Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Confessions of a Grieving Girl

Eleven years. Can it really be that long ago that my life was severed in half?   With.  Without.  While my heart fights to believe the truth, my head reminds me of the facts. 

Eleven years ago my eighteen-year-old sister's life ended.  Wow...that is hard to type. 

Eleven years ago, my family and I began a journey of grief.  Grief that truly cuts like a knife.  Grief that screams "Why?" over and over...and still a decade later...over.  A grief that is desperate for answers, closure, and sense in the agony. 

While I will never understand God's plans and thoughts (Is 55:8-9), He gives me "kisses on the cheek" to make it more bearable.  The story below is one of these kisses.  It is a two-part blog story that happened in 2011.  I pray that you will take the time to read and share our personal story of beauty from ashes. 

Sometimes it hits, and it hits hard.  Smacking me on the face when I least expect it.  When I think I am "healed" and "doin' well."  Wham!

Today was the day.  I woke up from a round of horrific dreams.  The kind that feel so real that you spend the day thinking your dream truly occurred the day before.  Not sure if this is what caused them but one week from today will mark 11 years.  Eleven years from the date that my first life ended and my second life started.  Sounds a little freaky but it is so true.  I think of my life as two lives put together - the 22 years with my sister and then the 11 years without.  At the very moment that my Dad told me the heart-ripping news that my sister was gone, the Grand Canyon swooped in and cut my life in half. 

As I journey through this second life, I never know when it is going to hit.  Grief.  Will it be something that someone says?  Tears.  Will it be something that I see that reminds me of my little sis?  Pain.  Maybe the heaviness will occur because of some graphic dream that causes me to hope sleep doesn't come for a long time.

For this and that reason, I am really dreading the 11 year anniversary.  In all honesty, the ten-year one came and went, and by the grace of God I was okay.   This year it has been different.  I am holding my hands up to the calendar trying to ward off April 19th from approaching. 

After a rough morning, I called my sweet friend begging for prayer.  She lost her mom to cancer just a few years ago.  Immediately she prayed with me, listened, and encouraged me.  In her understanding, she asked how I was feeling.  Angry?  Scared?  Fearful?  Then she named it - vulnerable. 

Grief is making me feel vulnerable right now.  Vulnerable that I can and may lose it at anytime.  Vulnerable because my feelings are unchecked.  Vulnerable because my heart breaks and I fear it will feel this way again sometime.  Vulnerable wondering what God is doing with this weeping mess.

Today in Women's Ministry, we continued the ninth lesson in Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit Of The Spirit study.  This lesson focused on gentleness.  I learned that gentleness is a submission to God - an "inward grace of the soul, calmness toward God.  It is the acceptance of God's dealings with us considering them as good in that they enhance the closeness of our relationship with Him."

True gentleness means that I accept the death of my sister as good knowing that God is using it to draw me and others closer to Him.

I do not have true gentleness.

Just the fact that I can type that sentence is huge.  God has brought me a long way through grief.  But the "fruit of the Holy Spirit is ...gentleness."

In the video Beth Moore talked that we all have wounds and scars.  We have to allow God to flow His grace through the deepest parts and bind up our wounds.  We have to trust God that through our grief, glory will flow on the other side. 

A wound was created on April 19, 2000.  It was huge.  With time, God is binding up that wound.  He is not removing it.  Simply healing it.  There are times like today that the wound gets opened and bleeds a little.  Sometimes a lot.  But, praise God that I can run into my Abba Father's arms and He holds me.

On most days, my wound looks more like a scar.  God is using my scar.  I hear from many who are encouraged by our story.  For that I am grateful.  It makes the scar easier to live with.

But what I wear is a scar of grace and love that maps a path where God carried me through the valley of death.  The scar is a poster of someone who loved, had someone suddenly taken, and made it through - all to draw closer to God.  

Six hours later...Unbeknownst to me, God continued this story.  Please read "God Uses Pain for His Glory - A Personal Story."


  1. I just want to drop by and say hi to let you know that I am now following you here and will be following you on twitter. I am @caseysgoodlife on twitter. I have to children with SPD

  2. Momma C,

    my heart goes out to you for so many reasons. I can understand your position for the simple reason that I too have suffered the loss of loved ones. I also view my life in a similar way; as if the year my family died was the year my life started over. I too get smacked unexpectedly with grief, as you so accurately described it, and when that happens it can put me at a stand-still till I deal with it properly. I will pray for you as I pray for myself; that God's Holy Spirit will continue to aid me in understanding concerning my losses, as well as comfort & encourage me to draw ever closer to God and to a better understanding of His ways. I pray God's will be done in our lives and that we will allow Him to do His work daily.
    *James 1:2-4: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
    That scripture comforts me, among many others.
    Prayers from me to you in Christ~
    Momma Chell

  3. Momma Chell - Thank you and God bless you.

  4. My heart goes out to you. April 19 is a significant day for me as well. My niece was born April 19, 1992. On her 17th birthday she committed suicide. The official time of death was on the 20th, but it is such a hard time for our family as well. I know what you mean when you say, "Smacking me on the face when I least expect it."
    I'm sorry for your loss. I just look forward to the time we are reunited with our loved ones in heaven.
    Thank you for sharing, Megan


The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.