Location: MICHIGAN, United States

Thank you for stopping by. It's my hope you find glimpses of my Savior interwoven thru my writings. I am the wife to one husband for over 25 years, a blessed mama to a dozen children, yes each born from me ~ two of which see Jesus face to face & ten at home, all of us yearning to see Jesus someday. We have been home educating for over 18 years with . . . well, another 15 years to go (the youngest is 3, the oldest 23!) I have walked through rejection, to continually learning I am CALLED, LOVED and forever KEPT by God - never, ever to be rejected by Jesus! (Jude 1:1) I've walked through deep sorrow to find that joy does come again, though the night may be long; I've witnessed God orchestrating miracles with my children still beyond my comprehension, & I am seeing new love forming as we begin a new road of older children finding life mates. My life has and is a journey, from the deepest, almost rock bottom pit, to stumbling through my faith and looking towards the ultimate climax of everlasting life in heaven. Will you be joining me here and there? ~ Loni

Sunday, April 24, 2005

19 weeks - Still Hurting & Growing

It's been a long week. Many ups - but more downs. We are still trying to find this "new normal" and there's so many adjustments, we just never realized. I often read the obituaries - I've done this for years especially since our stillborn daughter, and will send a card to a bereaved family. Last week I read an interesting memorial in the obituary section. The husband wrote in memory of his wife, and mainly stated after first losing her, all they could thing of was the wonderful, loving times, but as time has gone on, the rough, bitter days come back too, yet their love was unconditional, and they made it through those days too. I think when we first went through the shock of losing Matthew, we all clung on to each other, wanted to uplift each other and bear each another's burdens. We were at the beginning, all at the same point, but as time goes on, we are finding how we are each grieving differently, and things that may not have been "settled" before Matthew died, still are not, and are a bigger issue, that take a lot more out of us to try to break the barriers and work out. So, it's definitely not been easy, and am thankful for close friends and our pastor who have been very available to us. It's easy to close ourselves off at times to other friends (especially me) just not wanting the openess and revealing the pain we are truly going through. I know some of my friends and family read this, and wonder why I share here, and though I certainly don't give the itty-bitty details of the failures and trying times we have gone through, I like to write, I want to be able to look back and see how God carried us, and want others who I don't even know, know that as a true Believer in Jesus, that I have emotions that are deep, and that I can weep as those that weep, and maybe it will help another person to know, they can carry on despite the valleys we fall into. We aren't alone. Also, my husband reads what I write, and there have been times, certain things have quickly come off that I have written! :)

Nope, life is not easy. God did not promise us that. But, I know we will make it. After church today, Norm put his arms around me and said though this was one of the worst past weeks, he thinks we made some progress and broke through some communication gaps, and we WILL make it. I know we will. Too many are praying for us, and we made a commitment to God and our family. Continue praying for us, and our children. The wounds are still raw, but we are so wanting for the healing to continue.

In going along with this, a mom recently left a comment here, who lost her husband 2 years ago, leaving behind his wife, a 3 year old and she was 8 months pregnant. I've not had a lot a time to look through her website in memory of her husband, but what I've read has been very encouraging. Her husband also published a book, Proverbs for your Life. It sounds very interesting.

PS - Please read the first comment (there is only one as I write this - does NOT mean any others are not important!!) that was left with this post. We have gotten many personal e-mails regarding families learning the game Matthew played and finding out their children or others they know are experimenting with it also. I don't take this as a "pat on the back", but that God is allowing our journey to help other families. We do believe good can come out of this, for eternities perspective.


Anonymous Dawn said...

Loni, Thank you again for sharing. I shared your story with a family at church whose son has been playing breathing games. They had NO IDEA he was doing this until I told them. You have saved 2 sons this week ~ theirs and mine. Thank you so very very much.

Also, I understand your desire to have a recorded history of your journey. I print every post in my own journal and keep them in a binder. You may want to do the same.

4/24/2005 3:07 PM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Loni, as always when I read what you write, I am blessed. And called out from myself into a wider experience of God's goodness.

