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      Hi all,  I'm sure you've noticed some changes in the forums. We've again had to do some updates, so that's why things may look a little different. Nothing major should have changed.  Also, we are going to start adding advertisements sensitive to our community on the boards. This is something we are experimenting with, and we will certainly make sure they are in the best interests of everyone. We want to make sure our forums continue to stay accessible and cost free to all of our members, and this is a way to ensure this.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to privately message me or email me at Konnie@beyondindigo.com.  As always, we will be here with you, ModKonnie
butterfly10954

how to comfort someone when you hate them

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Thank you Sidvis, and thank you Jackie. I got the e-mail--so timely. I wrote you back. You'll see just how blessed in the moment I was to have your message. It blessed Michael a continent away when he needed more than anything at that moment to hold onto that Scripture, as well as I am clinging to it now. I'd like to share Third day's version of Psalm 36 here.

Your love, Oh Lord, reaches to the Heavens

Your faithfulness, stretches to the sky

Your righteousness.. is like the might mountains

Your JUSTICE flows like the ocean's tide

I will lift my voice to worship you Oh Lord

I will find my strength in the shadow of your wings

Third Day's comment on the song: This is a praise song taken from parts of Psalm 36. It tells of God's great character. His love, faithfulness, and righteousness are far greater than any of us can comprehend or even deserve.

Thanks a million Jackie! And thank you Lord for your refuge!!

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It's actually, I will lift my voice to worship you My King.

King, Lord, all of the wonderful names He wears and owns. He is awesome, and I don;t know how I could manage any of life's tragedies without Him, or without you all, my dear friends.

Thanks again! Love, Claudia

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Forgiving, I just wanted to send a hello out to you today and see how you are doing today. Every day is such a different roller coaster ride in grief. Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you... Blessings, Claudia

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Hi

Thanks for thinking of me. I am doing terrible. I really hope i can find the energy and focus to jump in soon with my sincere support and well wishes for you guys! I feel everybodys pain. My biggest problem now is that people don't seem to allow me to be functioning sub-optimally right now. Which i certainly am. I keep getting in trouble for doing a bad job at everything. Ie. communicating etc...It enrages me. I feel like saying "What the hell do you expect, do you have any idea what i am going through etc..", but instead i just bite my lip and retreat further into my sorry self, feeling so alone and misunderstood and angry and depressed. Anyways, i believe in prayer alot! And i spent all day yesterday praying that i could find people to pray for me. Would you mind to keep me in your prayers for awhile, i will certainly do the same for all of you! God Bless!

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Forgiving, I will most definitely keep praying for you. When I was reading your post and how you feel, I got this image of you wearing a black T-shirt with big while letter, "YES! Thank You! I AM Grieving." Sometimes people are so clueless. But at work and places where people may not know or where people may just be busy in the hustle and bustle, I wouldn't hesitate so much to let them know you are having a tough day/a tough time. Some folks may understand. And as for friends and family that don't give notice that it's ok for you to be sub-par emotionally and physically right now, given what you are going through, maybe get that T-shirt on order. You could always ask them with a smile if they'd like one when you get the strange looks. :) Hang in there friend. Prayers are reaching the throne of God today on your behalf. Hugs, Claudia

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Thank you Claudia

Your understanding and kindness made my cry. Thanks for including me here! : ) And thank GOD someone is praying for me! I can't find my way out of this alone. Blessings

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Claudia

How do you do it? I know the pain you feel I know you have your faith but how do you keep together? I don't seem to function right even when I feel for others who are grieving. I wish i didn't have to be here I wish my daughter was here. I'm angry with myself for not having more self control and I'm ashamed because my faith isn't the best right now. i wish I really could feel God here with me to comfort me but all I feel is pain. I've been tempted to start smoking again and drinking just to forget and calm me down. I quit both about ten years ago. Pray for me I feel like I'm sinking in a pit and can't pull myself up. I've lost pleasure in life and doing things.

