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WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

Black and White Clouds

The sky was blue—I didn’t care. The summer morning was cool, a slight breeze jiggled the leaves—So what?  The sun peeked through the needles of the pine tree just off our patio—I squinted. Shrugged. And sat huddled in the darkness of my soul on the cushion of my chair, sipping a steaming cup of coffee, oblivious and untouched by this one-of-a-kind splendid morning.

Early in the morning signature

Gloom saturated my spirit.  A tear slid down my cheek. I released a heavy sigh and closed my eyes and whispered, “Lord, if You’re here, I need to feel Your presence, and know You haven’t deserted me.”

It had been well over a year since our daughter’s death. No warning. No time for goodbyes. No I love you. Just gone—

Emptiness.

Loneliness.

And fear consumed me.

Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually.

Over the years I’ve replayed the foolishness of the words I spoke in those moments of grief…Lord, if You’re here…and …I need to know you haven’t deserted me.  Of course, God was there, but I was wounded and bleeding so bad I couldn’t feel His presence. No, He hadn’t deserted me, but it sure felt like He had.

In the throes of spiritual cardiac arrest, my heart and my spirit hemorrhaged despair.

God’s word says, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away…” but this was new ground for me. In my troubled state of mind, her death was unfair—a loss from which I would never recover.

Grief does that, you know—causes us to think irrational thoughts and demand absurd must- haves from God if we are to survive. Had the doctors taken an x-ray of my heart, mind,  and soul in that moment, they would have admitted me to ICU-Critical Care.

If you had asked, DiAne, what would it take for you to be alive, happy, and well again? I would have shot back… my daughter alive and well. Back with her family and us again.

But without my realizing and because the Spirit lives within me, even when I’m a stupid, sobbing child, He led me to do exactly what the Word of God tells us to do.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God…Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you…be afflicted, and mourn, and weep…humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:7-9 KJV).

Immediately a very different kind of breeze, the breeze of the comfort of God, physically swirled and wrapped around me in a warmth and secure love I cannot explain, kinda like that warm micro-waved blanket they wrap you in when you’re lying on a gurney in a hospital emergency room.  But I understood, without a doubt, God had done exactly what I asked—let me feel His presence. And on that patio some thirteen years ago, I build an altar and worshipped Him. A holy moment in time that stands as a testimony in other times of trial and heartache I don’t understand—He is there!

 

I’d love to tell you, all these years later, the sorrow is gone. No, not gone. Just different. But I rejoice in the new normal that always follows those first times of utter desperation.  If you trust Him to comfort, heal, and give you new hope—even when you believe you can’t move forward—He will carry you!

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The question for you today is—what will it take in your time of tragedy? What is enough to move you toward help, hope and healing? Is Jesus enough? Only you can answer that question, sweet friend. Is He?

 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away…I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:4,6-7, KJV).

I am thrilled to feature Renee Blare on my blog today—the release day of her newest powerful and suspenseful romantic novel.

 

RagingWaters copy (683x1024)

 

Raging Waters is indeed a wonderful read and I also highly recommend To Soar on Eagle’s Wings. So hurry and catch up—I’m waiting for the next book! – DiAne Gates, Author of Roped.

And another reviewer says: Once again, Renee Blare has delivered a powerful novel. Readers and lovers of such will not be disappointed at her writing talent. – Carole Brown, Award-winning Author.

***

 

Book Two of the Snowy Range Chronicles launches TODAY… July 8, 2016 and propels the series upward to new heights.

Suspense takes on new meaning in this book as the small town of Timber Springs faces the storm of the century during the peak of spring runoff. Paul Fitzgerald and Melissa Hampton must fight the battle of their lives as thunder and lightning reveal more than just rain.

Pick up your copy today and join the Paul and Melissa on their journey Through the Raging Waters.

If Mother Nature has her way, Timber Springs will never be the same…

A warm spring and early rainstorms melt the snowpack. Spring runoff compounded by the storm of the century sends Timber Springs into a tailspin.
Tossed into the role of rescuer, local pharmacist Paul Fitzgerald must face his past before the whole world falls apart. While he fights to contain the beast around him, he finds his steadfast control slipping through his fingers. And life…everyone’s life…hangs by a thread once again.
She isn’t a hero. Melissa Hampton has her own demons to battle. After she learns of her mysterious beginnings amidst her mother’s keepsakes, she faces more than just the river rushing outside her door. Now, she must discern friend from foe…but as waters rise and tension climbs within Timber Springs, she needs to rise to the challenge or lose the only man she’s ever loved.

Can two people find each other through raging waters?

 

The Author:Renee Headshot BH (3)

Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee Blare started writing poetry in junior high school. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains with her husband, crazy dogs and ornery cat, she continues to serve her community as a pharmacist while penning her Christian stories any chance she can get. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.
Website: http://www.reneeblare.com/

Blog: http://reneeblare.blogspot.com/

Group Blog: http://diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/tE055Wyzaso

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Through-Raging-Waters-Renee-Blare-ebook/dp/B01HBSB9BM/

(shortened) http://amzn.to/28NQIF3

 

 

TOGETHER–BUT APART

  Guys, have you ever wiped your eyes and said to a buddy, Man, I sure feel better after a good cry? And you say to me, You’re joking. Right? But ladies, I’m sure you remember your last good c…

Source: TOGETHER–BUT APART

TOGETHER–BUT APART

 

Prairie Creek 2016 2

Guys, have you ever wiped your eyes and said to a buddy, Man, I sure feel better after a good cry?

And you say to me, You’re joking. Right?

But ladies, I’m sure you remember your last good cry, and it made you feel better, didn’t it?

“And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27 NAS).

God made us male and female—uniquely different, but made for each other. And nowhere does this emotional difference exemplify itself more than when a man and woman are thrust into the throes of grief.

Men are fixers by nature. But guys, you can’t fix her this time. Only God can. You can’t make her tears go away, and your worst nightmare haunts your nights and days—you must travel through your own savage grief jungle of emotions and feelings. So most men do what to them seems proper—stuff those emotions deep in their hearts so they won’t have to deal with them. But, every grief stuffed will explode one day, like a shaken up Coca Cola, and it will be messy. Stuffed grief morphs into anger, depression, and countless other destructive emotions that traps and isolates the one suffering.

Meanwhile husbands, you’re left with a wife who bursts into tears every time she looks at you, or at a picture, or has a memory of her loss. A song, a TV commercial, or a flower can send her over the edge. And you don’t know what to do. So you attempt to ignore her tears, slap on a tough exterior, and a move forward attitude. Or at least that’s what you think will happen.

Pressure Cooker.jpg

But her tears don’t stop, because that’s how God made her. The pressure of sorrow and the fiery heat of loss shove women into the quagmire of grief. Female tears are like the regulator on a pressure cooker. Perhaps your grandmother had one—heat causes pressure to build inside the pot until the regulator jiggles off steam so the pot won’t explode. Tears are the regulator of grief, else the woman in your life will detonate.

Statistics show a high percentage of marriages fail after the death of a loved one, because the marriage partners don’t know how to grieve. And when their loss is a child, the rate of a failed marriage rises into the 75 to 80 percent range.

My mind travels to the couple in Orlando last week and the unspeakable, horrific, tragedy they experienced when their two-year-old was snatched and killed by an alligator. Unfortunately, when grief moves in reason and sanity flee. In our fallen state, humans seem to need to cast blame—even when there’s no cause for blame.  Couple blame with guilt, and anguish and you have a recipe for disaster.

But this couple’s marriage doesn’t have to fail, nor does yours, if you will seek help and learn how to travel through this dark and desperate valley together—but apart.

Space, coupled with understanding, is the key.

Every grief is unique, because people and relationships are unique. A father has a different relationship with his son or daughter than the mother does. Each are necessary. Each are good. But each are different. So it stands to reason the two parents would experience a different journey through grief.

Give your spouse permission to grieve in the way that brings them comfort. And that will probably mean spending some time apart—walking through this darkness together—but sometimes apart. Your wife may need to listen to the recording of the funeral many, many times. The recording may do nothing for you. Or your husband may need to spend time each week at the grave site—something that gives you the creeps. Give your mate permission to do whatever it takes to find comfort during this dark time.

Wives, schedule days with girlfriends who are comfortable with and can relate to your tears. Girlfriends who will cry with you. Then come together with your husband at the end of the day, in order to mesh your paths and plans together for the future when the time is appropriate. But assure and reassure each other of your never ending love and commitment to each other.

Keep your expectations as close to your reality as possible. None of us think or discern well during those early days of grief, but the lurking problems  can be reduced to manageable size if your expectations linger in close proximity to the reality of your loss.

