08 September 2015


People have been telling me for months how brave and amazing I am. This has never sat well with me. My retort was, without fail : ' I don't have a choice!'

I have come to believe that I was wrong about that statement. I did, I do have a choice. Each and every day I have a choice in how I approach what has unfolded in our lives.

I was running with a friend a couple of days ago and she was so upset by our circumstances and just venting about how messed up it all is. I agree. It is bloody messed up but in that moment I knew that I had to find meaning in all of this suffering. The alternative is not an option.

I have begun to read and research (as I do....!) the enigma that is grief, suffering and loss. The more I read the more I KNOW that there is a way to grow through this and not live in a place of bitterness and pain.

“I don't hold to the idea that God causes suffering and crisis. I just know that those things come along and God uses them. We think life should be a nice, clean ascending line. But inevitably something wanders onto the scene and creates havoc with the nice way we've arranged life to fall in place.”
Sue Monk Kidd (When the Heart Waits)

“In the secular view, suffering is never seen as a meaningful part of life but only as an interruption.” 

“Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.” 
Tim Keller (Walking with God through Pain and Suffering)

"...there is no map for the landscape of loss, no established itinerary, no cosmic checklist, where each item ticked off gets you closer to success. You cannot succeed in mourning your loved ones. You cannot fail. Nor is grief a malady, like the flu. You will not get over it. You will only come to integrate your loss,....... The death of a beloved is an amputation. You find a new center of gravity, but the limb does not grow back.  When someone you love very much dies, the sky falls. And so you walk around under a fallen sky."

"Tragedy and trauma are not guarantees for a transformational spiritual experience," writes Mirabai Starr, "but they are opportunities. They are invitations to sit in the fire and allow it to transfigure us."
Mirabai Starr (Caravan of No Despair)

Let me be clear. I don't want to sit in this fire and be transformed. I don't want to do the work with myself, with my kids.  I want Russell back here, next to me, to live out our golden years but that is not an option anymore. 

So I choose to find the best way forward. If not only for myself then for Russell to whom I made a promise. 

A promise to continue the amazing work he started in the lives of our family; a promise to use our story to encourage and inspire others to begin to see the eternal nature of our lives. 

A promise to never, ever give up.


Lynette Jacobs said...

Every choice you made, dear one, pointed everyone that witnessed your journey to Jesus. Sending BIG bear hugs xx

cat said...

Lots of love Mel. And you will. You will fulfill that promise

cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elexis Bringman said...

Just love you.

ANNE said...

Yes Mel, you HAVE BEEN AMAZING and your choice to show strength and dignity makes us proud! Thank you for writing this - you have a gift!

Nocturnal Wenchy said...

Much love x

Nocturnal Wenchy said...

Much love x

Gill said...

Ah Mel, you are just awe-inspiring. Your heart is just so huge. You and your precious kiddos are in my thoughts and prayers every day xx

Kim Watson said...

Beautifully written Mel. I love the way you search, unpack & make peace all in one sentence. Your 'glass half full' attitude in the face of a 'fallen sky' is truly inspiring. Jesus is being glorified with every word!
Much love xx