One thing I love about your blog: it is an experience in watching the process of grief in action. You are providing a valuable resource for others who are grieving. And I especially want to add that you're showing that it's not the clean-cut process we've all been fed a la Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' famous work "On Death and Dying". The now universally accepted--yet demonstrably incomplete/incorrect--"stages of grief" that she devised are used too often as a blunt instrument to beat the grieving about the head and shoulders, and shame them that they're not "getting over it" fast enough. My eyes were opened to this reality a couple of years ago when, on the advice of a very close friend, I read Alexander Levy's "The Orphaned Adult"--about losing a parent.

The main point I took away from Levy's book was this: "Mourning is not just the process of getting over a loss and getting on with one's life. It is a transition. And change is the hallmark of transition. Although the process of mourning may gradually approach resolution, the grief is never over. {emphasis mine} Memories and feelings associated with the parents occur many times throughout the years following their deaths. For some, these may be welcome visits from the beloved departed. For others, or at other times, they may, instead, seem like painful and frightening hauntings. Sometimes memories occur when the survivor least expects them." [p. 17]

While he focuses on the specific issue of experiencing the death of a parent (thus, the "Adult Orphan" in the title), I believe his views relate equally well to all grief related to severe loss of any kind, death in particular. So, reading your blog helps remind me that grief is not a clean, goal-oriented process with a well-defined end. It is messy, and unpredictable, and ultimately will not end the longing for who was lost. Yet that does not doom us to a life of endless depression. We find solace in the shared experiences of others, in the words--and deeds--of caring from those who love us, and in God's truth spoken to us: we will survive death in the physical realm by passing to that spiritual realm where death reigns no more.

If you would like to read Levy's book, I'd be happy to mail it to you. Let me know. And continued blessing upon you, Norm and the kids.

4/24/2005 10:05 PM  
Blogger Luke's Mom said...

Dear Loni,

Thank you for opening up and being vulnerable, I know this is not easy, but it sure helps us praying for you and your family stay vigilant in our prayers.

I will continue to lift up all the children and you and Norm each day. I realize that the longer it is from the day you lost Matthew doesn't necessarily mean it is easier. Though it may be comforting to know that God's word does talk about mourning for a season, but joy does come.

I will be praying that God's joy will begin to bubble over in your family, though this seems impossible today, someday it will be possible with God's healing touch in your lives.

Love in Christ,
Sue Searles

P.S. I loved the mother's bracelet you made me, it is so special and beautiful! If any of you ladies are thinking about ordering one I would highly recommend it.

4/25/2005 11:29 PM  
Blogger JodiR said...

In shocking disbelief and shaking fingers, I sit here typing this. I just sat my ELEVEN year old daughter down, who attends a private CHRISTIAN school, and began a conversation about this breath thing, and she said, "Oh, you mean 'breath play' mom?" I almost FELL out of my chair. I guess in her school about a month ago, a 6th grade boy was doing this 'breath play' in the classroom - using his hand against his throat. He was standing up and just fell to the floor. They called an ambulance and did CPR and he survived - with permanent lung damage. WHY didn't the head of the school contact us parents so we could talk to our kids about this? I can only imagine how many children in this school are now playing with this. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to protect these children. But, I will pray and will call the principal tomorrow first thing.

4/26/2005 7:52 PM  
Blogger Loni said...

Jodi - Thanks for sharing, and am thankful that you have been brought aware of this. Feel free to refer your principal to our webpage. I wanted to write to you privately, but you did not provide your e-mail address, but feel free to e-mail me privately at God's peace to you. ~~Loni

4/26/2005 8:56 PM  
Blogger Teena said...

Dear Loni, it has been a little while since I commented but was reading through the posts tonight.
I am so very thankful that you share with us~ you are so right.. so many times we do not know things that are "in" and the comments of these others show it is all around! I am praying for all of you~ as you continue to adjust. As, Sue said I do think of you lots and pray and lift you up to the Father~
mom to 1/2 dozen

4/28/2005 1:40 AM  
Blogger Jasmyn said...

Hello. I just found your blog and spent last night and this morning reading through it and wow, you are an awesome woman of God.
I thought of this verse and wanted to share it with you:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev 21:4) NIV

I realize that this verse is talking about during the end times, but I know that My God wipes away all of my tears and worries about me. And I know he wipes away your tears and sorrows and worries about you.

I hope you have a blessed day and that God continues to move in the life of you and your family. I will be praying for you.

4/28/2005 12:50 PM  

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