The Home Page

Friday, November 7, 2014

What's Faith Got to do With It?

My faith is holding me up at the moment.

I often think that if I didn't believe in God and all he can and does do in my life, I'd have thrown in the towel many years ago. I am quite skilled at allowing myself to get lost in depression and simply fall into a deep dark hole. I am also quite skilled at "acting" like everything is okay when it is anything but. That is how I managed through many years of debilitating SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, to keep a job and not run off all friends and family. Retirement meant I either had to find motivation to "act" okay somewhere else or simply change the way I react to the darkness that fills me when September begins.

I prayed with all I had this fall because with the loss of my mom, of course, in September and on my son's birthday, I easily could have and wanted to simply fall down the slide into the big dark hole and stay there. I didn't want to DO anything at all. Some things had to be done and I had to do them, so I did. I got things done. I then retreated into my head and tried to grieve without allowing the SAD to drag me in.

My prayers were mostly for strength and peace of heart. Life without Momma was not something I was ready for. She wasn't ill. She wasn't anything out of the ordinary. On Monday she was very tired, but she had days like that. On Tuesday she was gone. I had to learn who I was now without her. My life was so much about her and I so enjoyed having her here with me that I didn't let myself think about not having her. Why would I? She was 91 and in good health. Worn out, yes. Depressed about winter coming on, yes. But these were not new things and I was not ready. She was. She knew. I am sure of this because looking back, the signs were there. The words were vague when said, but in hindsight, crystal clear. She was going Home and she was ready to go.

My prayers were all about me. I knew she was happy and would not like that I was falling apart hourly and lost without her. I prayed that I would have her kind of strength to move forward. I even prayed for some kind of guidance as to what I am supposed to be now. It felt eternal. It felt like my heart would never laugh again; never feel filled again; never felt permanent.

It isn't - permanent. It is recurring. I have days now that I feel happy. I have days that I feel like I'm going to okay and will always miss her, but won't cry every day about that. I have days when I feel nothing but empty, but they are not often. They are the days I really feel lost. The feeling gets lighter when I remember that God has me. Really has me. I am never alone. I am always in His care and His plan is perfect. I just don't know what it is. I trust I will as it unfolds.

We have recently learned that our beloved Sadie is terminally ill with heart disease. She is 13 and cannot tolerate any medications which could slow the regression of her heart because her kidneys are also beginning to deteriorate. It's a matter of time and each day with her is precious. It always has been. She's had a great life with us and no one could have loved her more, but saying good-bye to her will be another heartbreak, this one expected. For right now, she is happy, eating and living pain free. Therefore, we are doing nothing, medically, just spoiling her even more than we always have. It brings a tear to my eye now and then just looking at her, but I cannot allow her to suffer and we will let her go, when it's time.

Again, prayer and faith is keeping me going because to be honest, I'd give in with this news coming right now. I could not handle this and function in the real world if I had to do it without His help.

A very good friend said to me a few weeks ago that she wondered how I was doing because she was afraid when I told her about Sadie that I wouldn't handle that without some kind of breakdown. It made me think harder about how easily I have come to hand things over to Him and honestly feel, physically feel, the relief.

Once I know that He has it, I am able to stop obsessing. I am able to feel my sadness and accept my losses as part of my blessings. I understand and accept that to avoid the pain I would had to have forgone the experience of love.  As Garth says, "I'd have had to miss the dance."

Love is worth the pain of loss. Without love my life would mean nothing. I would be no one.

Thinking about this I realized that people who live without real love, the ones who know people but don't have relationships, are very selfless. I used to think they were self-centered and couldn't give love and therefore, didn't have it. I now see that some may chose to separate from close loving relationships to save others from the pain when they are gone.

Death only breaks those who really love. Otherwise, it's an event to which you contribute in some way and then move on. So it is very selfless to live that way. Keeping everyone at an arm's length, so to speak. Having people you care about and who care about you, but not loving you closely. Not needing you in their life. Your death then is an event to which they pay tribute, say a  prayer for your soul and move on. I understand this now. I admire it.

It feels very good to know that I might never cause this kind of pain to another living soul.

This may seem like the usual ranting of a semi-mad woman, but it really is an explanation of one way to deal with loss and one way to understand that in faith comes possibility and belief that you do have purpose. I don't know that I'm settled on what that purpose is, what that plan is nor how exactly I am to proceed, but I am settled on the knowledge that my faith in my God will allow me to move forward and become...someone.



  1. you amaze me with your great words Jo. I always read what u write and so enjoy. You are such a nice friend.

    1. thank you, Jeanne. That's a wonderful comment. I feel like I am so blessed with people like you always giving the back-pat, just as needed!
      I appreciate your comments, always.

  2. You're right Jo, this is one I can really identify with, (most of them are). We never know how we'll react when tragedy or loss hits. That's a good thing, we don't need to know the future only know that God is already in our future and has a plan mapped out for us. All we have to do is try to stay on His plan and walk it out. That's not always easy because we want to have our plans work out. Lately, one of my go to prayers or a portion of it is ;Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven'. I can be content then knowing that He' got this. Love you, Velda

    1. Yep...that's one of my most repeated along with the serenity prayer.
      One moment at a time

  3. You are much stronger than you think. You have endured a lot of heartache the last few months with much grace and perseverance. You are a beautiful person and your faith makes you even more so. Your faith always shines through like a beacon of God's love. You are an awesome person, Jo, and I love you.

    1. That is so nice, Kat. I'm not feeling awesome by any stretch, but I am feeling stronger most days. I love you back.

  4. I lost my mom back in 2002. It was tough and never gets right, but time certainly will heal. Your loss is recent. It takes at least a year to feel semi-normal. Give yourself a chance to move on. Your mom would want it that way.

  5. Just want you to know I'm here and I'm listening.
    I'm hoping for something bright and warm to find its way toward you soon. I also hope that you allow yourself to feel what your mind and body need to feel to get through this, and to be honest with those reaching out. Telling someone that I'm not okay is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. For a long time I pushed the darkness aside and pretended I never saw it, and I was able to pull it off up until a few months ago when I found myself on the edge, staring into all the darkness that I never dealt with and it was all I could see. Very scary stuff, but I got through the worst of it by finally letting people in.
    You don't have to be strong, or okay all the time -- none of us do.

    1. Thank you, Trish. I am not strong all the time. Hardly ever. I don't usually tell people I'm okay, I answer, well, you know, good days not so good days. I'm most certainly not okay. The darkness is always just steps away.
      Writing, cooking and not seeing outside seems to keep me a few steps ahead of destruction. I spend a lot of time in prayer.

  6. I believe: The longer we live, the more we live through. Worse than depression and the way mood lays under its own weight, is the feeling that it will just stay that way. We fight, because we know we should, but at a time when we have the least fight in us.

    What I value most about aging is that there are fewer and fewer things we haven't already experienced. I believe you'll come through this too; it's your tired head that's in charge right now, but your spirit (even if it's napping) will take over as it has in the past.

    I've read your writing for a while. You might be quiet right now, but you've got loud will and a giant heart. It's still there. Let yourself be for now. Giving in to this big sadness is not giving up, Jo.

    Love, Susan

    1. Susan, your support and your understanding is amazing to me. We have connected heart-to-heart through this journey. I'm grateful for this. I've learned and I've shared and I've fallen and I've risen, but what I've not done is lost faith. What I've not done is given up. I am prone to giving in though.
      I think I'm okay with that. I think it's part of letting go.
      Thank you again, for being on my side and having my back.

  7. The trust and comfort in your faith is remarkable Jo. You share your journey and feelings so eloquently. Blessings to you as you travel this difficult time.

    1. Thank you, Amy. I know you'll always be there for me. Always have a kind word. I appreciate that so much.


I really want to know that YOU were here...please drop me a note or just say Hi ~ I do love a comment and it keeps me motivated!

You write and I will answer. Eventually. Show the love!