I wrote this the other day.
So I’ve had a bad day. Today I’m struggling with lots of random ideas and hopes and dreams. I feel that the lies are on the verge of convincing me of their likelihood, such as useless, incompetent, hopeless, and insignificant. I could’ve used even an awkward hug or some kind of comfort.
Greg was a Comforter to me. Not in the same way the Holy Spirit is, of course. In the way that shows someone actually cares. I guess that is actually why the Lord sent the Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended. I guess we all need to know that Someone actually cares.
I suppose Greg’s role in my life was significant in this way because he was the kind of person who did care about others and not just me. We could all tell that he cared. He did a good job at showing this by listening or encouraging, and even the occasional hug. I wanted to run away today, but I had no where to run. God listened to me today and had me run to a friend’s house who happened to be home and who happened to be putting kids down for a nap so it turned out to be a good time to listen and talk. Someone cared. That’s all I needed. Comforting hugs are much like listening well. Therefore it reminds me of what I’ve lost with Greg gone.
I’ll still struggle even though I know the Holy Spirit has always been my true Comforter. He gave me Greg for the time He did and so I’m thankful. For some, a good hug and a good listen might mean the same. You just never know what someone near you needs.
The kids, too, feel this particular loss acutely. I can see it in their eyes. They just want someone to hear their side of the problem. They just want a hug that says, “I care.” This level of loss for them is heart-breaking. May the Lord comfort each of the children; may they feel the care of the Father in a real way. May we all. Get the Son, get life, get comforted by the Holy Spirit.
My Kid Is Not My Calling | CT Women | Christianity Today
— Read on www.christianitytoday.com/women/2014/april/my-kid-is-not-my-calling.html
I have been reminded of another level of loss since Greg’s been gone. Encourager.
Greg was my encourager. I am not the most confident of women, but he helped me everyday in this way. Generally speaking, I do not know if I am headed in the right direction or making wise decisions. I don’t know if I look okay or if I have put on the right clothes for the right occasion. I’m so glad that this was one of Greg’s gifts. Greg was not a false encourager either. He didn’t keep looking at his device, nod, and say, “Sure, you look fine.” He really looked and listened. If I wasn’t sure if I could homeschool, he would say, “Yes you can.” If I didn’t know if I could handle a MOPS coordinator position, he said, “You’ll be great.” He was the only one with me when I had Isaiah at home, and that went so well and I think it was partly because Greg was so good in that encouragement role.
Now I miss that so much. Already I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions so that I have lost confidence. I second-guess decisions. I bug people to ask them if I’m doing alright. I even do not feel that I will have enough encouragement to keep homeschooling. I have asked the children what they think, and mostly they just think I’m crazy. I’ll decide that we should go on a hike, but as soon as nobody expresses interest, I call if off. I miss Greg saying, “Get up. Get ready. We’re going.” Together we made life fun and encouraging to the whole family. We feel loss, and we feel lost.
Scripture mentions encouragement quite a bit. So we can turn to a number of verses in which Paul is sharing the encouragement that others have been to him personally or how those in church can encourage others that have been sent and those that are in the church.
- Ephesians 6:22 (HCSB) I am sending him to you for this very reason, to let you know how we are and to encourage your hearts.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:2 (HCSB) And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you concerning your faith,
- 1 Thessalonians 4:10 (HCSB) In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (HCSB) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
Can I reasonably hope that my church family will be there to encourage me? Do they know enough about me to know how to encourage without false encouragement? Am I faithfully going to church and getting to know my family there?
Perhaps the last 20 years of knowing what good encouragement looks and feels like, I should be working on passing that along to others. How can I encourage? Am I encouraging without false encouragements not really knowing the person’s struggles? Do I listen to them? Just listening can be encouraging all by itself 🙂
- Hebrews 3:13 (HCSB) But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.
- Titus 2:4 (HCSB) so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children,
- Titus 2:6 (HCSB) In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled
- Titus 2:15 (HCSB) Say these things, and encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Finally, do you know of someone struggling who could use some encouragement? Look around and listen to others’ stories. You may find yourself encouraging someone without too much effort.
One level of loss I carry with me since I’ve lost my dear Greg is a Protector. Greg wasn’t the biggest, scariest guy out there. In fact, he was only more scary with a gun because he was considered legally blind. But he was a man who would protect us if he had to with his own life if needed if saw anyone coming that is. Maybe that’s why we got a big scary puppy to have at the house.
The Lord is my Protector. He goes before me and is with me and I’m daily reminded of this. I’m thankful, and I really do sense His presence. Somehow Greg’s absence reminds me even more so of His presence. I’m brave and I’m nervous for my safety at the same because I miss that tangible, bodily form of a Protector. If I’ve ever been in real danger, my faith-filled thinking reminds of the Lord’s protection. It is when I’m not in any real danger and fear overcomes my mind, then I start wondering who will protect me.
The children. Are they in real danger? How can I protect them? My 19 year rides off to college on his bike. Do you know how many crazy drivers would like nothing better than to run over my dear son? My 17 year old daughter thinks it is fun to take boys home from youth group. Umm, I don’t think so, my dear. Is my 14 year ok at home by herself? Will my 10 year old be ok on that baseball field? He could seriously get seriously hurt. He did scrape his knee during the last game. So there. And my 6 year old who doesn’t know my phone number couldn’t call me if I forget him somewhere or someone kidnaps him because he’s so cute and will talk to anyone–is he safe?
This is just not a safe world. And my tangible protector has been taken away. I’ve always had the Lord, but even so much more now, I feel it. This is a level of loss young, single people and married people may not have considered, but it does affect me on some level.