Blog: grief

7 Ways to Prepare for Trouble

Posted: July 30, 2017

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of having a conversation with Don Piper, the author of the book and movie, 90 MINUTES ON HEAVEN. His gentle and kind words comforted me, gave me wisdom and put a smile on my face. His trouble came on a bridge, when his car collided with a semi-tractor truck and Don was pronounced dead. Ninety minutes later someone prayed over him, started singing a song, and soon Don sang along with him. His recovery was dreadfully painful and in the first year he had thirty-four surgeries.   We will all face trouble, and sometimes within seconds we feel helpless when our lives change. The Bible says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). My latest trouble came last November when my darling Jack, my second husband, dropped dead going for a cup of coffee. We don’t have a checklist on how…

Posted in: community, crisis, death, decisions, Faith, finances, grief, Hope, Jesus, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, relationships, troubles, Uncategorized

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When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers

Posted: June 29, 2017

We don’t like to talk about unanswered prayer, we prefer miraculous stories of where the blind can see and the lame can walk. Don’t get me wrong, I love prayer. I have been a prayer advocate and warrior for over thirty years but often God has not answered my prayers. He’s not answered the ones where, years later, I saw evidence of how God protected me from harm or pain because He had something better in store for me. I get that. But sometimes, unanswered prayers change our lives dramatically in ways we didn’t choose or ask for. And it’s hard to live with the fallout. The Bible says we are to pray and believe, and that’s what I did. In fact, when Jack had his heart attack and they brought back a pulse, thousands of people were praying for his healing. Friends and family all over America and even…

Posted in: endurance, Faith, grief, Jesus, joy, Prayer, troubles, unanswered prayer

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When Hope and Grit Collide

Posted: May 8, 2017

Hope gets us up in the morning. We can get through the rough stuff when we believe that something good is going to happen. But sometimes, out of the blue, grit shows up and stops us dead in our tracks. It may be a call from your Doctor’s office, an accident, divorce, bankruptcy, death or other bad news that changes everything and time stands still. That is what happened to me three months ago. Grit showed up in the way of a panic attack. I’ve only had two panic attacks (after the death of my first husband) so I was familiar with the sensations and breathing my way out of it. But it was a panic attack that would not stop and days later I was diagnosed with PTSD. I knew Jack’s (my second husband) death was traumatic and I thought I was dealing with that deep pain during the…

Posted in: alone, community, death, Families, friends, grief, grit, happy, Hope, Kindness, panic attacks, trauma, trust

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Surviving the “Land Between”

Posted: March 6, 2017

It’s a strange and raw place…that “land between.” It’s a lonely and dry desert; caught between our old normal and longing for our glorious destination. It could be a myriad of things that brought us there like divorce, bankruptcy, death, move or any other painful loss. What once was familiar is gone, and the unknown future looks bleary, sad and perhaps even hopeless. You and I don’t want to be like the Israelites wandering around in the desert for 40 years lamenting the meat and melons they left behind and yet fearful to embrace their promised land. While we are in that dry and lonely place, how do we move toward the hazy horizon to make our new destination a glorious reality? The “land between” is a hard place. In the last four months of my grieving journey I have seen and experienced many glimmers of hope for my good…

Posted in: Fear, God's promises, grief, Hope, pain, pray, Prayer, rest, time

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Friends Help us to Heal

Posted: February 7, 2017

I call it my “Black Friday.” Throughout the three weeks of my husband Jack’s death and funeral, my house was a revolving door with family, friends, neighbours and super sized casseroles. Then the day came when I drove my last child to the Kelowna airport and walked through my front door. Empty house. Alone. Then came Friday. The sky was heavy with winter gloom and grief stabbed at me with knives that shook me to the core. Never before had I experienced the depth of such pain, darkness and “aloneness”. I was startled when my cell phone rang and then heard the gentle and loving voice of a dear friend. Once I heard the emphatic tone in her voice all I did was sob. And sob. She didn’t try to console me, fix me or make things better. She simply cried with me and then listened. Once I was able…

Posted in: alone, death, empathy, friends, Friendship, funeral, grief, listen, pain, pray, relationships, sympathy

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Finding Hope when Life Falls Apart

Posted: February 1, 2017

While having lunch with a friend, she looked me square in the eye and blurted out: “Can I ask you a personal and tough question?” I smiled, nodded and she proceeded. “I know that in the last 23 years both your husbands died suddenly, one on the basketball floor and one on your kitchen floor. These similar events both happened before Christmas. How do you reconcile this with God?” I smiled and chose my words carefully before I began. At church we worship with hands in the air, clapping and declaring that God is a “good, good God, and that He is good all the time.” What joy to sing this when life is good and our daily normal is filled with passion and purpose. But, how do we find hope in the midst of devastating and mysterious events? In spite of my circumstances I am able to heal and…

Posted in: community, crisis, Friendship, good shepherd, grief, Hope, mystery of God, trust, Uncategorized

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