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Now What?

I write this blog hoping it will be of some help to those who are going or have gone through deep grief.

Many of you know what it feels like to wake up one day and you are the only one left in your household. For those who have not experienced this feeling I ask you to use your imagination.

Imagine that everyone in your household has died, except you. Hopefully you have people around you for support and comfort.

The time will come though when the outpour of support will lessen or come to an end. Then you realize that this is real, it’s not a dream.

Now what? You have many things you must deal with. Should you move or not move. If you own your home the question of whether you should sell or not sell. In some cases that decision may be made for you based upon your financial situation. Remember, you not only lost everyone in your household, but you lost their financial support as well.

Now what? Many people are telling you not to make any major decisions for at least a year. You say to yourself, that’s okay, I’m finding it hard enough to decide what to cook for dinner or even if I will eat dinner.

Now what? There are many things that you once shared with other family members that you must learn to take care of yourself. You are learning or trying to learn how to shop and cook for just one person. The duties such as cleaning, repairs and maintenance are on your shoulders.

I don’t have to imagine the above scenario; I’m living it every day. Yes, things have changed and I can’t say I know the answer to the question “Now What?”

I remember many times Jo Ann mentioned the song they had sung at her eighth grade graduation.  Below is that song:

You’ll Never Walk Alone
by Rodgers & Hammerstein

When you walk through a storm
Keep your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone. 

 

My faith in God has helped me understand that tomorrow isn’t promised to me and that He is always with me. He is not just watching as I travel on this road of life but he is walking with me. In some cases he is carrying me.

……I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6 

I’m posing the question, “Now What?” to God and I must trust His answer.

Donna Snapp

The Road of Grief

I’ve walked this road before, but this time it’s more difficult to walk. 

The road of grief is a very hard road to travel. Many have or will walk the road of grief sometime in their life.

The meaning of the word grief: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.

For many of you that have followed Jo Ann’s blog you know that for many years Jo and I took care of our mother. Mom had several strokes in her lifetime which paralyzed the left side of her body taking away her ability to walk.

The last six months of Mom’s life she was confined to her bed unable to do anything for herself. We fed her, bathed her and took care of all her needs. Jo Ann and I were very thankful that we were able to do this for Mom.

Mom went to be with Jesus Oct. 29, 2013. It was a sorrowful time that was mixed with the joy of knowing Mom was in heaven able to walk, run and was healed of the damage the strokes had caused.

We were grieving her death, which is normal even when you know someone is with Jesus. We missed hearing her laughter and seeing her beautiful blue eyes. Still grieving the loss of Mom the unthinkable happened. On November 29, 2013 exactly 30 days from the day Mom went to be with Jesus Jo Ann joined Mom in heaven.

Returning home after running a few errands I walked into the house and found Jo Ann on the floor next to the dining table. She was already blue and not breathing. My efforts to revive her were useless. Through tears and shock I called 911.

I can’t fully explain the shock I was feeling. The 911 dispatcher had me go and sit on the front porch to wait for the ambulance. When I stood to get the attention of the ambulance driver I felt like I was going to fall to the ground. It seemed as if all the strength had gone out of my body. By the grace of God I was able to stand and directed the ambulance driver to the house.

The paramedics could do nothing to help Jo Ann she was already with Jesus. The sheriff who had arrived at the same time as the ambulance called the coroner.

I called my Pastor, who with his wife and daughter came quickly to my house. I called my family in Indiana and California. My neighbors came over as soon as they saw the ambulance at the house.

The next few days were busy with making the necessary arrangements.

The funeral being over we each had to go back to our everyday lives, each one of us walking our road of grief.

Grief comes in waves. I think I’m doing okay and then it hits me. The tears begin to flow and the pain is so intense. I cry out to God, soon I feel his warm embrace.

I’m learning the road of grief is a long road with a lot of unexpected twist and turns. On this road I have felt disbelief, discouragement, anger, uncertainty and many other emotions. I have even been jealous that Mom and JoAnn are in heaven having a great time and I’m here feeling all this sadness.

One of my neighbors said to me “God will not give you all his grace at one time, but he will give it to you as you need it”. How true this statement has been to me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

May God comfort and help everyone that is walking the Road of Grief.

Donna Snapp

To Say I’m Grateful

I’ve not felt much like writing the last few weeks since the loss of my dear mother. I start to write an update on my blog but end up waiting.

