All That Remains

Posted By on Nov 8, 2017 | 10 comments


Hello, sweet friends!

It’s been a year since my last post. For various reasons I took a break, but I’m so glad to be back to writing. It’s my passion, my lane. And I’ve missed connecting with you.

As a writer, sharing an authentic Christian life and being real is a must. So today I’m opening the pages of my journal and giving you a peek into some personal stuff.

My mom passed away just a few weeks ago, ushering in all the messiness of grief. Ours was a complicated relationship at times (but seriously, aren’t they all), but we always loved. Journaling has been a source of comfort, helping me sort through doubts and questions that come with loss. I wrote this entry two weeks ago, and honestly I’ve struggled with posting it. But the Holy Spirit keeps impressing me to share. Grief touches all, and perhaps something here will be of help. Whether you laugh or cry, I hope you are encouraged.

Hey Mom ~

Remember when I was little and asked countless questions about heaven? Like, if that mean woman (you know, the neighbor with the green apple trees) would get in. Or if my pet collie Rowdy would be there. Or if it ever snowed. Guess you know the answers now. I’m thinking, though, you just look at Jesus all the time and stuff of earth doesn’t even come to mind. I miss you more than I thought possible, but knowing in one breath you were there, healed and whole and free of this world, is everything.

Everything…in this life has changed now. This grief stuff is no joke. It is raw and random. I’m good at stuffing the feelings down and pretending to be stronger than I really am. You always knew that about me, though. So I’m pretty sure you have asked God to give me extra help these last few weeks. He sure has been gracious and comforting. But still, this process has been harder than I thought.

Thought…about so much. Journaling and sorting through pictures while listening to all your favorite Reba, Garth, and Waylon music has been good for my soul. The best memories? Goofy Christmas gifts and softball tournaments…and Jim’s favorite…that time you pulled a pistol out of nowhere and killed a copperhead in a single, long-range shot! Regrets have been stirred up too, but I refuse to let them take root. Not one single bit of that matters now. Never did, really. Forgiveness and grace are beautiful healers when allowed to do their work. You always understood that far better than I did. And now love is all that remains.

Remains…that word took on a new meaning after you died. You were always bigger than life, left people laughing and loved a good ending. So when your cremated remains rode out Hurricane Irma (only the strongest storm in Atlantic basin history) in a surge-prone funeral home in Fort Myers, I had to laugh and just pray for the best. You definitely saved the best exit for last and it mirrored your reality. Writing has helped me see how brave you were, facing down your own destructive storms with strength and determination throughout your life.

Life…thank you for this amazing gift you gave me. It’s such a good one, filled with laughter and love. Whatever years I have left on this earth, I want the many good parts of you to live through me and bring glory to God.

God…you are with him. You are home. Tonight I looked up at the starlit sky and wondered what you were doing. And as a song you loved says, I can only imagine.

(photo credit: Shari Thompson Ancelet)

10 Comments

  1. Beth,
    Thank you for posting. I lost my mom 5 days ago… for me the journey of grief is just beginning.

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  2. Beth,
    Beautifully written. Deep grief takes one on an unxpected and exhausting journey. Explores forgotten places within and exposes us to ourselves. The only way is through and the through differs from one person to another. The through won’t fully release it’s grip until we are with Jesus and then The through begins for someone else💕 I’m glad you shared I love reading your stories

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  3. Grief is exhausting. That’s what I wrote on a friend’s Facebook page. It ebbs and flows like a tide…or a tidal wave. This post captures some of that.
    Walking the grief road makes thoughts of Heaven that much sweeter. Prayers for your journey.

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  4. Beth, you and Rob have been on my mind a lot lately. You do good journaling. Have so many good memories with both your mom and dad! Know it wasn’t always easy! But God! He was and is always with us and keeps us going. Know you were loved and are loved by us. Heaven bound. Much love

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  5. Thank you, sweet sister in Christ.. thank you

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    • Love you too, my friend. And miss you like crazy!

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  6. I have to confess, I can’t get through this right now. I’m sitting in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby trying to figure out how to gain composure . . . So very real and raw. So much pain and yet so much anger. I love you. Thank you for writing this. I have wondered if you were struggling like I have been. I have wanted to write but have worried about casting a shadow on a great man that impacted so many in positive ways – yet impacted others in horrific ways. One day . . .

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    • Give it time. Not every story is for every ear. You will know. God has been teaching me much lately about his great love. Our experiences and memories can often be a blurred lens through which to see others as Christ does. I am grateful for every soul who has shown me grace and forgiveness. Love you my friend.

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  7. Beth thank you so much for posting this. It fits into my life and current situation like you wouldn’t believe and reading it helps me get through this difficult time in my life.

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    • Thank you for taking time to share that with me. Prayed for you as I read your words. Blessings as you walk forward.

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