7.07.2013

Monday's Musings - Living with Loss

In the living of life, we have struggles. Some of them are nameless. 

Others definitely have names: depression, divorce, disease, disappointments, defeat, death. The list could go on. But there's one struggle that kind of overrides many of the struggles we go through.

It's called loss.

Loss of a dream. Loss of hope. Loss of health. Loss of a career. Loss of a person. 

I think it contributes to the feeling of mid-life crisis. Or when we go through a season of feeling down or discouraged, but can't put our finger on what is really at the root of it. 

Losses don't have to be the "biggies" like the death of a loved one. 

They can seem small and insignificant. Like the realization that you may never get to take a cruise that you dreamed of as a kid because of the realization of a lack of funds you have as an adult. 

Maybe you wanted to be a writer but find your creative well dried up.
Maybe you've been rejected. Then you figure "they" must be right. And you give up on your dreams. 

Maybe you never found your "soul" mate and never married. 
Or you thought you did and then they broke your heart. 
Or you married them, only to end up disillusioned years into your marriage. 

We all go through losses. 

I'm in that season of life. 

As you may know, I lost my mother May 1, 2013. 
On May 17, 2013, I lost my father-in-law. 

Two weeks later, our eldest daughter married. Let me say clearly: we love our new son-in-law. We are so happy to have him in our family and completely support their marriage. 

But the deaths of two such precious loved ones was difficult so close to the wedding. 

Then I had major surgery two weeks after their wedding. 

Yep, my cup runneth over. But not in a way I would have chosen. 

And that's led me to think about the past year of my life. I traveled 6 - 7 times to another state to take care of my mom and father-in-law as they had medical situations. 

I have five kids. 

My father-in-law was in hospice care. My mom was not. We juggled caring for our parents for a year. 

No wonder I'm exhausted. That I'm sad. That I miss two dear people that I love.  

Often, when we go through losses like this, we ask the BIG question. 

You know, the one we say, "God, why?"

So far I haven't really asked Him that. I have decided that as hard as things in my life are right now, others over time have suffered far greater losses. And they made it. With their faith in tact. 

My mom and father-in-law were two of them. (But that's a musing for another Monday.)

Oddly, I've reached the conclusion that as sad as I am, that as hard as this is, God believes in me. He believes that this will not destroy me. That He can carry me through. That He can use this in my overall life. 

If He didn't, He would have had it happen in a very different order. 

The fact that the timing is so painful just makes me believe more that God has reasons for why this is happening. 

And that gives me peace

I still hurt. I still miss mom terribly. She was the most gracious, sweet woman you could meet. Every card sent to my dad says so. Literally. I hope to be more like her each day. Well, more like Christ in her. He made her who she was. And she'd be the first to tell you that. 

But do you know how comforting it is to think that the God of the universe knows that with His help, I can get through this very difficult season of life?

That blows me away. But I'm not that special. 

He has the same faith in you. It may feel like it's more than WE can handle. That's true. I can't handle this on my own. But to have God working in me to get through it? 

That's amazing. That's peace. That's comfort. 

So where in life are you struggling or dealing with loss? 

How can you see God working in this difficult area of your life? Having faith that HE can get you through. 

May God bless you with His grace. 







8 comments:

  1. Oh, Mary, my heart aches for you. Perhaps it's because I understand so well what you are going through. My life has been one loss after another. At the time of each loss, I felt I could not survive the pain. But I did. Now, I realize every loss draws us closer to God's heart. It's not easy. Of course, He didn't promise it would be easy--just that He would be there with us. There are so many things we will understand some day. Faith is knowing this and being willing to wait through the pain.

    The enabler in me wishes she could fix it all for you. But that would deny you the blessings that come from loss. I keep reminding myself of this concept--especially in the loss of my health, loss of control of decisions in my life, and loss of my son as my daily companion and best friend as he learns these lessons for himself.

    My prayers are always with you--daily. I love you as a sister and dear friend. Yes, you will survive this part of the journey. No, it will not be easy. But you are SO LOVED! You are not alone.

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    1. Karen, I love you too! I am so glad we me and can be friends. Thank you for wanting to fix it! That is so sweet. Please know that you are a great encouragement to me!

      I'm sorry for your losses. The losses that aren't as obvious, like the loss of health, can sneak up on us. Others may not see or realize how hard it is. I will pray about your health. I do understand.

      But you're right. These really hard times can make us run FROM GOD or TO GOD. I'm choosing to run to Him and tell Him I'm hurting. And He's been gracious to give me shoulders to cry on and dear friends like you to listen and understand.

      May God bless you today sweet friend!

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  2. Mary,

    What a rough time for you, but you're absolutely right. God is with you now and will draw you even closer. In any questions you may ask Him, you'll move even nearer. May He comfort you and Todd in this time.

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    1. Thank you Ellen! I know that you haven't had an easy time of life yourself. But your smile reflects how you love God and walk with Him. Thank you for your encouragement! We appreciate your prayers and concern!

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  3. Mary
    It's healthy to express your emotions to those who understand the valley of lostness & loss.
    May The Lord use your words in a mighty way.
    Peace & healing & Grace,..
    Sheri

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    1. Sheri, thank you for your encouragement of me over the past few years. You are a wise lady. I'm also praying for you. Thank you for praying for God to use my words.

      May you be blessed today!

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  4. Mary, I'm not even sure why I backed up to read this post today, but I'm glad I did. I had no idea what you'd been through. I will pray for you!

    Your situation reminds me of lyrics to a Terry Talbot song (John Michael's brother): "I'm like a stone thrown through the sea, I'm falling--and the waves all mold me as they may; to be reborn, and then to hear the calling, yes, that I'm still... still the Potter's Clay."

    I pray comfort for you. And I know the molding will yield an even more beautiful vessel for the King's use.

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    1. Robin, thank you so much for your prayers! They are helping me get through all of this.

      The lyrics to that song are beautiful! We used to listen to John Michael Talbot. I need to find his music online. The albums we had are long gone. Thanks for the reminder.

      And thanks for taking the time to read my story.

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