Archive for the ‘bereavement’ Category

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.

When you’re alone with someone, whether you know them or not, how does it feel if there are a few minutes of complete silence when neither of you say a word?

Time is one of those strange things that although every second passes the same for each of us, one person may feel time has stood still another may feel as if it’s going by extra quickly.

Here’s a quote a came across from Henry Van Dyke which illustrates this:

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we read:

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

I’m sure we’ve all heard people say things such as:

  • You’ll be my friend forever
  • I’ll be eternally grateful if you could…
  • I’ll remember what you’ve done forever
  • I’ll always be there for you

I’m sure when those words are said, the person saying them has meant them. In reality though we are all human, after a period of time we often do not remember those statements that we said we’d keep forever and therefore we break them.

I’m sure we’ve also all had someone say to us that they know exactly how we feel, when we’re going though a tough time. But is it really possible for another person to truly know exactly how we feel?! I don’t know what your circumstances are at present, but here’s some words someone once said to me when I was going through a difficult time – “If you’re going through a tough or difficult time, don’t stop, just keep going“.

Tough times are temporary so no matter how difficult we may be finding life, we must always keep going. Remember, God put us on this earth for a reason, he planned out our life before we were born. And he knows what or how we’re feeling or thinking even before we know ourselves.

Sometimes it takes a brush with eternity – a crash, an illness, some shock to the system – to get you really thinking about what you want to do with your limited time here, and why you’re living on this wobbling dirt cloud in the first place. ~ Hampton Sides

Our time on this earth may be limited, but we god has planned our life out for us, we just need to follow his direction and he will stay by our side both in this life and for eternity.

2 Timothy 1:9

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time–to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.

While we can’t always rely on others keeping promises to be there for us, or remember us forever, however God will. God’s love for us will stand the test of time and His love will last for time and eternity, all we need to do is trust Him.

I hope you enjoy listening to Bellshill Salvation Army band featuring Alex Ramsay on cornet and Chris Shanks on euphonium, playing Time and Eternity:

See me

Posted: April 25, 2018 in bereavement, death, education, family, friendship, life, music, words
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If they could see me now…

Words many of us will have said at some time – Maybe in relation to

  • family members who have passed away
  • teachers who told you you’d never achieve anything with your life
  • friends or colleagues that always put you down, believing they were better than you
  • friends you no longer keep in touch with

For me, I don’t really care about those from my past life who never believed I’d achieve anything with my life. I do however care that I make my Mum and Dad proud – I wish they were still here with me, but they’re not, so to me the best I can do is make them proud of me.

Just a few weeks ago as I was the cemetery after leaving flowers on a family grave, the song If you Could See Me Now by the Script was playing in the car. I think about my Mum and Dad every day as I miss them so very much, but since the day that song came on in the car, I’ve found myself thinking, if they could see me now…

 

If You Could See Me Now by The Script

It was February 14, Valentine’s Day
The roses came but they took you away
Tattooed on my arm is a charm to disarm all the harm
Gotta keep myself calm but the truth is you’re gone
And I’ll never get to show you these songs
Dad, you should see the tours that I’m on
I see you standing there next to Mom
Both singing along, yeah on and on
And there are days when I’m losing my faith
Because the man wasn’t good, he was great
He’d say “Music was the home for your pain”
And explained I was young, he would say
Take that rage, put it on a page
Take that page to the stage
Blow the roof off the place
I’m trying to make you proud
Do everything you did
I hope you’re up there with God saying “That’s my kid!”
I still look for your face in the crowd
Oh if you could see me now
(Oh if you could see me now)
Would you stand in disgrace or take a bow?
Oh if you could see me now
(Oh if you could see me now)
 

Walking by faith means you have the courage to stand up for everyone – the hurting, the broken, and the down-trodden – to face death yourself for the good of others.

If you agree to do this you’ll need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone. You must be willing to let God take your world and turn it upside down, and start all over again. You must be willing to let God change how you see Him, and change how you life by letting Him use you the way that He sees fit.

Maybe God will ask you to do something you never dreamed you would ever do like foster or adopt children, leave your job and become a church minister, trade in all your worldly goods for God’s service…

Maybe God will challenge you. For example, how would you respond when life throws some devastating events at you – divorce, addiction, death of a child or sibling – all events that hurt like nothing else.

I don’t know how God may want to use you, but I do know that if you give your all to God, and allow Him to change your life, He will honour your request. He will take you on a journey, your journey by teaching you to walk by faith, and trust you with some of life’s most treasured moments with Him by your side.

Romans 6:7-11 (NLV)

When a man is dead, he is free from the power of sin. And if we have died with Christ, we believe we will live with Him also. We know that Christ was raised from the dead. He will never die again. Death has no more power over Him. He died once but now lives. He died to break the power of sin, and the life He now lives is for God. You must do the same thing! Think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But now you have new life because of Jesus Christ our Lord. You are living this new life for God.

Imagine hearing of the death of a loved one – you’d be devastated, upset, maybe even broken – but then for someone to come and tell you they had seen them alive and walking around again! I’m sure we would think they were mad!

But that’s exactly what happened when Jesus rose from the dead. Because Jesus did that we have been forgiven, and we have a future full of hope.

 

Today is Good Friday. The fact it’s called ‘Good‘ Friday suggests it is a happy and great day. However for God it was probably one of the worst days, the day His one and only son died. Can you imagine how that must have felt?

In Isaiah 53:1-5 (NLT) we read the following:

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm. My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

God always knew that the day would come, when to save the rest of us, Christ would have to die. It’s wonderful to know that God loves us this much isn’t it!

Don’t be strong. Be weak. Unclench your fists. Dare to be vulnerable. Honest weakness takes courage ~ Pete Greig

Admitting to weakness and vulnerability isn’t something many of us like to do, is it. That’s probably why when we go through difficult situations, we often experience symptoms such as insomnia, memory loss, weakness and vulnerability.

Telling someone not to be strong but to show their weakness, isn’t going to instantly make them share their weaknesses, and show how vulnerable they are. Instead they need to feel safe, they need to feel loved, so give them a hug, so that when they show their vulnerability they will not feel they are being judged but are safe.

So whether you are feeling vulnerable or know someone who is struggling, do what you need to do to dare to be vulnerable.