It’s Been a While Since I’ve Had One of These Moments #GriefConfessions #LoveHugsAndSunshine

There are some things that make absolutely no sense at all. How I can miss Chris and be happy in my current life? How can I be sad and at the same time full of joy? It is possible. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t felt it myself but I’m telling you it’s legit.

There are so many new happy things happening in my life—in my professional world, in my spiritual journey, and even in my personal life (although those things are not as definitive and easy to explain.)

I went to the cemetery this week. If you’ve read Shine then you know the cemetery has not always been a good place for me. As with my growth, I do see it as a different place than I once did. I don’t necessarily believe Chris “lives” there but if I want to make sure he hears what I have to say I go there.

It was a perfect summer day–sunshine, low humidity, and in the seventies. Those were the kind of days Chris loved. “Perfect riding weather,” he’d say. I found myself in front of his headstone, my butt parked on the ground. I always giggle to myself how the grass on his grave doesn’t grow like the rest. He wouldn’t want to inconvenience people by needing to mow too often.

And so I started telling him about all the great things happening and then the happy tears quickly turned into sad ones. When I start to realize how happy I am in my “new life” it makes me sad because Chris doesn’t have a new life—at least not on this plane of existence. It’s not that I don’t believe Chris has a new life of his own because I do. And I truly believe he is in a place of peace and is free from the strife of this world. But when I start moving forward it’s a reality check. His death really happened. The good things in life are as equally real as the bad things.

As the tears were streaming down my face behind my sunglasses I said, “Chris, I can’t wait until the day I can come here and tell you I’ve got my family.” Those words made me wonder if when that joyful day comes if the sadness will lose its volume. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But I realized how badly I want that not only for me, but for us.

I went on rambling about missing his friendship, mentioned a few grievances, and made a few other requests. I looked up from my seat on the ground to the view of the hill with three crosses and a large stone bible a few steps away. I could almost hear him chiding me that it was time to leave.

I stood up and walked towards the large granite bible with a little bird beckoning me over. There’s always a bird. Always a bird. LOL! Written on it was the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want…” When I hit the line that says, “he restoreth my soul” the confirmation hit me of Chris’s peace in his new life. I needed that to help me combat the guilt that was starting to rise up.

Then the more I read the more I realized inside those words were messages for me about my situations, my fears, and my concerns. I climbed into the truck and had one last bout of tears before gathering myself to return my world.

What is this grief confession post about? A lot of things but most importantly it’s a reminder that we’re allowed to feel more than one thing at a time, but it can be overwhelming. Sometimes the things we think make sense are false truths we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe. I don’t want to go back in time, I want to be here in this moment. And being in this moment means I can miss the friendship of my late husband and carry a longing desire for the friendship of my next spouse. I can miss Chris and be happy that he’s at peace, all in the same moment. And as weird as it may sound I can be anxious and longing for the day I come to the cemetery and say, “My family found me, Chris. My family found me!”

This Monday would be our anniversary. I wasn’t even consciously thinking about that while at the cemetery. I would’ve never been able to imagine the place I’m at today, nor the woman I’ve become. I would’ve never expected how short our marriage would be nor how much I learned from our years together.

I’m so grateful for every heartache and every victory.

My eyes have been opened as to how my life is not my own. How beautiful it is to recognize my value and my purpose, and that is to share my life with you through my words, my day to day, and in every way I live my life. The miracles that God has worked in my life and continues to work on a daily basis—they are as much for me as they are for you. I hope your eyes are opened to the plans and ways He’s working in your life as well. He loves you, too. Never forget we are all connected. We are all loved.

It’s part of my personal growth to become more vulnerable. Boy is that difficult, especially for the “girl who has it all together.” Looks can be deceiving, dear friends. I don’t have it all together not even close but I’m constantly seeking the guidance and answers so that I can grow. When I’m knocking on heaven’s door I want to know I lived a life of purpose. I lived a life of love.

And loving people means lots of messes and nothing will ever be “all together” but that’s not an excuse to withhold your heart.

Live fully. Love boldy.

#LoveHugsAndSunshine #NeverGiveUpOnYourAlwaysAndForever




You Are Not Broken

There was a time not very long ago that I thought I was broken. That for the rest of my life because of the things that had happened to me something had to be wrong with me to be where I was. No matter how hard I worked or how well I treated people crappy things still happened, the worst of all being the death of my husband.

I was lost in the land of the brokenhearted. Stuck in a place where I felt like I was beyond repair. Who would ever want me in their life? Who would ever want me around? I felt like a magnet for horrible things, that somehow there was something wrong inside me that caused everything unfair and terrible to happen to me. I felt broken beyond repair. That I’d always carry around this tattered box that contained the shards of my once beautiful heart and now people would know by the sad jingling sound it made as I walked that I was broken. I was damaged.

Here’s the thing—that was a lie. All of it. I may have been momentarily shattered but I wasn’t broken forever. My heart was not shattered beyond repair. There was nothing wrong inside of me that caused the pain I’d endured. Life happens to everyone—no matter who you are.

If you’re feeling like that today, like you’re broken beyond repair or if you’re lost in that depressing dark land of the brokenhearted take my hand and give me your ear. I promise you, you are NOT broken. You might be a little bruised and you might have a few scars but that’s what gives you character. The way you handle those bad things—the heartbreaks, the disappointments, the losses—that is how you put yourself back together. That shows who you really are–a warrior, a champion. 🙂

My faith and the love of family and friends found a way to heal my wounds. I thought they were impossible to fix, that people would always see me as the weeping widow. Maybe for you it’s something else. Maybe you think people will always see you as a failure or a divorcee or a drop out or whatever else.

You are more than the horrible things you’ve endured. You are more than your mistakes. Today is a new day, remember you are NOT broken. Say it out loud if you have to. (Seriously, it might feel silly but I swear it works.) You aren’t broken and today is a new day! It’s time to move your feet out of the land of the brokenhearted and into the land of new beginnings. Let your beautiful heart shine again!

#LoveHugsAndSunshine #YouAreNotBroken #NeverGiveUp #ShineOn