Why I decided to be honest with the hard things

The shock is beginning to wear off.

The grief is settling in.

The heart is beginning to feel the weight and the immense loss.

There is compounded grief – for your own, personal, felt loss and the realization of the suffering of those around you…the husband, the babies, the mom and dad, the brother, the grandmothers….and extended family.

The sun is shining here today. For that I am so grateful. It has been dark and dreary and dreadful for too long.

Thank you, God, for causing the sun to shine down upon us today.

In more ways than one you are piercing through the darkness.

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I’ve decided that this coming year I will be more transparent in all of my writing – as much as I can be without having you sit down to dinner with us…and seeing absolutely everything…no one wants that, believe me.

I’ve talked about this hard year and you have endured with me as you will notice much of the posts have been about crying out and suffering…

cause I was suffering.

Last January, my husband lost his job.

Then his health.

Then we just about lost everything.

I was still immersed in grief from my father’s passing – although I knew he was made perfect. I was still greatly missing my brother – although I knew he was finally at peace.

But everything else seemed to fall apart.

Livestock died – produce was rained out – twice – vehicles suddenly fell apart – our adopted son greatly struggled – and the list seemed to go on and on and on and every time the sun came up over that horizon I had to made a decision to get out of bed. And I worked long hours, seven days a week attempting to keep up with the disasters, the caring for my man (and that was the darkest hours of all), attempting to do man’s work and always feeling behind. Crops that were rained out and animals we sell die – for no apparent reason.

I really, really, really wanted to quit.

And I mean quit.

Writing not only became how I breathe out life…it became how I was to support the family. I had known the luxury of doing full-time ministry without being compensated for years and now I had to trust that God would meet our needs if I continued to do just that…serve. When everything is being stripped away believe me, that’s scary place to be.

In the midst of all that was taking place there was a ministry to run and lots of writing to produce.

So I used the keys of my lap top to process my pain.

My writing isn’t just my job or my ministry, it’s my heart beating out, fleshing out in words to you…

I really do give you my soul when I share.

That’s a vulnerable thing to do and I’ve decided to be even more transparent with you today…

because I think there are others of you, who right now really, really, really don’t want to get up in the morning.

And because I think if we are real, honest and transparent…we don’t feel so alone and there is greater opportunity to love one one another and truly extend our compassion to the deepest places of heart.

After the third planting and so much loss and farm vet calls and a mountain of hospital bills and way too many ambulances in route to the ER with my beloved…and tears and desperate pleas for God to relieve my life – to lift the hard things, to do anything that would bring some relief…I realized that so many things had been shifted and sifted. I was left standing in a remote wasteland of what I had known to be my life and all that I really cried out for was God’s presence. When you watch your beloved waste away, when you watch his life ebb away and all that you had depended upon him for was now gone and when your livelihood is taken and your are utterly helpless in stopping any of it – hope can fade and despair can set up it’s dismal camp in your heart. And maybe that’s you today – you are dwelling in the land of utter despair and hopelessness.

I’m not asking you to do anything. Not telling you to run to the deep well of the glorious Word of God or telling you to spend the afternoon in deep prayer. No. I’m telling you to sit still. To grieve. Allow the deep wounds to be felt and simply be. I promise you. God is sitting right next to you…closer than that – He’s holding you. He’s consumed you to the point that there is no where you can go without His presence – you are completely surrounded by Him. That means that even your desperate state cannot remove you from Him. Not your struggles, not your anger towards him, or your disappointment, not your questioning and refusal to relinquish…none of that will remove His loving hand over you. So you can be still today and simply be ….even if being means a whole lotta yuck and mess and things you don’t understand and cannot seem to muddle through.

I have not the faintest idea what this coming new year will bring and quite honestly, I cannot even think about it. But I do know this: God will be faithful.

He will continue to immerse me in His grace and mercy.

He will provide.

I am trusting in Him to provide in mighty ways…things that will grow our ministry so that more women will be equipped and encouraged. We are trusting God for things that seem impossible…so that we can use the love that we have for farming/livestock and simple living to help others heal and experience a living, breathing picture of some of the truths of Scripture. We are trusting that He allow us to counsel more women without any cost to them (single moms don’t have the means),  teach more studies, walk alongside even more women as we equip other women to do so, to help more women discover their place within the Body of Christ regarding their God-given gifts and talents.

I am trusting that He will give me the tenacity to finish quickly, my new book – ironically about grief and loss and the e-book that is comprised of decades of writing short pieces and stories.

I am trusting Him because He is trust worthy.

Recently, we made some upgrades (well, not me, but the tech people) to this site to make it more readable and accessible. And for the first time, we added a donate button. That was a major move for me. Bloom Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit ministry. Tomorrow’s post is all about what Bloom looks like, what we do and who we minister to…because I’ve realized how will you know unless I tell you.

So there you have it. I was honest with you about how I really, really, really struggled with past year. And here I sit today, attempting to process the sudden loss of my beautiful niece. I don’t have answers, I don’t know what tomorrow brings and I certainly don’t know what trials are around the corner…but I do know that God is who He says He is. I do know that He is faithful.

And I do know that as you sit there today with your own pile of wounds and weariness…He’s with you.

I pray you too feel His light pierce the darkness.

Our family is grateful for your love, support and prayers right now cause this is really, really hard.

I am grateful that you allow me this space and your time if you spend it with me as I attempt to live out a life glorifying to God in this place that is not our real home.

Grace to you my friend …this glorious, undeserved, unmitigated grace that spills over in our lives with every breath we take.

Joy

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May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!