In other words, wives, don’t expect your husband to sit with you for hours and watch you cry. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. No. The reality is he’s not ever going to react the same way you do.  Expecting him to join your boohoo times will leave you clutching unrealistic expectations, which will make you angry and make him more likely to avoid you like the plague.

Husbands don’t withhold hugs of comfort from your wife when she weeps. I promise your comfort won’t extend her tears, she requires your approval and understanding to move forward.

Guys don’t seclude yourself in your shop, den, or binge on hunting and fishing without explanation. Acknowledge to your wife this is how you deal with the overwhelming loss you are experiencing. Silence won’t make grief go away, but men need more silent time than women during this process.

Schedule time to talk. Openly. Honestly. And lovingly about your feelings. Please don’t be afraid of feelings. Darkness and ignoring one another morphs emotions to unmanageable, but exposing these little stinkers to light diminishes them. The very best way to accomplish this delicate balance is to find a GriefShare Support Group near you. Go to www.griefshare.org and click on Find-A-Group. Type in your zip code to locate a group nearby and go. Together.

You can’t ignore grief. You can’t go around, over, or under grief—you must travel through it. Together. There is life after grief. A good life. But it takes work, patience, and love. And yards and yards of time.

 

“Remember my afflictions and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore, I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore, I have hope in Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:19-26 NAS).

 Coming Storm 2

DiAne and her husband lost both sets of parents and a
 twenty-eight-year old daughter within a five-year period.
 She has led GriefShare Recovery Groups for the past
thirteen years and often blogs about grieving. Click
on articles from August 2012, September 2012, October, 2012
https://dianegates.wordpress.com/

 

 

TRAPPED IN THE MAZE

His sobs wailed inconsolable! And I couldn’t find him. Other children whooped and hollered as they slid in and out of the red, yellow, and white overhead tunnel maze at our neighborhood Chick-Fil-A…

Source: TRAPPED IN THE MAZE

TRAPPED IN THE MAZE

His sobs wailed inconsolable!

And I couldn’t find him.

Other children whooped and hollered as they slid in and out of the red, yellow, and white overhead tunnel maze at our neighborhood Chick-Fil-A.

Chick-Fil-A 1

I dashed from side to side, calling his name while ducking under the twists and turns of bumping knees, smacking feet, and sounds of laughter, hoping to catch a glimpse of my three-year-old grandson. But, I couldn’t see him and he was too lost and too overwhelmed to stop crying and listen for my voice.

A young boy tugged my sleeve. “He’s right up there, ma’am.” And he pointed to a joint that split left and right. He couldn’t see us and couldn’t find his way out, so he sat down and cried. Loud and long. His eyes squeezed shut, scrubbing his little fists in tear puddles. His shoulders shook and my heart shattered. Even though my arms wanted to grab him and comfort his fears, I couldn’t get to him.

Chick-Fil-A 2

“I’ll get him for you.” The kind youngster crawled through the corridors and in seconds had hold of our boy, leading him to safety, and into the arms of his equally bewildered Mimi.

Where are you in the everyday maze of life? Side-swiped by finances. Run-over by relationships. Overwhelmed by chaos. Confused and terrified, not hearing or knowing where or how to find peace and stability from the onslaught of others playing bumper cars in life’s maze. Are you in desperate need of a brother or sister to come alongside and walk with you.

Coming Storm

During those heart wrenching times remember, Jesus is right there with you? Wherever you are. His arms open wide, calling your name. Offering comfort and peace, even when you refuse to hear Him. Just like my grandson, do you find yourself slumped in a heap, eyes squeezed shut and sobbing? Shut down–immobilized by fear—unable to move forward?

There is hope. In His name—the name of Jesus. You don’t need fancy prayers. Simple words like “Jesus, help me!” Powerful words. He will calm your fright, dry your tears, and hold you close while the light of His presence shines on your path home.

Cuddled in his Mimi’s arms, a little box of nuggets, fries, and a coke later, our grandson had forgotten his fear of the boys and girls tumbling over and around him, and was ready to exhibit his maze crawling skills. He promised if lost he would be still and listen, knowing his Mimi was watching and waiting to dash to his rescue—just like Jesus watches and waits for your 911 call.

Coming Storm 2

So yep, during our half-mile walk to the bus stop, a group of friends and I concocted a plan–a stupid plan–to skip school the next day…

Source: SIX WORDS THAT STUCK LIKE GLUE

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