It’s All Too Much!

This has been a season of deep loss for me. Usually the seasons only last for a while before they turn to the next season. However, this season, this season of loss seems to be unending. Their names echo through my heart and soul: Maggie, Justin, Barb, Ben, Aaron, Ralph, Rachel, Stephanie and now Jim. These are all individuals who have touched my life but have been lost to death in this season. They are seminary friends, high school teachers, colleagues, youth ministry friends and now a dear dear family friend.

I am not sure how much more my heart can take. And every time I open Facebook and learn of a new death, my breathe is taken away. This is just too much. Too much pain. Too much heartache. Too much loss. Too much….  Too much…. Too much! I find myself asking, “How long,Oh Lord, how long? How long will this season of loss last?

And yet another death has taken place. Again this is all way too much! Jim and Leslye and their family are more than friends to my sister and I. They are family. I married their oldest daughter and her husband five years ago. It was the first wedding I ever officiated. I have known their kids since they were toddlers and infants and I often call them my “adopted” nieces and nephew. So this one…this one hits way too close to home.

Jim was a man of great integrity and had a smile that could light up a room. I remember watching him with Lexi and McKenzie at their weddings dancing the father daughter dance. My heart aches that he won’t be able to walk Madison down the aisle when she marries the love of her life. Jim loved his wife. He loved his children. And he loved his grandchildren. Today, the world is much dimmer because another great soul was taken from us way too soon. Again this is way too much!

My heart aches. I wonder when this season will end. I fear waking to another death in my life. But then I know the reality is that God sits with us in our pain. So much in life is uncertain, but one thing I know for certain is God’s love–God’s love for God’s people. Today, I am clinging to that very hope even though I must sit here in this space a little longer; sit here in the midst of more grief, pain and loss. I must once again cling to the promises of resurrection hope as I continue to let the tears fall.

I am linking up with Holley at Coffee for your Heart and Kristin and Porch Stories. 

Sunday Blessings 227, 228 & 229

Sometimes life gets crazy so here’s three weeks worth!

(1) More rain.

(2) One year at First Lutheran Williston

(3) Fun new LLR!

(4) Giving some of the bulletin boards at church a facelift.

(5) Early Birthday dinner with KD and family.

(6) Time with my sissy

(7) Awesome birthday gathering!!

(8)Almost $300 raised for NAMI

(9) The many birthday greetings!

(10) CS and LS decorating my office for my 40th birthday.

(11) A church member bringing me some soup and bread he made for his wife and girls. So yummy!!

(12) Texting with my fave

(13) Watching Luna play with her new toy.

(14) German chocolate cake

(15) Holding baby Kate

(16) Time with outstanding people…some of my fave people.

(17) All Rev’d Up leading Beer and Hymns

(18) WND Rostered Leaders 5K

(19) Sending an important email

(20) A sweet card from my blog friend MG

(21) Warm quilts on a cool Fall day

(22) Technology so I could attend a friends funeral online.

(23) A fun concert at church

(24) Laughter

(25) A beautiful PLN!!

The Crowds

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “crowd.” We’d love to have you join us.

The crowds were really good at finding Jesus. The woman who came seeking healing for her demon possessed daughter. The mat carriers lifting their friend through the roof to Jesus. There was even the crowd that came to watch as Jesus was crucified.

I wonder if like me Jesus ever tired of the crowds. I’m an introvert for the most part, but I can fake extrovert when I need to. In my introvertedness, I’d much rather curl up with a cup of tea and a good book; away from the crowds.

Crowds can be so noisy. I think of all the crowds that gather at concerts or at political rallies. I like hanging with friends in these places, but I usually get weary of the crowds fast.   Yet there are other times crowds might be a gift. A small crowd gathered watching vigil at the hospital. A small crowd praying for safety together. A small crowd gathered at a funeral together.

Jesus knew how to manuever crowds. Me not always so much. Today, I’ll stay curled up on the couch, under a favorite quilt, away from the crowds, with my sweet Luna sleeping peacefully on my lap. Because sometimes crowds are less than peaceful!

I’m Tired of Burying My Friends

I open Facebook and read that another friend has lost his wife. Leaving three children without their mom. This brings the total to six. Six friends/colleagues that have died since last October. Eight children without one of their two parents.

My heart aches. I’m broken, fragmented, not whole. But most of all, I want to restore my friends back to wholeness. I want to take away the pain of losing someone they love so dearly. I want the deceased to still be here with us here on Earth. The truth is I’m tired of watching friends being buried.

And as another soul dies way too young, the grief only deepens. The grief paralyzes me once again. Why, oh Lord? Why are all these vibrant souls being taken from us way too young? They all still had so much to give. I’m tired of watching my friends being buried.

Tears stream down my face. I think of all the memories we shared together. I want his daughter to know him. I want her three children to know her too. I want cancer to be cured. I want their hearts to be stronger. I don’t want death to take them. I am tired of burying my friends.

Yes, life and death are cyclical but there are so many days I’d much rather rejoice at new life than watch as death takes a friend way too young. I also find myself clinging to fear wondering who death will take next. It’s irrational because we are not too worry about tomorrow for it will bring its own worries. But again, I’m tired of burying my friends.

My heart has loved. I’ve been blessed by so many wonderful colleagues and friends. But my heart has been broken. It has mourned. It knows both the joys and sorrows of life. It yearns to be reunited with these dear beloved souls.

Im tired of burying my friends. But in due time, joy will come again! Joy will eventually turn our mourning into dancing. And our dancing will make way for more grace, more hope, and more love.

But for now, I need to dwell in this space; grieving these dear souls. I’m tired of watching my friends bodies being returned to the earth. “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

 

Rain

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “rain.” We’d love to have you join us.

The tears trickle down their faces
Tears of relief
Hope for tomorrow

Rain

The land is barren, dry
It comes
Just when it is needed

Rain

A life well lived
A life taken way too soon
Grief stricken faces

Rain

A wet head
Marked with the cross
A sign and a claim
Of being a beloved child of God.

Rain.

It comes and goes.
Sometimes it overcomes
And we wait for it to stop.
We know her power
And ask God to calm her.

Rain.

In a hospital room
Tears of joy
As a new baby
enters this world.

Rain.

Wet
Water
Tears
Baptism
God’s reign!