Monday, 21 February 2011

Hi hoooooo.....'s off to work we go...

On Monday I started back at work at Foster Wheeler (where I used to be) - doing 4 days per week 9am-3pm so that I can still take/pick-up from school.
It's half term this week so I will do it all proper next week !

The strangest thing for me is that it's all the same. That might sound obvious - the work is the same, I go for coffee with the same people I used to, I park in the same place, I look out the window at the same horizon, I walk the same corridors, I do the same job on a similar project to last time....yet inside of me, it feels like the whole world has completely changed. It's very strange !
Tuesday was really hard - work piled on - and I realised that where I used to be able to thrive under some pressure, I really can't do that in the same way be totally honest I felt quite panicky !
Today has been better as I've reminded myself of Heb 13:8 - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever".
At least He doesn't change !

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Ellie's story....

9th February 2000 was a normal day in the Webster household. Overnight everything changed.

Ellie was awoken just before 1am by the sound of her husband Ben 'choking'. Within half an hour he had died and gone to glory,aged 28. The paramedics could do nothing. Ellie was taken to hospital in a police car. There was no warning and no previous history of serious illness. They were two terms into bible college, pursuing the call of God on their lives. Their son was aged 2 and their daughter was to celebrate her 1st birthday just 12 days later.

Jan 2010 - 10 years later living as a single parent bringing up her two children alone and Ellie was still utterly crushed by the tragedy of that night. She had been a Christian since a very young age and knew that bad things happen - and asking God 'Why?' was a fruitless question - there would be no answer.
Yet in it all she knew too that Jesus was by her side everyday through all the tears, through all the pain & through the long years. He was her strength and comfort through unimaginable grief.

Ellie and Ben had a good marriage, loved each other deeply and expected to live a 'normal' life.

Ellie and I talked first at the "A different journey" bereavement weekend run by Care for The Family. Since June last year we've spent long hours talking most nights, crying, grieving, aching and hurting. We laugh sometimes too!!! In it all has been the unmistakeable presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
Ellie has been a gift from God to me in my darkest hours, a fabulous companion and somebody who has uniquely 'been there' and knows the gut-wrenching pain.

Ellie has no idea why her husband died, I have no idea why my wife died. But I'm so grateful to this lady who's passion for Jesus is inspirational to me, and who's friendship, care and love has been exceptional through the very toughest of times. I love her very much, she has become my very closest and most special friend.

Friday, 18 February 2011


When Peter got out of the boat onto the water in Matt 14, he began to sink even though Jesus had called him out onto the water....the bible says....

When he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!". IMMEDIATELY JESUS REACHED OUT HIS HAND AND CAUGHT HIM. "You of little faith" he said, "Why did you doubt?"

To summarise the last couple of days for me - 'blind panic' !
I have done way too much worrying in the last few days....about the future, about children, about relationships, about homes about about about...and way too little trusting. But thanks to godly council from the lovely Ellie, from Sean and from Becca too (thanks !), I realise that I had totally taken my focus off the one person who gives peace in spite of life's turmoil , who's burden is light and in who's presence is fullness of joy......I can't believe I make the same mistakes over and over again! So calling out in despair (yes, that's the right word!), it feels like Jesus has immediately reached out his hand to save me from drowning once again (he never left me of course, but His tangible presence is much more real now that I am trusting again !)
I am so glad that Jesus is 'Emmanuel, God with Us', and that he will never leave nor forsake his people. Where would I be without Him ?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

He is not here....

One year on.....

Luke 24:1-6

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright, the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen !"

Therein lies our hope, our confidence, our year on....

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Rise up....

Where to start.....???!

On Sunday a dear friend from church who's walked a similar dark road to me, asked,"How are you - really?"

The answer after some thought was "OK - I think...." but in truth I'm far from OK....not sure if it's the time of year (I haven't done the 1st anniversary quite yet!) but today and yesterday I have again been awash with tears, heartache, and overwhelming sadness. Totally gut-wrenching , and definitely not "OK, I think!"

I read Psalm 31 this morning.....verses 9 and 14 summarise things well.....

Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.
...But I trust in you, O LORD,
I say, "You are my God"...

So today I've cried and cried and I've been listening to this song over and over and over and over again (thanks Ellie x).....

Sometimes it literally feels like you're just hanging on with your finger tips !

Beam me up Scottie.....

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Some new friends.....

A week ago I started a church-based bereavement course...yesterday was session #2 with the endearing title "Experiencing the pain of grief (part 1)." (Part 1!!!????)
We looked at emotions, feelings, behaviour, thought life and health/physical sensations which grief provokes. As you can imagine it was a bit of a tear jerker....but the good news is that I'm amongst people who (those I didn't already know) have very quickly become friends because we are all on the same painful road....
So, it's back for "Experiencing the pain of grief (part #2)" next week....oh joy !

3 things I read yesterday which I find incredibly provocative :-
  • "Joy is not the absence of pain but the presence of God" (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - whoever he is !)
  • "To have life in focus we must have death in our field of vision" (Nigel McCulloch-Bishop of Manchester)
  • "Come to me, all you who are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Jesus of Nazareth)