Thursday, 28 April 2011

Dispelling the myths #2

Loving and grieving.....

One of the weirdest parts of the journey for me in the last 8 months has been the side-by-side experiences of loving and grieving at the same time....

Initially, I felt a lot of confusion and no small amount of guilt as Ellie and I grew closer in our friendship and closer emotionally - through shared pain and shared experiences. Memorably I recall telling her some months ago that I felt like I was holding the wrong person's hands. In one way, of course, I was....and she was too - she should be holding Ben's hand and I should be holding Karena's hand - but of course that's just not the way that it is.

Elisabeth Elliott, who's husband Jim was murdered in 1956, has written several books. One of them was called Through Gates of Splendour (which is the title of my blog posting from 12 Feb 2010). In The Path of Loneliness (cheery title !) she also wrote that accepting what is offered helps you to come out of "the howling wilderness of misery to find peace".

So today it would have been Ben Webster's 40th Ellie and I will love and grieve together....

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Words... for every day

Luke 24:5..."Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, He HAS risen!"

Words to describe Easter day....and every other day :

  • Resurrection
  • Confidence
  • Hope
  • Salvation
  • Comfort
  • Finished
  • Triumph
  • Victory
  • Love

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Rays of light...

Perhaps I spend too much time thinking back to the past - ie being 'normal' ! ....Of course I still "crash and burn" sometimes over what's been taken away. I also often feel sad when I think about life's journey and, in particular, as I think about my children not having their mum with them anymore - it's pretty grim !

But through it all there is the unchanging gospel message which brings rays of light which pierce through the dark clouds - bringing hope, confidence and comfort ...

Ellie, who's passion for the gospel is "quietly determined yet relentless" has known through experience over years of grieving that there's just nothing else to cling onto when all else fails- nothing but the cross of Jesus.....

so it's almost Easter - but of course this is true all year round.....

Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'It is finished'....and on the third day, He rose from the grave...death was conquered-swallowed up in victory! One sacrifice that's totally life-changing for all who choose to follow.....

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

18th June.....

We're going to get married on 18th June! How exciting!!

We will be having our marriage ceremony at 2pm followed by some puddings, cakes and speeches.....

We won't be sending out any formal wedding invitations but if you know either or both of us, we would really love you to come and share our special day with us....please can you email us at telling us how many of you would like to come (so we can cater accordingly) and we will send you full details of the wedding venue and plans by email.

As for wedding presents....we have slightly alternative plans....please visit here for more details!

Hope to see you there !

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Dispelling the myths #1

Myth #1...."Getting over it...."

When talking about grief recently, Ellie was asked a question about her journey 11 years down the line, "Aren't you over it now?" Both of us laughed at the question....the person asking the question did so in all seriousness with a good heart, and really didn't realise why we'd laughed.....

The Truth is, you don't ever "get over it." Ben was too big a part of Ellie's life for her to ever get over him, he was and always will be the father of her children, and he was a formative part of her character and all that she is....similarly for Karena and me.

Life has changed forever.

You just don't get over it...

The two bereavement courses I've been on both talked about learning to deal with grief. The best analogy I've heard is a squash ball and a glass. The ball being symbolic of your grief, and the glass being symbolic of your life. To start with, the ball totally fills the glass (ie. it's like a 'shot' glass), but as you deal with grief over time the glass expands around the ball - the ball is still there very much in evidence but it doesn't fill the glass anymore (ie. it's like a pint glass)....but most notable in the analogy is that the squash ball (grief) DOESN'T actually get any just expands around it.

So I totally crashed and burned emotionally at church this morning responding to a prophetic word about loss/bereavement from the visiting speaker's wife....God is with us in our journeys, knows our pain and weeps with us.

It's just the way it is......

More dispelling myths another time.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

We did it !

The Team performed amazingly well this afternoon in our 5km swimathon for Marie Curie....hooray !

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A visit to the doctor....

So off I went last Friday to the doc's for my ear which still seems to be struggling with a bit of an infection after a couple of months!....but I got talking to the doctor about life....he, like me, is a Christian, is also a member of the Thames Valley Triathletes club....and we also have a common friend who is a doctor colleague of his at the same practice....suffice it to say I got into detail of life's journey over the last couple of years and I ended up having a bit of a cry (surprise, surprise) and then he asked me to complete a depression questionnairre....! (How exciting is that??)

My score on the test indicated I was at the upper end of the "slight depression" range. I did a similar test about 6 months ago at a gathering of local Christian leaders; that one was the 'Beck Depression Indicator' (quite a famous one I think) and that time I was also at the upper end of the "slight depression" at least I'm a consistent saddo !!

What a great doctor - at the end of my appointment he prayed for me and I left having met with a fellow Christian heart-to-heart, had a prescription for ears drops, and had also met with the living God who never leaves nor forsakes us, even when we are somewhat depressed!

It must be time for a smiley face.....

Keep smiling !

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Coming up soon....

It's just one week to go before this year's Swimathon.
Team Mackay will be swimming 5km (200 lengths) for fun and also to raise some money for Marie Curie.
Had a mild panic in the week cuz we've only done one training it's down to the pool again tomorrow and at least another couple of times before next weekend ! Should be a giggle :-) If you'd like to sponsor us, please feel very free to do clicking here (and thank you !)

Blogs to come very soon....
  • A visit to the doctor
  • Dispelling the myths
  • Wedding Plans
  • Herons and the bigger picture
Today I'm feeling very grateful that I have breath in my body, healthy children, a beautiful fiance...and food on the table. Enjoy your day x