I am grateful that my mother is no longer a prisoner to her bed.

I am grateful that I know without a doubt, from her own last words and the vision she saw before leaving us, that she is with Jesus, her best buddy and dearest friend.

I am grateful that she gave us her blessing for a long, active life with no problems, and I know she was sincerely sure that will be the case.

I am grateful that God kept her at peace and in no pain on her journey from this life to heaven.

I am grateful to know that I will see her again in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, to be with her again. I miss her so very much, but would not want her to return from where she is now, where she is able to jump up and down after years of living in a body that didn’t work and she is praising God in person, face to face with her precious, sweet Jesus.

I am grateful that I know heaven is real.

My Mom is Walking with Jesus

Just a quick note to let everyone know my Momma went to be with Jesus early Tuesday morning. She went peaceably, praising God she was ready. We are sad, we will miss her very much but we are rejoicing that she is no longer in the bed or wheelchair but in the presence of her Lord and Savior. As she says, He was her best buddy throughout all the years.

God’s Will is Always the Best

Have you ever begged and pleaded to God for something that you wanted, knowing it HAD to be God’s will and you did not receive the answer you expected? Our human perspectives can cloud our prayers on many occasions. The Word covers these types of prayers.
We have not because we don’t ask, but there is another sentence to that admonition. We have not because we ask amiss. That part tells me there is a caveat to what God will answer.
God knows our hearts and even beyond what we can see or comprehend, He knows when we are asking in His will or outside of His will. How do we decide then what to ask God?
We ask the Father what we will in the name of Jesus. He says ask anything in Jesus’ name and it shall be given to us that our Joy may be full.
Jesus asked what He wanted of the Father. He asked of the Father that “this cup”  be taken from Him. Then He prayed what we should all pray after asking of God and that is, nevertheless, not what I will but what You will or in another text said, nevertheless not My will but Thy will be done.

Jesus was the Son of God. He knew why He had come, yet, living in the flesh, He had come to love and care for the people He was to die for. His cry and His prayer went deeper than not wanting to leave His disciples.

Jesus knew that He would have to take on the sins of the world, He who knew no sin, and in doing that He knew God would have to turn away from Him. He had never been disconnected from the God head and that was what grieved Jesus. That was what He prayed would not happen.

God tells us to pray for our needs and beyond because He says ask anything. The part that carries the most weight is that we are to ask in Jesus’ name. That means according to His Word and His will.
Just as with Jesus, God’s will is not always the easy way. God will give us Joy unspeakable and full of glory. That is not happiness or sadness that comes and goes in this life. Joy is eternal and when we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it will be that Joy that endures. God’s will is always the best answer we can receive.

Big Thank You to Sisters

I would like to take time on this blog to give a big thank you to my sister who recently took it upon herself to become my public relations person.

She’s already my cover maker and accounting person, for which I am so grateful, because right now it is virtually a non-paying position. By the records she has set in place, you would think I was a top rank author!! Everything so professional and precise.

She just finished my new website on WordPress. I am a technologically illiterate person, so I’ve no idea how she did it, but take a look at it. I think it is great. She gave me a page just for blogs, one for my books and one for introducing me to the world. She, of course, being a perfectionist says it needs more work and keeps searching for better ways.

I thank God she is my sister sibling and my sister in the Lord and that she is using her God-given talent in this way. She also says, give praise to God, since her field is accounting and she has no training in web tech.

I have to give credit where it is due. I know she trusts God, but I also know how very intelligent she is and computer skills come naturally to her. Yes, it is hit and miss learning but she keeps at it until she gets what she wants.

Me? I don’t have a clue where to start except for writing. I’m so afraid of bombing the computer files, I freeze up. Sis says, you can always delete and start over!! Her analytical mind.

Just thought I would share one of my blessings.

To Help a Friend

I have an author friend in England who has done some very good devotional books. She has asked if I could get the word out about her new book. How to pray is the topic. I have done some critique work with the author and find the book inspiring.
From the author, Marion Stroud: (author of dozens of devotional books)
“My new book ‘It’s Just You and Me Lord’ will be in Sam’s Club, in time for Mother’s Day. If I was in the US, I’d know what to do in order to make people aware that it can be bought from there. But from here I’m definitely working in the dark! I should imagine that hundreds of thousands know about Sam’s Club who would never do anything about going to a Christian bookstore or do direct order from Discovery House. And I long for the book to get to those for whom prayer is a mystery.”

If you need help in knowing how to pray and like a good devotional book, please check out Sam’s Club for Marion Stroud’s,  “It’s Just You and Me Lord.”  I hope you will find the book encouraging.

It’s a New Year to Praise the Lord

The other day we were talking about the 2000 panic and I can hardly believe that has been thirteen years ago.

It reminds me of many things in our lives, some of which cause such distress leading up to an incident or event and then it becomes the past and we wonder how we got through it but we did.

I try to use the Y2K event when thinking about people who seem to have no hope that there is a better tomorrow. People who may decide what they are facing will never change, will never get better, would do well to count the times in their lives that seemed to be overwhelming for them to get through and how many of those events are now in the past and they did get through.

Many times I think back to school and the anxiety of completing a project or taking a test or having to meet new people. At the time I could see no solution, no good outcome but looking back, after decades, at all the things I came out of on the other side, I see how trivial those times were in the scheme of eternity.

I look at the growing rate of suicides and I mourn and I pray that those in depression would listen to the voice of God. That there will be a time when they will be able to take charge of their circumstances. They will be in control but they need to realize that there is a light on the other side of what they are facing now, and God has a plan for each person if they will listen.

The Word says to Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. The more we commune with God the more we can realize that our desires should be unto Him. That’s where the peace, the contentment, the joy and the bubbling up of Praise for our heavenly Father begins.

The more we follow after God’s plan, the more we praise Him for His everyday goodness, the closer we become a part of Him, the more we will realize this world is not our home, we are just passing through. If we know Christ as our Saviour, our confidant, our friend the more we will realize we have an exciting eternity when we are called home…on God’s schedule, not ours.

So while I’m here I will serve Him and praise Him gladly and look forward with joy, as Paul did, to the time when I finish my course and I receive what God has prepared for those that love Him, those redeemed by Christ Jesus.

I Spoke to Soon

On my last blog I said I would try to release my new Norma Jean’s Mystery, Body in the Barrel, by Christmas. I’ve been doing some editing on the draft and have decided it needs more work but I am hoping for January 15th.

I sometimes get impatient and try to rush things but I always want to put out only the best work so I am drawing back some on this one. It will be the fifth in the series so I want it to be good.

Unfortunately, I am like that in other parts of my life, impatient I mean. I want the best results in my witness for Christ but many times try to take a short cut rather than patiently wait upon the Lord.

You know how you sometimes want to just grab someone by the collar that you’ve witness to over and over and say, “Why can’t you see how much God loves you?” But that kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

I am determined to be more patient in my work and in my dealing with those who are in darkness of sin and need to be drawn to the light of Jesus. I many times have to go back to the gospels and see how patient Jesus was with the lost. His most stern words were not to the people in darkness who had never heard, but to the religious leaders who walked with fake piety. What did he call them?
Whited sepulchers full of dead men’s bones? Clean on the outside but corrupt on the inside.

Chastisement from God is not a bad thing for His children. The Bible says it shows that He is our loving father, we are truly His child. I pray always for the chastisement of God as His child when I need to be taught by the Truth. I don’t want to go on without His light to show me the pathway to take when I get impatient and try to take short-cuts. Thank God for discipline.

I Can Relate

Seeing the tremendous effects of the storm Sandy brought back memories of 2008 Arkansas floods. Gratefully, by God’s great hand we didn’t lose our house. The interior and all our things were mostly destroyed, then when the second one hit a month later, all our things we had out to dry went down river. It was a devastating time but with God’s help and many caring people we came out on the other side.

I would like to encourage any of the flood victims to hang on. It may look impossible right now to recover but slowly and surely things will get back to normal. It took over two years, but we have our house back in order.

Actually much of the stuff we lost I can’t even remember now, but there are some keepsakes, photos and memories that I think about every once in a while. Then I just praise God we lost no life (we were rescued just hours before our house was under seven feet of water in a very miraculous way).

My mother is totally disabled and many times it comes to me about how blessed we were to have God send someone to us. We didn’t realize the magnitude of what was going to happen, and I truly do not know how we could have gotten my mom to safety under seven feet of water. Every time I think  of it, I praise the Lord for His deliverance.

We are praying for those who believe they have lost everything but are blessed with life to start over and also for those who lost loved ones, that God would give the peace and comfort He promises. It is a promise put to test in my life and I found it to be fulfilled to the uttermost.