Trees and Storms

Jer 17-8 .jpg

Memories on FB showed me something I wrote after the hurricane in 2016. That was also just a few weeks before Don died. Little did I know that in the next two years I would have to apply that “thinking” in my own life.

I decided to create a visual. The trees in this picture have withstood not just the hurricane in 2016 but another in 2017. They are still there today.

Death is a different sort of storm. It is, as I said in the original writing a season of drought and wind and storms.

Just like in a hurricane, it causes change in everyone around you. The roles of the relationship cease. Life is vastly different. Dynamics of family and friends change. Our very identity changes. Death is much bigger and more far reaching than the loss of a person.

BUT if we are like a tree planted by streams of Living Water, we will endure and not just endure, we can flourish. Just like these trees at Mandarin Park.

ORIGINAL THINKING: Thinking….
We had the hurricane. Seemingly healthy and sturdy trees were simply uprooted. People are helping others too.
Then reading today in Jer 17:8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
We can not tell by looking at a person how they really are. How deep their “roots” go. Sometimes we do have deep roots and then such a huge storm comes that we need to be “shorn up” by others too.
How does a tree get deep roots? By going through times of “drought” in part. By facing “winds” and “storms”.
The notion came to me that one reason we are instructed to “Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) could be because just like the trees in my town, we NEED strong roots in God. Every trial, every struggle, every “drought, storm, wind” we face could be something that is sending our roots deeper and deeper into the bedrock/cornerstone which is faith in Jesus.
Be blessed in the Lord this day,
Joan

Changing the “W” in we to “M” in Me

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I became a widow about 10 months ago after a time of caregiving. It has been a process of changing from being a “we” to being a “me.

Sometimes I have felt very alone but the one constant has been God. He has led me step by step into a new season of life. This is for anyone who has lost a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling. In that relationship, the “we” is gone but we cling to the ONE “we” that will never end. God is our forever present Emmanuel.

Since this is a different post, I want to say thank you to my brothers and their wives who have helped me in ways they don’t know and also some dear friends who have walked with me. And my sons, their wives and grandsons.

God is GOOD and I have decided to look forward to whatever good gifts He will send my way during this season of my life.

 

Free To Grieve

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From the Heart of Abba
 
Freedom,
Beloved, there is great freedom,
In knowing who you are.
Even greater freedom arises from
Knowing who I am.
 
I am your Abba Father.
Because I love you,
I created you.
You were created for JOY and LOVE.
You are FREE to BE,
Who I created you to be.
 
Free to grieve.
Free to rejoice.
Free to rejoice in the midst of grief.
 
Free to need and receive comfort.
Free to be needy.
Free to meet the needs of others.
Free to create boundaries.
 
Thus far and no farther I say to the sea.
Thus far and not one bit farther.
“Life” will come thus far and no farther.
You may feel like you will drown,
But you shall not.
 
You are FREE to LIVE
Free to CHOOSE life
Abundant life too
Because I am “I AM” and you are mine.

Faith

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I heard this statement at a meeting I was attending and LOVED it because it is so TRUE: Faith sustains us in the midst of pain BUT faith does not remove our pain (or grief). We need to go through the grief.
 
Saturday a friend and I were out and about and took this photo of the beach at North Beach. It is still banged up from the hurricane, but in a sense even more enthrallingly beautiful. There was a dark shadow of a truck parked there which we both thought marred the shot…in retrospect even the shadow adds depth to the meaning.
 
For those who follow the Way of Jesus, broken leads to beautiful.
 
Jesus was BROKEN for us and that was beautiful. Isaiah says he was a man of sorrow…in order to bear our sorrow/grief.
 
Fun to ponder. Brokenness leads to wholeness which is even more whole than before broken.
 
Isaiah 53:3-5 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Mother’s Day Reflection

Mother's Day Reflection

There is JOY in the midst of sorrow or grief. The JOY that comes from knowing someone, somewhere understands..
As Mother’s Day Approaches, I wanted to share something from a few years back.
Some of us may remember our Mother’s who are no longer with us. Other’s may remember a child who went before, or who is distant for whatever reason.
We can rest assured that there IS someone who fully understands. And that is our Lord.
Here is a writing From the Heart of GOD:
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST a CHILD or a MOTHER
To the mothers and grandmothers, (sons and grandfathers)
Who have lost a child:
Through death
Through adoption.
Through abortion or miscarriage.
Or simply through loss.
By a relationship torn asunder.
For mother’s hearts, (or father’s)
Who forever yearn,
For one more touch,
From a child they loved.
I send to you,
My love.
I offer to each of you,
My embrace of compassionate understanding.
For those who have lost a mother:
Through adoption,
Through death,
Or any other circumstance,
I also offer you My love.
My embrace is big enough.
Soft enough and,
Strong enough.
To hold you while you weep.
I know the searing pain of a child who was lost.
As you remember your child or mother,
Step out of denial,
Perhaps for the first time about the extent of loss,
Or simply embrace the longing,
I will come to you.
As the tears flow,
Or even if the tears cannot flow,
Healing will come,
From being in my embrace of pure holy love.
I love you, Daughters. (Sons)
I love you, Mothers. Fathers)
I love you Grandmothers. (Grandfathers)
I love too, Aunts. (Uncles)
It is from within My embrace,
That your heart will find.
Comfort as well as a place of rest.
2 Cor. 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.