Archive | June 2013

Awash in tears

I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. Psalm 6:6

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.  Psalm 56:8, NLT  

Rain drops

Rain drops (Photo credit: [luis])

Tears. There’s always more of them it seems. More often that rain dropping from the skies does the rush of liquid course down one’s cheeks, mostly unchecked, until the nose plugs up and the necessity of breathing becomes paramount for a bit. Choking sobs of pain, rage and fear added to an assortment of other emotions describes a mom who has lost a child to suicide. Does the flow every stop? Does the ocean ever stop heaving its load of waves upon the shore? No, it continues in its rush to nowhere, flowing in and flowing out. As sure as the tide flows in two directions, our tears will continue to fall as long as we draw breath. But the passage of time checks the tears. They become less frequent, but they have a purpose, like a washing machine cleans a load of clothes, our tears wash away the pain of grief on the inside so we feel cleansed, at least for the moment.

It’s exhausting work, but necessary for tears give pain a voice even when you can’t think of one word in your numb mind. Is it possible that dewy tears have their own language? Since the God of heaven cares enough about out tears to save them (Psalm 56:8), maybe His eyes can read the love language inscribed on each teary prism.

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.  Psalm 126:5

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This entry was posted on June 30, 2013. 1 Comment

One Life Remembered

Candles

Candles (Photo credit: magnuscanis)

It was dark outside with very few stars peaking through a thick blanket of clouds. And it was late. Most humans were tucked in behind locked doors and pulled shades, so we had the street to ourselves. Chirping crickets and other noisy insects blended their voices in an orchestra of sorts to serenade us in the humid night air.

Our footsteps beat a rhythm as we passed by house after house. This night walk was unique in several ways. It was made up of a family gathered together from near and far – all brought together for one purpose: to mourn the loss of our son, brother, nephew, cousin, grandson.

This walk wasn’t for exercise. We had been told that there was something special for us if we stepped outside and walked down the street. So that is what we were doing together.

It was a moonless night with very few street lamps to light our way, but we had light. Nearly every home we passed by had set a candle burning in a window, just for us.

The candles were a gift from the children in our church. They wanted to quietly tell us they were sad for us and in this small, thoughtful way, share their love. So they had decorated electric candles and added a card to each one, and then went from house to house on our street, asking our neighbors to join with them to show our family their tender regard for our loss.

The card read: “One candle in the window. One life remembered, showing that our love, support, and prayers are surrounding you.”

One could hear muffled sobs, mostly mine. I was powerless to stop the flow of tears as I saw the lit candles in nearly every neighboring window. I felt the love and prayers from each one.

It was yet another way that God was showing us His eyes were on us and through the hearts of young children and neighbors, He was reaching down to hold us.

There have been many memories created during this time of sorrow, but the candles . . . some still lit in windows, including ours . . . are a symbol and a reminder that God cares and remembers and so do His children.

~from “Shattered by Suicide” by Gracie Thompson

This entry was posted on June 29, 2013. 2 Comments

Healing a Broken Heart

Weeping angel

Weeping angel (Photo credit: Mauro Luna)

Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.   Psalm 30:5

Dear Heavenly Father, this title is so personal it hurts. This is my heart we are talking about. It’s mending . . . slowly, but most days, it still feels broken anew.

I speak for myself and my family. I speak for those who have not yet found their voice, their pain too fresh, too great. And I speak for all who felt they had no way out except to end their tortured lives.

How sad for all of us, Father. Please hold us when we cry. Please collect all our tears in your bottle (Psalm 56:8). Please pick us up before we falter and fall. Some days, I hear Your sweet voice speaking softly in my ear,

My blessed Child, I do weep when you weep. Your grief has reached heaven and our sadness matches yours. But all is not lost. We know what awaits you and your child who was laid to rest. He is taking a dirt nap, and for him, it will seem like it just began . . .

He won’t remember the time. And he won’t think to ask anymore than you will. You see, My coming will be so stunning, so spectacular that nothing you have ever experienced will compare.

So weep on, My Child, until relief comes. I have plenty of bottles. Just know that weeping will not last forever. It will end and then the joy will follow – a new morning filled with effervescent, fantastic joy!