Deb

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Deb

I am sorry for your loss and your pain! I just wanted to say one thing here that i feel so strongly about. And that is PLEASE do not start smoking and drinking again! I too was free from these crutches until a string of horrible things happened in my life. Then i caved in to substance abuse again. It did NOT help one bit. I believe because it happened to me, that it will make your struggle worse. Please just trust that you will feel better. Keep posting and letting things out. I actually only have 2 days of sobriety now. I was going down so fast it was very scary. I know that the first thing i have to do to start my own healing is to feel. And i surely do not like or even think i can deal with the feelings that are upon me, but i am grateful to have enough faith hour by hour that it can be done. You can get through this. I am praying for you tonight. Please stay sober and cry when you have to and rage when you have to and do nothing when you can't do anything. But through all of it, know that you are important, and there are better days ahead. Love and support .

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Deb, I totally agree with Forgiving on how those vices can make you spiral even further downward. Sweety, I am not as together as you think I am. I have to do a lot of things to stay sane. I listen to various sermons, sometimes over and over and over again to get courage and strength. I pray so much, and then sometimes i can't find the words to pray for my own self. But I do know the Bible says when that happens, the Lord stands as an intercessor praying for me. It's ok to just cry and know he is God. I watched a movie today called Amazing Grace. It was about the abolishment of the slave trade in England and the story of William Wilburforce--a very good movie. But something a preacher in the movie said to Wilbur caught my attention and blew me away. He said... "Sometimes God's work is in a slow drizzle instead of a storm, drip..drip..drip..." Meaning that we can't always feel Him working in us, or His presence with us, but he is there. How profound! I also have been listening to an "Abiding" series of sermons, which in one session it was said that if we aren't abiding, then it is hard to feel God's presence. Abiding is hard to do... We are such self-centered creatures of habit, we are. But regardless of any of that, please be encouraged that even though we aren't always faithful to be looking toward God, especially when we can't feel Him near, He is ALWAYS looking toward us. Once you enter into covenant with Him, He is faithful to that covenant, even when we aren't. That's what His grace and mercy are all about. That's why he is God and we aren't. So hang in there, my friend. WE WILL make it through this.

Forgiving, I couldn't find my way out alone either. AFter the death of my son last year, I was so broken I didn't think I could ever take a full breath again. But I did and I am. My childhood is one of tragic proportions too where my dad is concerned. He is an alcoholic, and he was very abusive and neglectful. I used to pray at night when I was a kid that God take him away and save us from this wretched excuse for a human being. My mother caved to him. She was so afraid and she had very little confidence in herself. I watched her self respect diminish over the years. I spent a good many years hating my dad and angry with my mother for "allowing" this to be our lives. I pitied her even more when she divorced my dad but within a few short months married another alcoholic that was no better, and maybe worse. What a horribly miserable life she made for herself back then. I didn't have too much respect for either of them, if any for quite a long time. I am grateful though that I have over the past 9 years or so worked toward a great measure of forgiveness toward them both. I would even go so far as to say i have great relationships with both of them. My mom is since married to a really great man, and she has blossomed into the woman she always had potential to be I am very happy for her. My dad is still having issues with alcohol, is way overweight, and I suspect he is slowly dying at this point. Nothing has happened that has erased anything for me with regards to what could have or should have been all through my childhood years and well into my 20's and 30's. But something in me became FREE when I began to forgive them in spite of themselves. You see, forgiving doesn't necessarily mean they would change or that anything that happened could be fixed. It doesn't even mean that my dad isn't still an ass at times. I actually pity him when he is. But what it does mean is that I am whole and free of that pain because I have forgiven them. It was my choice to forgive them, not by anything they did or didn't do to deserve it. I forgave them simply by grace. ANd the only explanation I can give is that in the same way God forgave me by grace for the many imperfections of my very ownnature, so did He give me the gift of grace to be able to forgive my parents without expecting anything in return. I suppose even if they both were still horrid people, the fact that "I" forgave is what freed me. I am fortunate that fences have been mended. And I never really thought my mother was horrid..truly (and mom if you are reading this, I hope you are not hurt by my sharing my feelings as I was growing up), but I now don;t carry around a victim status like I used to. My own unforgiveness, I realize now in the several years of being on the other side of it, was far more damaging to my soul than were the events of my youth. I was worse poison to myself than they ever could be, because I was pulling the strings, or calling the shots as they say, for my own adult life. they no longer had control, unless of course I kept handing it over to them. That's the beauty of forgiving... It's an act of grace, undeserved yet so totally freeing. SO, my dear new friend Forgiving, I am praying for you in ways that you had no idea, because I know where you are today, and I KNOW that YOU WILL BE FREE one day. Blessings and love to you, Always, Claudia

