Tag Archive | peace

Learning to talk to people who don’t know…

I have a job interview next week. My first in years. I’m grateful that God has me in a place to be picky with what I do next. It needs to be right for me. The culture, the role. I have far less concern about me being right for them. That feels really good! I’m blessed to be able to think out loud with my husband and a few close friends who know my performance-junkie tendencies about what it might look like to move back into the working world. I don’t want my career to be an idol. I don’t want it to be where I attempt to find my identity.
I’m giving thought to what I want to know about this organization with little worry or concern for how I’ll share about my experience. I feel confident with what I bring to the table. But but but…
There’s that question that’ll be asked. I worked full time for almost 30 years (omg – when did I get old?). But I’ve been unemployed for 9 months now. I’m not worried about how to respond to the question. I’m concerned about the “transition” questions. “My son died in August 2012. I immediately went back to work then decided in the Spring it’d be best to take some time off.” Easy enough, right? But I’ve been in this situation enough now that I know “my son died” can be a conversation stopper. The person typically searches for a “transition” question… “Oh, I’m so sorry. Do you have other kids?” “No. He was my only child.” They were hoping – without even realizing it – that the answer would be, “yes, my other children are Bob and Susie.” “Oh – how old are they…” And the conversation has been successfully and smoothly transitioned. Or another one has been… “Oh, I’m so sorry. Had he been ill?” “No. He died suddenly.” Again – a conversation stopper. I’m coming into these conversations more prepared than the other person. So I try to be ready to let them off the hook. But depending on the person that’s not always easy. It’s often downright awkward. And “awkward” is not a word I want to use when reflecting on how this interview went! So I have a plan for how to keep the interview moving forward by steering the transition direction myself. We’ll see how it goes. If it flops, it flops. That’s the freedom that comes with living through a tragedy by the grace of God. An ability to live with a humble confidence because after all, what’s the worst thing that’ll happen?

Christmas #2

It feels as though Christmas may have been another turning point so to speak. Last Christmas I remember having to self-talk myself through the entire day. This year I had a few really good, hard crying spells at the end of the day. But through the day I enjoyed the people I was with in a subdued, reflective, melancholy kind of a way. I reflected on what was. I imagined what should have been. I just kinda took in each moment and savored the time. It was peaceful.
Christmas will never be what it used to be. And that’s okay. Given what’s happened how could I even want it to be the same? Yes, slowly I’m finding more peace. Peace in knowing I’ll carry this pain with me. Peace in knowing it’s become a little more manageable. Peace in knowing it’s okay that I’ll never be the same. Freedom too. Increasing freedom from worrying about the things that used to get to me. My perspective is different now. I don’t know if it’ll always be this way – if this will always be the lens I look through. And I don’t need to know. I’m slowly learning to appreciate each day for what it is without so much concern for the next. God has provided for me for nearly 17 months now in ways that I didn’t think were possible. Every tomorrow has to pass through His hands before I face it. I can live today.

How do I pray?

Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the number of people I’ve met through a suicide loss that I shut down and don’t know how to pray for them at all.   I knew maybe 3 or 4 people as of August.  But now just 3 months later I’ve met dozens, dozens. 

1 Thes 5: 16-18  “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

I am thankful for how You’ve been softening my heart, God.  I am thankful for how You’ve shown me it’s far better to live by Your priorities than what mine were.  So maybe that’s what you mean by being thankful in all circumstances.  Your word doesn’t say to be thankful FOR the circumstance… but IN the circumstance.  Yes, thank You for pointing that out to me!  Yes!

vs 17… “Never stop praying.”  I talk to You all day throughout the day.  My problem in this season isn’t prayer in the broad sense of the word – it’s that I don’t shut up long enough to hear You.  Praying is communication.  Communication is talking and listening.   

How do I pray for so many people?  People I’ve met just a handful of times?  People with unique circumstances, painful losses.  I picture their faces.  I picture them in the setting where I met them.  Their tears.  Their anger.  Their guilt and confusion.  The look of shock on their faces.  There’s no making sense of life now.

Rom 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Matt 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  God help them grieve.  Bless them as they mourn.  Comfort them.   Help them do the “next thing” whatever that may be.  Reach out to someone else who’s hurting, get out of bed, draw closer to You, take a breath.  Whatever the “next thing” is.  I pray these things for each person.  Thank You for loving them far more than I ever could and for meeting them exactly where they are.  Thank You for knowing exactly what they need, Father. 

S who lost her son 10 years ago. C who lost her husband last month. R&N who lost their son 6 years ago.  M&J who lost their son 4 years ago.  D who lost her boyfriend last year.  W who lost both her mom and her husband.  M and M who both lost people close to them . M&G who lost their son. V who lost her sister. R who lost her son. V who lost her husband and for her two small children.  J who lost her husband last year.  The older couple who just lost their son.  A who lost her friend 3 years ago . D&J who just lost their brother.  L who just lost her husband.  The entire M family – especially S, Dad and husband who lost their dear daughter and wife K just last weekend.  J&R who lost J 6 years ago.  B who I will meet tomorrow and her 2 kids – they just lost husband/dad 6 weeks ago.  D&S and D’s family as they mourn the one year loss of D.  K as she continues grieving for her Super N.  MA for the loss of Ski.  B for loss of his father 20+ years ago.  Thank you for his servant heart towards helping others learn to live again.  For J and the loss of her daughter just 30 months ago.  C who lost her Mom years ago.  MBSS blogger.  And I pray for Fred, Robbie, David, Kris, my parents and Fred’s parents, Drey’s dear friends… Jeritt, Jayson, Austin, Robby, Max, Ryan, Alli, Morgan, Bethaney, Cary, Jenna, Kevin, Britney, Molly, Alec, Ben, Addie, Peiman, Ian, Josh, Grace, Gabe, Victoria and so many more.  Thank You for knowing everyone I’ve neglected to pray specifically for on this chilly Tuesday morning, Father.   Thank You for the crisp white snow that blankets my patio.  Thank You for filling me up yet again with Your love, peace and compassion.  Truly those who mourn are blessed and comforted.