~from Shattered by Suicide

Eight-legged miracle

We’d been off our satellite for weeks and I missed my favorite programs. The satellite package we bought had some years on it by now, so what should we expect, right? Stuff breaks down. New parts are called for, but companies go out of business and buying a brand new satellite package was not in the budget. But whining won’t bring a solution, so I finally called the company who no longer sells or services the product we bought, but they were able to refer me to the company who took over their product line. Good! But my lack of “techy” understanding is coming into play and things are going rapidly down hill. Bad! I know zero about this stuff so what kind of questions do I ask anyway? And questions mean money;  money we don’t need to spend on something as frivolous as a new satellite system.

God, can you please fix it?

The cap had come off the end piece thingy. We thought perhaps something got damaged inside while the cap off, but what do we know?

Spider Web Fall Morning

(Photo credit: scottleduc)

Curious, my hubby poked a finger in the end with the missing cap (retro back to early childhood pre-occupation with electric outlets?) and something spongy gave way to his touch. I’d have left for the next county, but he persistently poked at the spongy stuff and out walked a spider; a rather large, indignant spider, I might add. Apparently hubby had disturbed her house. Picking up a stick and wiping the interior with it,  hubby was able to get the sticky web to cling to the stick. Ms. Spider will have to rebuild ~ elsewhere, but here is the really, really cool part . . . the satellite works fine now. Who knew?

Thank you, God!

You, God, are awesome . . .   Psalm 68:35

Pocketful of Grace

Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, don’t wash only my feet. Wash my hands and my head too!”  John 13:9

Jesus Washes the Feet of the Disciples

Jesus washes disciples feet (Photo credit: Scott Schram)

I agree with Peter’s words in His moment with His Lord. He wanted a hose down, a head-to-toe contact with Jesus. Me too. Showers of blessings from above. Drenched. Eyes blinking from the downpour. Both cleansed and refreshed and tapped off with a long, tender hug from our Friend. I never get enough of Him. Perhaps you feel this way too?

About this time one year ago, I started blogging. I wanted to share hope with hurting hearts and that desire has not abated. There continues a deep longing within me to connect with God; sharing His Word in bite-sized morsels with others. God says to taste and see that He is good (Psalm 34:8). There are always new ways to share His Love  that touches us where we live, work, and feel. Not only do I want to reach out to hurting hearts, but also glorify God in the process. The book, “Shattered by Suicide, My Conversations with God After the Tragic Death of My  Son” (I know. Long title) was and continues to be God’s project. Who it touches is known only to Him. I really can’t say “only” known by Him, because He has let me in on the connections the Holy Spirit makes sometimes which is always a huge encouragement. Praise His Name!

And so God and I continue to blog. It is both humbling and exciting to realize that over 300 posts have been blogged so far! How did that happen? It may not be a surprise to you, but it sure is to me. The more friends join, the more deeply I desire to write with purpose and be open to your comments and suggestions. What questions would you like addressed? We all have pain, but it’s uniquely our own and most of us have a longing to be able to share with someone who “gets us” and “get’s it“. Those in pain are too exhausted to have to teach others how to treat them. May this continue to be an appointment by “Divine Design” that reaches where you hurt or scratches where you itch. As you are blessed, please pass the blessing along. Let’s keep spreading the Good News!

Our hearts may be broken. Our spirits shattered. We may see ourselves as too messed up to start again. God is always with us, friend. He’s always looking in our direction. Your pockets aren’t empty. They are full of good things from the Lord. Let’s continue to walk daily in His Presence; letting Him guide our steps, words, thoughts and actions. We are never alone. Get that? We may be spurned by those we have considered friends, but God will never leave. He is a Forever Friend. That’s His promise and He keeps His Word. Accept His washing today. Accept His showers of blessings. Let’s be open to the little ways He let’s us know He cares.

~Lord, not only my feet, but my hands, head and heart need to be showered with your perfect love, mercy and grace.

