Encouragement · Faith · Grief · Hope

Our Journey together on the Grief Train

Remember every STOP:   Denial. Anger. Depression. Survival. Acceptance.

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The Grief Train

 

So, here’s the first stop.

Denial.

Which means, “This is a nightmare I’m going to wake up out of, and Ryan will still be here.” Don’t be shocked at that. None of us are prepared to entertain the thought, “it never happened” for very long. You’ve thought it, now feel it. Nobody knows how long each Stop lasts.

Maybe, for some of us, the rest of our life.

rail stat eric-muhr-636819-unsplash.jpgFor instance, we build a home at the next Stop(the Anger Stop) because we ’re still mad at God, or someone else.

Of course, we are!

Don’t deny your anger!

Feel it…

The church often tells those of us in grief, “don’t be mad at God!”

I say, “Be as mad as you need to be. God can take it.”

So, spend as much time as you need there.

You might even find you need to return to this Stop again and again.

It’s OK. You’re the engineer.

There will always be the opportunity to move forward or return to this Stop.

God built that into our Journey together.

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So maybe you’ve left the Anger Stop for now, and Depression has set in. (Mine lasted twelve years.)

You’re on the pills longer than you wanted.

Don’t stew over the length of your stay.

Just survive. It is enough just to survive.

Stop at the Survival Stop. There’s a red light there. Stop. Don’t run it.

And remember God doesn’t take shortcuts, so stick as close to Him as you can.

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Where you are right now is not necessarily your ultimate destination.

 

And if you need to invent a world where tragedy doesn’t happen, invent the world.

 

Or, reinvent your world.

 

I’m wondering where you see yourself on “The Grief Train?”

dawn

 

Monday..  my personal journey…

 

Encouragement · Faith · Hope · wounded healer

Scars On Jesus’ Hands

 

A major turning point for me came when I tied together the way Tyler held out his hands to me and the way Jesus held out his hands to his friends.

Focus on those hands for a minute.  See the holes in his hands and remember the giant hole in his side from a well-aimed Roman spear? There’s nothing he could do to make the scars go away because, just like ours, his scars are permanent.

Think about the way he honored his scars.

I’m thinking about “Doubting Thomas.” He told them that he would not believe unless he saw and touched the scars. Because somehow Jesus’ scars are at the Center of his life story.

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And my scars are the Center of my life story and I can’t get away from them.  I don’t need to tell you that people do not want to look at our scars. And they even encourage us sometimes to hide them, as if Jesus wore gloves for the rest of his natural life.

Jesus had scars like ours: Physical scars. Emotional scars. Mental scars. His scars were the proof of his single-minded Love for the whole world.fullsizeoutput_3dc4

Our minds don’t tell us the truth always.

 

But our scars always do.

They tell us what is most perfect about our body and soul.

There is a story behind every scar that we carry. 

Listen to your scars.

 

dawn

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Encouragement · Faith · Grief · wounded Mother

Good news and Bad news

I mentioned last time that I am beginning to find the beauty in my scars and to honor that beauty. It’s easy to say, but it’s taken me 17 years (one day at a time) to get to where I can even talk to you about it today.

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I showed you what the fire did to my legs. That scarring has been hard enough to deal with.

But there’s another scar deeper than the scars on my legs, it’s the scar behind any scar on my body.

It’s the scar that won’t heal, that chases me wherever I go.

It’s the scar way deeper than any scar you can see with the naked eye.

It is the scar that Ryan’s death left on my heart.

I see the scars on my legs every day but they always lead me back to Ryan’s face.

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Ryan

I WILL NEVER OVERCOME THAT! How can a mother overcome the death of her child? She can’t.

Let’s say God came to me during the first days of my loss and said, “Dawn, I have good news and bad news for you, which do you want first?”

And I say, “Lord, give me the bad news first.”

And God says, “ It’s gonna take you 17 years to really begin to see the Light.”

And I say, “ I can’t make it 17 years, not 7 years, not 7 hours.”

And God says, “ But that’s exactly where the good news comes in. You’re gonna make it.  You’ re not going to kill yourself. We’re gonna go thru it together. And you’ll come out on the other side a stronger person,  with a Mission the size of which you can’t comprehend right now.”

