The Holy Spirit and Real Life
“Oh no!” I exclaimed while reading the private message in regards to a friend’s passing. “I’m in shock!” I responded. I am still in shock. Strangely enough, a poignant warmth filled my being as I remembered back to when he and I last conversed. I had felt compelled to visit with this friend, the male half of a wonderful two-some, during a trip this past September. Now he has passed on into the next life, and his wife, my friend and old roomie from college days, is left to pick up the pieces. I feel for her.
I remember when they were dating.
He had this great big smile that accompanied his chuckle and he was like a giant teddy bear. He liked to tease my roommate (and me). She fell for him like a ton of bricks. Over the years she and I kept our friendship alive, attending the Shakespearean Festival in Ashland, Oregon and a visit here and there when I made my way to their hometown for an event at my Alma mater. She’s a hoot. We laugh a lot when we are together and we share a love of writing. She and I share the struggles of life and what we’re learning because of them. It’s an honest friendship. We don’t hide who we are from each other. The focus of the friendship was on her and less about him. He often was away at work so it was girl-time. But our last visit was different. . . .
Almost every negative experience delivers some form of loss. We may not recognize it as such, but it is. These often send us in a tailspin. We wander about trying to find a way to deal with it. There are counselors and advisors in every field who can be accessed. They are helpful. But, in reality, the choice is up to us–how we will react–deal or avoid–relative to the event or loss.
The human will is key to overcoming any situation and bearing any form of loss. We must want to deal with it in a proactive way–even if we know the way out will take years rather than months. Some situations require ongoing support especially when our lives are affected by another person’s struggles as with mental illness, addictions, or dependency needs. There are books and resources we can apprise ourselves of, but they often smack of a band-aid approach. Although they bring understanding and protection, they fail to do the healing and restoring.
Some people’s struggles read like the book of Job. They have lost almost everything i.e. family members, employment, health and well-being, like my friend who lost family members to cancer including a beloved wife, and others to substance abuse and mental illness besides other things in his life. He bears up but just barely. It was too much. He works at climbing out but is broken inside. I long for his healing and know it is possible. But he needs to know and believe it is possible.
Lois Faith Brumbaugh at age 20.
Lois is my sister, and she was my friend. Today I honor her memory with Lois’ Song written by my cousin a decade before her death. The words are apropos for I’m thinking of her. It is September. I always think about her in September because that is when we lost her. I was a little mommy to her when she was a baby. We would play house together, me, the big sis, and she, the little sister. She was born in September. She died in September. I am not very fond of September.
Lois as a baby, and with me holding her in the bottom two photos.
A HOPE AND A PROMISE
He will be with you, he will not leave you or forsake you. ~Deut. 31:8 ESV
Rejection has the power to spew injurious messages inside the wounded person. When a marriage is ripped apart, negative emotions can ravage the mind’s sensitivities. It can leave a person gasping, struggling to make sense of what happened. Divorce smashes the dream that once shone so brightly and leaves destruction in its wake.
There are many ways to absorb these internal hurts. Some bury their feelings. Others unleash volleys of red-hot attacks. Some become overwhelmed by loss and grief. Others walk away in denial, never looking back.