Merry Sunshine

merry sunshine

merry sunshine (Photo credit: withrow)

He was our firstborn, my “Merry Sunshine.” Waking up to this face was pure pleasure . . . he just oozed charisma with his toothy, juicy grins every morning. I’d shuffle to his crib, half asleep until I’d see that smile . . . then my heart would melt into a puddle and wake me up enough to sing this little ditty:

“Good morning, Merry Sunshine, why did you wake so soon? You scare the little stars away and drive away the moon.”

Then he’d really turn on the charm . . . and coo a little baby tune alone with my yawning vocals.

He’s in a deep sleep now . . . resting in the grave until Jesus comes. And when our Lord blows that huge trumpet, it will be loud enough to wake the dead . . . and that’s exactly what we have been waiting for!

Now that he’s gone, these sweet, baby memories come wafting back over the waves of time and I wipe away a tear . . . and smile in spite of the pain.

How I miss him – the adult and the child. We all miss him in our lives, but we choose to go on and live with his memories in our hearts. It won’t be long, dear son. It won’t be long.

from Shattered by Suicide by Gracie Thompson

This entry was posted on June 19, 2013. 3 Comments

Death from a broken heart

English: Broken heart sewn back together

Broken heart sewn back together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take a deep breath everyone. I am sharing this because it matters to each of us. I watched the Dr. Oz show last April 25 where the question was asked: can someone die from a broken heart? And the answer is, “Yes”. Apparently with a rapid heart rate from undo excitement or trauma, the tiny vessels began to shut down and this causes the heart to swell in it’s attempt to find more oxygen. Without improvements, the heart stops beating. We might call it a heart attack, but in reality, it is a broken heart. Women over the age of 50 are particularly vulnerable. I am one of those. To get correct information, please go to Dr. Oz and try to get the program to play.

I am reminded of Jesus. He was a young man in His early thirties just beginning His work for His HeavenlyFather. He gathered men from the area who were willing to leave their employment and family and follow Him in His fledgling ministry. Though He was always being spied on and did not have a place to lay his head, He never let these things detour Him from the mission His Father had called Him to do. It must have been really special to have Lazarus, Mary and Martha as good friends. In their home, He could relax in shared love and freely talk about God without suspicious spies lurking behind every tree and rock.

By the time He was ready for Calvary , He knew there would be no turning back. Passover was upon the city and all the country folk were making their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The streets would soon be teeming with Jews celebrating the Passover. The mock trial, the denial by Peter ~ one of His own, and being weighted down with the sins of the whole planet had to have been agony for our Savior. I wonder if He felt the wind being sucked out of His lungs? It would break anyone in like circumstances, but this was the Son of God! He must face the end without help from His Dad. His closest disciples couldn’t keep their eyes open when He asked them to cover Him with prayer. He faced the enemy all alone. The devil worked the crowd into a frothing, gnashing frenzy. They clamored for His death . . . defiantly demanded His death. Was it not best that one die for all? Lusting for His blood, they shouted, “Crusify Him! Crucify him! Let His blood be on us and our children.”  Matthew 27:25

Great drops of bloody sweat soaked Him from every pore and dripped on the ground. He had never given in to temptation. He had never felt the weight of sin and evil we have gotten used to, and now all the sins of the whole world pressed His body to the rock where He was praying, “Father, if it be possible . . . but if not, I will do it.” The devil was right there. You know he had to be. His future depended on this outcome, so he must have been telling Jesus to go back home to heaven. “They’re not worth the trouble. Why bother with these dimwits? Start over and create a whole new world of people.” Jesus struggled, begged, fell to the ground weak with the weight of the world crushing Him like a grape. He suffered alone. He later died alone. And when a soldier thrust a spear in His side, out came blood and fluid. He had died from a broken heart.

If you are concerned about keeping your heart healthy, good. We all should be armed with the tools to stay alive! But many of us live with broken hearts. They may be newly broken or broken from a tragedy of long ago. Time can feel like it stands still after we are awash in grief and loss. But we share with others our journey and learn from each other; giving and getting support. This is the best time to include Jesus in our journey, for no one is more prepared to help us in our suffering than He. And no one else loved us so much that He took His assignment to the Cross and with His arms outstretched, as if to hug the entire world, He found the strength to say, “It is finished!” Then he bowed His head and died.  John 19:30

The Good News is we’ve read the back of the Book and we win! Jesus’ death sounded the death knell for satan. And His resurrection signaled that our debt of sin was canceled and eternity is offered free of charge to anyone who chooses to accept it.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.  John 3:16, AMP

He’s Mine!

