Tag Archive | God

Rhythm of life

I’m learning the urge to convince people I’m okay is especially strong after posting something vulnerable.
Self protecting? Man pleasing? A bit of both.
I met the cutest, most sincere and honest young lady last night… Her dad recently died by suicide. Her pain is accompanied with a desire to push forward, to enjoy the normal things a high school kid should be doing.
Suicide is so evil, so painful and gross. You have no choice but to spend time questioning. Where were you God? What did I miss? Why? What was he thinking? How did I not know how much pain he was in? Should I have… ? The questions are exhausting. Your mind won’t shut off. You replay the days and weeks prior to the tragedy. Every conversation. Then you get a break from the barrage of self-questions and acknowledge he’s gone. You miss him. It aches. So this is the grief part. Then you flip back to the questioning. It’s an exhausting, long process of emotional chaos.
Then you get a reprieve. One that lasts longer than 5 minutes. Then another. You are somehow integrating your pain into your life and it isn’t ruling you every minute. You think more about other people. You begin poking your head out for longer periods of time.
Then you meet another who’s at the beginning. And by the grace of God you ache, you care, you pray for them. You remember where you were and can see how God’s been comforting you. Caring for you. You want to give that away. You want to pray, to help somehow.
Maybe this is the new rhythm of life.
I’m okay.

Who am I. God I miss him.

My mind is swirling this morning.  It swirls in so many different directions.  I don’t understand how I got to where I am.  It’s still surreal.  When to sit in it, to contemplate it vs when to change my questions, my mindset.  Always a balancing act.  

I look at your picture taken on graduation day.  The picture of you and me.  I’m in my heels but you’re still taller than me.  You always thought you were so short.  But not to me.   How did I get here?  Why am I left with only memories of you?

This week is intense… Survivors of Suicide Group, GriefShare, speaking at the Helpline annual meeting, a meeting with Rep Anielski about the laws around Rx meds given to minors, then the Memorial Bench dedication at the zoo.  All in 4 days time.   All important things I want to do.   I was in control of the timing for the Wednesday commitments.  When I looked at Wednesday it was open so I scheduled them.  New Lesson:  Part of my “new normal” is learning to look at the entire week’s events before making plans.  Learning to consider the emotional strain of the week is important before saying “yes” to something else.

I used to do so many things all at once.  Achiever.  Accomplisher.  I got so much done in a week.  I’d run from meeting to meeting, prepare for a home church teaching, hang with friends and attend both soccer games of the week.  I wonder what the cost was?  The cost in my marriage.  The cost in my relationships.  Robbie’s told me – and I even remember – making Drey a priority in spite of other things I was responsible for.   I didn’t do this perfectly but Drey knew I loved him.  And he knew I loved the Lord.  I won’t allow the voices in my head to tell me I failed him.  Not this morning anyway.  I delighted in my boy more than anything else in my life (not that my marriage and my relationship with God shouldn’t have been first…)

Losing Drey has meant digging deep into my identity.  Deeper and deeper.  At first it was “am I still a mom?” And how do I answer the, “do you have kids” question?   Then I realized I hadn’t – and couldn’t – look at myself in the mirror.  I would look at my hair, at each eye to put makeup on.  But never at my full image.  I knew I was losing weight, I knew the dark circles under my eyes were there.  But I couldn’t bear to look.   It took about 4 months before I actually looked in the mirror at myself in total.  And all I saw staring back was Drey’s Mom.  I saw the pain of a broken woman who loved her son so dearly that she would’ve given her life for his.   It took a few more months before I could begin looking in the mirror without becoming nauseous. 

But even now – especially now –  this identity thing keeps going deeper…  “I am a daughter of the King.”  Blah blah blah.  To know this intellectually is one thing but to really get to the root belief and meaning of who I am is risky work.

I’ve KNOWN intellectually for a long time that cookies, bra’s and panties (I worked as an Executive at Cheryl’s and at Victoria’s Secret), my ability to do 20 things in a day:  attend soccer games, teach the bible, keep my house clean, go on college visits, lead DivorceCare, call a friend, buy that book for a coworker, etc. did not define who I was.  But now that those things don’t fill up my time…   I sometimes find myself feeling worthless.  So the deeper journey into CONSIDERING who I am began on August 8th, 2012.    I didn’t know it at the time.  I didn’t know much of anything on that day or for several weeks afterwards – everything was foggy.  But nonetheless God was and still is at work.  He is the ultimate multi-tasker.  Not only was He comforting me and carrying me in my grief but he was teaching me about who I was.

Fourteen months later I don’t have a new, magical answer to the “Who am I” question.   I am a daughter of the King.  I have been since 1987 when I realized I wasn’t perfect and needed a Savior – and that Savior was Jesus.  What’s different now is that the journey to CONSIDERING myself a daughter – chewing on, meditating on, ruminating on –  that I am a daughter of the King became real on August 8th, 2012.  My supposed ability to attend soccer games, clean my house, and teach the bible, were stripped from me.  I could not breathe without God.  My journey into CONSIDERING my true identity began when I realized apart from my King I was but dust.

 

 

Getting my “marketing” groove on

I began doing some occasional work for a woman who started her own Marketing Consulting company.    I’m putting a marketing plan together for one of her clients – a Pilates studio owner.   I like Marketing – kind of.  There’s way more to it than that.  What I like is understanding what people are trying to solve for and what makes them tick.  Why did this business woman decide to buy a Pilates Studio (and not give up her day job)?  What’s she most excited about?  How would she define success a year from now, 3 years from now?  What kind of environment does she want to create for her employees and her clients?   Why should her clients choose her Studio over another?   Share your vision with me and from there I can help create a “marketing” plan – if that’s what you want to call it – to help you get there.  

Same goes for my Marketing Consulting company owner…  why does she have this company?  What does she love?  How is she setting herself up to focus on the parts of running this business that she loves while delegating or minimizing the stuff she doesn’t love, doesn’t know or doesn’t care to learn?  We started to talk about some of these things… but now I’ve slipped into helping her with something specific – the marketing plan for the Pilates chick – rather than helping her be strategic with the company as a whole.   Hmmm.  Not sure how I feel about that.

There’s a boy working at the company who’s got graphic design and online technical skills.  We worked together more today than in past weeks.  I asked him when he graduated high school.  2012.  Hmmm.  Same age as Drey.  Yes, he plays soccer, too.  I caught myself staring at him – the back of his head and neck.   I know – I sound like some weird stalker lady.   He didn’t look like Drey from the front.  Their faces are different.   But he did from the back.   My mind would drift off while he was talking to me.  What would Drey be doing if he were alive?    Would Drey be as confident as this young man in a work environment like this?  No one there knows I have a son.  Had a son?  Have a son in heaven.  They don’t know anything about my personal life.   Learning how my grief coexists with the rest of my life is an interesting journey.   Listening to people, what’s important to them, what frustrates them.  My lens is completely changed.  I’m more curious.  I’m more humble.   I’m much more in tune with discovering what’s at the root than I ever have been.  As I get out and do more I’m slowly finding what fits the “new me” and what doesn’t.   God is definitely teaching me patience through this.

Next Tuesday I have another speaking engagement… the topic is suicide.   And on Wednesday I’m meeting with State Representative Anielski for breakfast… again the topic is suicide.   I’ve met so many people in the suicide community.   I’ve learned the environment is just as dysfunctional as any other… meaning there are a handful of non-profit organizations and it isn’t always clear where one organization ends and the other begins.   I would like to work with every one of the organizations and help them learn to work together to divide and conquer.   The synergy that could come by combining the resources excites the shit out of me.  Everyone in the same room, learning to work together.  Then ongoing communication – sharing of learns.  We should all come together with this goal in mind:  Ohio will provide the best in class suicide prevention, awareness, education and postvention services.  How will we measure this?  ZERO suicides in 2014.   How’s that for a goal?  AND AND AND what we do has to be scalable… and easily replicated.   

Direct my paths, Lord.  I’ll continue to put one foot in front of the other but please, direct my paths. 

A Mother’s love

A note written to Drey when he was 8 years. He was 19 when he took his life – he never saw this note. It expresses my heart, my mind set. And I’m so grateful to have found it.

11/19/2001
Drey –
I would like to write more regular journal entries to you but I know I have the best
of intentions and then get sooo busy so I won’t make any promises.

A few nights ago I was reading the Prayer book I had bought you. Specifically, I read
the way I signed it to you. I mentioned that the decision for your Dad and I to get a
divorce was a hard decision but that it was the right one.

I was wrong… it was not the right decision. It is rarely God’s will for any two people
who were joined in marriage to get a divorce. The Bible is quite clear on this and as I’ve
been growing spiritually I can see I was not thinking clearly at the time of our divorce
nor was I thinking clearly at the time I signed the prayer book for you.

I wish I had been a walking Christian while I was married to your Dad. Things could
have been different. My prayer (and yours too!) has been that your Dad will
accept Christ. He’s a good man and a good father but he’d be an even better father
if he could look at you through God’s eyes instead of his own. I know that’s what I
try to do.

My prayer for you is one I pray often… I pray you will grow up knowing that God loves
you and you are secure in Him. I pray you’ll be secure and confidant knowing that I
love you so very much no matter what choices you’ve made or will make. You truly
have the blessing of my unconditional acceptance. I pray you will find a wonderful
Christian woman someday who you will marry. And the two of you will grow closer
to the Lord and to one another.

You mean so very much to me, Drey. I wish I knew how to be the best Mom to you.
But I know I will make mistakes. I hope you will be able to see past my mistakes and
know that I loved you even though I did some goofy things!

Well, I’m at work right now and I’d better get back to business. Just wanted to take a
few minutes to let you know how loved you are. Mommy

Today: I hesitated with posting this letter. 1) My husband, Robbie, is pretty flippin awesome. What will he think of this? 2) Isn’t it a bit self-serving to post this letter? Look at me! I was (am??) a great Mom! But I’ve chosen to post it because I believe it’s a testament to how loving our God is. To work through a broken person like me (I had just gone through my 2nd divorce when I wrote this) so that I could love my son’s father, love my son, and then to redeem my pain and my choices by blessing me with a wonderful husband, a Divorce Care ministry, and hundreds of other blessings?! Yes, I ache without my son. Yes, I have questions with no answers. But God is still love and loving.