Saturday, August 20, 2016


Grieving is hard.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" 
Romans 12.12

Grieving is very hard. 

"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put out hope in you" 
Psalm 33.22

Trying to figure out what to say is difficult.  

" A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" 
Proverbs 25.11 

Sometimes saying nothing but BEING there is what is our best option. 

         "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed"
                                                                 Proverbs 11.25 

Being 'there' acknowledging their loss immediately is important.
Accepting all emotional or verbal responses without judgement is SO important.
Hugging with tender affection is a good thing.
Expect tears and emotional extremes.... Oh Lord...
Find helpful things to do for those around you without being asked!!  
Give the one grieving many opportunities to talk about the loss ----  

That last one...being able to TALK is so important and it helps so much!! 
Being able to just walk out WHAT happened or talk about HOW that person has touched your life... it helps.  

When our nephew went to heaven -- I remember how hard it was to share stories about WHAT we remembered and yet, THOSE stories would bring my sister and all of us more acceptance and healing.  

Most people associate grieving with death.  But mothers also grieve when their children depart from their godly upbringing and seek the World instead of Jesus.  Fathers mourn when they see their daughters make choices that appear or seem to be unwise.   Grandparents grieve for their adult children...when they can't see His fruit coming from their lives. Wives grieve when their husbands leave.  Husbands grieve when they see their wives turn from God.  

When you experience a loss of any sort...   a love lost...  an expectation not met... there can be grieving.  

I think my Pastor said it well, "There are days when words fall far short.  Days when the questions don't have good answers.  The hurt is flesh, and the pain is real.  But the LOVE of Christ is real as well.  Today we mourn, but not without hope.  Today we weep, but each of our tears are precious to Him.  Church you are well loved.  Today, give that love freely to those around you.  John 16.33"   -

This week ....this year.... these times are NOT easy and I have come to believe that as we live in these END times or end of the END times....the miracles will be so  so great.  Like I believe there will be more and more people being cured of cancer and see miraculous outcomes that all will say..."THAT was God".....

But with those glorious reminders of HIM and our Eternal HOME...there will be more tragic events and so forth.  Terrorism and death...and loss, loss that sneaks up so quickly -- loss that makes us STOP and seek HIM, but God I pray we all SEEK you consistently and constantly ...not just in our needs.  

This week, as a teacher starting school -- it is so important to establish routines and provide a safe area for my students to come to each day and learn.  The rigor of what our students must 'do' and perform is at a level in which many of us say, "this is almost impossible -- I was learning this stuff in middle school" -- and yet, as teachers, we know what to do.  But as a teacher, we not only teach reading strategies and math skills -- we teach character.   We are with our students for 180 days each year and spend MORE time with them compared to most parents.  We have to ability to encourage and unfortunately...we can 'turn' off a child too.   

I have been teaching now for 28 full years.  This year is year 29 -- it is truly a year that I have expected to be GREAT.  It is a year where I am doing a 'new thing' and am excited about the challenge.  It is a year where I am blessed to have children of children I had in my classroom some 20+ years ago.  It is a year where I get to have the "4" sibling in a family and I know the family well enough to know -- how to encourage, what to pray in my own time and WHERE I am needed.  Indeed, I know I am in a mission field.  All teachers are.   It is my choice.  God placed me here -- there.  I know how blessed I am.  And within the first week of school, we have had to talk about death and how we have loss within our lives.  And praise God that I can pray for my students and let them know I pray for themAnd I can remind them how much we love them and that God does as well. 

But I was VERY mad at God a few days ago -- and I sought His forgiveness -- He knew - I could not hide.  I don't 'LIKE' having to do HARD stuff -- but I will obey and I will.   I did not want to "deal" with a death in the first week.   It is NO picnic looking into the eyes of a child and have to hear the words, "I am so sad, why did she die?". It is so stinking hard to look at a child and NOT want to scoop them up and tell them about Jesus and heaven.  But in a public school, we must be careful and respectful of our laws. As I would not want a teacher to look in the eyes of my children and tell them there was NO heaven ...I have to respect our freedom of speech and so forth.  It is JUST hard.  Forgive me Lord.  

  I won't try to understand or tell God what to do -- He has the perfect plan.  When God intercedes and says "yes" to our prayers -- it is for OUR best.  When HE says "no"  -- it is for OUR best.   And when I told a young 5th grader on Wednesday that I would pray for his mom to get better, and I did, I believed she would.  And when, God allows a young child to experience a death of a parent -- He knows it is for their best.   And I am pretty sure, no, I know, God  has placed the right people within their paths -- to help them walk this out.  

My heart aches yet this am for two families and those children.  One of them I have only known for 5 days and yet.... I can't look at his photo without a smile.  

So, I grieve today.  But I know there are many that grieve for these same children and their families...  but I know -- God is RIGHT there!   This is no surprise for Him.  

Lord, I come to you - I pray my words are like golden apples to these children and their fathers and mothers.  I pray  for the families - and all extended parts of these lives that Karrie and Adam touched.  I pray for any of them that ever doubted You -- that they would be drawn to the LOVE that You are but also -- to full repentance and begin to walk in their lives ...with YOU are their Lord.  May they not just get a "saving love" and give you that pledge...but indeed they would place you LORD of their lives. 

 Lord, for the believers that know and acknowledge that these two are INDEED with You and in a better us to be reminded that this life is temporary.  Help us to stand in the gap for these families where we need to be.  Move where YOU need to move us -- them... BE in our lives everything.  I pray this prayer and blog would indeed be helpful to at least one... I pray specifically for those children... Jetta, Kamdon, Clayson, Landon, Jaiden and Briann. And I know that all of these children have cousins, and other siblings that  we pray for as well.  Lord, I pray that each and all of us would focus on whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable -- that we would all think of these things and remember those we have lost with fond memories.  I don't know what you have in store for each of these school aged children -- but I pray for their teachers and the ones around them as this school year will indeed be different and indeed be one they remember for the rest of their lives.  God, empower their teachers -- I pray that I will be Landon's teacher for the rest of the year -- but only YOU know what the BEST is for him...and I will trust that.  Until we all rejoice in heaven again -- Amen.  

I am humbled Lord that YOU allow me this voice.  I am humbled that YOU chose me.. and my team...there are so many names I could mention, bless them each Lord, the 3rd grade team and those caring for those children right now...Sarah and Linda.. Lord, bless them in a mighty way - In Jesus Name, amen.  

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