him is one of the most wonderful things I learned to do this year.  Talk about transformation!!  I see winter as an open invitation to rest in Him, spend time just being and reflect on all He has done. I’m so grateful that it took only for me to want to see this one season differently, and like always, He has met me where I am and helped me along. What an amazing Daddy!  I can’t wait to see what else he shows me!