Tag Archives: family

Grieving

eyeThis post is a continuation of my story. It’s a fairy tale… with a twist.

Saying “yes” to the proposal was a rush. A very good one. To get caught up go here…and then read “up”. Or just start here . Either way, thanks for stopping by. In all my “My Story” posts, names have been changed for privacy; hence, the *.

Unfortunately, *Justin’s dad passed away. Because we had been dating for years and I truly adored his dad, losing his dad was devastating.

I was not “officially” part of the family, so I was not included in some of the family gatherings. I completely understood, and still do, but it left me to grieve alone. And because he wasn’t officially my father-in-law, I could not take off work. My assistant, at the time, was so gracious. She would step in to teach, when I couldn’t. She gave me space and permission to cry. She was my rock. My safe place to land each day. Looking back on that time, I know she was God’s grace to me. A “for such a time as this” person.

Of course, all wedding planning was on hold. My mind could not even consider planning something so joyous in the midst of all the sadness. Grieving needed to happen. And it did. Lots of it. Mostly in the shadows of the night where only God knew the depths of grief. But again, his Grace was sufficient and His presence evident. I knew I was not alone.

During the months that followed, I watched a grieving family cling to each other. To support and love each other in ways that had not happened before. Grief and loss does that.  It burns away all the things that don’t matter and leaves behind what does. Family.

And this family would soon be mine, as well.

When you still feel like you are family… but you’re not

*From www.wikipedia.com

For those who do not know the journey that happens after the divorce, be thankful. Very thankful. Often I hear or read, “I just want this all to be over“. Of course they are referring to the actual divorce and I had the exact same thought… once  hundreds of times. But unfortunately, it’s not just a one time deal and anyone going through it “gets it” very quickly. You don’t say in relief, “Oh yeah, I did that once – or twice. Moved on.” Well, I guess there are some that do but that, in itself, is sad.

How’s that for encouragement? Ugh, I know! But I’m serious and the pain that continues to hurt is real and I’m sure there are others that would agree. Surely I’m not the only one. Surely.

Yes, I’ve forgiven. Yes, I’m building a “new life” with new dreams and yes, I have a strong faith but the bottom line is that I am human and I hurt. It does lessen as time goes on but time doesn’t heal all wounds. That English proverb always irritated me a bit because it makes something extremely painful sound trite. No one in pain wants to hear it.

The most recent pain? Feeling like you are still part of the family except you’re not. No matter how great your relationship is and/or was with your “former family” the truth is, you are no longer part of that core family. No matter how close you once were, no matter how the divorce played out, no matter how much you may love them and vice versa, no matter how many times you are told that “you are still family to me/us”. The bottom line is… you’re not. I’m not. You/I may even carry the same last name but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of “family” you eventually become the outsider. The one that doesn’t know all the ins and outs of the family anymore. You are outside the “Circle of Trust” as it’s called in the movie, Meet The Parents.

Reality can reach up and bite my heart sometimes. I hate those times. I really do.

It’s times like these that I go back to my thankful list and remind myself of what I DO have, not what I don’t.

I DO have…

  • A family who loves me and supports me.
  • Three children who bring LOTS of joy.
  • A church family that not only loves on me but my children as well.
  • Friends who make me laugh… and I need that.
  • Friends who tell me the truth… and I need that, too.
  • A God that tells me I am in HIS family and what can be better than that?

OK, so it still hurts but when I constantly go back to giving thanks in everything, I am brought back to a place of thanksgiving and peace.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. -1 Thessalonians 5:18, The Message

Today I am Thankful…

1. That I did not get a teaching job when I was looking; otherwise I would probably be without a job.
2. For chai tea that is loaded with caffeine.
3. I chose to go camping with my children and for my sweet friends that braved it with me.
4. For Treasure Cove Preschool that has cared and loved Brooke since she was 1. They are like family.
5. That I own a good pair of tweezers to pluck out gray nose hairs and black chin hairs that have found my face.(Just keeping it real, people.)
6. That summer is almost here which means we’re closer to going to Colorado. WooHoo!
7. For Red Oak Grill and that the Victoria Lakes Ladies will be going there tonight. Love my neighbors!
8. For a church that truly is a family.
9. For my family: my Dad who is my hero, my sister (and best friend) who celebrated her bday this week, my awesome brother who will celebrate his on Sunday, and my Mom who is the greatest prayer warrior I know.
10. That I FINALLY fit in my skinny jeans thanks to two very good friends who have kept me accountable.

What are YOU thankful for? Bet you have LOTS! :)