Do Something

For a long time now, I've felt God calling me to do something with my story, and with Jeremy's legacy. To somehow help others through what I have been through. However, I had no idea where to start. And more importantly, and most selfishly, I didn't want to. I wasn't ready to let God use me because I was too angry that it had to be at the expense of such a great loss. I wasn't ok with me or my children suffering such heartache in order for other people to benefit or learn something.

I can honestly say that I still sometimes struggle with this battle. But the pull I've felt on my heart to help, to follow the calling I feel like I've been given, has been outweighing my selfishness. The stirring that I have felt has started to bubble over and I've finally felt ready to take a step forward.

Last week, a dear friend and her sister stop by our garage sale to see me. Her sister had just lost her husband weeks before. He died suddenly of a heart condition as well, leaving behind two children and a very distraught wife who wanted to come talk to me. As she hugged me and sobbed on my shoulder, my mind raced searching for something to say - just one thing that someone had told me when Jeremy died that helped in some way that I could offer back. I realized, though, that nothing I could say would make her feel any better. Death sucks, and grieving can never ease with words. Only time. I don't know that she was looking for words of wisdom (and if she was, she definitely wasn't gonna find any from me), but just to be in the presence of someone who 'got it'. Someone who survived. My heart ached for her as I recalled those first few weeks and months after Jeremy died. I still relive those moments every once in awhile like it's still happening. The confusion, the injustice, the anger, the desperation, the defeat...the heartache. I don't know if I helped her in any way, but she's been in my prayers and on my heart ever since.

I realized that even though I'm ill equipped to really move forward, God has really been using my story to help without my knowledge or even my consent for quite sometime now. He let me kick and scream and throw fits (and still does) while continuing to bring beauty from the ashes.

I want people to know that grieving is a dark and terrible part of life that never leaves.
I also want people to know that there is hope and healing.
I want to do more.
Steve and I have been praying that God work through our redemption and relationship to bring a unique perspective to others and somehow use that to help, and bring hope.

I am excited to announce that Steve and I have been asked to host a workshop in San Diego, CA for Camp Widow - a weekend long gathering of widowed people from across the country. Ironically, the workshop is titled "Mad at God: A conversation." Uh, yeah - I have some experience in that department, I'm not ashamed to admit it! I am anxious, excited, nervous, and overall humbled for the opportunity to help in some way.

I can't wait to meet some of the inspirational people that have been integral in my own grief journey. I'm thankful to have Steve by my side to share this passion with me. I hope this is just the beginning of many other opportunities to finally step forward and feel like I'm making Jeremy proud.


Jane said...

Wow. I can't think of much else to say. You amaze me every time I read your posts. I think it is wonderful that you look to help others and offer support to them. I am not a widow. I am about to marry the most wonderful man of my dreams and when I imagine, even for a second, losing him, it makes it hard to breath. I do have some understanding of losing someone though. My dad passed away a few years ago (not suddenly thankfully). From that experience I learned that we never stop missing the ones we have lost and there will always be days when it feels like it was yesterday and tears take over. And I learned that it isn't so much what someone says, but that they say something....anything to acknowledge the hurt. And it isn't so much what they do, but that they are there. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey.....even the hard parts.

Hmmmm.....I guess I had lots to say! :-)

Donna said...

Go for it, brave woman of God!

Missy said...

You guys are going to be AWESOME!

Rebekah said...

This is so cool! I feel the same way about my story. Once you start walking the upside of the valley, God blows the doors of opportunity open to share his goodness. I feel like our life testimony comes out in nearly every conversation. It doesn't matter what the tragedy, broken hearts translate and God brings the right people together at the right times.

I love to see God's faithfulness play out in your life. I love you guys!


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