Monday, February 27, 2017

The Angers Melts…Back Into Sadness

I learned this during Widow Journey #1. Grief is not linear. I had the naive idea I would simply walk through the steps of grief, check the boxes off as I completed each one until I reached the end of the list. It surprised me (initially)…it doesn’t work that way. Grief is so much messier (and less patterned) than that. I have been reminded of that again.

The anger I’ve been dealing with as of late seems to have dissipated quite a bit and morphed back into sheer sadness. All I have to do is look around this house we recently purchased together, and the tears start to pour. We never had the opportunity to finish settling in. There are numerous unfinished projects in every room just screaming for Joel’s hand to touch each one in his perfect, creative ability to do so. I’m sure I can tackle some on my own, but I truthfully don’t want to. The sadness wins out.

I hear the children talk about daddy amongst themselves, and the tears well up in my eyes.

Katerina: “I talk to Daddy. He’s with Jesus.”

Benjamin: “You can’t talk to Daddy. He can’t hear you.”

Josiah: “Daddy died. He’s in Heaven with Jesus.”

Katerina: “He’ll come back soon.”

Benjamin: “No he won’t. He’s never coming back.”

Austyn: “I miss daddy.”

These are snippets of conversations they have over and over with themselves. I pipe in to correct what needs correcting, but for the most part…I let them talk. Austyn, on the other hand, knows that daddy went to Heaven but is expecting him to return soon. He doesn’t grasp the finality of it all.

Friends…while I might be angry at times, very sad at other times, full of “why” questions continually, exasperated, exhausted, and feeling isolated and alone…one thing I know to be true, and I will say this until God calls me Home:

GOD IS GOOD!!!

There is no part in this tragedy, no part in my emotional swings, no part of my faith that disagrees with that statement.

GOD IS GOOD!!!!

And…His plan is always better. He sees the big picture, that I/we cannot see. It’s only been just under six years since I lost my last husband, Chris. Since that time…I witnessed time and again the evidence of the sovereignty and greatness of God, even amongst many, many tears.

The tears have returned…this time for the tragic loss of my prince…my Joel! I’m sure if I’d measured, I would have filled buckets full by now. And yet…God has captured each one. They are not lost to Him. I know He holds me when I scream, when I sob, when I shake, and when I whimper. He knows my pain better than I know it myself. And…so…I turn to Him…the author of life and death. My Comforter.

For today, anger is mostly gone…the tears are heavy, but God is here.

 

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I. Am. Angry.

I know the emotion of anger is a common one of grief. I probably experienced it more times than I can count the first time I became a widow.

I’ve encountered small bouts of it already in my 11 days on this grief journey. Yesterday, however, beat all. I felt I had “anger overload”. Everything set me off…the littlest of things caused me to short-fuse. I couldn’t point to one thing, in particular, that started this anger ball rolling…then again, YES I could…

MY HUSBAND JUST UNEXPECTEDLY DIED!!!

Friends, I’m trying so hard to be strong, especially for my children. And…just when I think I’m on top of everything, I fall apart and fail yet again. I thought it was hard to single parent one child through the paralyzing effects of grief (as I did the first time). This…this is entirely different. I have to be “on” all the time. I haven’t yet returned to work, but that will happen soon. Even so, my days are currently full with appointments and things related to Joel’s death. My evenings are full of being mommy to my littles, who are so desperate to figure out this “void” in our lives.

I am angry my children’s behavior has turned a bit south, and yet…I understand why.

I am angry I can’t seem to comfort them the way they need to be comforted right now.

I am angry I don’t have time to simply “sit and process” what has just taken place in our lives and think through the next steps, because I can’t stop “doing”.

I am very angry I’ve been asked to walk the road of widowhood TWICE in less than six years.

I am very angry our adopted children don’t have an earthly daddy anymore.

I am very angry our baby Austyn will likely not remember the amazing man who gave him his last name.

