Tag Archives: faith

Little girl found ❤

I read a blog today that stirred my heart. It spoke of strength and bravery as paramount in a woman’s soul. I began to get that sinking feeling in my gut, one of those reminders that that has not always been my reality.

I wish I had been braver.  More able to stand up for myself, to protect my body, to have had a voice. But I wasn’t and I didn’t. I paid the price though, that is mine to pay.

Why me?

How did God let it happen?

What did I do wrong?

Answers…

Because I was a lost little girl whose Daddy ran away.

He didn’t, bad men chose their own cruel steps.

Nothing!

Grief has taught me many life lessons. One of the biggest is that dwelling on those big questions eats at your soul. Natural disasters strike us all. A devastating fire can rip through your soul so fast you might only escape with your life. Hopefully you get out with your most precious and valuable; good memories and evidence of happy times.

I don’t like to think about my abuse. It’s horrible. Pictures in my minds eye that can taunt and stifle. He was a big man, I was a small girl. He smelt of sweat and that horrible old man smell that gives me the creeps. He was wrong and I should have ran away when he ushered all the others outside. But I didn’t and he blackened my soul – natural disaster.

At times I thought for sure that I had barely escaped with my life. I tried not to think about it, letting years go by believing it was my fault, that I must have been inherently bad, a naughty little girl. But I was wrong.

Under the charred bark precious life was hiding. Waiting for rain to fall, for seasons to change and a tender hand to prune. Not an easy process, pruning is painful, cut after cut with the realisation of each memory. But cuts do heal, sometimes they needed stitching, sometimes surgery. I can see the scars, but they don’t hurt like they used to. Seasons later I began to see green leaves, soft and fuzzy on my charred stumps … and later stronger, more elegant branches. Love, hope and faith again and again and again.

Over and over and over, love hope faith love hope faith love hope faith. That’s how I survived.

I can look back now with a knowing that I was not a naughty little girl, he was a bad, bad man. Sure the scars will still be seen through the new growth, but they are part of me now. I can’t change that. I can only change how I see me and know that the little blonde, beautiful girl is me. I am one of the many strong, beautiful women in the forest of many.

Love Hope Faith


Ebb and Flow

When a cool tear rolls down my cheek it takes some pain with it. It is like a release valve that lets built up sorrow, stress or anxiety escape from my heart. It’s a vulnerable, bearing-your-soul-kind-of-thing. I have to trust those around me. Lots of people cry in private, hiding their hearts, not trusting people, not trusting places or maybe not trusting God.

I have found a great comfort in my faith for many years. It’s solid, I can count on it. But it is also ever changing, like a river, and you never know what’s around the bend. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m drowning with pressures and misunderstandings dragging me beneath the surface. Whilst other times are full of utter refreshment and cool relief.

Ebb and flow. I trust in decreasing and increasing increments, usually dependant upon what has gone on around me. Someone dies and I don’t understand why; decrease, something amazing happens beyond understanding; increase. I don’t want to lose trust , I don’t want to “appear” unfaithful, I want to stay in a good place, but sometimes I don’t. That’s the truth.

Pain can sting twice.The original wound, and then it can also lead my heart away from vulnerable, keeping freedom at bay. Faith offers my heart relief, but when I don’t understand what’s happening around me I may resist the very thing I need the most. Humans – our own worst saboteurs!

We want to know how, why and cry “It’s not fair!” But that’s the pressure that drowns. Freedom of heart, I believe, comes only when we know that we just don’t know! That we know we don’t have complete control and trust that God alone does. When I believe that He has my hand in His no matter how furious the current may become and when I’ve just had enough and can’t do it anymore, there is a lifeboat, even if I doubted, even when I don’t trust.

The offer of relief, of freedom, is not dependant on me, it’s always there. A lifeboat always alongside. Trusting is not about understanding it’s about being vulnerable. It’s about letting your heart be in another’s charge. It’s not weakness or frailty, it’s trust in something beyond what you can see. It’s faith.

It’s why I can still breathe.

 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…”


Still Believing

I am speaking to my own heart today, I am telling it to listen carefully, don’t shut down heart, don’t tune out this time. I’m yet not sure it’s listening, but I’m giving it a go. It wants to shy away, to sit in the back, to not be noticed as it wonders why. Why?

Why?

A long time after grief began, I found a smile on my face and I felt a sigh. It was a deep, relief filled sigh that I had indeed found hope again. Stress and anxiety lifted slowly, gratefulness for this hope grew and a respect for life heightened.

But I forgot a very important fact… Life still goes on and it’s not all happy. It’s not always as it should be, grief returns, people get sick, and hard, hard days are still part of life. It’s as if there’s some arthritis from the wound, it’s healed, I can walk, but it left some decay behind. So when conditions aren’t right, I feel it again. Agony. Cancer shouldn’t be able to touch my loved ones again, but it does. The agony of losing should be a thing of the past, but it’s not. My heart should not have to feel this again, but that’s just not realistic. Life, the good and the bad still march on whether I am prepared for it or not.

But why? 

Is God still good?

Is He a carer of my soul?

Is He really all powerful?

Can I trust Him?

Does He really want the best for me?

Is He even listening?  

I’ve learnt to answer “Yes” and yes there is sickness and death and horrid things that should never happen. Yes it doesn’t seem fair (don’t even get me started on that one!). But I still believe it through pain and when it’s hard. Why?

Why?

It’s nothing to do with a survey, it’s not a feeling, but a discipline of belief I can be sure of. Doubt surfaces for sure, and many questions race around my brain but at the end of the day I know there’s a whisper inside that knows hope will still come around the corner. There is a “however” on the end of the sentence that invites my heart to know there is something more.

There is more to death than grief, there is an eternity spent pain free in a better place. There is another side to hard times as we pull together and unite around common concern. There is another side to loss if I choose it. I can choose to add new people, new family, new love…if I choose. It’s not what I imagined in the beginning but it’s still good if I choose it.

I know by now that there are many, many questions in life that cannot be answered, won’t be answered, I don’t like that. That those “why’s” are not answered how I would like them to be and some days are just plain hard. If I make my heart listen it might bleed. If I summon it out of the fog it will need to go through reality before it can see hope. I cannot hear the whisper if I ignore the reason for hearing it. I cannot feel the relief until I know the pain.

When I walk with a limp I protect my wound, my broken limb, my pain from the blows of the world. When my heart hurts I protect it too. I put on my brave face, I distract conversation away from the pain and I keep in the shallows away from the deep stirrings that probe too much. I still don’t like the pain. I’m still a person. So I’m trying “however” on the end of lifes’ sentences. However, the treatment might be good. However, we are loved. However, there is yet hope. I’m hoping God is there in the however, planted firmly in between the pain and the hope that lies beyond. I’m not looking for new answers to all the hard questions, I’m choosing to keep believing what I began believing before grief began.

I’m praying my and my loved ones hearts understand. Understand we are loved, understand we know it hurts and understand we are all in this together. I’m praying we hear the whispers of hope over the noise of the why’s.

I’m praying. 

Hope.

MI Rainbow blessings getty


Remember the Smiles

Sadness can alter your memory. It can trick you into believing the lie that suffering was all there was to living. It isn’t true. Amidst the suffering there was true life, the one were a joke was laughed at, a hand was held, or  “hey how are you” was shared. These small things in the everyday mattered, and still matter.

The end did not negate the years of holding his babies, of taking them to soccer, of kissing me goodnight, of the worst dad jokes possible or of just sitting together wherever we were…because the place didn’t matter.

Hope finds it hard to return if it has to fight through regret and guilt. They where the bookends that held me captive, torturing me with a continual reel to reel of all that was bad in the end days. The “what ifs” intertwining each chapter with nagging questions.

“What if I had prayed harder…”

“What if we had tried another doctor…”

“What if he had wanted to stay a bit more…”

“What if I had been more…”

Answer-less questions that feed guilt because they can’t be answered from the grave.  

Before the suffering I knew the answers. Yes he loved me and knew I loved him. Yes his kids were his greatest achievements and nothing could alter that. Yes he found joy in life, in nature, in his faith and those he loved.  They were unaltered memories. They didn’t have question marks.

I had added the question marks to the statements of his life. I had warped the looking-glass of my memory. I had forgotten the smiles and could only see his pain.

I needed to see hope again. To believe hope was possible. I remember falling to my knees on my bedroom floor, desperate to know that moving on was OK. Stuck between the holding on and the letting go. Only a decision away but uncertain if letting go would leave him behind.  I asked God to free my heart of the guilt and betrayal that pushed hope away. To let go of those unanswerable weights and open my life up to new possibilities…even if that was on my own.

I needed to understand that choosing to live was in fact what he had wanted, even though every pore oozed the contrary. I took small steps and made small decisions that supported hope until it became a habit. Grace filled the space guilt left behind and I was able to walk on. Hope grew into a new life because you can’t grow moving backwards.

Honouring those who have died doesn’t have to be sad, live the life they supported, be all you can be. Intertwine the best of them into who you are and go forward knowing they are always in your heart. Smiling …until you meet again.

my honey


The things I am now.

I am a single parent.

I am just Janene, no Janene and…

I am the payer of bills.

I am the keeper of my own secrets, not shared so much.

I am the decision maker for EVERYTHING…including toilets!

I am owner of a car stuck in my yard cause I don’t know how to make it go.

I am the owner of tools I cannot even name.

I am unsure what to do now.

When I lost my partner, I lost an actual partner. Shared decision making, shared responsibilities, shared love, shared frustrations, and shared fun all things of the past right now. I lost a good partner. But I think even when a partner is sick, sad or lacking somehow you still actually lose a part of yourself. Someone that you joined with for life vanishes from you, even if the vanishing began years before they died. Either way, life becomes something else, something you had never imagined. It becomes just me. It becomes just you.

So now I need to figure out who this “me” is. No one can do it for me. It just has to be done. Two things I know to do. One  is put one foot in front of the other and be open to the person I discover. To keep my eyes open and gingerly push on a door or two. Shyness and fear may try and hold me back. Why? Well that’s for another day!

Two is that I have a deep assurance that I am held by One greater than I am. I still have questions, less as time goes by, and some may never find answers. But my faith in God remains. I believe He restores, rebuilds and mends the broken. I am a candidate for all. What once flourished will do so again.

What do I do next?

Where do I go from here?

I don’t know, but at least I am willing to see.


%d bloggers like this: