This level of Loss is focused on Confidante. Greg was better than any friend I ever had. I could talk to him about anything. I could share with him my struggles and he would pray with me. I could tell him my deepest longings and he would not make fun of me.
We could sit together in silence and it not be awkward. If I blabbed on and on, he didn’t act like he was tired of me talking. Only few times I remember not letting him finish what he was saying and he got irritated with me, but who wouldn’t be?
He gave me space to finish my explanations which most people don’t let me do because sometimes it takes me a while to get to my point. Yes, I can be very annoying, but he was always kind and that’s what I look for in a friend. Don’t we all?
So the Lord Is now my only Confidante. He gives me time to explain my thoughts and feelings. He doesn’t rush me. He seems to enjoy it when I talk to Him. I can confess my deepest darkest most terrible thoughts and He forgives. He even already knew them. I’m not going to say anything that surprises Him. “Before a word is on my tongue, You know it.” Ps 139:4. He doesn’t rush me or ignore me (like my kids do). He doesn’t get distracted when I want to talk. He is my closest Friend. He always has been.
Do you know Him like this?
School of Lattegems
I wrote this the other day. It is about our decision to stop homeschooling.
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.
So I’ve been thinking of “mom-isms” that we just can’t say because they just aren’t funny anymore.
- Who died and made you ruler of the house?
- It stinks like death-made-over in your room.
- That’s so funny–you’re killing me.
- You only live once (yolo).
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.