God, Are You There?

sunrise on a beautiful morning

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A decade has come and gone, and yet I still remember those early days…

God, are you there?

A whisper in the darkness… my voice deep with emotion.

Do you hear me?

Heart heavy with the grieving

My emotions bleeding out all over the floor.

Too exhausted to even raise my head,

I lay prostrate-

the scratch of the carpet against my face.

Whispers to The One who promises me He will never leave me

I am humbled and broken.

The living room becomes a most holy place

as I quietly worship, through tears, the One who I know is a defender of widows

and a father to the fatherless.

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”  Psalm 68:5 NIV

The loss of my first husband and my journey through the valley of the shadow of death is just part of my story.

All glory be to God, that it was not the end of my story!

He takes the broken. The bruised. The hurt. The sad. The angry. The bitter.

The Great Physician performs surgery on the heart,

and breathes new life into a grieving soul.

After stumbling in the darkness of grief, I know that joy comes in the morning.

I also know that joy comes after the mourning.

Joy does come again.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18 NIV

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The She Speaks conference is about women connecting to the hearts of  other women, and more importantly connecting to the heart of God. If you might be interested in going to this conference, please visit Ann Voskamp’s blog at A Holy Experience, where she is offering a scholarship opportunity for the conference.

My name is Dawn. The name means “sunrise” and is often used to signify new beginnings.  That is what God did for me. I am a new beginning through Him.

I am living, breathing proof of God’s tender love and mercy.

When the pain is so great that words are not enough…

God will meet you there.

It is because of this, that my heart’s desire is to help others who are suffering through the loss of a loved one.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-5  NIV

Letting Go

Vlčice (Wildschütz) - old gravestone

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This week, we are discussing “letting go”. (Click on the Walk With Him Wednesdays/One Thousand Gifts on my right sidebar if you want to read more.)

Letting Go…

So hard for me. I struggle. I cry. I’m stubborn. It hurts.

I hold on until my hands ache. My muscles spasm. I can hardly breathe.

NO, GOD!!!

My grandmother laid in her bed. Family gathered around. We knew her time was short. She was ready to go home, but only days away from being 20 years old, I didn’t want to let her go. The memories washed over me, salty tears coursed down my face. I watched, sadly, as the funeral worker came to the house to take her away. She was buried on my birthday. The day I turned 20. The day I told her goodbye.

In November of 2000, the hospital lights glared as I stood over my husband’s bed. The nurse asked me if I wanted my husband’s wedding ring? And did I want to say a final goodbye to him before they took him away? My pastor friend was there. A friend from Sunday School. I explained to my 5 year old son that Daddy was with God now, and he wasn’t coming back.

I got the call early, before I left for work. It was a chilly March morning, that day in 2002. My aunt’s voice carried hundreds of miles across the phone line. “Dawn, I called you first. Will you call your sister? Your father is dead. He took his own life.”  The air sucked out of my lungs. “What?!” My brain was numb as I attempted to process what she had just told me.  My dad left….and he didn’t even say goodbye.

I got a call from my husband, Scott, in January 2009. We had been married for just a tad over 3 years. Scott had a good job (he worked remotely) with a company that he had been with for 22 years. We were in the process of building a house out of state. Exciting times…..until that fateful phone call. His company was letting him go. No fault of his own. Economy. Since he worked remotely, he couldn’t be put in a new position. I was trying to process the news….we were a single income family, we were in the middle of building a house, what were we going to do?!  I had to say goodbye to the life that I had known.

Letting go. Saying goodbye. Starting over.

My knuckles were white from the grasping hard.

And yet… it is when I let go, give up, release, that I can watch God in action. When I stop wrestling with Him for control, I can see Him at work.

When I stop saying “me”, and start saying “YOU”, I give Him glory.

Letting go is not easy. Humanly speaking, I don’t know if it ever is. But, it is only when I let go and rest in Him that I fully begin to understand who God  is.

Psalm 344.I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears…..8. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. 17. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. 18. The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

God is good. All the time. Even when we have to let go.


We’re All Terminal

Grave Stones at Walnut Grove Cemetery

Image by OakleyOriginals via Flickr

DISCLAIMER:  This blog entry will cause readers to think. Read at your own risk.

We’re all terminal. No one is going to make it out of this life, alive.

We’re all dying. Some of us realize that. Some deny it. Some ignore it. It doesn’t change anything. It’s still happening.

None of us, regardless of age, are promised tomorrow. As a matter of fact, we are unable to see even a few seconds into our future. No one knows for sure what is going to happen to them even 5 seconds from now. We tend to forget that. It’s easier that way.

Now, at this point I can pretty much guarantee, many people reading my blog are scratching their heads and wondering what in the world is going on? I’m usually an upbeat writer. Even funny on some occasions. Why the death talk? It’s depressing. Not sure if I want to hear this…..

Well, stick around. Hear me out. It will be worth it. I promise.

I’ve met death, up close and personal. On more than one occasion.

As a five year old, I was visiting with my cousin, when my uncle  (his dad) died. I actually have memories of that. As a freshman in high school I lost a good friend, from my church youth group. He died on Christmas Day 1982. I lost all my grandparents by my senior year in college. In 2000, after a year and a  half of illness, my first husband died, leaving me a widow at 32, as well as a single parent. Not a year and a half later my father, in his desperation, took his own life. Then there are all the deaths of relatives, co-workers, acquaintances, and other national tragedies, such as 9/11. In 2005, I remarried. He was also widowed with young children. So, he understood.

Dealing with death, or writing about death…always makes me think. How can it not? After all one day it will happen to me.

My husband and I facilitate a GriefShare group at our church. It is a support group for others that have had to face the death of someone they loved. It’s a group that is needed…because sometimes people who have seen the act of dying, up close…need to talk about it. It helps. It heals.

Yesterday a friend asked for prayer. A young family that she goes to church with, just found out that the mommy, the wife, was in the late stages of aggressive cancer. She had no idea until she was told by the doctor that she only had a few weeks to live. A few WEEKS to live. My heart hurts for her. For her husband. For her children. For her family. For her friends. Death is never easy…and in most cases comes to the party, uninvited.

As I was mulling these thoughts over in my head…and my heart…a video that I first saw last year, came to mind.

The woman on the video is Rachel.

It was taped in March of 2009.

Rachel was a wife.

A mom.

She was 37 years old.

And she was dying.

Her body was riddled with very painful cancer.

At the time of this video, she knew her time on this earth was short.

And yet she had a message to tell.

My hope is that you, my readers, will take the time to watch her video.

The video is long, about 50 minutes.

But 50 minutes is just a drop of water in the ocean of eternity.

It is one of those life changing videos.

The kind of video that you might not get to see again. So, grab the opportunity.

It’s profound.

So watch it.

You’ll probably cry.

That’s okay.

Rachel died about 4 months after this video was taped.

She said, not to worry. She’s with the Lord.

And she is now more alive than she ever was here on earth…….