The church building didn’t explode!

It’s a new year, 2017.  I do believe in God, my creator, the Creator of the universe, and have my own personal relationship with Him/Her.  I couldn’t be without some type of relationship since I was raised in the Georgia Bible Belt  going to Sunday school and church and learning all the Bible stories, and hearing all the rhetoric from behind pulpits. I was a country girl from a family on my grandmother’s side that came from Appalachian roots. My church history covers being born into the old fashioned hell fire brimstone (no snake handling) spirit filled holy roller Pentecostal with baptisms in  muddy river waters, to being married the first time into the Methodist,  visiting the Baptist across the street, and later in life visiting the Catholic, Episcopalian,  Presbyterian and non-denominational.

What’s this got to do with “Becoming a Widow?”  Well the point is, not belonging to a group like a church family leaves a person without one more type of life support system.

At a point in life I stopped going to church.  Too much confusion for me in all the different teachings and rhetoric.  I also read a lot, and not just the Bible which I can quote as well as anyone.  The issue is that reading a lot gives alternative insights into the history of all religions, and after a lot of historical reading and researching, I found myself talking directly to God to find my path and understanding.  I talked to God in my house,  on the beach, in the car, in the woods, but stayed away from a church building where I feel guilty going if I don’t want to put money in a plate to support its expenses and causes. I prefer to know where my money is going.  I like handing it out myself to whoever I’m led to give it to, or give it directly to whatever needy program I personally support.

So, anyone can see from that, I’m not good church group material. But, to begin the new year on a positive note, because my heart wanted to, I asked a friend if I could attend church with her.  She was thrilled.  She and I are very different in some of our spiritual beliefs, but we respect those differences and love each other unconditionally.

In the church service, I missed holding a hymnal with the traditional songs.  I didn’t fill out the card so anyone could call me or knock on my door (which a woman did from another church in the past). I don’t know what class 101 means or what a small group is.  But the pastor’s message was one I needed to hear to begin 2017.  God doesn’t want me to drag the past pain and disappointments into this new year.  He/She wants me to look forward with what He/She has prepared for the new chapter of my future.

So, I have written this personal prayer: “Lord help me go forward living without sadness filling my heart because my husband David and son Patrick are not here with me in the flesh, but now live back with you in that place where they were before they ever were born to earth in the first place. I’m happy they are with you, for it has beauty and peace with no comprehension.  I’m just sad for myself because I miss my family so and all we had.  They were my life, but that was a past chapter in the book already written for my life.  Help me now to accept the past with joy that two great men of my life blessed me greatly but now live well, healed, whole, and at peace as my guardian angels, while I move forward into a future just waiting on me to give me fullness of joy and blessings.  And with that, Lord, provide me with gentleness, humility, and patience to make this new year the best for me and those whose lives I touch. And, one more thought, I’m sure  you probably do have a church home where my talents and beliefs can be of use. Than you for listening. Amen”

So, the church building didn’t explode when I entered its doors because I was meant to be there to receive a message to help begin my new year on a very positive note, and share time with my special girl friend, my soul sister who loves me as I am as she also travels her new path of “Becoming a widow.”

Locate my books:  Heart of a Hawk: One family’s sacrifice & journey toward healing  AND Surviving the Folded Flag: Parents of war share stories of coping, courage, and faith at  or

Love’s Return @

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