Tug of war? Sometimes I think so. No doubt there are sides; one Good and one evil. This story, shared by a friend, reminds me of the war game we are in only it’s not a game. It is a fight to the death. As hard as the battle rages, we know who wins. We’ve read the back of the Book. So dig in!

English: Author: Irish Tug of War Source: (OWN)

English: Author: Irish Tug of War Source: (OWN) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 ~ Sharing a mother’s story written as a letter from God ~

But stop your crying and wipe away your tears. Everything you have done for your children will not go unrewarded. I will bring them back from death and from the land of the enemy.  Jeremiah 31:16

My Dear Daughter,

Do not weep over the death of your precious son. He was a glowing ember in My heart long before he was a twinkle in his daddy’s eye. Do you trust Me? Trust in My power to restore him to you one day soon. I have many other children who are also resting until I come. Perhaps it will help you to hear a story about another young son of Mine.

Some years ago, I had a precious son who loved the great outdoors. He often hiked in the mountains or kayaked the rivers; flying down the steep waterfalls into the foam below. He was exhilarated and happy when he was celebrating My creation, his face radiating sheer joy. I had to throw back My head and laugh, sharing in his excitement. He had such gifts, but he had such sorrows too and they got the best of him with the enemy’s help.

This young man had gone camping and had parked in the cliffs overlooking a canyon high in the Sierra Mountains. He was missing for days and his mother was distraught with worry. While a Search and Rescue team was dispatched to look for him, I knew where he was and I did not leave his side.

I gave a vision to a friend of his mother’s and she awoke with a start. The vision was in vivid color and she recognized the face of the young man lying on a ledge near the canyon floor by a stream. Instantly awake, she was on her feet and sprinted to the phone. With shaky fingers she dialed the phone number of his mother who hadn’t been able to sleep, her heart heavy with the devastating news that her son was dead.

My arms were wrapped tightly around her shoulders. I had been sitting beside her for hours, holding her and wiping the tears that streamed down her cheeks. I ached to resurrect her son on the spot, but he, like your son, will have to rest until I come again.

The phone rang. It was his mother’s friend, calling to check on her. I helped her choke out the words, “They found my son. He’s dead.” Her friend responded, “I know,” she offered sadly. “I saw him in a vision. But you have to hear what else I saw. He was not alone on that outcrop on the canyon wall,” she chattered in breathless excitement, “Jesus was standing on one side of your son and Satan on the other, and I could hear them talking just as clearly as if they were in my bedroom. Jesus said calmly, but firmly, ”satan, you cannot have him any longer. You have tormented him long enough and he’s Mine.’

“To which satan spat back, pointing his bony finger toward Jesus, ‘But he broke Your commandment: Thou shalt not kill.’ ”

Jesus paused, allowing Satan’s ringing words to exit the canyon. Again He answered calmly but firmly “‘No, you don’t understand, Satan. He’s Mine now . . . and forever!”

My arm still around her shoulders, My daughter slowly hung up the phone and we sat down together. She began to relax in My embrace and I knew she understood. She would one day soon have her precious gift I had given her, back again. She would embrace her son again.

See, My daughter, I have given special hearts to mothers to love their children unconditionally for as long as they have them, but they will continue to miss them all of their days until eternity. But for My kids, it will seem like they had just closed their eyes in sleep when I come to wake them up! Continue to share your stories and the Good News, will you?

