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Tag Archives: Friends

Meet My Friend, Angey

For those of you who don’t know her already, meet Angey! She is the sweetest most dear friend of mine (probably the best friend I’ve ever had really) and has stuck it out with me for almost two years now – and I know I haven’t been that easy ;-). She is a mentor, a confidant, a listener, a comedian, a photographer, a wife, and a friend to many.  She serves dilligently and with much love and devotion in our church and in her community.  She is just so full of life and the Lord, and her light shines on everyone around her!

Recently Angey let me take a glamour photo shoot of her! We had so much fun at the different locations,  and I learned a lot as well. Angey, thank you so much for constantly being there for me, for your wisdom, your photography help, and your love!  I”m so thankful to have a friend like you! I love you!  Happy Birthday!

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Good Grief!!

In light of the death of a friend’s baby, I have been contemplating the grief the mother and family, and even surrounding friends, are feeling. It has brought anew the grief I haven’t felt for a while for my own lost baby.

When someone grieves something – really grieves, it’s hard to imagine anyone else could possibly feel the same thing….that utterly earth-shattering pain, pain that literally makes your heart feel like it will stop, an ache so great that absolutely nothing in this world can compare…nothing. It’s a grief that will make you double over. It will take your breath away for days at a time. It will make you cry dry tears. And worst of all, that feeling that you can’t make it go away. There is no pain reliever. There is no cure. It must be endured. This is the kind of grief I speak of. At the time, you think it’s horrible, wretched even. It’s worse than any physical pain. But the scars run deeper than any physical pain ever could.

I’ve been through this kind of grief on more than one occasion in my life. Each time, I’m convinced that God is a mean, horrible God for allowing such feelings…until the pain and grief subsides and I think, ‘I made it.  It ended.’  But this week, I’ve considered.  What does grieving give me that’s NOT painful?  What do we as a people get out of this process?  Peace? Sometimes.  Not really in my case.  I think we get the blessing of a strengthened character, a story to encourage others with, a testimony to share with the world.  We have fears subside even in some ways.  If you’re a woman reading this, you may know what childbirth is like.  You may have been fearful with the first child of what the pain was going to entail.  Now that you’re through it you, at the very least, know what to expect the next time (if there is a next time).  When we are put through trials that cause this extreme grief, it is the same.  We, at the very least, can know what to expect the next time…except we hope there isn’t a next time.  We can also know that there is a light at the end.  It will end, or at least subside to a point where you can function.  We are left with a testimony of some sort – a testimony of God’s provision, a testimony of people’s love, a testimony of healing, of making it through.  We are able to encourage others with our experiences.  We are able to better help them because we really DO know what they are feeling.  And we are able to do it anywhere, with anyone, in any country because grief speaks the same language everywhere.  We are granted more compassion and more love for those enduring the same or similar situations.  We are better able to help them through than someone who may not have experienced the same thing.

Grief is good.  It’s a blessing.  I don’t wish it on anyone, but I know – from experience – that I was made stronger, more compassionate, more loving, and better able to withstand pain in my life due to my experiences with grief.  My song is louder.  My heart is more prepared.  I made it through.  We are getting a lot out of grieving whether we know it or not at the time.  I am heartbroken for my friends.  I am pained for their loss.  I am more pained because I know what that feeling is of losing a child.  But I also know that they will not die from their broken hearts.  They will endure, and their testimony will be even stronger, their love even bigger, and their compassion even greater.

We were promised sufferings.  They were part of the program.  We were even told, “Blessed are they that mourn.”  – C.S. Lewis

He will heal the broken-hearted and bind up their wounds.  – Psalm 147:3

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.  – John Taylor

My Grace Is Sufficient

I have some awesome friends…brothers and sisters that I never had. So when one of them – probably the best friend I’ve ever had – told ME that I should have a little grace for the husband who has hurt me and our family -and even my friends -beyond any words…beyond any comprehensible measure. I was devastated. Crushed. How could she? She’s supposed to defend me. To stand up for me. To love me. Hadn’t I had given enough grace to him? How could I possibly spare any more? It took some moments…I say some because it really was before I realized she had. She’d done more than any of those things. She’d done all of those things and most importantly she loved me enough to correct me.

Wow. What if God said that? I can just picture it now…a letter from God saying, “You know, Liz, I think I’ve had more than enough grace for you for this lifetime. I’m so done with that. You blew it.” Now, my next contention to this logic is, I’m not God so I’m not even physically able to give grace like He does because I’m human! Cool excuse, huh? Well, that kind of negates Him working through us and the whole Phillippians 4:13 thing that says, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. There are numerous passages that could negate that logic, but the point is that the logic just isn’t all that logical for a Christian.

It is my job to have grace in every circumstance, with every person, every day. The only way I do that is with the Lord. So whatever seems humanly impossible (the bestowing of grace to my husband is the thing of the moment) is completely more than possible! And you know what? I don’t even have to worry about getting it! God just gives it…every time, all the time. Not to mention, I’ve done WAY worse to God than any human could ever do to me and continue to be supernaturally blessed! Actually, when I think about the number of times I’ve hurt people even continuously and they have forgiven and continue to love me and even overlook many of those hurts. That’s not natural. That’s God.

So while my humanness DOES make me want to just yell at my friend at the top of my lungs that I’m SO DONE with having grace for this man that is still my husband, the Lord interceded for me (thank you, Lord). And I don’t have to fear it or be anxious about it because I know He will give it when it’s needed. We don’t even have to ask. It’s a gift.

You know, I’ve never had any non blood relative love me like my Christian friends do. It’s amazing really. I simply have never experienced such an awesome power as that which is displayed through them. I’m not so naive as to think that all churches are like mine and all friends are like mine. I know the “church” isn’t perfect…even wrong in some cases. And I know many many many Christians mess up. Many are just plain wrong in their thinking, behavior,etc. I even know that MY church isn’t perfect and my friends are certainly not perfect. And I’m so GLAD! It gives the Lord even more room to work and show us what He can do!

“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.” – Jackie Windspear