Why BB4TheLord2

Why BB4TheLord2: My first blog, bb4thelord.blogspot.com was began a couple years after I became a young widow. After ten years on that journey of widowhood, I took a break from blogging. Now the time has come to begin again. Writing is a gift God has given me and I must get back into using the gifts God has given me.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Grief Touches Grief

Grief touches grief. I have said this often through the years. For example, when a child grieves a pet, the sorrow brings up other sorrows like friends that moved or a grandparent who passed away.

I am not immune. I started off this month in an eerie calm with smiles. But grief touches grief. Reaching out to a new widow. A tragic school shooting. Another widow takes her own life. A teenager dies after a long battle with cancer. The anniversary of a friend’s infant’s homegoing.

The world seem abounding in death right now. My soul aches and familiar rivers flow down my cheeks. Grief swirls around me, but it is not my own. It is for others.

I grieve for a new widow, just three weeks on this journey. I pray for her as horrible images can haunt the griefstricken. They flash vividly before her each time she closes her eyes for longer than a blink. Decisions of huge proportion are having to be made and she must keep standing. She must make decisions in a fog of denial. All she wants is to wake up from this nightmare. Her children look to her for strength and she feels empty. She stands as a shell of a woman who used to be a wife. She is repulsed by this new role thrust upon her: widow.

I grieve for kids in school who lived through a nightmare and wonder if they will ever feel safe again. I grieve for families whose teenagers never came home. I think of brave heroes who ran to their deaths defending others and the survivors who feel guilty for breathing.

I grieve for a widow’s family who in just four months lost both parents. I grieve for her cuz I know how overwhelming the pain can be. I understand how a widow can lose all hope of healing. The enemy of her soul whispers lie after lie, deceiving her that death is the only escape.  My mind plays back countless sleepless nights filled with love bleeding out my eyes and grief wails escaping my throat. Of being terrified of the future. Of the sharp pain each morning when a new day came without my Jim. How can someone hurt so much inside and yet still be alive, I wondered. It hurt to just breathe. I never thought of suicide. But I do remember thinking I was going to die from the pain.

I grieve for parents having to watch their child fight against all odds even as cancer consumed her body. Who stood in awe of God’s power and grace on their daughter who touched the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands. Now they face an empty bedroom and have a hole the size of a canyon in their family.

I grieve for my friend who will never hold her son again until heaven. She never got to hear him call her mommy or teach him to read. She lives too far away for me to hug. And friends there never knew her son. I held her little bit of heaven and 5 years later I still think of holding him. His eyes were so wise and held secrets only the Lord knows. I pray she has friends who understand that grief has no timetable and will listen with compassion.

Yes, grief touches grief. And it swirls around me. Memories resurrect and are sifted through. Grief stomps into my kitchen like he is trying to get snow off his boots. My soul frantically throws up walls trying to box in the pain. Experience, though, has taught me what damage this does within. Healing will only come when they crumble.

To try to chisel away at it, I read an article about widows and suicide. I read another widow’s story and finally the dam breaks. Tears come as I weep and grieve for others. My head still feels like it is in a swirling, blinding blizzard, so I escape to my room and journal. I write and write till the tears stop and the ache melts. The Comforter comes.

And Grief goes stomping outside again, but it may return tomorrow. And on my cheeks are dry riverbeds of salt. Little crystals touching one another like the grief in my soul.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Love Hard

“The amount of love a widow has to offer is remarkable! When she has truly fallen for someone, she is going to love hard and love fast because she has already felt how wonderful it is and that it has the possibility to be lost again. She will not be seen wasting her time on a person who won’t bring her immense happiness during her time left on earth. Her time is valuable. Her love is valuable. She knows ... there is still a 50% chance they will be the one to leave this earth before her. Even knowing that, even knowing she may have to relive her worst nightmare all over again, she continues to take risks in the name of love. What a beautiful, powerful kind of love”

E. Bishop is of course talking about romantic love. But I believe love is a choice that applies to all relationships. It can be hard to love anyone after the excruciating pain of losing someone. But I identify with what she is saying. Once I choose to let down my walls and love, then I love hard. I love my Jesus hard. I love my friends and family hard. That isn't to say that in loving hard I don't panic once in awhile & pull back. In fact, it is a guarantee.

I remember meeting another young widow just a couple years after Jim was gone. We became friends. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Given 6 months. I was terrified! A part of me wanted to run away.  But I chose to love her anyway. There were a couple times I panicked & pulled away. But in the end I loved hard. Time was short. In the next two months, we became very close. She reminded me to live and I helped her face death. I stayed near her bedside softly singing as the end drew near. Shortly after I left to go to my boys, she went to be with the Lord. That was seven years ago.

Yesterday I was contacted by a friend about a new widow. Husband was 35. Died suddenly on Feb 6th. She has 3 children. Lives in Midwest. Husband was good Christian man whose dad is a pastor. Visitation Friday. Funeral on Saturday. Eerily familiar situation. So I sent off some quick words of comfort and have been praying much with understanding.

Life is short, dear readers. Tomorrow is no guarantee.

Love hard.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Undisturbed Snow

There is something sacred about undisturbed snow. It sparkles so beautiful and is full of possibilities, like a blank sheet of paper in my journal. Yesterday I looked out at the cemetery at the undisturbed snow. It made it look so holy, so consecrated, so peaceful.

For just a second the enemy tried to whisper guilt. I shook him off. I have been a widow for 12 years. I know that undisturbed snow at my husband's grave is no reflection of my love for him or the amazing marriage we had. This year I felt drawn to the roadside memorial.

