Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wednesday's Woe - Why Child-Loss Grief is So Different from Other Grief... ~by Tommy and Angie Prince

Used by gracious permission of Artist Crawfurd Adamson

Wednesday's Woe

Why Child-Loss Grief is So Different from Other Grief...

~by Tommy and Angie Prince

When a parent dies, though an extreme bond is there, somehow you are able to go on with your life; you can function.

Tommy lost his mother when he was just 14 years old. I lost my precious daddy in 2004. As much as we loved and were bonded with our parents, we were able to grieve even while we went on with our lives, functioning fairly normally even amidst our grief. Parent-loss is not easy. It is very painful to lose a parent who poured so much of themselves into your life that they basically influenced every aspect of your being: body, soul, heart, mind, and spirit. And the love they gave is beyond compare!

While you love them and appreciate all that they have poured into you, thanks to all of their sacrificial love for you, you can stand on your own two feet to function, face the world, and walk through it.

There is something inside you to call upon, that gives you the "oomph" to move forward, to go on with your life. There is a sweet peace inside you that you know they are okay, as you know they are in Heaven and that we will all be together again someday. So now you must live your life with all that they taught you, and attemptwith God's helpto be faithful now to God's calling upon your life for your time remaining on this earth.

When your child dies, however, grief is traumatic.

In fact, it seems when your child dies, at some level you die too.

Your life stops.

Everything you have stood for, everything you have been about, is stood on its ear.

Your life has been turned upside down.

Your heart has been ripped out of you, so there is nothing left to pull from; there are no resources available with which to function. It seems all systems are shut down in order to grieve and to walk through such heavy loss. "Moving on" is a luxury you don't have.

In Child-Loss Grief, all is geared for walking through the Unthinkable, the Tragic, the Great Loss, the Mangled mind, the Broken body, the Spent Spirit, the Hurt Heart, and the Shattered Soul.

With this loss, there is nothing there to call upon, to say "you can move on from this."

Indeed, as Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. says, with this kind of severe loss, we are learning from the newly-available brain scans that after the severe loss of one's child, the grief-traumatized brain IS DAMAGED. (Whether this damage is temporary or not has not yet been ascertained.) The part of the brain that even helps you to do the routine habits and procedures of everyday life is damaged, so that just walking through a day with its normal functions is almost impossible to do, much less trying to tackle the more complex problems of a demanding occupation, raising children, or other major life concerns.

Child-loss grief is debilitating, for our hearts, our souls, and our spirits are crushed!

The scripture that speaks to this so well is

"A man's spirit sustains him in sickness,

but a crushed spirit, who can bear?"

~Proverbs 18:14

But our Lord says He will be there for us to pick us up...

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and

saves those who are crushed in spirit."

~Psalm 34:18

Because He Himself has been there...for our sake...

"Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows...He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."

~Isaiah 53:4-5

He was crushed that we might live; He was wounded that we might heal...

"But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings..."

~Malachi 4:2a

So for the remainder of our lives we will be in a healing process with our ultimate healing culminating when we reach Heaven. At that time, God says,

"(Then) you will go out and leap (for joy) like calves released from the stall."

~Malachi 4:2b

Until then, may God bless us in our very painful healing process...

Feel free to share your experiences with us with a comment at the very bottom of this post. (Just punch the "Comment" button, and post your comment.) If you are not up to it, that is fine. That is the way we are most of the time! I think that is just the way Child-Loss Grief is much of the time. We just appreciate your being here with us...

Painting used by gracious permission of Crawfurd Adamson: "Knot" Oil Painting by Crawfurd Adamson. Website: http://crawfurdadamson.com Email: And thank you to Diane at http://dancindianern.blogspot.com for sharing him with us!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tuesday's Trust - Thankful~Love Conquers All Amidst My Child's Struggles

Merry Katherine with some precious friends from her church youth group

Tuesday's Trust

Thankful ~ Love Conquers All

In response to last week's Friday's Faith, "In the Process of Forgiving," God gave me this poem on Saturday:

Yes, there were kids in her lifetime who hurt the Savior's name;

They marred His face, His loving grace, and His own glory claimed.

But God's own Love could not be stopped; It sought another route --

For His Sweetness would not be cropped; It found a diff'rent spout...

He brought to her much sweeter friends who truly knew His Name;

They loved her with the Savior's love~their lives His love proclaimed.

Not perfect, nor pretending to be, they reached out in love;

They bore His Light and cleared the Way to show the One above.

They did not hide their eyes from flaws; by her, they were not fooled,

But judging not, they loved her still, despite th' Enemy cruel.

In Love's sweet fellowship, together in Him they all grew;

With cleansed hearts from forgiveness of sins, His deep Love they knew.

Though tripped up by sin's deceit (as we all can be), she still

Was held by Love's Redeeming Hand ~ the Hand that holds her still...

