Archive for the ‘bereavement’ Category

 

Have you noticed, I’ve spoken a lot about time in my blog posts over the last week?

There is a reason for that – In the last few weeks, I’ve had a number of ‘anniversaries’ in my life, some worth celebrating, others I grieve over. That said, even if it hadn’t been for all these anniversaries in my life, I’d still consider time to be very important. Here’s why

If we don’t make sure we allow ourselves to spend quality time with God each day, our life cannot be complete. It would mean we’re going through each day in our own strength, rather than seeking God’s guidance for the day.

Ultimately spending quality time with God will enhance our lives, so I encourage you to make sure you set aside time to spend it in God’s presence on a daily basis.

I have found the music and words of a particular song going through my mind constantly for the last few days.

O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

Tune: St. Margaret

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about my Mum in these last few days, so I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that this song has being going round my head. Just as God promised to love me unconditionally, so I am reminded that Mum and Dad always loved me.

It is because of the love and guidance I received as a youngster that I came to believe in God, and having grown up in the Salvation Army, I ultimately gave him my all when I was enrolled as a senior soldier of Rutherglen Salvation Army when a teenager.

Yes, that was a while ago now, and yes I’ve questioned and doubted God on many occasions, however God has never let me go, and has always stayed by my side and guided and strengthened me, even when at the time, it didn’t feel like it.

O Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

Don’t ever let go of God, because He will never let go of you!

How many time has someone said to something like, “You wouldn’t know what it’s like to suffer, as you’re a Christian”? Just because we believe in God, doesn’t mean we are immune from facing problems or difficulties in our lives. In fact, we’re just the same as everyone else, we can experience hurt, bereavement, ill-health, depression, abuse etc.

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him ~ Philippians 1:29 (NIV)

Just because we’re Christians, doesn’t mean we’ll have an easy life where every relationship will be great, or our health will never fail us, or others won’t hurt us. But, because we believe in God, we are assured that we never have to face any problem on our own, because He will give us the strength to get through every difficulty we face.

30 years ago today, the worst disaster in British sporting history happened during an FA Cup semi-final football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

With 96 fatalities and 766 injuries, so many families were affected by what happened that day. So many people left their homes to go and watch a football match, and never got to return home. It was a desperately sad day for everyone involved, and even for those of us who watch the TV as news of the terrible events unfolded.

Today, 30 years on, we remember not only the 96 people who lost their lives, but those who were injured and the families of all those who were caught up in the those awful events.

When I discovered that a band I’ve seen a number of times had written song specifically to remember this tragic event, I felt I had to share it with you. I not only remembers those who were killed but it’s also a great song.

So as you listen to The Christians sing Big Red Sky, remember those who were killed or injured at Hillsborough 30 years ago today.

 

Daddy’s Girl
My old man
I’m a chip off the old block
My old man
Is still living here
Not in flesh and bone, he’s never far from home
I’m forever walkin’ in my daddy’s shoes
I’ve got his misery, I got good company
Guess I’ll always be
My daddy’s girl
My momma sang
Call it inspiration
And she’s comin’ on through me
I can feel her now
Though she walks on the other side
To me she’s still quite alive
I’m forever rockin’ in my mommas arms
Mom had a broken heart
From a world just too damn hard
Mine breaks often cause I’m a momma’s girl
You spend a lifetime saying this is who I am
Then you find yourself saying something
You don’t understand, you look in the mirror
There you are
Your daddy’s girl
I came across these lyrics a few weeks ago, and they brought tears to my eyes. Not because they upset me, but because they reminded me of all the times Mum used to tell me and others how much of a Daddy’s girl I was.
These words have been on my mind even the last few days, as today marks six years since my Dad passed away. Neither Mum or Dad are here any more, but it doesn’t stop me thinking about them every day because I love and miss them so very much.
Although Mum and Dad have both gone, I hope their legacy lives on through me. I simply hope I make them proud.

I hope people think this is true about me

When someone is willing to die for you, I think it’s only right that we take them seriously and do all we can to tell others why that person is willing to die for us.

Let us each be a blessing and honour God’s names, because one day we will be together with the blind man Jesus healed, and the saints from all the ages, our friends and family who have gone before us, and we will be with God for eternity. On that day we will know for sure that everything we endured during our lifetime was for our good, and for the glory of God.

So today and tomorrow and the day after, remember that whatever we face, God is with us. And because of that we must accept his blessings and do our best to bless others and honour His glorious name.

I liked this picture when I first read it on a friend’s Facebook timeline. I wasn’t entirely sure why I liked it, but then it struck me, it’s probably because it tells us about something we don’t like but then immediately explains why experiencing that is actually good for us.

For example, maybe we think we feel sad all the time, that our life is not a happy one, but then we experience true sadness when someone close to us leaves us or passes away. It only then we realise how happy we really were in their presence, because now the sadness is so overwhelming.

So please have another read, thinking about how you can see yourself feeling each of those emotions or situations and simply, remind yourself just to appreciate what you currently have, because when it’s not there any more, there’s often no way to get back to where you are now, so you can truly appreciate what you have.

Have you ever stopped and thought what it would be like to be completely on your own, with all your family and friends have passed away?

That sounds such an awfully lonely place doesn’t it?

Well sadly there are many people in our world who find themselves in exactly those circumstances today. I wonder, what can we do to help them, so that they realise they are not on their own, and in fact are loved?

There are in fact many ways we can help people in our local communities who feel alone – Here’s a few suggestions:

  • We can become a volunteer in an organisation which helps the lonely and vulnerable people in your area.
  • We can give monetary donations to charities whose aim is to help or befriend those who feel alone.
  • We can pop in and visit people we know who are at risk of feeling alone – the elderly, those who have been bereaved of their life partner, single parents etc

As well as these suggestions, we can pray, because I believe praying for someone is the best thing we can do for someone.

Yesterday I spoke about the postcards we used to send our family and friends when we went on holiday, and how many times they would tell them “wish you were here”.

There are of course other times when we say “wish you were here”, and sadly at those times, that wish will never come true. When someone we love dies, it is of course a very emotional and difficult time, and so we may find ourselves saying we wish they were still here with us.

While we may wish those we love and care about will be with us forever, in reality it isn’t going to happen, because the only certain thing about life is that we will all die at some point. I don’t mean to make this a really morbid post, so I simply want to remind you that even through the hurt and heartache of losing someone we love, we must hold onto the precious moments we have spent with them. It won’t take away our heartache, but it will help you remember them just the way you loved them.

So yes, we wish our loved ones were still here with us, but if we keep focused on our memories, when we close our eyes, they will almost be here with us again.