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To you, friend, I’m going to say the same thing to you that God said to me, “ We are going to get thru this together.”

I mean it!

dawn

Stay tuned..

http://www.ryanshines.com

Faith · Family · Hope

Infertility! (part 3)

(Four years later) What is staring me in the face is that the ‘live birth rate’ for a 42-year-old is 6.6%. Looks like I’m gonna have to call in some Chips.

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My Doc’s goal was to get 3 good eggs from me, to implant them, and if I happen to get pregnant with any of these 3 implanted eggs, my chances of a live-birth are still very slim.

I need a miracle here.

Do you remember Sully who landed the plane safely in the Hudson River? I need that kind of miracle. ”Calling Dr. Sully!”

I shocked myself and the doctor by breaking the record with 32 viable eggs. After the 5-day ‘culturing of the egg,’ we had (drum roll) 15 Class-A eggs! The Doc was conservative and only transferred 4 and ”ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom” . . .

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Tyler and Trenton

And then, Trenton was born!

Another miracle two years later, when my 4th son, Colton, was born! My Colton survived three other embryos and was born healthy at 9 lbs too. Colton had a 4% chance of being born because I was 45. Obviously, miracles are not about statistics except for us. Bring on the stats!

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T and C

And so there you have it–our Petri babies, Trenton and Colton, two more miraculous gifts. They owe their lives to Ryan.

And, of course, to their Maker.

dawn

Encouragement · Faith · Hope · wounded Mother

Is there Light in every darkness?

When I saw Ron without Ryan in his arms, all I could see was a NO written across my heart in indelible ink.

I assume you’re familiar with ‘the big NO,’ right? I’m wondering if you found Light in your own darkness? Or is that too naive?

With time, I began to see a little Light, like a nightlight in the corner. It wasn’t as bright as I wished, but it was Light, and I decided to take what I could get.

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When I began to focus on the Light, instead of the darkness, I saw that the Light began to intensify.

That’s when I learned 2 things:

  1. There is no power in the darkness that can extinguish this little Light of ours.

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      2. And if you look closely, you will find that your Light has a face. In my case, it was      my 2-year-old son, Tyler, who became the human face of God for me.

dawn

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Faith · Hope · wounded healer · wounded Mother

From “Why me, Lord?” to Why me, Lord?

At first, I felt robbed when Ryan died. Like, “Why me, Lord?” Where’s my miracle since You are the Supreme Being on the Supreme Court?

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I grew up believing that God can fix what’s broken, or at least, give a heads-up. But we were hung out to dry. No warning. So, naturally, I began to look for who to blame. I finally said it face-to-face,

“It’s all Your fault, God.”

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This rocked my Friendship with God, and if I’m not mistaken, we broke up for a while because placing blame was the only way I knew to get clear of this. To shed my skin like a snake and move on.

But as time passed, I discovered the real Answer to the question, “Why me, Lord?”

What did I do to deserve this Grace? Nothing.

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That’s when I realized this is about God, not me. Grace is a gift from the hand of God whose face looks very much like my 2-year-old, Tyler, my little miracle worker.

 

Why me, Lord?

Dawn

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Faith · Family · wounded Mother

Everything happens for a Reason

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me there’s a ‘Reason’ for Ryan dying, I’d be rich. As if it was all part of the Plan.

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At first, it brought me comfort, because that meant that nothing was my fault.

It’s all ‘on God.’

But the older I get and the deeper I understand God, I realize that there is not a ‘Reason’ behind everything happening. Some things are just plain wrong and that’s all there is to it. Like the Holocaust. There is no good ‘Reason’ behind it. It’s insane is what it is! It is pure wickedness and you can’t clean it up by coming up with a ‘Reason.’

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It’s the same with Ryan.

I’m not denying that good things haven’t come from his dying. His 2 brothers, Trenton and Colton, wouldn’t be here if Ryan had lived.

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Trenton & Colton

But that ’s not enough to convince me that Ryan needed to be ‘gotten out of the way’ for our future to continue.

Be careful when you say that ‘God engineers everything that happens.’ Because, if we know anything about God, it’s that “God is Love.”

dawn

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