All My Love,

Jesus, Your Forever Friend

For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children. Isaiah 49:25 

 

“Shattered By Suicide, My Conversations With God After The Tragic Death Of My Son”

by Gracie Thompson

A Perfect “Pear”

pair_of_pears

Perfect Pair

Our son’s wedding was beautiful in every possible way ~ even with the sound of gentle rain falling on a canopy of leafy green. He and his lovely bride spoke their vows to each other enveloped by a giant old tree which seemed to clasp them in a mighty embrace. Precious words, precious smiles, precious tender moments for them to hold forever in their hearts and we to remember forever as we shared their joy. I am filled with happiness that my son married the woman he has chosen to treasure for the rest of his life. She is lovely in every way and now we have a daughter added to the family to love.

Those of you who follow my blogging know that at its core, it is about loss and how we live with it in spite of missing those we have loved and sadly, been forced to bury. It’s difficult isn’t it? Do we fake a smile at happy occasions or do we truly embrace the moments of happiness that may be around every corner as we move along with life? I say, let’s choose to embrace them. Let’s pour ourselves into each and every moment as God gives us breath and grace.

I have promised to tell the truth, so I admit that I wondered if I could bear the happiness of our son’s wedding without feeling sadness too. My son would marry without sharing his special day with his brother who would likely have been his best man. Instead, he was blessed to have as his best main, a friend who is like a brother. In fact, all three boys grew up together. My son could not have made a wiser choice and it surprisingly, it brought me no pain.

I had time to process both the bitter and sweet emotions during the engagement period and I promised myself, with God’s help, to have no tears of sadness and my prayers were answered. With the falling rain my attire and hairdo, like everyone else’s, got dampened, but my heart was overflowing with joy. Actually we prayed that the dark clouds would move elsewhere and since they didn’t, perhaps the raindrops were God’s tears of joy?

There were a few moments of painful conflict which came quite unexpectedly. As the newlyweds held each other and danced and swayed to an old favorite, “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley, the beauty of the moment put me in overload and tears began to trickle down my cheeks. A friend handed me a tissue and soothingly rubbed my back. I don’t have an explanation for the tears. But I don’t apologize for them either. It was a moment of extreme pleasure combined with reminders of days gone by. . . the old song. . . my sons all grown up. . .one laid to rest. . .the other one expressing pure joy with every look and movement. So I had tears. He did not see them, for he only had eyes for his beautiful bride.

The lovely couple chose as their wedding theme “Pick a Perfect Pear”. To celebrate their cute idea, we munched salad greens with fresh pear slices, enjoyed the delectable pear dumplings, sipped pear cider with each toast and took away fresh pears to enjoy later. From the first glance to the last photo, our son and his bride had put their love for each other into every frame.

Thank you, God, for preparing and pairing these darling children to be a “pear” of beauties for the rest of their days on earth. Thank you for giving your blessing. What more could we ask for?

This entry was posted on June 14, 2013. 4 Comments

The Rose

Sharing from Joni and Friends …

“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.”           Song of Songs 2:1

English: Rose of sharon bloom

English: Rose of sharon bloom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people claim the rose is the crown jewel of the garden. It’s one of my favorites, and I enjoy capturing its intricacies with paint and brush. For all these reasons and more I was touched by a poem sent to me a couple of years. Written by a missionary, it’s called “The Rose.”

It’s only a tiny rosebud — a flower of God’s design;

But I can’t unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers is not known to such as I —

The flower God opens so sweetly in my hands would fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud this flower of God’s design,

 Then how can I think I have wisdom to unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in Him for His leading each moment of every day,

And I’ll look to Him for His guidance each step of the pilgrim way.

For the pathway that lies before me my Heavenly Father knows —

I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments just as He unfolds the rose.

As the poem suggests, we can’t grow the moments of our lives any more than we can peel back the petals of a rose. As we look to His leading each moment of the day, we can trust Him to unfurl each hour just as He unfurls the rose. Little wonder the Lord is called the Rose of Sharon. Like that glorious flower, we just can’t get enough of watching His glory unfold in our lives.

Can you trust God to unfold a lovely plan for your life? Can people see Jesus more clearly in you as you bloom? What changes do you need to make to be able to answer “yes” with confidence?

Sun and shower, bud to flower, a rose is like my heart — I lay it bare, unfurl with care, each fragile fold, each part. Rose of Sharon, I take care in offering my praise — It’s Yours for pleasure, Yours forever, a flower for Your vase.