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Monday, August 31, 2015

Grief Part II

I decided to compile a list of ways to help friends and family members through a difficult time. Going through this has really helped me to think about others and my reaction towards those who lost a pet, and I've realized I didn't necessarily understand, so I was unable to empathize or really show compassion. And for that, I am very sorry. And I am grateful that through the loss of my dog, I have the ability to understand why other pet owners feel so sad. I have the ability to realize why it's even more important to pay extra special attention to those who have lost a loved one. And you don't have to go through the loss of anything to be able to utilize these tips. You can become the encourager to others right now without having to experience it!

1.) Pray for your friend/family member and tell them- Don't just say you'll pray. Do it. Pray every day for them. Remind them that you're praying for them. It's one thing for someone to say "Oh, I will pray for you." And it's another thing for them to text, email, call, or message you and say, "I prayed for you today." There's a difference. Give reminders to your friend or family member that you are praying. And when you pray, pray more than just a minute for them. Show you care by praying longer for them.

2.) Send encouraging words along their way. Someone will know you truly care when they receive a card in the mail, an encouraging Bible verse, a sweet note for the day, etc.

3.) Send a gift (completely optional)- It is really nice to know someone took the time to think about you by sending something, it doesn't matter if it doesn't wipe away the pain. It shows you care. Make up your own care package for someone who is grieving. Send them flowers to show you care.

4.) Learn how to respond to those grieving- When someone tells you they lost an animal or a person, don't just go, "Oh." Don't just say, "I'm sorry," and then continue on with your personal life and how horrible your week has been at work. That's really a slap in the face. Never say nothing either, because that hurts too. Acknowledge their pain, but be careful, some people get offended if you say you understand and you have never been through the same type of pain. It doesn't bother me, since it's intended for the best, but it can make others upset.

 When someone tells you sad news like this, tell them you are sorry, you will be praying for them, and tell them if they ever need someone to talk to about it, you will be there for them. Sometimes people who are grieving would like someone to talk to and sometimes they do not, so the best thing to do is let them know you're there whenever they need you.

And that's about it. Let me know about your thoughts below in the comments.


*And thanks everyone for your prayers, I appreciate them-I'm feeling much better!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grief Part I

This topic is very much on my mind with the passing of my childhood dog this morning. She seemed to be in much pain, and we had to put her to sleep. It was so hard being there and watching. So with that bit, I just wanted to allow this post to be a place for everyone to share their feelings about what they experienced during the loss of someone or even a pet. I know pets and humans are different in their losses, but both losses can lead to extreme grief.

Nobody talks about what it feels like to lose something you love. I feel like it's not mentioned and no one cares. But I wanted to discuss this, because it's normal to feel these reactions. Here are some that passed through my mind today:

I made the wrong decision
I let her down
I betrayed her
I'm evil
I killed her
I hate myself
I'm sorry for doing this
I should've done . . .
I feel guilty
I feel inexplicable sorrow
If I would've have done this then this wouldn't have happened
I feel regret
I'm confused
I'm angry
I'm mad and I'm not sure at whom or what
I want to scream
I want to throw things and break stuff
I can't sit still
I don't want to eat
I can't sleep
I don't want to continue my daily activities
I don't want to be . . . (your job title, your status as a student, your role)
I want to quit everything
I have no desire to do anything
I want to go with her too
I want life to stop- why can't I get a break from it?
I'm tired of suppressing my feelings and pretending I'm fine.
I just want to talk to someone about it
Why doesn't anyone care?
What have I just done? Make them stop!
I don't want to be alone
I want to be left alone
When will the pain stop?
Why can't this pain be over with within a few days?
What happens to my dog after death? Does she go anywhere besides the ground?
I will never be able to see, feel, or pet her ever again
Why?

That's what grief feels like. Those were all emotions, questions, and comments I had. And they're all fairly normal, no matter how true or untrue they are. I've noticed what has helped me so far is asking for prayer. Knowing that someone is praying for me encourages me to realize I won't always feel this way. It may take a long time before I feel better, but I do believe prayer helps to alleviate some of the pain. How did/do you feel when you lost someone or something you loved very much? Sharing your grief with others can be very beneficial to healing. If you need prayer, let me know as well, and please keep me in your prayers during this time.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Lessons Learned: About Singles

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I've been around many single young women long enough to notice they all seem to have one thing in common- they think the desire to marry is embarrassing, because they all tell me this:

I don't want to get married til I'm 30 or I'm happy being single.


And those are the two LIES I hear all the time. When I ask someone who is in their twenties how they feel about being single, I hear one of those two. Or the tell-tale "I will never marry!" That one is a big giveaway that they're actually very lonely and having a pity party/low self-esteem. Almost any female who says this is down about how there is no one interested in them, no prospects, and thus they've resigned themselves to singleness forever. All of these sayings annoy me to no end, because they're all lies. How do I know?

Well for one, the people who tell me one of those two things give out clues about how they really feel when they slip-up in conversations or just by their actions. I've had someone tell me they wanted to wait a long time to get married and they were fine being single, and then several minutes later say how much they hate Facebook because all anyone posted on it were engagements and relationship statuses. I've known several young ladies who said they wouldn't marry for a long time or at least until thirty because they were so content, and then several months later they're in a relationship and soon after get married. Obviously they weren't content being single- they just assumed nobody would be interested in them and decided to pretend they were okay with that.  I think it's more embarrassing to be caught in a lie and for people to know you're really just playing the "I'm fine game," than to admit you have a desire to get married but God hasn't allowed that to occur yet and so you will continue on doing what God wants in the meantime. What's so bad about that? There's nothing desperate or embarrassing about that. 

And two, well, I'm single as well. I know how it feels. I also know that you don't want anyone to think you're desperate, sad, or lonely, so you feel the need to cover up and pretend that you're happy 24/7 with the single life. The truth is, being single has its ups and downs. One day you can feel completely fine, and others days you can feel completely horrible. It's okay to tell the truth and admit that sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it is absolutely wonderful, but ladies, it's time to be honest. The more you lie, the easier it is for everyone else to see the truth based upon your actions. So tell the truth, embrace your singleness, and don't be ashamed!

P.S.- If you need to talk about it or would like prayer, you can always let me know through the contact form. I'd be happy to help!