Saturday, May 7, 2022

I Sent This Note To My People This Week

If you're going through a season of grief or loss, please don't assume that people will know what you need.  Most of us don't have a crystal ball and we err on the side of doing nothing because we're not sure what to say ... or assume that you probably need space.  

Be clear as to what will work for you.  And you'll find that most people will be eager to come alongside and help you carry your load.

We were created to do life in the company of others.  Even if we have nothing to offer in return except a tearful 'thanks.' 

A few days ago, I sent the note below to several ministry groups I'm a part of.  The variety of warm and lovely responses I've received have re-filled my rapidly emptying cup and reminded me again of Christ's steady, strengthening presence in the midst of weakness and sorrow.  To say I'm grateful would be a huge understatement.

God speaks through the lovingkindness of His people.  And we all get blessed in the process.


Dear Friends ~

Mom continues on her long trip Homeward.  The ups and downs of her decline have really thrown me ... this month after month process has been like a rollercoaster ride in slow motion.  I am emotionally shot even while spiritually at peace.  
 
I would so appreciate your prayers for our family.  And to hear from you would mean so much to me as we sit with her day in and out.  It is isolating and stressful ... and honestly, I have nothing to offer in return. 
 
Thanks for letting me be honest with you about what I need in this fragile, unsettling time.  I am grateful for that kind of community we have built together.
 
Bless you ~
Linda

* photo by dear friend Debby Hudson on Unsplash

* I'm keeping the E-Book Deals page up and running even though no one's dropping in.  For some reason I'm getting the green light to keep it going.  There's some good stuff in there, specially selected with you in mind.  Thanks for taking 30 seconds to scroll through the titles ... enjoy.

48 comments:

  1. Every Weds night I pray for you and your family.

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    1. Wow. And if I remember, this past Wednesday was particularly hard. To know you were interceding during that time is an amazing gift. Especially since I have no idea who you are.

      Bless you.

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  2. Praying for you and your family, Linda, sometimes multiple times in one day. This is a heartwrenching journey you are on. May the God of all peace and grace surround you with His love.

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    1. Martha, you are such a faithful friend. Thank you for that benediction. Yes, I feel surrounded and covered and blanketed ... all those good things.

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  3. You and your mom have been in my thoughts and prayers. My heart aches for you as you struggle day in and day out. And for your mom. How she must long to be released from her pain and taken to Jesus.

    It can be so difficult wanting to keep our loved ones here but at the same time asking Jesus to take them to Himself where they will be free from pain.

    Thank you for sharing your heart, my friend. May God give you and your family strength for each moment!

    *subscriber response

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    1. Thankfully, Mom is usually resting comfortably without pain. I'll sing the praises of Hospice forever. They have worked well to honor our wishes for her care. And yes, God has been faithful to give us those bursts of strength and energy when we especially needed those jolts.

      Your continued notes of encouragement brighten my day, friend ...

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  4. Your presence is all you need to offer your mom as it is always your best gift. I am sure she finds peace and comfort in this. Continuing in prayer for you.

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    1. Debby, thanks ... those words are kind and especially meaningful as we've gotten to the place where she's not quite sure who I am anymore.

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  5. Thinking of you ... And then I saw your blog right after. Beautiful words. I am so grateful you have your people leaning in - a blessing of God's perfect love.

    * subscriber response

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    1. You're my people, girl ... and I am yours. Always!

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  6. Linda, I so appreciate that even though you are in the middle of an extreme trial,
    you are reaching out to others.  Encouraging them to reach out to their brothers
    and sisters is a precious gift to them.  You are truly living out. 2Corinthians 1:3-4.
    Many are praying for you and your family.    

    * subscriber response

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    1. It wasn't long til I realized that isolating wasn't helping ... I'm learning to practice what I preach!

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  7. Your mom may not remember your name, but surely finds peace and comfort in your loving and soothing presence. You are running a difficult race with perseverance, Linda, as you sacrifice time and effort on her behalf. And God smiles upon your sacrifice (Hebrews 13:16).

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    1. Reading that God is smiling makes me smile, too, Nancy ... He knows all will be well and that we'll look back on this time and see His faithfulness every step of the way.

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  8. Words are inadequate to express the emotions you are going through and how a "fixer" like me cannot "fix" things. I do pray for you to continue to find your peace in the arms of the ONE who does know how you feel.

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    1. There's no peace like His peace. Amen, Bill. I live with a 'reforming fixer' who's doing an incredible job loving us all well. I'm so grateful.

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  9. So sorry for what you are going through.
    Please give my love to your mom and the whole family.
    Seasons of grief are always hard, but we are blessed to know that our loved ones have a relationship with Jesus.
    I will definitely keep you all in prayer.
    I got the book, "Find Your People", from the library. Just started it, but am enjoying.

    * subscriber email

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    1. I finished Jennie's Find Your People last week and I absolutely loved it. It was just what I needed at the time ... and her experience in learning to share what she needed with her safe people is what turned me in that direction.

      I can't wait to discuss the book with this community right here!

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  10. Linda, please forgive the emotion, but I love you, more than I can say.

    My dear friend, we are your kin,
    know this is the path we choose
    even though we can't begin
    to know what you are bound to lose
    in this harsh hard mortal coil,
    in this place of wrath and tears
    and unmitigated toil...
    I wish I could assuage your fears!
    But know, please, I am by your side
    and that you'll ever have my heart
    whatever fell things may betide,
    be assured that I am part
    of the multitude, yes, maybe flawed
    that holds you nonetheless to God.

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    1. Yep, as flawed and messy as we all are, we are all in this together. And I loved that you shared this with Barbara! You guys are the best ... and the way you've reached out while you're going through so much is incredible.

      Only God.

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  11. Dear Linda,
    Praying you are comforted by His Presence as you spend this precious time with your mother. I will always treasure the hours I spent in my mom’s final days! May His grace be sufficient !❤️

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    1. Sara, thanks for being here and leaving those encouraging words. I hear what you're saying about treasuring the hours. I'll remember your wisdom.

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  12. Andrew Budek sent to me. I'm the wife, Barbara.
    I can relate to your situation in many ways but for now, please understand the emotional distress is necessary almost required by our physical imperfect bodies. In your times, of self-care, ensure you do so. Each of us require sleep but each of us require something else to ground us. Mine has always been working outside regardless the cold, heat, or weather. Some need the presence of family, a family meal with just crazy family talk. Whatever it is DO IT.
    Love in Jesus Our Messiah.

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    1. Barbara, I deeply respect you and say yes, yes, yes to what you've learned through your own experience. Pretending emotional distress isn't there is terribly unwise so thanks for the reminder that this is how God's created our bodies to work. Self-care is going well ... except I'm eating everything in sight. And yes, I'm enjoying the outdoors more than ever - walking, gardening, savoring. Love it.

      I so appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom.
      xo

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  13. sending up extra prayers for you!

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    1. Jean, thank you. So grateful that God isn't overwhelmed by those extra prayers!

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  14. Dear Linda,
    You, your family, and your mom continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. As I read your recent post, thoughts of how autumn transitions to winter came to mind. Sometimes that transition happens early, suddenly, harshly. And sometimes it happens late, drawn out over time, with lots of ups and downs. I think about how your dad died. Your niece. And now how your mom is dying. You are doing the work of a late drawn out autumn... acknowledging that things are changing, getting support, creating your own refuge... You are in God's waiting room. It's a hard place to be. But might I encourage you that waiting is not passive; it is active. And I see that in you. You are indeed acknowledging how things are changing, you are asking for support, you are creating your own refuge... Sometimes there is nothing more to do than fall before the Father and say, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life; you are our only hope." John 6:68 amplified version
    Peace be to you and yours,
    Carla

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    1. As I'm getting ready to turn out the lights for the night I'm being prompted by the Spirit to pray for you. I'm thinking about today having been Mother's Day. I'm thinking about how tender your heart must feel. I'm praying you sleep well and that God ministers to you in your dreams. Carla

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    2. Carla, your thoughts on all the ways transitions and seasons are so perceptive. Thank you for the reminder that God ministers to us no matter how things are unfolding. What comfort to know that He remains the same even while all around us shifts seismically

      That prayer of desperate faith from John says it all and I'm so grateful you brought it with you here. Bless you.

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  15. Dear Linda ... I've been wondering how things were going, so thank you for taking the time to post an update. I think of and pray for you so often. It's hard to find words for times like this, but I'm trusting that our heavenly Father will continue hold you fast, moment by moment.

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    1. Lois, thanks for sending that beautiful card. It made me feel less alone, a true gift. I'm following in your footsteps, I've learned much through your own heartaches. Thanks for hanging in there with me. A true friend indeed.

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  16. We experienced the birth of our sons and the loss of our parents in the same season, and I was overwhelmed by the similarities in the waiting process.

    As your mum awaits her final birth to New Life and Wholeness, I will pray that some of the glory will splash onto you to rejuvenate and enliven your tired body and soul.

    * subscriber email

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    1. Your presence is deeply felt by your mother. The spiritual peace you feel is given to her in the warmth of your hands and the comfort of your embrace. You are exactly where you need to be, and this experience will remain with you forever. We are with YOU. I pray that somewhere within the words we submit, you feel the same warmth and comfort as you are giving. May you receive sustenance from our prayers and support. God bless your Mom, you, and your family. Barbara onehopefulyear.com

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    2. M - as always, you show us a deeper perspective. Your 2 stunning sentences are worth their weight in gold. May the glory keep overflowing and splashing way more than the tears. May we find that birth and death keep good company with each other. May Jesus Christ be praised.

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    3. Dear Barbara, I always love when you come to call. I'm draping your serene words of peace and warmth and comfort around me like a fuzzy blanket. Thank you for asking God to bless us. I pray the same for you, always with gratitude.

      I feel His presence. I feel the loving kindness here, too. So grateful.

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  17. Praying for you and your family, Linda.

    ((hugs and prayers))

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    1. That's what's getting us through. Thank you.

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  18. If you want time to slow down to a drag, sit with a loved one while they are in the process of transitioning. AND THEN, when the final minutes come, they go by in a flash. We are NEVER ready! Praying for you, Friend!

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    1. I'm always grateful when where I'm coming from is validated by someone who's been there, done that. Lulu, thanks, girl.

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  19. Bless your dear heart, my friend. I am praying for you right now. I SO understand the path you now walk, and yes, it is very isolated and lonely and beyond difficult. Many times, people do not reach out at all. I remember one night, in particular, I walked out of my dear Mom's hospital room, SO spent—emotionally, physically, and yes, spiritually. Just at my complete wits' end. Weary beyond words. I stood at the ice machine in the hall near the nurse's station refilling Mom's ice container, and all of a sudden I felt arms come under my arms and it felt like I was literally being lifted. It startled me to no end, and I turned around expecting someone to be there behind me, but there was no one. The hustle and bustle continued, the chatter of the nurses, the depressing sounds of a hospital corridor - it was as if no one else noticed a thing. The realization of Deuteronomy 33:27 washed over me, "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." YES! Those arms came up under my dog-tired, limp arms and just lifted me out of the awful darkness and reminded me that I was not alone. He is with you, dear friend, and I am praying for you and sending much love and many hugs.

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    1. Dear Cheryl, you've captured the reality of the 'weary beyond words' vigil. No one can fully appreciate this until they've actually made their way through it.

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  20. Continued prayers coming your way dear friend.

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  21. What a hard season you are in, Linda. :( My prayers are with you for your strength and endurance as you share precious moments with your mom. Holding you close.

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    1. I like that holding you close piece, friend. I'll take that hug ... even if it's from far away!

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  22. When we waited through my mother-in-law's decline, I couldn't help but wonder why God didn't take her home instead of letting her linger, mostly asleep, for so long. I know He is good, wise, kind, loving. But still I wondered. It's such a difficult place to be in--you don't want to lose your loved ones, but you want them to be released to heaven and a new body and a stable mind. One friend shared that the wait is to teach us unconditional love and selfless service. I've also wondered if it's a picture of waiting for the Lord to return--it seems such a long time, but one day it will suddenly happen.

    Whatever the reasons, known or unknown, He gives His peace. I loved what you said about being emotionally shot while spiritually at peace--so apt. A verse that someone sent me after my mom died was a great help to me: "Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant" (Psalm 119:76--though I usually read the ESV these days, I love how the KJV puts this).

    The hymn "Day by Day" came to mind just now, especially the second stanza:
    Ev'ry day the Lord himself is near me,
    With a special mercy for each hour;
    All my cares he gladly bears and cheers me,
    He whose name is Counselor and Pow'r.
    The protection of his child and treasure
    Is a charge that on himself he laid:
    "As your days, your strength shall be in measure"–
    This the pledge to me he made.

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    1. Wow, Barbara, I never thought of this before --> 'I've also wondered if it's a picture of waiting for the Lord to return--it seems such a long time, but one day it will suddenly happen.'

      I read this out loud to my husband and it gave us cause for pause. This is so true and your words are such a gift to us. Thank you for sharing God's wisdom ... this has put this timeframe into a whole new perspective.

      Bless you, friend.

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  23. I'm just reading your post. Praying that you will know His loving arms about you, Linda, your family and your precious Mom. Thank you for being so vulnerable, "I am emotionally shot even while spiritually at peace." This is such an accurate description of what it is like to be held in His loving arms while processing the day-to-day ups and downs of saying goodbye to a loved one. Praying HIs peace will continue to guard you, and that you will know His loving presence - oh so near.

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