I Choose The Latter

Monday, January 04, 2016


My son shared a podcast with me the other day that got me thinking about why I haven’t written in this space for nearly a year. The discussion was lead by Elizabeth Gilbert who was giving some helpful advice to a writer having difficulty staying focused. Though the topic wasn’t exactly what I have been experiencing, it did encourage me to put some deep thought and prayer into what could be hindering my own writing. The answer came to me quickly, as it was rather obvious, but I haven’t wanted to name it, especially here. Then, as if God were giving me one of His oh-so-famous nudges, I was brought to an aptly named blog post, by Jeanne Damoff, entitled The Cost of Motherhood.

In her poignant essay, Jeanne describes a time tragedy struck her family and the moment being as if a priceless jewel had been thrown into deep water. As the treasure sank, ripples reached outward.

However, this mother was stuck staring in disbelief and shock at the spot where the treasure first sank. That’s where I have been. I have been stuck in that moment 2 ½ years ago that I can’t seem to get past. It was the moment my priceless treasure sank. My hopes and my dreams for what could be dissolved in a single phone call that wrenched my gut and shattered my heart.

I have been told that I will heal and that the pain will ease. I have been told that people are praying for our daughter…that God loves her and that He loves me. But, the ache has still remained. Some days I don’t notice it as much, but I have to admit there are other days when I am not exactly encouraging to be around. A dark cloud descends on me and I can only see the place my precious jewel was lost. And that is the reason I have not written.

I am an encourager by nature. The entire reason I began this blog was to do just that – encourage. I was so excited to write about all God has done in my life and share His truths in order to give others hope. But, after that moment in the fall of 2013, my posts became more and more morose; at least they seemed that way to me. I became tired of always writing about my shattered dreams and my heavy heart. I didn’t want to be a blogger who only wrote about sadness, and so I stopped. I figured people would become tired of only finding writings about pain at my site. I felt like a broken record; and, a broken record that kept on hitting that annoying scratch right when the best part of the song was about to play. (Those of you who grew up listening to vinyl records will know exactly how annoying that is!)

I am tired of staring at the spot where my treasure sank. I am tired of the pain and waiting for the wound to heal. The cloud that seems to completely cover me for days on end has to go! Jeanne reminds me that I have a choice: I can keep staring at the spot where my treasure sank, or I can watch the ripples and see what God is doing. I choose the latter. And so, in 2016, I am determined to get my life back; the life that God has planned for me. I’m not sure exactly what that will mean for my blog, but you can be sure I will be writing again…and watching the ripples to see the beauty God has planned!


In His Grip,







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22 comments

  1. I'm tired of staring at that same spot, too, Joan. Let's hold hands as we watch the ripples together. Love, Gleniece

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  2. Thank you, Gleniece! You've been with me since the beginning of this and I so appreciate you sticking with me! Yes, let's encourage one another as we watch what God is going to do!


    Blessings, Joan

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  3. Oh, Joan, my dear friend!! I know that ache so well, too...in a bit of a different way, but the ache is there, all the same. I don't know the details fully of the "why" of what happened, but I don't need to, in order to have empathy. There were times when I have thought, "If that happened to me and my child, I don't know how I would respond...probably not in a positive manner." Sharing your hurt and pain in your blog will never feel repetitive to me. Also, knowing that we share a faith in the One who can (and I trust will) hear our prayers, carry you through this (on the rough days especially), continue to sanctify you and heal your hurt in time, and most of all answer the prayers in His timing and way. Also, always know that even when you aren't the most lovable at times, you are always loved. My prayer will continually will be for healing, salvation of your daughter and her family, and re-uniting with her. I'm also glad to hear that you will be writing again! I have always loved reading your blogs!!
    Love and prayers, Ann <3

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  4. Hi Ann! Thank you for your sweet comment. I'm glad to be back writing in this space and am looking forward to how God will lead me in the weeks and months to come! Life is so good and I am so blessed. I want to focus on the halves and not on the half-nots, you know?! I do have hope that God will heal my heart and that whatever has happened within our daughter will also be healed. He is a great big God and I am trusting Him!


    Love, Joan

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  5. God knit our hearts together, Sister. I will never stop praying for you and your family and for the healing of those wounds as only God can do. Love you and looking forward to reading your heart here in this space as you feel led. <3 Heart Hugs

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  6. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do in you and through you!

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  7. Ahh Joan, you have just described what I have been going through too. I found it difficult to write about my hurt when I couldn't find a way through it. I so love that description of being where your treasure sunk. It is so true how we remain stuck for a bit. I trust the Lord help you move from that place of being stuck, through your writings and encouraging of others.
    God bless my friend. You may not have written too much but you didn't disappear thank goodness!!!!
    Lots of love
    Tracy

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  8. Thank you, Shelly! You have a big heart. Love you! Joan

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  9. I'm so sorry you have been stuck staring at that place, too...But, God will help move us as we look to Him! No, I couldn't disappear! The connections I have found in this space have and are such a blessing! God is so good!


    Blessings, Joan

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  10. So glad I am your neighbour at Telling His Story this week. Blessings as you take steps with Him into this new year with courage and grace

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  11. Hi Katharine! Thanks for your encouragement as I step forward in 2016! Blessings, Joan

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  12. God Bless You. I have had losses that took years to heal. Just keep giving it to the Healer.

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  13. So glad to be reading your blog again. Thanks so much for visiting and linking up with us! I know losses are hard and wounds took time to heal, but trust in your God that is your healer. Keep writing! Blessings

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  14. Thank you, Susan! I will...I am trusting Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  15. Hi Tayrina! I'm happy to be back writing and am excited to see what God has in store for this year! Blessings to you!
    Joan

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  16. Love you so much, Joan! Praying for you as you step out with courage. Hugs

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  17. Thanks so much, Lyli! I know that with God, it's an exciting journey! Blessings, Joan

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  18. Joan, I'm sorry if my comment on your Job blog seemed callous, since I hadn't read this one first...I don't know the specifics (nor do I need to know), but I too have a daughter, and did receive a text a few months ago that broke my mother heart. However, she is a strong woman and got past it, even though she's not walking with the Lord. Still, if I stay in that moment, and relive that heartache I felt at the moment, it's not healthy, especially if she has moved past it! Only a mother can understand the pain...but I'm glad that you've made the decision not to stay there. Blessings to you today and like the eagle on the bottom of your page, I pray that you will soar on the wings of God, as He takes you on a blessed journey this year.

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    1. Hi Mary! Your comment didn't seem callous at all. It actually described how I've been! Our daughter has chosen to not be part of our family anymore. She wants to go her own way and that way doesn't include any of us. That is the moment I have been fixated on...the moment she said "good-bye". But, even though I pray for her every day, I also need to remember that God sees her. He is doing a work within her...I am trusting Him for that! And so, I need to move forward. I need to live the life that He has for me. Though my heart still aches, I can't shut myself off to the rest of the world anymore, you know? Grief is a unique thing and it takes time to sort through. But, I'm trusting God and I'm hanging onto Him.

      Being a Mom comes with ups and downs, doesn't it? But I wouldn't trade it for anything!

      Blessings, Joan

      P.S. I took that picture of the eagle last year on the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon/Washington border! He was something to see!

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  19. Joan - Thank you so much for linking up and sharing such a beautiful story and being vulnerable to the pain and wounds . . . . that why I write and I am glad because than I can connect with others like you :) I look forward to seeing you more and reading more of your thoughts .. my prayers go out to you!

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    1. Hi Karen! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I'm so glad to be back writing and sharing with others. Thank you for your prayers!

      Blessings, Joan

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