We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
Pink boxing gloves hang on the wall in my kitchen. My husband, Jeff, gave them to me as a Valentine’s Day gift last year. They were lovingly inscribed: “Teresa Payne – Fighting Cancer Since 2-15-2008” 2 Cor. 4:7-12.
Menopause – (according to Webster’s) – Change of life, the permanent natural cessation of menstruation.
Menopause – (according to Sally) – Men, oh pause, before you say anything that could ignite turbulence in your marriage!
“Oo-Wee,” my three year old nephew said as he lifted his shirt up and down in front of the large fan. We all laughed including Grandmom because it was not difficult to figure out who he was imitating. Grandmom, who was going through “the change of life,” would often watch Hunter while his mom was busy with her other four children.
I never thought that on my twenty-fifth birthday I would be single. I had dreams of starting a family and living a long life with my husband. Those dreams were re-routed in the summer of 2008. My husband of four years divorced me. I was single…again. I did not want to focus on dating again. I didn’t even want to think about dating. Soon, however, I had to come to terms with the reality of my life. I decided that if I were to date, I would need to learn the necessary lessons from my dating relationship and marriage with my ex-husband.
With the office holiday party in the works, relatives heading into town, and the season of feasting about to begin, visions of chocolate things…ALL KINDS OF CHOCOLATE THINGS…dance in my head. This year, however, I choose to imitate The Wife of Noble Character. Specifically, I want to laugh at the days to come, at January 1st to be exact. When I step on the scale that day, I want to laugh with joy instead of with a deflated “ho, ho, whoa…”
It is Thanksgiving week and I am enjoying a wonderful time at the beach with all of my husband’s family. Barry would have loved to have been here. It has been eight years since he died. As I walked the beach this morning, I couldn’t help but think about how different things are today than they were the first year without him.
As Christian women, we feel a responsibility to do all things well when it comes to our families and spiritual lives. What do we do when we are used to having the energy and ability to expend ourselves and that ability is taken away? I experienced this soon after having children. It got increasingly worse every few years. I was a woman full of vitality, zeal and passion. I experienced great satisfaction in serving people and having my hands in as many lives as I could possibly influence. I loved meeting the needs of my family. It is what I woke up thinking about doing. This was my calling and I was going to give it all I had! I assumed it would always be this way but I was wrong.
Grief is not reserved for only those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Grief can result from loss of income, natural disaster, infertility, divorce, life transition, or any other major event. There is no specific way to grieve, but the common stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Not everyone will experience each stage of grief in the same order, or at the same pace, nor will everyone experience each stage with the same intensity.
Whether you are caring for a child with special needs, a family member with a chronic illness or aging parents, you will face numerous challenges. I have learned many lessons from my own journey, as well as from those of other caretakers. Here are several methods that have helped me as well as those other caretakers.