While I stammer and struggle with feelings and words, my dear friend, Lori Roeleveld, has the ability to put life back in order for me. It’s like she strokes my hair with her calming touch, only she uses words. Lori’s words did it again. They gave me the permission to feel what I already felt but didn’t know how to put them into words. I need to allow myself to lament.
If we’re all honest, the Las Vegas Massacre devastated each one of us. Every last one of us was touched in one way or another. Allow yourself to lament, too.
Love you, Lori. My life is blessed because of your friendship and your words.
How many times have we questioned why sand has been kicked in our face on the Beach of Life? Circumstances doesn’t go as planned … we suffer an incredible loss … our words get twisted then used against us. We stomp our foot and scream to God, “This is not fair! Where are you, Father? Why don’t you make this right?”
But we hear nothing back—radio silence from our Heavenly Father. What do we do? We want to roll up our sleeves and fix things. We know exactly what we’d do to fix things. But Scriptures begin to come to mind: “Never will I leave you nor forsake you,” “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” “In all your ways submit to God, and he will make your paths straight.”
August 1983 The cool air and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we traveled the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.
“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”
We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eye, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”
Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?
Every day counts and I’ve never felt that as poignantly as I did this past week.
I found out about the death of my cousin, Pastor Les Green of Nebo Crossing Church in Nebo, NC, on July 2 through social media. Les and I had drifted apart over the years. I can’t speak for Les, but I know I had become more involved with my life than the world I had left behind. Once I finally reconnected with Christ, too many bridges had been burned and it seemed almost impossible to reconnect with everyone from my past. Unfortunately, some of those bridges were with family. And one of the relationship casualties was with Les and Debbie.
The last time I saw Les and Debbie was briefly over thirty years ago at our Grandpa and Grandma Green’s house. I was coming in and they were leaving. A quick hello was all we shared. Then they were gone. Little did I know I’d miss out on some incredible life experiences.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
For those of you that read Michelle Count’s post, Nothing to do with Baseball from May 19, 2015, you will remember she survived the brain surgery. Here’s a followup on her story.
Funny, even my own neurosurgeon said it would take a miracle to bring me through my surgery. But if you’re like me, it is sometimes through our greatest struggles that we feel Christ the most. I think this experience has left me with a gratefulness I will never be able to repay. It has been three years since my surgery and with every passing month I feel stronger. As I reflect on this experience I realize how important my faith is to me.
Recently my husband was reading from one of our bibles. He asked me, “Do you remember the date July 14th in the early 1980’s?” Continue reading →
J. G. Gilbert & Robin Gilbert Luftig at Lake Lavine, MI, Summer 1958
Even though my family of origin was pretty dysfunctional, one of my favorite pastimes when I’m feeling a bit low is to remember stories about my dad and how he honored my feelings and held them close to his heart.
I always jumped at the chance to be with Dad in his room—the Gun Room. It was a treat to steal away with him when he went upstairs to his room. He kept guns, cameras, family photos and film equipment, and special sentimental pieces from his childhood there. I am certain he kept us out for our own protection when it came to the guns. We were all told the only time we were allowed to go in there by ourselves was if the house was on fire and we could safely get the family’s 8mm films out and save them from being destroyed. Other than that, the Gun Room was strictly off limits. Whenever I saw him in there, I would beg to join him. And he always obliged. While he worked away on whatever project he was concentrating on, I looked around his private sanctuary with marvel. I would fold my arms behind my back holding tightly on to my wrists, just to make sure I did not touch anything. I did not want to run the risk of inadvertently grabbing for something and causing harm.
I published this post a year ago, but have been moved by the support Rick Franzo offers as well as receives. He has been consistent with his mantra “A warrior never lets another warrior walk alone–ever!” for as long as I’ve known him. Check out his book, How Horseshoes Saved my Life: A Tale of Two Brain Tumors. ###
It’s terrible to feel alone. And there’s probably no other time when a person feels more alone as when they’re dealing with a life-altering illness. Be someone’s hero. Reach out to them. You don’t need to have answers. That’s not what they want from you. They have doctors for answers. They might want to have someone to just stay close.Continue reading →