A lot has happened since my last post. I am now no longer working and have changed churches. A dear friend who lost his wife in 2017 has endured a very public grief, but one which has lifted the lid on the taboo of grief and enabled a wider conversation on a subject not much talked about.
Life continues its ups and down and I am sure that most will not understand how at 6.5 years I still find it so hard. As Maggie Smith is quoted on the Care for the Family – Widowed young support Facebook page ‘People say it gets better but it doesn’t. It just gets different, that’s all’.
On Sunday at my ‘new’ church a lot of good happened.
This is what I shared with my family at The Gateway Church, King’s Lynn.
On Saturday 9th February I listened to Kees’ talk from the previous Sunday as I had been away and missed it. The subject was ‘Freedom by Grace’ and I definitely felt God spoke to me through it, even to the point of Kees mentioning a friend who had died from MND, the disease that also took my dear Ruthie’s life, in the context of the joy his friend kept until his death. After listening I then joined the Gateway walkers but due to a prior commitment I ended up walking from Thornham along a very windy sea bank to meet the rest about half way. On the way I shouted at God in the strong winds about my life after Ruth and the struggles I have. On Saturday evening I felt very lonely – it was the first Saturday evening I have been on my own in a long time and I ended up on the Christian dating site that usually signals I am feeling lower than is good for me.
On to Sunday…
Our Life group was on set up and I was there very early. After set up I sat on the steps and felt quite on my own. Ruth Duncombe came over and chatted and I started to feel better. I spoke to a visiting family and felt good for doing so. Then Nigel Worth arrived and I went over to meet him (we have known each other nearly 40 years). He saw me and said ‘Brocky!’ a nickname that only people I have known a long time use. (It felt like Jesus saying (Martha, Martha lovingly in Luke 10:41) During worship and communion I felt really close to God and my brothers and sisters. Then Mike, who was hosting, had a word for someone trying to cope with grief and shame and asked if anyone felt called to go forward for prayer. I looked at Marilyn and Alan who know me quite well and felt the confirmation to go forward. Mike very lovingly prayed with me and hugged me in my ongoing grief and pain at loosing Ruth and I went back to my seat feeling very peaceful. After wards Marilyn said to me that seeing Mike hug me was like seeing Jesus hug me. Nigel got up to preach after the notices and spoke on grief and anger with God from his own family experience and Psalm 77. I could identify with so much he said, but felt encouraged that I no longer feel anger, but the grief still overwhelms at times. At the end he asked if anyone could identify with what he was saying to put their hand up, so I did… and then he asked people to hug anyone with a hand up, and I got lots of hugs.
When I joined Gateway 6 months ago I wasn’t going to share my story for fear of being a victim. Over the months I have felt so much love from people that I now do have the confidence to share my story. Jesus just radiates from all I have met at church, more love in 6 months than I could’ve possibly expected. I will continue to grow in his love.
I hope that those of you reading this may be helped. The long road continues and it’s certainly not a straight line!
#agriefshared #thegatewaychurch #modernloss