Facebook Twitter Blog

Intensifying Your Love When the Lights Go Out

July 23, 2020

This is my final blog for "When the Lights Go Out."

Intensifying Your Love When the Lights Go Out

When you lose a loved one... parent, spouse, child, or other... Your heart is truly shattered... for a time. But there comes a time, if you want to heal, you must strengthen your heart. How? By intensifying your love... your passion... your relationships with those who still are here. I know this is not easy, but trust me when I say it is necessary.

My Love for My Family

I love my family deeply. I would give my life gladly for any of them. I pray for them often. Just this morning, I looked at my little prayer book and thought, "I really need to go through it today." While I pray for my son and his family every single day, and I pray for Ray every single day, and I pray for my Mama and all our loved ones every single day, there are some days I feel like I just need to write down those prayers. So, I do. I know the greatest love I can show my family is not in money, gifts, or things... it is the time I spend in prayer for them. So, may I never forget the importance of those prayers. And while I don't always see the benefits, I know God is bottling up every tear... every prayer... every whisper.

My Love for My Church

I love our church - Lighthouse of Living Faith (LOLF). I love all the people who come. I often tell our women not to fall in love with Ray and me, as their pastors, but to fall in love with their church. Ray and I are temporal. We are expendable to LOLF. But the family... the gathering... the church... that's lasting. This morning I thought about each person and how I wish I could do more to let them know they are loved and needed. We cannot allow our grief to cause us to forget about others. We are commanded to love others as we love ourselves. When others hurt, we should hurt. When others rejoice, we should rejoice. Our bond in Christ should be ever-so-strong. So, even in grief, we care for others, and we care deeply.

My Love for My Life's Work

I have always loved teaching and inspiring. I never grow tired of loving science. I told Ray last night that I really wanted to go on one archeological dig before I die. I just want to get all up in some dirt and find amazing things from the past. Not to dwell in the past... but to appreciate what happened in the past. You will never find me destroying any artifacts from the past. No, those things are treasures to me. But at the same time, I love reaching for the future. I enjoy learning new things daily. If I had the funding, I'm sure there's some degree out there that I would be working towards at this time. But for now, I continue to teach and build. I am so very thankful for the life's work God has provided for me to do. And while I have to fight depression as much as anyone, I know it is this work that keeps me sane on most days.

These are the three main areas of my devotion and love: Family, Ministry, and Work. These three areas have provided me with the focus I need to stay grounded during my grief. None of these can erase my memories of Andrew, but all of them have helped me heal through my pain and grief. Because I did not allow his death to break me, I have learned to love and live in spite of my longing to see him again. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to continue to live when you have lost.

My advice for the grieving soul today:

1. Deepen your love for those around you.
2. Find yourself a church... a gathering... a spiritual family, and love them with all your might.
3. Fall in love with your work. Find your passion.

Our lives are forever changed when we lose someone, especially a child. But our lives to not have to end. If you are breathing today, you have purpose. My prayer is for you to find it.

A Poem for Andrew

My heart shattered when I knew you were gone.
I did not know how my own life could continue.
I struggled for years with darkness and despair.
But I knew you wanted me to live...
I knew you wanted me to love...
So, I reached out in the darkness, and I found my purpose again.

Each year I truly miss you more and more.
But now I gather moments to share with you.
I know we will have so much to converse in Heaven.
I want to experience all I can so I can share ...
So I can laugh with you...
So I can see the smile on your face as we talk about all that has transpired in both our lives...

There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of you.
There's not a butterfly that passes me that I don't smile.
There's not a huge smile on a child's face that doesn't make me think of you.
You are my love. You are my little boy. Forever...
I will always wish for you...
I will always long for you...
But until then... My heart grows stronger... stronger in love!

It has been a privilege to share my journey with you, though extremely painful at times.

Much love to you all!

The End!