This week, we were all saddened by the passing of a country music legend, Loretta Lynn. The best! I grew up listening to her, as many of us have.
Remembering back many, many years ago, I used to travel with a gospel music group on their old, Greyhound bus. The first time, before I got on the bus, I was so excited and said, ‘Now I know how Loretta Lynn feels.’
Of course, that was such a slight glimpse into her life but for a brief few seconds, I did. A moment never forgotten.
As a tribute to Loretta Lynn, I write this. When I was told by my son, she had died, tears came.
I did not know her personally or did she know me, but the fact that she was a part of my whole life, plus a link to my mom, hearing her music together, a link to the bus rides with my sweet friends, of those that are all no longer living, I was sad. A grief all balled up within that leaked out.
Many, many years ago, I had a friend since childhood but we lost touch but then reconnected. She has known me for years and my family, growing up. For a long time, we walked and enjoyed the time together talking and laughing.
Then it came a point I became overwhelmed basically with two toddlers and elderly parents. We lost one another again.
Later, my children were older and my mother had passed. We walked, but seldom. It was after my father passing, being an Administrator of the estate, the greed and claws come out of various family members.
No matter what I did, it was wrong. There is always one or in my case two that can stir up issues. These two seemed to find all my friends or those that knew our family and if anyone would listen, they rip me apart.
I am sure some saw through the talk and stirring up strife they caused but I gave up.
Thinking I could go to each one and share my side of the story was overwhelming. I was emotionally drained and added grief of not only losing my parents, but my friends. Now, who to trust was my dilemma.
My conclusion was that if those that listened and believed the one side, where they really friends anyway? Could I fight through and push the truth? Sure. Why though?
Sometimes there are those that need to talk and feel as the victim. If only the others knew my side and the stories I could share. Let it go. Easy? No!
I had to hold onto the words, let the Lord fight my battles and trust Him. Easy? No! I had to!
Just this weekend, I invited my walking friend to a home party I am having with a note that I miss her. Today, I have not had a reply. Will she come? I don’t know but I opened the door to welcome her. Or will it open up the door to the words spoken against me?
Again, I let the Lord fight by battles. What happened, what was said and still, the harm done, etc., is the past. I cannot do a thing about it or erase.
I’ve been ripped to shreds BUT GOD.
Sadly, this happens quite a bit in families with an estate.
Sometimes Godwillfight the actual battle through you, other times He will simply tell you to hold your position and do absolutely nothing, and then He will move Himself to completely take out the attack coming against you. This is where God shows you how powerful and how awesome He really is when He moves into battle to personally protect you.
I found myself the other day feeling the loss of many in my life, but not in death basically, but out of reach. Our relationship will never be the same and our paths may never cross again.
Honestly, I have had to fight through the anger when this has happened. Anger with the Lord. Why? Why are you removing them from my life. I feel so alone. I miss them. I don’t do well with change and feeling abandoned tops the chart in my emotions. Lord, why is this happening as I am alone already?
Through the last few years, more losses but now I try my best to grasp that even though another leaves, the Lord is still with me. It is that knowing deep within that He will never leave nor forsake me. I know that but I am human, too. Loss is hard. I miss them even before they are gone.
Saying goodbye to another just this week, due to his family moving to Arizona, a loss. Odds are I will never see or speak to him again. Our paths crossed. I’m thankful. This happens all the time and I am sure with you, one moves, one retires, one is sick, etc., but they all accumulate to where a sadness develops, as you miss them and the relationship.
The other day, thinking over all of those that I have lost, just in the last five years, I was sad and selfish and wanted to have a poor me, pitiful pity party. I did not do so but I felt it coming. To remind myself, I was blessed to have them in my life for the period that I did was truly a blessing. I hope that I blessed their life in some way.
As I write this, I thought about my former counselor and her last note to me about being a stepping stone in my life. While I understood that from her, I was devastated our time was done too soon, as we just talked about having one more year in counseling together. I was angry with her and reading those words she wrote and even angry with the Lord. I was not done, my dependency on her was still needed, I thought and of our plans. We were making so much progress. Just the visual of a stepping stone and her writing that to me, I wanted to pick that stone up and smash it into smithereens. No matter, it was over and done. I’m just a closed file in her filing cabinet.
As for being angry with the Lord, it is okay and it is okay to scream that you are angry, you may even hate Him at that moment, as He let you down, too. He knows it anyway. Actually, it’s freeing to do just that, scream. Go ahead.
I have had to wonder nowadays if I hear from another person in my life, calling or telling me of whatever is happening in their life and of their situation, and they will be leaving me, too. Am I putting up a wall to avoid such hurt or am I just accepting the fact that nothing or nobody is permanent in my life. Perhaps reluctant to be friends because they might leave. Is this reality or a cold-hearted feeling I have anymore. Dealing with abandonment in my life, this really knocks me off kilter. Please don’t leave me! A part of me is that I understand, and I really do. There is also a part that throws a temper tantrum, fine go ahead and leave me. The sensible, understanding adult and the anxious, fearful child fighting within.
Thankfully, in time I get it together as change and loss is hard. Even through the dark, lonely and emotional stages it all brings, I know I am not alone. Even though I was angry with the Lord, I know He loves me still and I Him. I can share my broken heart yet again but yet again be reminded, He is right here with me.
Like the sweet church song we sing, ‘I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand.’ In life we are faced with many losses and situations we don’t know which way to turn, our steps are unsteady, our faith is wavering and we finally throw up a white flag, surrendering our need and call upon the Lord.
In those midnight hours or when you or I feel so alone, people have left our lives and no hope in sight, there is One that we can call out to and He hears our cry and sees our tears while collecting them. How sweet and caring is that?
So I have learned through my losses, I am sad and tears will flow while grief is present. I am not to build a wall to not be hurt again, as I will be, but to accept and wish them well on their journey. Hopefully, I was a stepping stone in their life as they were in mine.
A loss is great but the Love of God is even greater!
May you feel His Love all around you in whatever you might be facing or going through. You are going ‘through’ so have hope because He knows your name, He knows where you are right now, and He knows where you are going. Be Blessed