I am angry we just moved into this new home that was to be our forever home, and we still have boxes to unpack and never had the chance to make it OURS.

I am angry there are multiple unfinished projects all over this house.

I am angry I can’t seem to intellectually figure out what happened to Joel that led to him leaving us so soon.

I am angry that nothing brings me lasting joy right now.

I am angry my 3-year-old kicks and screams when being dropped off at preschool now, because he can’t trust mommy will come back. (And…while I say I will, the truth is…we never know when we’ll be called home.) I simply want to hold him, assure him, and comfort his broken heart.

Even within this extreme battle of anger I’m dealing with, I still have my faith. I still trust God’s plan is ALWAYS better. Always. I may not understand. I may be angry. Yet…He can see the big picture I can’t see. And…for that…I trust Him.

I also know He understands my anger and can handle it. Please pray for me/us! The pain remains excruciating.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Monday, February 20, 2017

Back in Deep Waters

Here I am again…somewhere between what feels like a cruel joke and utter insanity. I am in a place of complete shock. Extreme pain. A pit of sadness that seems to have no bottom floor. Twice widowed in less than six years.

I have asked God over and over…how can this be? How can someone be so much alive one day and simply gone two days later? I don’t have the answer yet, and I may not this side of Heaven, but I still trust Him!

For all who have asked, we’re not exactly sure what happened, but my precious Joel got sick, had a successful surgery and at some point in the hours following surgery – he contracted double pneumonia and sepsis. His body went into septic shock, and he never recovered. With his family surrounding him, and with my hands on his head and chest…he entered into His one true home of Heaven at 12:37 am on February 12.

I still lie awake at night, expecting him to come join me in our bed so we can chat about the day and dream about our future. There have been so many times over the last eight days where I’ve had to stop myself from saying, “Let me check with Joel…” I simply can’t believe it’s over. Our beautiful marriage of only 4.5 years, and our life together with four newly adopted little ones. What happened?

I’m grieving like I’ve never grieved before. I’m trying to be strong for our children, but…in doing so…my grief bottles up for a time, and when it finally pours out when their little eyes aren’t looking, it hurts so deeply.

We’ve had an outpouring of love upon our family. Meals coming in daily; monetary gifts through GoFundMe, MealTrain, PayPal, and in cards; car maintenance; house cleaning; laundry; playing with the children while I rest my brain; two meals for our family on the day of the service and burial (in two different towns hours apart) and so much more!! My mind can’t even conceive how deeply we’re being loved on. People continue to ask how they can help, but I honestly can’t think at this point to create a list. As a I told the principal this morning at the school were three of our children attend, “Simply do whatever God leads you to do.” He knows our needs – the immediate ones and those down the road. Allow Him to guide you.

Thank you for your love, your prayers (which are completely sustaining us right now), and your concern. While I’m deep in the darkness of the tunnel right now, I will one day see light again. And…I know He rescued me from these deep waters before, and He’ll do it again. Until then…I hurt…

 

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Where Has the Time Gone?

Yes. I’m still here in Blogland. There’s so much I’ve been wanting to share with you, but life has been “huge” as of late, and I’ve honestly had to step back from writing projects for a bit. But, oh how I’ve missed this oasis.

2016 was a BIG…HUGE…GINORMOUS…year for us. If acclimating to life with our newest Bulgarian cuties wasn’t enough, we also completed the adoption of our two-year-old foster son and bought a new house and relocated three counties away! We’ve been in the new house almost three months but still have boxes to unpack!

As for the Bulgarian sibling group we adopted at the end of 2015, they are thriving!

From one year ago to now…such a difference!

They only speak English now, and honestly…they have been doing so since around the three month mark. It’s absolutely astonishing to me to see how quickly these kiddos picked up a new language. We have had our challenges (more to share on some of that in later posts), but we’ve also been blessed immensely. Adoption is the hardest thing we’ve tackled as a couple, but I can’t imagine our life without these precious brown-eyed, olive-skinned, beautiful children.