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Deb, hi, I hope the holiday was good to you. I don't have much to add, how could I when Claudia covers it so eloquently. I just wanted to emphasize the drinking thing. When I lost my brother I began drinking a few glasses of wine every night and then progressed to a full bottle before bedtime. I was hoping that it would help me sleep through the night, but it did nothing but make me sadder....if that was even possible. I spent several months doing that, I would take my bottle of wine into my bedroom and sit and reread his text messages from my phone, listen to favorite songs of ours and cry. Actually I did that for almost 6 months before my friends here and my family helped me realize that I was isolating myself and was really no longer "living". I would highly encourage you to try and not rely on alcohol for support; it works in just the reverse manner. Time is the best healer, time and prayer. I found this forum to have helped so much, not only did I make wonderful friends who understood and prayed for me constantly; the reaching out and trying to help others through their sorrow takes the focus off of your pain for a while. I wish you the best and pray that you find some comfort. Peace and blessings, Jackie

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Just checking in on my "Forgiving" friend today. I am constantly praying for you and keeping you close in thought and heart. Hugs, Claudia

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Dear Claudia

To say that your thoughtfulness helps is a huge understatement! I am just so very appreciative of loving kindness. You are in my heart and prayers aswell! Today was very difficult. Most of the day i was being crushed by helplessness, hopelessness, rage, despair and so much fear. I forced myself this evening to go for a bike ride. A very hard thing to do because i felt completely dissociated. Anyways, i rode to a lovely place and watched the sunset and cared less for a moment about my pain and more about the glory of God. I wonder how and if anybody can get through emotional despair without some kind of belief in God, or some kind of spirituality. Though i also realize that when a tragedy like losing a child happens etc..., that someone who has had faith my lose it, at least temporarily. I would be a gonner long ago if i did not have faith. just some things i am thinking about. I appreciate all you shared with me in your last post. And will respond to it some when i can. I am just curious where you live. If you are comfortable sharing that. I live in Montreal, Canada. So from Montreal with love and hugs, prayers and support! Thank you friend!

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Dear Forgiving, I am so glad you took that bike ride, even if you did feel disconnected from your usual sense of peace and collective thoughts during your sunset rides. I know all too well the disociated feelings and the struggle to feel motivted to do much of anything at all. I still struggle with motivation, even a year past my own loss. And I do agree with you completely that I haven't a clue how someone can begin to move out of the despair without God. I had a time for a couple of months after when I was a bit more removed from looking for God in my life, and once I found my way back, I realized just how dark and lonely that time was. I am ever grateful for His faithfulness during that time. He patiently waited for me, whispering gently, though my ears could not hear. I believe in some mysterious way my heart did. I am originally from the States, having lived my young life in Illinois and ten years in North Carolina. For the past 15 months I have been in Ecuador. My husband and I are founders for a missions ministry we began almost 2 years ago, and here is where the Lord has placed us for His work, for a time. What was so very difficult besides the usual transition in such a huge life-changing move was that my son died 12 weeks after we arrived here. He was still in college, working toward grad school. It was hard to leave for the geographical distance, but we knew--or rather hoped--there would be my visits home and his visits here over time that would not make the distance seem so far. I also have internet communications that help to stay in touch often with my family. And I do stay very close with my son Patrick who is now 24, one year Joey's junior. But that was never to be with Joey. Little did I know that last long glance of a sad good-bye as I departed would be the last time I would see him this side of eternity. I am thankful that he did turn to the Lord at 21, just three years before. That is the ONLY assuring comfort I carry, knowing without a breath's hesitation that I will see him there in heaven. It took me a little while to sort through the guilt I carried for having left for my new vocation and not getting a chance for a proper "good-bye for now". But our last days shared together were good and I cling to that. In some way in that long-glancing sad good-bye God knew... and I guess that is why I was terribly mad at him for a time. I'm grateful he extended mercy and grace upon me even when I had none. And it seems I continue to wade through life's trials, now with my husband's family situation, so all I can surmount is that we must be doing a wonderful work in Christ for such heaping attack to constantly pester us. I think I am supposed to feel good about that, although I haven't quite managed to get there yet. I am, however, ever seeking his counsel, because I've known my life without it and it was not pleasant. That being said, I've probably gone on a bit more than I should have. However, I do desire transparency more and more these days. It helps to break open barriers for communication with those I would like to know better, so that one can see the realness of my own struggles. I am not an in-your-face, fell-good-all-the-time Christian. I am just the average saved soul that walks daily through the struggles and joys of life. I do feel so deeply for the pain you are feeling now. I pray the despairing feelings will dissipate in a short time so that you may take a full breath again without feeling the crushing weight on you. Sometimes loving kindness is all one has to offer, but often times its all one truly needs to find courage and strength to take another step into the overshadowed valley. It also helps to be encouraged knowing that while we may have to walk through darker valleys in certain times, there are always the peaks waiting for us in the radiant Son. SO to you, greetings from Ecuador, with much love and hope for your brighter tomorrows. Always, Claudia

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Hi there

Just want to make a peep here. I was planning on writing some stuff here this weekend, but just don't have the psychology for it right now. I can however extend thanks for the support and i am around and don't plan on going far away. Just waiting for a good moment to post something worthwhile. I basically feel like i have gone insane. SO overwhelmed that my mind is really a mess. I don't feel like i even know who i am, never mind why i am. I feel like i need to completely re create my identity and codes of living etc...Anyways, i hope that is normal for grieving!? Enough about me. Love and support.

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Hey Forgiving, Don't feel like you should only post when you have good things to say or when you feel more sane. I could look back on my history and see in those early stages how much I just needed to vent. I felt like the only place I could be heard and understood was here on BI. What you are feeling IS normal. You have a lifetime of grieving, and you recent events have opened up your Pandora's Box, so to speak. So I can only imagine how the floodgates have opened for you. After I lost my son I began to understand that who I was no longer was. My heart wrenched and my guts twisted, and I couldn't breathe. I cried all the time, and I was so desperate not to feel alone. I still am very lonely often with my feelings and grief, and I too am re-creating--still in the process of discovering who I am and why I am. I'm glad you did feel up to posting something. I look for you each day, and I've been praying that you're holding on. Even when things don't make sense, there's a bigger tapestry being woven, and some day we'll look back and find the places where we've grown, and the parts of us that were ok to leave behind. It just takes time... Hugs for today and know that a light is shining in your direction. -Claudia

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Hi

Hope you're doing okay and keeping the faith! I'm not really looking for a response here so much as just trying to get some stuff out because i am about to explode! I am back at 3 days of sobriety. Slipped back for a few days as i really felt so much inner tension that i was scared i was really going to self-harm badly, just to relieve the intensity. I decided that altering my state of mind would be better than hurting myself. But consuming i realize is also self-harm, and makes me even more vulnerable to my dark thoughts. I was diagnosed with the very stigmatising mental illness of Borderline Personality Disorder just before my dad died. All of this in the past 2 months. Talk about having a lot of traumatizing things to process at once. Anyways, i rejected that diagnosis immediately as i wanted to believe more that i am having a spiritual crisis as opposed to a mental illness. But right about now i kind of believe it. And hate to admit it!!! It is so disempowering and well, just an awful thing to have to incorporate into 'who i am'. But i really don't know who i am. I feel like i am a walking grieving mental illness. And nothing more. Plus, the passing of my dad and my diagnosis i have pretty much kept to myself, as both of these issues are very private and complicated. I am only interested in discussing these things with people who can empathize. Pity makes me crazy. And judgment and misunderstandings make me even crazier. But, i am completely isolated in all of this, and my intense loneliness is starting to really feel intense. I am so overwhelmed and often feel suicidal because i can only imagine i will keep falling further and further into this deep pit of utter despair and agony. If i had kids or a partner or a family of any kind or friends that were not all drunks and addicts, maybe i would have more will to find a way to get better. But i am just mentally ill with my secret abusive past with no friends and an abusive mother that just said she can't survive unless i relocate and move in with her and help her pack up my dads stuff and support her etc...I can't even respond to my moms cry for help, as it is above and beyond anything i can even process at all let alone respond to. I am supposed to keep her from killing herself right now!? And what about me!? Who will help me from killing myself right now? Certanly not my mom, my drunk mom who refuses to allow me my reality, my past. Total denial. I am so sad and angry and scared and guilty....I feel also like i never feel like ever talking to anybody ever again. I just have to have faith that i will shift but by the grace of God out of this state of mind. But having faith is scary too, because i feel like i am playing Russian Roulette. I am hanging on, hoping to get better. But what if things take an even worse turn. My self-harm urges are huge, and my emotional pain really hurts so bad, physiologically. I am not very open to taking psychiatric meds, for many reasons. Anyways, i obviously feel very vulnerable now that i have said all that! But i need to feel like i am attempting to do something to move through my awful state of mind. I am praying for a miracle. Specifically, for trust in my intuition. And for my intuition to speak up. Because right now, i have no idea how to think, or make any kind of decision, one way or the other...I feel like screaming and crying and self destructing. But also like praying, and asking for more prayers. I feel like this thread is one of the best hopes i have to turn this around! Anyways, thanks if you read all the way to this point. I think that means in a way that i am not as alone as i think i am!? I need a hug! I think i just need a hug! Love to you

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Dear Forgiving, I AM sending you that HUGE HUG right now through my heart and soul, and througg powerful prayer being lifted up and heard by the Father, our God who hears you, who hears me, who knows your pain and your struggles, and who wants to lift you out of your anguish and dark thoughts of self harm. I too am praying for a miracle for you. God is a healer and a deliverer, and I believe with all my heart that rather than listening to your intuition, cry out to Him and listen for His resolve. He will answer. I know He will. I feel it, and I believe in it.

I can understand your hesitation for medications right now. I don't know the circumstances that led to your medical diagnosis before your dad died. But if it was related to depression because of your past hurts and torment, and maybe trying to stuff that away for so many years, then our minds and hearts do strange things to "protect" ourselves. I am familiar with personality disporder, and unless it's schizophrenia or a chemical imbalance, such as being bipolar, then sometimes, often times, our protective mechanism can kick in and form a place within us that allows us to feel safe and untouched by what haunts us. I actually thought I was nuts for years because I could not control my outbursts of rage and depression. I still battle depression, but I am healing with time and through my faith and learning more about the God who loves me and wants me to feel whole. I don;t think I knew who I was either until as little as five years ago, and even then I was still discovering only to have my life, my heart, my world shattered and blown to bits when my son died. I'm still amazed that I can even begin to recover from that. Truthfully. But the reality I am facing each and every new day is that it is solely by God's grace, and it is His power and strength bringing me to a point of new discovery and healing. I in no way could conjr up a formula for this in my own power or strength. I'm convinced of that. I know, because I have spent so, so many years of my life and so many months in this past year of new pain crumpled up like a beaten and battered rag doll left for the trash heap.

I can't imagine that you can be what your mom needs you to be in your current state. And I think that burden weighs heavy on you, only adding to what you are already trying to cope through. I don;t mean to get too personal outside of your comfort zone, so if I do, I won't be offended if you tell me to shut up. I just pray you please keep coming here and unloading, and sharing, and feeling that someone out here REALLY and TRULY cares for you and I am here ready to stand in the gap for you so that you don't fall into that big black hole. What I want to say is that if you need to "run away" or get away for a while, I live in the wilderness. I actually live in the rainforest in Ecuador, and it's very private and isolated as much as we need and want it to be. It's been a place for me of freedom to be what I need to be when I need to be it. And it has also been a place where I have been able to deeply connect to God through many avenues, including the wonder of his creation. If you have means and a desire to come away for a time, please know that I would open up this place we live in to welcome you. I live on a retreat site with provate guest rooms in a separate building from where I am, and just know that you are welcome...

