How Do We Accept Loss?

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Today I found out that a very young girl, one of my first students when I started teaching, lost her husband today. It was quite unexpected. They are barely out of their teens and have a six month old baby. He wasn’t ill. There was no warning. She was in Wisconsin with her baby taking care of her younger siblings while her mother was in the hospital recovering from illness. Her husband had gone back to Idaho so that he could work and provide for his little family. When his mother went to wake him up for work, he had already gone on to be with Jesus.

Thankfully they are saved. We all know that this young man is in a better place, yet…

There are some parents without their son, some friends without their buddy, siblings without their brother, a wife without her husband, and a precious baby boy without his father.

How do we handle loss like this?

There are so many clichés, so many “Christian” sayings. None of them sound right to me, and I think some would even be hurtful. When you’ve lost someone, you don’t want to hear, “He’s in a better place” or “You will be with him again someday.” You want them here, now.

There are many reasons that people die young. None of them good ones. Sometimes we aren’t surprised because of a certain lifestyle or bad life choices. But this was a good man, a follower of Jesus, a good son, husband, friend, and Daddy. So we can ask ourselves “why” and keep going over everything, around the mountain again and again. We can get bitter, be angry at God, or this fallen world, or whoever and whatever. Or we can… grieve. Pray. Be there for those who are hurting. Help where and when we can. And if we don’t know what to say, be quiet.

I know life can be hard. In fact sometimes it feels like it isn’t worth it, or that the pain will break us.

But I also know this; there is One who loves you. He not only sees your tears, He experiences your sorrow with you. He hasn’t abandoned you to grieve alone. He has sent the comforter to you.

Sometimes the only thing we can hope to understand is this: no matter what is going on around us, no matter how tough things get, God is Good.

Revelation 21:4 (KJB), “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

(Please pray for this young lady, Elizabeth, and her little man, Gabriel)

Book Review for “Veiled Rose”-Christian Fiction Fantasy

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Wow, I loved this book! I thought book one was good (Heartless), but “Veiled Rose” is even better. The backstory is being told from some of the characters in book one. Still great fantasy, dragons, demons, princes and princesses, and good versus evil. Great writing, super well developed characters, and an epic story. Anne Elisabeth Stengl is easily one of my favorite fantasy authors. I give it five stars. Violence, no sexual content or swearing, some scary images so teens and up would be my recommendation. Great Christian Allegory!

A Life To Celebrate

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On March 26th my Dad, Eddie Max McCoy Sr., passed away. My husband and I drove from Wisconsin to Washington state to be with family for the funeral service, in the town my parents retired in. A “Celebration of Life” memorial is being planned for a later date. So on the long trip over, I had time to think about the things we could celebrate about my Dad’s life.

My Dad wasn’t perfect. He had his flaws. He was just a tad stubborn, sometimes he lacked patience, and his temper ran on the warm side. His life was full of mistakes, bad times, and some wrong choices (like most lives). He did have his shining moments. There were successes as well as failures, mountain top experiences as well as the valleys, and many, many good times.

Dad wasn’t the perfect parent, but he loved us all, was a good provider, and genuinely wanted our lives to be better than his was. That stubbornness also came out as tenacity and he never gave up. Through every bad time, he stuck it out. He showed us how to fight back and to expect things to get better. He had a peculiar sense of humor that all of his children and grandchildren will remember forever. God gifted him to be a story teller and we grew up hearing stories about his life. (Some were great examples of what not to do!) Dad also was artistically gifted. He loved to paint and sculpt. I am thankful for that as we will always have his artwork to remember him by. If Dad ever saw someone needed a hand, he was quick to step up.

Though patience wasn’t always one of his virtues, there were times he had the patience of Job. Some of my fondest memories are from when we went camping as kids. He patiently untangled lines, unhooked snags, and for me, baited my hook (I couldn’t do the worm thing). To this day I still love to fish (my husband still untangles my line and baits my hook). He left all of his kids with so much. Yes, we tend to be stubborn, and some of us tend to have a bit of a temper, and we are still learning to be patient, but we also all have some artistic ability, we can all tell a story, and like him, we all know how to help out in a pinch.

The most important thing my Dad ever did was to put his trust in God and give his heart to Jesus. Two times my Dad had died and was brought back. Both times, though his body was going through terrible issues, his spirit experienced something totally different. One of those times, as my Mom drove him to the hospital, his body convulsed and it was all she could do to drive and keep him on the seat, but later, by Dad’s account, we found out that his spirit was in perfect peace. He experienced no pain, worry, or regret. Just perfect peace. I too have had one of those experiences and can confirm the peacefulness of the passing of our spirit. So I am confident that though his body has passed away, my Dad still lives, in peace, with the Prince of Peace, where there is no pain, sorrow, or regret.

So, my Dad wasn’t perfect and his life certainly wasn’t. But his life was full and is most definitely a life worth celebrating. He will be sorely missed by many.

I firmly believe that his hope, for us who are left behind, (and my prayer) is that you would follow his example. Place your trust in Father, and surrender your hearts to Jesus, so that when it is our time to give up these mortal bodies, we too can be with him in Heaven.

Review for “Why She Left Us”

I was given this book by the author, David Dennis, to review. The story is written in the form of journal entries by several different characters. I have to admit that at first I wasn’t realy paying attention to the dates of the journals and got myself pretty confused, but once I backed up and started paying attention, it all made sense. The diary format was an interesting way to tell the story. This type of story isn’t my favorite, the ones that show the dark side of human nature, the writing style was good, the use of the diary to give us a picture of the characters was also wonderful. There was definately adult content, swearing and some sexual content, but nothing real explicit. I think if you like this type of storyline, you’ll love the book. I “liked” the story, but couldn’t love it. I give this book 3 stars. (I am quite confident that it will get alot of 5 star ratings).

http://www.amazon.com/Why-She-Left-Us-ebook/dp/B00AHYQ7LA/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

Push On

Peace is not the absence of war or turmoil. Peace is a sure confidence in the midst of war and turmoil. Let’s face it-life can be scary, filled with bad news, death divorce, illness, financial stress and ruin, just watch the news (or better yet, don’t). But we, who put our hope and trust in God, need not fear (He is trustworthy). Though we might not always feel Him near-we can stand on His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

We tend to want God to pull us out of our circumstances, vanquish all our enemies (right NOW please), and keep us out of all trouble. But God, in His sovereign wisdom, knows the plans that He has for us-plans to prosper and not to harm us-He knows the beginning from the end. When we stumble into trouble, or a circumstance crashes over us like a mounting wave, He isn’t surprised; He has already seen you come through. God, who loves us and wants what’s best for us, knows that getting through is what brings strength, not running from. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” may be some popular lyrics from a song, but the saying has been around forever. We overcome our trials, hardships, circumstance by trusting in His strength and love to see us through. When we come out on the other end, we have more confidence, wisdom and strength. We have learned more about Him and His faithfulness.

Be assured, God isn’t the one who sends the hard stuff. He never makes us sick, poor, pained, lonely, fearful (the list goes on); all GOOD gifts come from the Father above. All that other stuff, that we hate and dread, comes from living in a fallen world, from a real enemy, and sometimes from our own stupid choices, but God allows us to go through those things because He knows what we need in the future. Don’t ‘camp out’ there, or ‘set up house’ there- hike up your skirt-hitch up those britches-pull up those boot straps-and go through! He promises to never give us more than we can handle. The secret is to not try and do it in our own strength. All the power that created the vast universe is at our disposal-simply ask Him to strengthen you for the journey and press on. The end will be so much better than the beginning and you will be a better person.