Then comes Austyn. We simply thought we were caring for him until he was reunified with his biological family, but God had other plans. This little guy is now our son. It brings tears to my eyes to type those words. Our SON! I am overwhelmed at the blessing this little boy has been to our family. He loves his siblings, and they adore him. Sure…they fight sometimes…as siblings do, but the love they have between each other wins out every single time. This little guys brightens up every room he walks into. He’s full of love, laughter, and such an intense personality. He’s a go-getter (even at the age of two), and I know God has great plans for him.

Our relocation a little more eastward has been challenging (as far as moves go), but we’re so excited to finally be in our home and don’t plan to leave for a long, long time. Hopefully not until we retire (if then). Ha! When Joel and I married, he committed to making the commute from my hometown to his job (75 miles one way) in order for my girlie to graduate from high school. He ended up commuting for over four years. We knew we would end up moving eventually, but we didn’t know if that would be in the same county but closer to his work or out of the county. We chose the latter, because we were able to get so much more house for the money. I have the commute now, but I love it!!! I have so much thinking time, and my INFJ personality type desperately needs that.

We can’t wait to see all that’s in store for our life in our new town. We’re open to whatever God brings our way, and we know that could be a wild ride, as it’s been nothing less than that up to this point.

And…if all that wasn’t enough…my first book was published in June. That project produced a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. LOTS of tears, as I had to relive my first year as a widow. There were many days my heart ached so deeply and yet to be reminded of God’s faithfulness time and time again during those dark days of my life was nothing short of gracious. My goal with Rescued and Restored is to bring hope to those in need of it. While it’s a story of grief and restoration from the tragic suicidal death of my husband, it’s so much more than that. It’s not just for widows…it’s for anyone in need of rescue…in need of healing…in need of hope. You can get it here (paperback and Kindle formats available). I’m also willing to come share my story at a women’s event or retreat, and you can learn more about that here.

As for Out of Deep Waters…I plan to be here a lot more often and more consistently. And…believe it or not…you might be seeing me in other places as well. Lots of stuff in the works I’ll reveal as time goes on.

Thank you for stopping by and being faithful even through the “desert periods”. Feel free to comment and say hi! I would love to hear from you!

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rescued and Restored – GIVEAWAY TIME!

BookCoverImage_ThumbThanks so all who have shown such amazing support for my first book, Rescued and Restored, through your precious comments, purchases of the Kindle and/or paperback formats and, of course, by reading it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! My deepest prayer throughout this entire project has been – even through my publishing and writing mistakes, through my marketing fiascos, through my simple-minded efforts – may God be glorified! It’s only through Him I even have a story to share in the first place!

As a thank you for sharing in this journey with me, I have three signed copies of Rescued and Restored to give away! If you’ve already purchased a copy for yourself, perhaps you’ll consider entering the giveaway for a friend or to keep on your bookshelf until God leads you to the person He plans for you to share it with. He’s good like that, ya know!

To enter, simple fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The first entry category is mandatory, all others are optional but give you greater chances of winning. The mandatory entry simply asks you to leave a comment right here on this post, answering the following question: How long have you known about Leah’s unexpected journey through widowhood? That’s it! Just click on the “Leave a Comment” button in blue at the bottom of this post to leave your response. Then proceed to enter the remaining giveaway categories should you choose to do so. This is a 48-hour only giveaway! It starts at 10 pm ET on Wednesday, July 6 and ends at 10 pm ET on Friday, July 8. I’ll randomly select the winner this weekend and announce on Monday, July 11!

I can’t wait to see who ends up with these three giveaway copies! Many blessings to each of you!

Just an FYI…if you are ever interested in having me speak at an event you’re hosting, please contact me! For more information on the topics I most commonly speak on, click HERE. To inquire about booking me for an event, fill out this form HERE.

Thanks friends and readers!

Update: The giveaway has ended, and all three winners have been notified. Thank you for your support of Rescued and Restored!

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks