Will The Circle Be UnBroken?

There are times in my life, where I’d like to freeze time—there is so much joy, so much laughter, so much love.  Then there are times of unbearable pain and sadness. Much of time however, is filled with routine, with tasks to be performed, and with service to others.

At any given moment, time is like a snapshot, and whatever one is focused on for that picture, will correspondingly bring thoughts like, “I love life!!”  or “This is the pits!!”

There is one thought that helps me endure when I think I can’t endure one more second–and that is the thought that this “Time” is not all there is.   The pain will end someday, but the joy of life, the love of life, the meaning of life—that has no end.   That will continue beyond this “Time”.

I am very, very glad that God has limited “Time” for each of us.   Most people do not live beyond the age of 80, some live to 100 years of age, very, very few live beyond that age.   I know that the pain of losing others on this earth and missing others—makes me eager to rejoin them in heaven.  Yet, I also want to stay on earth as long as God wants me to stay—-for the sake of the loved ones that are still here—to be a part of their lives, to love them, to serve them.

“Will the Circle be unbroken”, is a song that expresses the thought of being reunited with our loved ones in heaven. 

My husband asked for this song to be sung at our son’s funeral.   I am sharing a really old version of the song–but I really love it–however we had the following verses sung at Sean’s funeral–not the ones in the song I am sharing.

Will The Circle Be Unbroken

There are loved ones in the glory, 

Whose dear forms you often miss; 

When you close your earthly story, 

Will you join them in their bliss?


Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, Lord, by and by?

There’s a better home awaiting

In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

In the joyous days of childhood, 

Oft they told of wondrous love, 

Pointed to the dying Saviour; 

Now they dwell with Him above.

Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, Lord,  by and by?

There’s a better home awaiting

In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

You remember songs of heaven

Which you sang with childish voice, 

Do you love the hymns they taught you, 

Or are songs of earth your choice?

Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, Lord, by and by?

There’s a better home awaiting

In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

You can picture happy gath’rings

‘Round the fireside long ago, 

And you think of tearful partings, 

When they left you here below.

Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, Lord, by and by?

Is a better home awaiting

In the sky, Lord, in the sky?

One by one their seats were emptied, 

And one by one they went away; 

Now the family is parted, 

Will it be complete one day?

Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, Lord, by and by?

There’s a better home awaiting

In the sky, in the sky?

Johnny Cash, Nitty Gritty Band and others singing–

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

May We Be Encouraged!!

The Fixer

One of the hardest things about living on this earth is seeing the ones I love in pain, and suffering.

I want to fix it and make it all better for them.

When my children were young, it seemed that I could “fix” things for them. I could, “kiss” the boo-boo, I could nurse them back to health, I could plan an excursion for them, to cheer them up.

Not only can I not “fix” things for others, but I also cannot “fix” things for myself.

The following song has been speaking greatly to me these days, and I thought I would share the lyrics with you all.  These are the words that are really resonating with me:  There’s freedom in surrender.  Lay it down and let it go.

I love that contrast of words—freedom and surrender.  I want freedom—freedom from the trials and tribulations of life—from the problems of life—-I think most people want freedom.   However, the path to freedom is surrender.  It involves surrendering myself to God—I’m fine with giving Him, my problems—and surrendering those to Him—I’m not so good with surrendering myself to Him.  That is a spiritual battle—and involves fighting several lies.

These are the two biggest lies I fight:  God doesn’t really love me—-(I look at all the bad things that have happened in my life to confirm this lie.)  Therefore—I can’t really trust Him with my life.

The lyrics-–If your eyes are on the storm, you’ll wonder if I love you still, but if your eyes are on the cross, you’ll know I always have and I always will—–mean so much to me—because they help me to focus on the proof of God’s love for me.

“For God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

  God is perfectly just, and perfectly loving—all these things are found in the cross of Jesus.

He satisfied His justice– by Jesus dying to pay the penalty for each of our sins.   He satisfied the love He has for us—by Jesus dying to pay the penalty for each of our sins.  

When I start doubting God’s love for me, because of the storms of my life—I can fight those doubts by remembering the cross—God’s proof of His love for me.

So, enjoy this song—and be encouraged—for God loves us—He always has, and He always will!!

Just Be Held

Lyrics: Hold it all together

 Everybody needs you strong

 But life hits you out of nowhere

 And barely leaves you holding on

 And when you’re tired of fighting

Chained by your control

There’s freedom in surrender

 Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

 You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held

 Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place

 I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

 Just be held, just be held

 If your eyes are on the storm You’ll wonder if I love you still

 But if your eyes are on the cross You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted

 In time, you’ll understand

 I’m painting beauty with the ashes

Your life is in My hands

 Lift your hands, lift your eyes

 In the storm is where you’ll find Me

 And where you are, I’ll hold your heart

 I’ll hold your heart

 Come to Me, find your rest In the arms of the God who won’t let go.

Running to the Father

Month ago, I wrote about going through a time of being shaken.  In case you wondered—that time is still going on, and the shaking grows worse.  Sometimes I wonder if I am going to survive.  I find myself crying often.  I don’t even wear eye makeup anymore.  What is the point?  It will just get cried off.

So, what is to be done?  That’s just the thing—the circumstances are ones that I have no control over.  None.  They involve loved ones and their choices, and their illnesses.  So, I pray, I grieve, I speak truth and love into situations, hoping to comfort and encourage, and bless. I serve, I give, but I have absolutely no control. 

None whatsoever.  I know that I am facing the reality that I will lose people I love here on this earth.  I know that I am facing others ruining and wrecking their lives here on this earth.

So what is to be done?  Do I rail at God—hoping my anger, and my ire will motivate Him to move!!

Do I rail at the circumstances, hoping my anger will change the circumstances?

Do I pray, and pray, and pray, hoping my prayers will change the circumstances?  Yes—this is what I opt to do.  What I am finding, is that my prayers are not changing the circumstances—but I am changing.

I am changing from anger to acceptance.  I am changing from despair to hope.  Not hope that everything will turn out the way I want it to turn out—but hope that God will prevail over the darkness.  It is a hope that persists in spite of the circumstances.  It is a hope that is quiet and deep and stays.

It’s source is from God—so it is an immovable hope—or as Bill Sweeney, fellow blogger said, “An Unshakeable Hope.”   One of the blogs that Bill wrote, that I read this morning, is “One Day At A Time.”  Bill was diagnosed with ALS and had it for over 20 years before he passed away over a year ago.  I find the words of those who have suffered here on this earth and finished their races well—comfort me during my own suffering.   So here is the link to this blog:  https://unshakablehope.com/2013/07/29/one-day-at-a-time-2/          I hope it helps you as it did me.

May you be encouraged!!


We are approaching the anniversary of my son’s passing.  My son Sean died 8 years ago.  His accident was on September 16th, and he was declared dead on September 17, 2013.

I want to talk about a difficult subject—the subject of coming along side someone in grief.

When Sean died, others sought to come along side of us and help us—and there was a great outpouring of service and love and help.

But there was also silence from those we “expected” help from.  My mom told me a story, that helped me understand.  You see, my mom’s sister lost 2 of her children and her husband within a 6-month space of time.  My mom said that at times she was so overwhelmed in her own grief that it was hard to help her sister in her grief.  She did help her sister—but it wasn’t easy.

This has helped me to understand that I and my husband and children weren’t the only ones who were grieving when Sean died.  Others needed grace in their grieving as well. They may have been grieving Sean or they may have been grieving something else going on in their own lives.

Also, I came to realize that no one—not my husband, not my other children, not my extended family, no friend—could ever meet my deepest needs—only God could do that.  

That is not to say that others do not have a role to play in helping others who are grieving.

Right now, there is a family who has lost their dad.  Another friend and I have been trying to organize others to help them.  This friend frequently tells me with great passion: “We are apart of the body of Christ, we are His hands and His feet, and God wants us to move and help others.”

She is absolutely right. 

My mom and my Aunt, (who lost her family members), came most frequently to help with–well everything. Other family members also came to help.

After Sean died, a neighbor down the street from us, a sister in Christ, organized meals for us for 2 months—and people from all the churches in my town signed up to bring us a meal.

People came right after Sean died and cleaned our house.

A couple friend, (in the Pastorate), meet with us for over a year, once a week, and provided grief counseling, and friendship.

My best friends took my children on excursions and spent time with me.

All amazing things.

I also experienced rejection, conflicts, loss of friendship, and silence from others.

In reading others’ blogs—the good, the bad and the ugly are all typical and normal things to experience to those who have lost a loved one.

Grief—suffering—these are difficult, difficult things.  Grace, kindness and gentleness with oneself and with others are needed during these times.  Mostly, and above all else—God’s sustaining spirit is what is needed and is available to each of us, for the asking.

One of the worst things for my spirit, was to hang onto bitterness and unforgiveness.  God has frequently pried my hands off these ugly things I was hanging onto and told me with grace and gentleness that He had something better for me to hang onto—Him!! 

In saying this—I do not want to minimize the hurt that is felt by the grieving party, over the lack of caring they may be experiencing.  I understand the hurt.  I too, have felt the hurt.

Rather, I want to give a way for the hurt party to understand that they are not alone—others have walked the same path and have found freedom from the hurt in forgiveness and in the presence of God.

If you are grieving right now, I am praying for you!!  I would appreciate your prayers for my family and myself.  Thank you!

God’s Faithfulness — Unshakable Hope

A month before Bill went to heaven, he sent me an email.  The top line read: “If I go home: Don’t think for a minute that God failed us!  You know how faithful God has been.”  He continued with a list of things that I needed to take care of (his book, his funeral, etc.), […]

God’s Faithfulness — Unshakable Hope

I read this blog tonight, and was so impressed with this woman’s story–what an encouragement to God’s faithfulness. I hope it encourages you as it has encouraged me.