Picture of Merry Katherine & friends ~ Thanks to her good friend, Joe
Poem - Thankful ~ Love Conquers All - Angie Bennett Prince - 8/28/10

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Monday's Mourning Ministry - I Went to Church to Find God… but Found He Was Not There / Love Throw a Line ~Patty Griffin

Monday's Mourning Ministry

I Went to Church to Find God…

but Found He Was Not There…


Love Throw a Line

~Patty Griffin

Whatever a poem is up to, it requires our trust along with our consent to let it try to change our way of thinking and feeling. Nothing without this risk. I expect hang gliding must be like poetry. Once you get used to it, you can't imagine not wanting the scare of it. But it's more serious than hang gliding. Poetry is the safest known mode of human risk. You risk only staying alive.

~William Meredith, from Poems Are Hard to Read


I'm surprised at how many people have met wolves in the church.Great discussion here: http://bit.ly/b0052T ~via @MaryDeMuth


I am reposting a post from 11/3/09 today. A friend of mine (and wonderful author) I met through Twitter and Facebook, Mary DeMuth, just posted on her blog this past week about her encounter with Spiritual Abuse in the church. There were several comments from others on the same post who had also experienced abuse in the institutional church. So I wanted to repost my poem, plus I added my take on what I see happening in the church today that greatly grieves my soul, and greatly grieves my husband's as well...

Let me preface my poem by saying I grew up in the church, and it was a wonderful experience. The leaders, including many godly teachers who volunteered so much of their time, literally poured their lives into me and so many others. So I know what church should be. These precious souls taught me church is not any particular building; church is anywhere God's people are. They encouraged everyone to develop their spiritual gifts and to use them in the church (and outside the church for that matter) for God's glory.

If spiritual abuse of any kind happened, it was effectively dealt with so that parishioners would not be harmed further. We were taught to speak the truth in love, but indeed speak the truth. We were taught to go to a brother or sister, speaking the truth in love when you saw them hurting anyone (including themselves). Church was a wondrous experience, and I cherish the relationships, lessons learned about my Lord, and the sweet worship time spent as a church family together.

But alas, as I have become an adult and been an active member at several different churches, I have been grieved as I have witnessed spiritual abuse of varying degrees in several different churches.

When I would go to speak the truth in love, at times I was received respectfully and appropriate repairs were made...

But if the receiver was a wolf in sheep's clothing, it would very soon become apparent, and soon thereafter it was like I was being eaten alive.

For what? For Speaking.the.Truth.In.Love.

And it seems these corrupt leaders ~these wolves in sheep's clothing~ effectively surrounded themselves with incompetent "leaders" so that they were free to run amuck among God's precious lambs. And run amuck they did.

I have seen way too much corruption in the church. And I have seen way too many precious lambs whose lives were devastated by the evil that was perpetrated on them...

I saw too many wolves until it became overwhelming to my tender soul.

I still have precious friends within each church of which I have been a part. And there are still portions of the church that I have seen effectively discipling one another in a way that honors God and builds His people.

But my spirit is so grieved at what I see as the steady demise of the church as an institution*...

(See my note at the end of this post for why "the church as an institution" really should be on a demise as God's New Testament church was designed completely differently ~ to be alive, to be a live organism, with Christ as its head and us, God's people making up the body. And each of us believers would be active participants in the church-as-organism, complete with all the unique gifts of the Holy Spirit being utilized by EACH member as the LORD directs.

Perhaps the church as it was intended to be ~ this LIVE organism, full of LIFE ~ would be the very place we grieving mommies and daddies would flock to, to worship with one another in a VITAL way, experiencing the LIVING LORD who now holds us in our grief even as He now holds our babies in His arms...

But, back to the church as most of us have experienced it today - the church as an institution...)

It seems corruption too often abounds. Women are preyed upon. Leaders destroy one another with power hunger. Women are put down and not allowed to use their gifts. God-filled ministers are run off. God-filled ministers-of-music are run off. The corrupt "ministers" are left to reign.

Elders -- complicit with the corrupted, abusive leaders -- use people's tithe offerings to pay hush money for these "leaders" -- these wolves in sheep's clothing -- who have sexually offended, spiritually abused, with no appropriate repercussions doled out to the leaders who preyed upon their sheep. And the rest of the sheep are left totally unaware of the misuse of the moneys they have given ~ to what they had thought would be used on behalf of the Lord's work in His world...

My heart is so grieved at the state of the church today as it does not reflect my loving Lord who has the greatest respect and love for every precious person; indeed He sacrificed His own Son for each one of us.
How can we not love as He loved within His own home where He is to be honored?
What God has commanded to be consecrated, we have desecrated...

Thus, I come to my poem in which I try to express at least a degree of my heartbroken angst...

I Went to Church to Find God…

but Found He Was Not There…

I went to church for prayer, only to find a prey-er.

I went to family night supper to eat, only to find out they eat their young.

I went to church to worship, only to find they themselves wanted to be worshipped.

I went to church to find God, only to find their many gods screaming out for my worship which I could not give, for I knew they were not God, for which the parishioners threw me out (in essence), for I would not worship their god.

I went to church to find God but only found a man-who-would-be-king upon his holey throne, wrapped in his kingly robe, chanting in his sing-song voice that sought to lull me into his hypnotic trance, wanting me to forget God and worship him, or he would worship me if only I would let him make me his idol, become his sexualized object.

I went to church to sing, only to see the minister of music drool over one of his objects of lust, and realized what was worshipped there had nothing to do with God, but all to do with his “being” a god, lording over the victimized who wanted God but settled for the-man-who-would-be-god pawing over her soul, drawing her into his lair…because he said he was about seeking GOD.

I went to church to teach about God, but found the parishioners only wanted me to speak the tribal language that would let them have the gods of their own making, not the God who would destroy the gods, as He demanded we have no other gods before Him. So they drowned me out with their tribal language, and no one asked them to stop.

I went to church to find God, but sadly found Satan there.

But when I tried to cry out, “Satan is in this place; where is God?” they threw me out (in essence), calling me Satan.

I went to church to find Jesus, but found only politics there. And I remembered church politics killed Jesus.

I went to church to find the Suffering Servant; He found me and called me to suffer for Him, not for these people who pretended to be about Him,

and so He asked me to come out from them and be separate, for they were of the world, not of His Kingdom...

I went to church to find God…but found He was not there…

My Savior found me looking…and drew me from that lair.


May God heal His precious abused lambs and cleanse the churches of

“her officials within her (who) are like wolves tearing their prey.”

~Ezekiel 22:27


Again the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has had no rain or showers in the day of wrath.’ There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey: they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. Her priests do violence to My law and profane My holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’—when the LORD has not spoken. The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice.

"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out My wrath on them and consume them with My fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

Ezekiel 22:23-31 NIV

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. ~Jesus speaking

Matthew 7:15 NIV

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. But be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. ~Jesus speaking

Matthew 10:16-17 NIV

A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household. So do not be afraid of them. ~Jesus speaking

Matthew 10:24-26a NIV

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. ~Jesus speaking

Matthew 23:27-28 NIV

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people."

"Therefore come out from them and be separate," says the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:16-17 NIV


*Regarding my spirit being "so grieved at what I see as the steady demise of the church as an institution..." Frank Viola (an author who has been absolutely life-changing for Tommy and me), writing in his phenomenal book Pagan Christianity, reminds me of why the "church as an institution" will never make it anyway as it does not follow our Lord's design for His church:

"In I Corinthians 12:12, Paul refers to the church as the body of Christ. The head [Jesus] is in heaven, while the body is on earth (Acts 9:4-5; Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18, 2:19).

Properly conceived, the church is a spiritual organism, not an institutional organization.

Interestingly, an organic church will have problems identical to those in the first-century church. On the other hand, the institutional church faces a completely different set of problems, which have no biblical antidote since its structure is so distinct from the New Testament church. For instance, in an institutional church the laity may not like their preacher so they fire him. This never would have happened in the first century because there was no such thing as a hired pastor."

~Frank Viola


Love Throw a Line

~Patty Griffin

Love Throw a Line


Let's write a story of, a title wave

We run out of luck, we run out of days

We run out of gas, hundred miles away

From a station

There's a war and a plague yeah, smoke and disaster

Lions in the coliseum, screams of a laughter

Motherless children, a witness and a bible

Nothing but rain ahead and no chance for our survival

Just before the flood comes, just before the night falls

Just before the blood runs into the valley

Just before my eyes go, just before we can't go no further

Love throws a line to you and me

I heard someone calling me from very far away

Sister oh sister, did I hear them say?

Prisoner of this endless story of pain

You hold the key, try to find the way

And just before the flood comes, just before the night falls

Just before the blood runs into the valley

Just before my eyes go, just before it all blows to pieces

You see Love throw a line to you and me

Love throw a line

Love throw a line

Love throw a line

Love throw a line

On you and me

On you and me

On you and me

Love you better pick up your pace

If we're gonna win this race

Love we're running out of time

Pull yourself out from behind

Love throw a line

Love throw a line

Love throw a line

from Poems Are Hard to Read, by William Meredith, excerpted at poets.org.

Scripture - New International Version (NIV)

Picture of wolf in sheep's clothing thanks to http://bit.ly/b0052T ~via @MaryDeMuth

Poem – I Went to Church to Find God...but Found He Was Not There... – Angie Bennett Prince – 11/3/09

Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMWNaQTl4ik