How do you feel the morning after? Or even the days and weeks following the death of a loved one? Sometimes, it is during this time that our bodies collapse due to the stress prior to and during our loved one's passing.
With the exception of a tragic loss, the hours and days just prior to loss have the emotional capacity to drain every last bit of energy and strength from us. The emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual toll that loss thrusts at the human body have rendered some incapable to move on. Can you relate to this feeling?
My mother-in-law was a spunky, energetic, and strong woman right up until the end of her time here on earth. Her journey home, to heaven, wasn't evident to us until the latter part of the summer season.
As we cared for her and made the necessary doctor appointments, I announced the release of my first book, Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey. Mid-September I revealed the cover and just last week, my first round of proof copies arrived.
And to color this scene a little more hectic, I had the blessing and opportunity to share my story and Heidi three of the four weekends in September.
I am one to thrive on change and living on the edge yet the past few weeks are more than this girl can handle.
Please understand I do not share this to say "Woe is me" or for your pity (prayers are cool though) but instead to show that even when life comes at us hard and satan tries to knock us down, we MUST keep moving forward in God's strength. It is when we stop and give in to the stress, loss, and tragedy of life that we lose control and sometimes our grip with reality.
Do you remember the TV show that gave away $500 worth of free groceries? The contestants had something like five minutes to fill their carts with as many groceries as they could push. They scurried, struggled, and pushed themselves beyond their own limitations...all for the sake of free food in their freezers and cupboards.
This is how life has been in our home, and family, lately. Yet our goal was not for a bounty of food and laundry detergent but instead, for memories, love, and the relationships in our lives.
The important thing to note here is, the end result of both the grocery shopper and the over-scheduled and stressed human are the same. Burn out, exhaustion, and usually illness. I remember watching the mad shopper collapse as his/her cart crossed the finish line. Just prior to my mother-in-law's passing (she crossed her finish line to eternity with God), my body gave in to the pressure. A fever and strep overtook me and rendered me useless to those around me.
My biggest mistake was I tried to do it on my own. We can do NOTHING on our own or in our own strength. We NEED help. The love, compassion, strength, and power of the Holy Spirit in us provide the necessary stamina to endure. My biggest mistake was trying to do it on my own.
As much as I love my husband, daughter, family, and friends ~ ONLY GOD has enough strength, power, love, and compassion to meet all their needs. God first, then family.
As we try to support and uplift our family, we need to remember to stay connected with God and keep our focus on Him. To know when to stop and rest, to understand we can't do it on our own, and to recognize our loved ones need to know of God's love for them.
To lose my mother-in-law this past week I have been reminded of the gift of salvation, to know I will see her again in heaven. One aspect of her loss that affected me deeply was the support and love of family, especially her children.
I stood with my husband at the calling hours yet he had seven brothers and sisters standing in a line too. Who will stand with me when my parents pass? Who will be my help to make arrangements? Who will be there to hold me up when my knees buckle?
I pray my husband and daughter but the One I know will be there....is God. Who has held you up in times of stress, trial, tribulation, and loss?
Part II ~ A Teachable Moment: A sibling's perspective will be posted Wednesday or Thursday. Tomorrow is T.O.P.'s (Tower of Power) Tuesday.
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323