Thursday, April 7, 2011


A post on Facebook regarding the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide (hence the referral to him later in this post) has triggered my thoughts, and, needing to be shared in as many places as possible, I felt compelled to share them here as well.

When it comes to suicide and suicidal thoughts, I am not always the most sympathetic person. It causes SO MUCH pain for those that are left behind, I can get quite angry with someone who is suicidal, especially if they already know my story and try to threaten me with their suicidal thoughts. Of course, that's a totally different topic. But if someone shares with me that they feel suicidal, I share with them my story. First of all, that my step-dad committed suicide to escape jail. He wasn't well liked by pretty much anyone at that point and still his death inflicted a great amount of pain. We may have been angry with him, hurt by him, yet we loved him and despite the circumstances, were devastated by his choice. He was a coward. His death was brought about by cowardice and fear. The realization that someone who could cause as much pain as he did in life could also cause so much anguish in death was an eye opener because I realized I had many more people who loved me than he did and I saw how much pain it would cause should I choose that path.

Secondly, my brothers suicide was different. He was truly at the bottom of the pit. He had tied the knot so many times and clung to it and it got frayed. To me, my brother is a casualty of the spiritual war that we all battle every day. There was no one at fault in his death except Satan who choose to attack him with everything he had that fateful day. He was sick, he was alone, he was losing his dreams.... Sadly, the next day he got the job of his dreams, his girlfriend had NOT dumped him as he believed... One more day would have made a world of difference to him. Satan knew that and attacked while he was weak. Further, his father's choice of death opened that door to him. There was fear that he would be like his father, there was fear he was unloved. He knew his sisters loved him. I'll never truly know (this side of heaven) why he made the choice he did, but I'm certainly glad that God knows and that God was with him when he died.

This is not to justify or to romanticize suicide by any means. It means that there are many reasons, many paths to that choice. I realize this is not an article about suicide in general, but rather an article about Kurt Cobain. I didn't know the man. I didn't know his music. What I do know is that anytime we discuss someone who has committed suicide we must be careful to be free of judgment, free of condemnation. Kurt Cobain's life does not appear to be lived in Godly standards. He chose poorly, he got trapped by Satan. Let us never forget who the true enemy is. Let us never forget that Satan uses confusion, angst, depression and any other trap he can get his hands on to entangle us up with him. Was Kurt Cobain an example of a Christian life? I doubt it. Was his death an example to us? Yes, because we can look at the pain and the angst that influenced him to make that decision, we can look at the pain and suffering that his decision caused others.

Don't let Satan win the battle for your life by taking it yourself. Make him fight for it with everything you have, recognize that is is he who wants you dead, and turn to God for your true life!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Conflicting Days

Today is a day that will carry joys, sorrows, tears, laughter, good and bad. For each of us, it will be a different day with different experiences.

I took my mom and her husband to the airport bright and early this morning. They are headed to BC because today is the day my step-sister and her family will bury their baby girl. Little Naomi was born prematurely at 2 lbs, 11 oz, with more problems than a baby can survive, she had Trisomy 18 (causing a hole in her spine and an under-developed heart), Spinal Bifida and Club Foot. We have known she wouldn't live since the first ultrasound but it doesn't change that it hurts. That this precious little gift could only be enjoyed for a few days before she left our lives. Today is a day of great sorrow for my family, but it will be interspersed with happy moments.

That's the way of it. We grieve while we laugh sometimes. We love while we are angry. We are a people of mixed and conflicted emotions and actions.

Today, I will grieve with my family from afar. I will do all I can for them from this distance, I will love, I will remember, I will cry. But most of all, I will pray for them and share their burden in whatever way is possible. I wish I could do more.

I cannot imagine what my step-sister is going through today. To be perfectly honest, I don't even want to try because I know that kind of pain would be overwhelming and devastating. I weep for her, and today I will weep with them, even though I am at a distance.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am not alone.

Tonight, as I was resettling my youngest after he fell out of bed, he was lying in bed crying as I sat on the floor beside him. I tried holding and even rocking him, but he was not calming down so I put him in bed and sat beside him. As I sat there I realized, he doesn't realize I'm still here. He can't see me, he can't hear me, yet, here I am.

That is just like how I am with God sometimes. I sit and cry, and wonder why He's not beside me, when He is. It's just dark in my world and He's being comforting with His presence, even when I'm unaware that He's there. He's not gone, He hasn't left me alone, He is waiting for me to calm down so He can offer comfort and bring peace. My not recognizing His presence doesn't erase it.

I cling to His promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me. In my dark hours, when I feel alone, I remember that and I know that no matter how I feel, He is with me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

A new year, a new start. Some of the starts are newer than we want them to be, some of the endings are more painful.

Christmas was a painful one this year. I've had worse, but I've definitely had better. A time of renewal, of refreshing, of change. Many questions have arisen, where do I go from here? How do I continue moving forward? What will I need to take care of myself in the long term?

There are a lot of decisions to be made, a lot of things to settle in my life this New Year. Hopefully it will be a good year, a year of renewal and recharging the
batteries and refreshing relationships.

I question my own strength, yet I know that my strength is what I allow it to be. I have the strength to do all that is before me, to be all that I need to be. Some days I don't want it, I don't want to need that much strength. Regardless, I need it and I have it. This is a good opportunity to stretch my wings, expand my horizons and exercise my strength. Just because it is a place I'd rather not be in does not change that I have what it takes or that it is the best place for me to be.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

$10 Challenge

It's an interesting thing to give to someone in need or undeserving. My friend, Louise has chosen to partake in the $10 Challenge and has challenged the rest of us to also. Bill Coffey started the challenge and you can follow the link to his site to read it fully.

At this time of year, there are many who give selflessly, thinking of others and not of themselves, others who give thinking only of themselves and still others who give because they have to (I'm thinking of store clerks who are harried at this time of year). What can I give willingly that might make a difference to someone's day? No matter if I can only afford a $1, what can I sacrifice to help someone else feel a little bit of the love of God at this time when we celebrate His Gift to us? $10 seems like a small thing, a tiny token, but it can change the life or at least day of someone we come across.

My Mom occasionally gives the store clerk a chocolate bar, what if we were more prepared and had little cards in our purses/wallets to give along with it with a note of encouragement and/or thanks for those people who work double-time this time of year? Whether you do a spur of the moment gift or put some forethought into it, please let me know what it is you did, pass along your ideas so others can share them.

God bless you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Assault of Grief

It is a strange thing to grieve, to need to grieve. It assaults you, comes in waves, attacks at inopportune moments and lasts for years. You cannot gauge or predict how long it will take to go through the grieving process. It varies from person to person and is not something to be ignored and brushed away. You can't brush it away in fact, because it will jump out when you least expect it, demanding attention and refusing to be set aside again. If we choose to resist facing it, it affects our mental health until we stop and look at it face to face.

I grieve. Some days more than others. Some things I take out in little pieces because I fear that to face it all at once would be more than I could bear, and yet there are times when it threatens to overwhelm me and I must find a space to breathe.

I have tried to resist grieving, to put it aside until a better time, but there truly is no better time. If we grieve in the moment of our pain, it is easier to own, easier to share. When we put it off, we are misunderstood, we lose the support of our immediate community. There is still support, but we must be willing to seek it because most will think we are "over it". The truth is that the thing that makes us grieve, also makes us who we are. It becomes a part of us, a part of who we are.

My grief has brought me to envy the sibling relationships of other people, to encourage them to appreciate every moment, every memory they make with their siblings, to not let insignificant things come between them. There are days when just hearing someone talk about their sister brings me to tears, days when I still, almost 4 years later, think to pick up the phone to call either my brother or my sister, only to remember they aren't there.

The truth is though, that I will forever carry them in my heart, that they will never be far from me unless I chose to let them go. If I refuse to talk about them, if I refuse to remember them or look at their pictures, then they will disappear. I will not allow them to disappear. I will tell their stories, and hopefully in the telling, they will live on and enable others to live past the moment of their pain.

Maybe, in our grief, we can help others walk the pathway of life in a better, truer way. It is one way that our pain can bring good out of bad.

It's another Blog Carnival Tuesday! This week's word is "Grief". To read other blogs on this word, click here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Stay or Go?

Today I was reading on BibleGateway for my devotional and came across these verses:

1 Peter 2:22-25 (Contemporary English Version)

22 Christ did not sin

or ever tell a lie.

23 Although he was abused,

he never tried to get even.

And when he suffered,

he made no threats.

Instead, he had faith in God,

who judges fairly.

24 Christ carried the burden

of our sins.

He was nailed to the cross,

so that we would stop sinning

and start living right.

By his cuts and bruises

you are healed.

25 You had wandered away

like sheep.

Now you have returned

to the one

who is your shepherd

and protector.

It made me stop to think. Sometimes we read verses like this and assume that because Jesus didn’t sin or complain or retaliate when He was abused that He did nothing. The truth of it is that there were many times that He just walked away – like when they tried to stone Him or push Him off the cliff. He allowed them to abuse and murder Him at His death because that was the plan all along and there was value in it. He doesn’t ask us to stay in abusive situations unless He has a plan that will bring about good in our lives and to His glory.

Is God asking you to stay where you are? Or are you choosing to remain in an abusive place out of a misconception that that is how Jesus insists it be done?