I disturbed the snow there, though since then more has fallen. I didn't shed any tears when I cleared off the garden stone and cross that sits stolidly in the ditch. A reminder of a tragic night. Many lives changed forever. A memorial for a good man whose name I want remembered.

No tears came. That's okay. It is no reflection on the depth of my love. Just an outward sign of the Lord's amazing healing within. I kneeled in the snow and thanked Jim, and the Lord, for the amazing gifts he gave me. My three sons and his family. And the Lord's amazing faithfulness to us.

A friend text me this today: "Your Grace and incredible Faith is such an inspiration to me and a million others!!! Thank you for letting and keeping your light shining."

My reply sums up my widowhood: "Thanks girl! Great grace given for a great loss. Faith just from clinging to Jesus through the pain. Never would have sign up for this journey. Don't wish it on anyone. Yet the Lord in His wisdom allowed it for my good & His glory. May all you look at me see Him."

The undisturbed snow sparkles like glitter. It twinkles in the light like my Jim's eyes did when he laughed. The snow lays like a fleece blanket of comfort over the final resting place of a beloved man. It is peaceful. Sacred. Holy. Full of possibilities. In the future and in heaven.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ain't Smiling Now, Are Ya?

There are a few times in my life that I destinctly know the enemy of my soul is whispering to me.
This time I was coming back from a walk where I had just poured my heart out to the Lord about something and had had a hard cry. And nope, I wasn't smiling. But I know what the mocking reference was to, my recent post titled Eerie Calm.

"Ain't smiling now, are ya?"

I know that it was a spiritual attack, but I physically reacted. I instantly stopped walking, clenched my teeth together, and my hands hardened into fists. I have never wanted to turn around and punch someone so hard in all my life. But, of course, there was no one physically there. And so there I stood. Nope, he was right; I wasn't smiling one bit. I felt more like a wounded warrior returning after a defeated battle. And now was having to endure the taunts of the foe.

I don't know how long I stood there. But my mind remembered a night five months previous and a song that had rallied me to keep on keeping on. So I took a step forward and began to sing the chorus & bridge to a song I recently had heard. It is called "Habakkuk's Song" by Mike Rathke.

Lord, You are good in this,
You are good even in this,
You are good even in this place,
You are worthy to be praised.

Cuz I don't love You for what You can give me.
I don't love You for what You're keeping me from.
You're deserving of the highest praises, oh, whatever may come.

So onward I walked and sang. Sang and walked. No smile on my face. But there was an inward smirk for the enemy had fled. And I continued to praise my Lord Who is so worthy to be praised.
No matter what.

I Am

This last week there was a lot of heavy prayer burdens for others & then one afternoon there was a lot of contention in my home. I walked down to the creek, had a hard cry, and a long talk with the Lord. 

At one point, I had a little pity party. I told the Lord "I pray for so many people, Lord, who is praying for me?"
"I am." I felt Christ reply. 
Humbled, I headed back to the house.

The next evening I got an email from a friend. I had been on her heart since the previous day and she was praying for me.

See, dear readers, why I say often that the Lord sees, He knows, and He cares. The Lord is so personal. Just His answer of "I am" was enough.

But He delights in being abundant. So He lays me on someone's heart who He knew would pray. And then prompts her to send me an email to let me know so. 

Yes, the Lord is so very personal. His fingerprints are all over every area of my life. 

*Later four more people shared how they have been praying for me. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Kick His Teeth In

"Prayer is war!" someone once said. How true! How true.

Psalm 144:1 says Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight..

I often think that when I go to pray that doing so is to kick the enemy's teeth in. I read a verse in Job recently that basically confirms this.

Job 29:17 says And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.

Now that is a warrior's verse!We face many enemies, but we must remember that the Lord says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness.

Like a wicked wolf with a child in its jaws, the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. And it is our duty to kick his teeth in to rescue that child. And what spoil is in the enemy's teeth today?  It may be your good name or an unborn infant's life. It may be the soul of a stranger or the health of a loved one. It may be the heart of your teenager or the self-worth of a child. Maybe it is peace of mind or your trust in the Lord. The enemy seeks to snatch it and clenches his teeth tightly to try to stop you for getting it back.

Luke 11:21-22 reminds us When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

1 John 4:4 tells us Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Ah, too often we think of the Holy Spirit as only a Teacher, Comforter, and Spirit of Truth, but He is also a valiant Warrior Who is mightier than any foe! And we must remember our position in Christ. We believers are in Christ and Christ is in us. Got that? We are sandwiched between Christ! See why the enemy must deceive us to have power over us?

Yes, we lose battles some times. Some times it seems like we are constantly losing battles and seeing warriors fall or falling ourselves. But what matters is who wins the war and we know how this story ends. We know the final chapter.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Now go kick the enemy's teeth in!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Eerie Calm

I recently wrote a friend,
"I feel an eerie calm. For 10 yrs this time of year has had dark clouds and stormy emotions and pain. Last year I was healed but anxious and fearful the pain would pounce on me again. This year I feel ....calm. At peace. God's Words to me on my first birthday without Jim come to me 'And I love you more than you'll ever understand. And I said this is best.' And I look to the future & smile cuz I believe Ecc. 3:11a is true, He will make everything beautiful in His time."

I woke up an hour late on Jim's birthday and we rushed out the door to get to church on time. What a crazy way to start the day! In church, we sang the hymn "Dwelling in Beulah Land" written by Charles Miles. Lord Jesus, You know we sang that at Jim's funeral. And You know how special the second and third verse are to me. It was like Jim was singing them. I sang along with gusto and a smile.