Saturday, February 9, 2013


My sister and I, circa 1982.

Twenty years. 

That’s how long it has been since my life changed forever.  The morning my little sister died was unspeakably horrifying…traumatic...indescribable, really.  Losing her felt like something exploded inside me, and left a gaping hole, and I was so hurt, and I was so unbelievably angry.  I was just sixteen years old then.  Now, looking back, I barely recognize that girl.  Twenty years.  So much in life changes in two decades, yet it feels like just yesterday I was with my sweet sister; playing, fighting, sharing secrets and dreams and loving each other like the best friends we were.

I’ve spent much of these twenty years going through all those stages of grief: the anger, the denial, the acceptance, the bargaining, the depression…I list them in no particular order because grief has no order.  It travels its own circuitous route, coming back around to places you’d thought you’d already been and taking forms you’d thought you’d never see again.  Grief has a beginning, but it does not have an end.

But God has shown me something lately, and it has made all the difference.  It has nothing to do with healing.  It is all about rest.

See, usually as the anniversary of Mindy’s death approaches I feel my heart sinking and depression begins to seep in…I will get flashbacks of the morning she died, remember the fear and the swallowing grief of those first days. 

This year has been different.  It began when a few months ago God laid it on my heart to commit Matthew 11:28 to memory.  Then, a few weeks ago, I had to learn about resting in a different way.  What happened was I was indulging my obsession with moving to a different house.  I had found a great fixer-upper and had contacted my realtor to go see it.  (Never mind that I don’t have time for my normal life, much less moving into and renovating an old house.  Never mind that my husband and I have decided to focus on paying off our obscene student loans, not buying houses).  I called my realtor…then I prayed.  And when I asked God directly what we should do, He didn’t say, “Don’t move,” or “Pay off your loans, stupid.”  No.  The single word I heard deep in my heart was: “Rest.”  

And it was a command.  A command to bring every burden, every worry to him.  To settle down, already.  And I’ve been trying to obey that command when I have too much to do, and when my children are sick and need me, and when life feels overwhelming.  So this year, as my biggest sorrow comes back around, I’m resting.  After twenty years I am allowing Him to keep His promise.  I feel His arms around me.  I feel His tears where mine usually are.  My grief hasn’t gone away, but He is holding it for me.  So I can finally rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
                                                                                                                                 --Matthew 11:28-30

Do y'all know this song?  It reminds me that God is good, all the time.

Is there something that He can hold for you?  Somewhere in your life where you just need rest?  His promise is to give you that.  Even when the healing isn't there yet...even if the healing never comes..."you will find rest for your souls."  



  1. Amen! what a beautiful blog entry here! thanks for sharig brought tears to my eyes. The Holy Spirit works in amazing ways. I have never lost anyone close, but... do need to rest. Funny how we come to realize that! I cam across your blog as a result of following that beautiful table you re.did. sweet. (heart) that song 2....

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and for being here! So glad to have you and you know, we all need rest regardless of what we have been through.

  2. I feel ashamed to even feel grief, sadness at what's bothering me compared to your loss. What a wonderful picture of the two of you. I'm so sorry for your loss of your sister. You'll always miss her and grieve for her in some way.
    There's been a problem in our family for years but especially in last 2 1/2 yrs. I've tried so hard to fix it but my kids would rather think badly of me and blame me. I do have emotional and mental problems that sometimes things overwhelm me and the meds I take just can't keep me calm. It breaks my heart that my kids (3 of 4) would rather keep me out of their lives than in them. I try not to dwell on what happened but the person that did the thing I got blamed for denies even doing it. Anyway, I'll sure keep what Matthew said in mind, try to let it rest.
    My oldest son doesn't hate me and keeps in communication with me, says he loves me and understands what happened. He was there and said he didn't hear any of it.
    Thanks for reminding me to let God take care of things. Someday I pray my kids will want me in their lives again. God Bless you for your grief and loss.

  3. My "kids" are all adults ranging in ages from almost 43 to 52. I'm no youngster (72) anymore and worry I might not get to see them before it's time for me to say sayonara world. Please forgive me for writing this in this format.

    1. Thank you for sharing and I am praying for healing and rest for your family.


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