That being said, I won;t go on for fear of having you to feel questioned, judged or patronized. My sincere hope and desire is to be your friend in a time when it feels like you have no one, and to be the mightiest prayer warrior for you that you can possibly imagine. I am feeling your pain, and I am willing to go deeper into it with you in the hope that we can both come out whole and free. Much, much love, many prayers, and BIG HUGS to you, my friend. Always, Claudia

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Claudia

You are an actual Holy Angel me thinks!!!! I am so deeply moved by your generosity and what i know to be totally genuine love. Please do not feel for a nano second that you could ever pry too personally. You could not. And i must say that when i read about your situation in Ecuador, and the guest room, i did say out loud in fact "shut up". But you know what kind of shut up i mean :). I was like, my God, an Angel just extended her hand to me from Ecuador...And i smiled and still am. I have commited that idea to memory, and for consideration. And this seems a great seguay(sp?) into sharing another thing about myself with you. Which is that until a year ago when yes indeed the stuffing of my past caught up with me really badly and found me in a massive depression, i worked at a homeless womens shelter. Trying with all of my tender empathetic genuine heart to help those with no faith and no home and only despair...So in a way, i feel our lives have this common thread aswell. Just wanted you to be able to picture a bit better who you are so thoughtfully connecting with. I know you are focused on helping others in need aswell. I however, have been too sensitive, more now than ever obviously, to go back to work there. I have been surviving this year doing odd jobs here and there when i can. Sure would be lovely to have an actual conversation. It is great to have the opportunity to connect over the internet like this, but it still feels a bit too fictional, though i do believe this is a true relationship. You know what i mean. Anyways, wow, you are such an amazing person! Thank you so much for helping me. And you really are. I sure will pray hard for your whole family to come to a place of peace and acceptance with your awful grief! I feel deeply for you too. Very sincerely!!! I will keep in touch. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your friend always. Forgiving Hugs for you (((Claudia)))

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Forgiving, I don't believe in coincindence. I believe in DESTINY that it is we met. Even if through the cyber connection in this time. I hope genuinely thet we can meet face to face some day. Hopefully it will be when you decide to take me up on the offer to visit for any period of time your heart desires. A young woman came and stayed here for 2 months recently, as she wanted a peaceful place to commune with the Holy Spirit. And she did find Him here. He is always with her, but somehow by being here she was able to hear from Him in a very intimate way. Speaking of working at emergency shelters for women, and I do admire that you dedicated a big part of yourself to doing that and may find your way back one day, a very precious person in my life spent a time also reaching into a women's shelter to help where he could. He was my boss for 5 years until he developed cancer and passed away. My heart was so broken in that time of loss, and I wonder if that was God's way of preparing me for even greater loss... I don't know. But I cherished my time knowing him and I cherished what I learned from him through his generous heart. He was like a dad to me when I was so far from my own dad. And he was my mentor and friend. I ministered to him throughout his illness and visited him in those last days at his home. I gave him a Scripture medallion to hold onto during that time, and it has come to be a very powerful Scripture for me as well. In fact, last Christmas when I visited a church here in Ecuador, the children of the church presented me and each person in my ministry group with a Scrioture verse attached to a little craft they made. The one presented to me was that VERY SAME Scripture verse I gave to my boss. Coincidence? I believe not! I want to share it with you now, that perhaps you can hold tight to it as I have clung to it through my darkest hours.

Jos 1:9 "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

This is a very powerful and meaningful verse for me. And I hope and pray you find it is for you as well.

I am elated, sitting here, heart pounding, and I am smiling as I feel very connected to you by the grace of God in this difficult time for us both--in different ways, but much the same in so many ways. If and when you feel you would like to e-mail me, you can always do that as well. Many times people like the anonimity of posting here on BI. But I do feel deeply about calling you friend, and you're a keeper!! :) Do continue to seriosuly consider coming here if you feel called to do so. Anytime, for however long you like. My home is a gift from God, therefore, I extend it as a gift from Him and me to you as well. NO STRINGS! Just love and the hope that your tomorrows will be brighter as we journey through grief and life together. God bless you dear friend. Always, Claudia

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:)

Yes, i believe there is a higher power at work here now! Thank God i believe that! Thanks for sharing that scripture, it sure is relevant, and very useful! I would love to meet you too. Things will unfold with greater clarity with time i am sure. Boy, you have really managed to fill me with HOPE! That is a miracle right there! I just really want to let you know that it is your turn now. I am sure you have some developments you might feel good to share with reguards to your recent situation with your family. Please share if you feel moved to, i care about and think about your situation! Also, i would like to hear from any other visitors to this post. How is everybody? I would love to email you actually! I am holding back some here for sure that i might not do if i felt a bit more privacy so to speak. Anyways, i just am so happy to have been blessed with your frienship! Chat soon.

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My e-mail addy is clab2010@yahoo.com E-mail anytime.

I just cannot tell you how joy filled I am to see with clarity a countenance change in your posts since that first post at noon. One of the things about this journey is the trecherous see-saw of emotions--one minute or day up, and the next down, and so on, and so on. But when we feel good, does it ever feel good!! One of the things my husband constantly tries to remind me is that emotions are only emotions. They affect us in monstrous ways, HUGE, but we can, again with the help of God's grace control them. He reminds me constantly of Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." and to "Hold every thought captive, not to release those thoughts into emotion or action until I've sifted it through that Scripture. I wish I could say I;m not stubborn and tend to not think about it more than I do, but oh well. I'm a work in progress. What can I say?

Things are improving with my family situation. My husband has been spending time with his children, and it has been the best of quality. There are still some legal things in the works, and I should know more in the next week or two. For now we are very encouraged and just blessed that the kids are coming through the recent trauma with HOPE and love, and with their daddy by their sides. Of course I miss him. But over the past several days I have torn our apartment apart and am attempting to do some creative painting. So far 1-1/2 rooms improved! We'll see how long that energy lasts. For now it's keeping me busy, and for the first time in weeks I am doing something other than sitting here all day and feeling sorry for myself that I am lonely and depressed. I've been running in here today to my laptop just to check for word from you. And YOU, my friend, have equally cheered me. :) But hey! That's what "friends" are for. And it's so very cool to be lifting each other up in prayer and spirits. And that HOPE you encountered today... Hang onto that!! I'm thankging God for answered prayer!! And I will keep on praying. I've been praying for you all day as I've been taping things to prep for my next paint encounter--maybe tomorrow. For now I'm prepping some food for the tummy. I haven't been eating so well with Michael away. But today, right now, my appetite is ferocious. It must have something to do with that miracle. :) And as blessings go, I am blessed to knwo you too! More Hugs, Claudia

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And to you too, my friend. Sweet dreams and HOPE for a brighter tomorrow. When you get a chance shoot me a quick e-mail so I have your address. I want to send you a photo, just so this doesn't feel like an illusion. :)

You are firmly planted in my heart and prayers! Love, Claudia

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Hey Forgiving, How's today finding you? Hope you were able to get some sleep with a little peace. My night was kind of rough. Not sure why. Just didn't sleep too well. I'm back to my painting today. I'm actually really getting into it, and that's a good thing. My place is a shables though in the process. LOL. So goes it! I've been praying for you, and I started praying for your mom too. My prayer for her is that she can escape the co-dependency thing and think a little more outside of her selfishness and the additional anguish she is causing you, knowing full well what you've been through yourself. There was a time when my family was SO dysfuntional, it was ridiculous. I suppose in a way it still is. My brother (only sibling) is in his own world, chasing wealth and status. My dad is an alcoholic, and in denial that he's slowly committing suicide. He had a double bypass a couple of years ago and quit smoking, but can't give up the beer. He is so overweight now, I can just imagine how awfully hard his heart has to work to keep him going. And the death of his oldest grandson, one of two and only two grandchildren--my brother has no kids, has nearly destroyed him. My mom is happy in her life now, but sad as well for the obvious reason, and she misses me a lot. Both of my folks' parents are no longer living. And here I am, far removed physically, socially, economically, etc from all of them, except that I do keep in touch by phone, e-mail and chat. My younger Son Patrick is 24. He is the only sane one of us all, I think. :) He's doing great, and I miss him a lot...

Well, I have no idea why I went into all of that. I mostly just wanted to say hi and see how things are sailing for you today. Once we get going by e-mail, I would love to send you some pics of what it's like here--just to keep the contemplation going on the possible adventure for you here... Sending HUGS your way this morning, and looking forward to hearing from you. Blessings and Love, Claudia

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