Encouragement · Grief · Hope · wounded healer

Riding The Grief Train

I told you we were going to get thru this together. And here’s how.

When I was a little girl, there was a miniature train at the park. And you would board the train and it might have a Putt-Putt Golf Stop, a Botanical Garden Stop, or a Horseback Riding Stop where you can get off for a while.

Now I’m building my own railroad, with a miniature train called “The Grief Train.” And every Stop comes from the ride of my own life.

Here are the Stops this train will make:

  • Denial
  •  Anger
  • Depression
  • Survival
  • Acceptance (You will notice I never get to the “Acceptance” Stop.)

I can’t.

I cannot accept Ryan’s death. But that’s just me.

On this train, I won’t suggest you stay on it all the way till the end, without getting off, like well-meaning church people tend to.  I will encourage you to get off at every Stop, for however long you need to, including the ones you don’t want to get off at.

rail station juniperphoton-722096-unsplash

None of the Stops should be confused with your ultimate Destination. But they can be.

It’s your train too if you’re up for the ride.

God might suggest we make every Stop because God is all about learning, and the way we learn is to go thru every Stop of the learning process.

Stop, unboard the train, listen and learn what’s there, embrace it as best you can, and move on whenever you’re ready. No shortcuts.

This is not microwavable.

That’s not how God ‘bakes’ a person. We’re more like God’s personal crock pot. Low heat, all day long unlike American gods (money, power).  

images-1

God’s favorite speed is slow.

dawn

Will continue…

#myscars, #grieftrain

 

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.

images-3

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

Share this freely.

#myscars #ryanshines

Hope · Motherhood · wounded healer

6 Things I’m Grateful For Today!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Gratitude! Did you ever think we’d get to Gratitude? And I’m not talking about happiness. For me, it’s taken 17 years to make this move into Gratitude. But I’m getting closer. And so I’ve gathered a list of things that I am grateful for since Ryan’s death.

  1. I am Grateful that we had Ryan for 7 years.

    IMG_0608
    Rr-Ry

 

      2. I am Grateful for our little boy, Tyler, who saved us all.

IMG_8684
Ty-Ty

        3. I am Grateful for Ryan’s brothers, Trenton and Colton.

       4. I am Grateful for the wisdom Ryan is still bringing to us.

       5. I am Grateful for all the Undercover Angels that I’ve met along the Way.

       6. I am Grateful that my faith is becoming natural to me.

Am I grateful for Ryan’s death? NO. And, by that, I mean, “Hell-No!” But, I am grateful for what God has shown me from it. It’s impossible to even say this aloud so I’ll write it–

If I had it all to do over again, I want Ryan back now.”

But I’m beginning to see Ryan’s death differently. Looking at our 3 boys now, I realize that Ryan did not die in vain. It is so like Ryan to leave living, breathing gifts to us– the gifts of Trenton and Colton. And he’s still opening doors. He’s still changing our family and our family MAP into the future.

IMG_6630It’s the most unexpected gusher of Gratitude, to see Ryan’s death as I do now, knowing that I don’t have to give up the tragic sense of it. Ever.

Have a Thankful Day!

dawn

#ryanshines #myscars #childloss #thankful

 

 

Encouragement · Hope · wounded healer

Beautifully You!

 

 

When I was 19, I was backpacking Europe and by the time I got to Munich I was about out of money. So, I started modeling again. Mostly lingerie and bathing suit jobs. Check out the photographs. (Here’s a magazine cover.) It appears that I was scar-less but don’t be fooled; I had plenty of scars that nobody could see. I even hid them from myself.

Modeling is about perfection. And scars are the enemies of perfection. You know our universal dis-ease is perfectionism. Look at the world of plastic surgery: $16 billion was spent last year,  all because we can not accept our imperfections, our SCARS. And we’ll do anything to appear pristine. But in the back of our mind, we know everybody has scars. Noone is unmarked.

 

About my scars from the fire… God didn’t create the fire or the scars from the fire. But God did show me the beauty of them. I’m beginning to honor them and I challenge you to do the same. Your scars are beautifully You.

dawn

#myscars #childloss

Encouragement · Hope · wounded healer

#Myscars

Every Friday afternoon at St. Francis School, our 5th class would have ‘Show and Tell.” It was always fun except for one Friday when Kenny, the oldest kid in the class, showed us something that I can still see when I close my eyes.

girl eyes.jpg

He got up in front of us, rolled up his sleeve and we saw several long, red scars on his right arm. We couldn’t imagine what the scars were from until he reached into his pocket and pulled out a paperclip that he had opened.

Then, he showed us how he cut himself. Only there was no blood this time.

The only thing he said to the class was,  “Don’t do this. There are better ways than this to prove to yourself that you’re alive.” He sat down and nobody moved. Some of us thought he was crazy. Some of us were just sad. I was sad. I remember feeling sad for him.

I knew I would never hurt myself like that but there was something about him, a certain freedom to show us that he could no longer keep this secret to himself. It was almost a warning.

That’s how I’ve come to feel about my scars now. I want to show you. I have a very loud voice in me that says, “hide them.”

images

A quieter voice tells me that my scars are a gift. A gift for both of us. It’s a part of who we are.  

dawn

#myscars

 

Family · Hope · wounded healer

Infertility! (part 2)

When we were ready for another child, at 38, we visited a specialist. This time my clock was ticking really loud so we felt we had little time. So we started an aggressive IVF(InVitro Fertilization) treatment.

download-1

This proved to be a crazy adventure: with enough eggs for 3 Easter bunnies, a fearful doctor, and a bank account drying up to the tune of $20,000. When we stopped thinking about getting pregnant, we actually got pregnant.

fullsizeoutput_3e44.jpeg

I didn’t know if I was heading for Labor & Delivery or Geriatrics.

Tyler was a healthy, heavy(10 pounds) baby and was welcomed into our family by his big brother, Ryan. And now, at 39, we had it all.

Hirn Family
Ron, Dawn, Ryan & Tyler Hirn

 

Then Ryan died and we didn’t “have it all” anymore.

Tyler didn’t have the brother or sister that we wanted for him. So, we “came out of retirement” to give Tyler a sibling.

And though we’d made up our mind so quickly, it was neither quick nor easy. So many emotions, not the least of which was fear. That’s when I remembered that “Perfect Love casts out all fear.”(1 John 4:18)

That’s the day I became fearless. 

dawn

(Final part coming..)

#ryanshines#petribabies

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?

fullsizeoutput_3d53

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.”

cross: cloud aaron-burden-21616-unsplash.jpg

 

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.

fullsizeoutput_3e3e.jpeg

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

If there is someone in your orbit who needs this, please share.

#ryanshines#grace