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Grieving, Empty Places, and a Sad Anniversary
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Beloved Ones:

Have you ever noticed that you seem to struggle for no apparent reason during certain times of the year? I struggle with depression and binge eating this time every year and did not figure out why until one year ago today. It hit me out of the blue again tonight just like it did last year. One year ago today, I stumbled across a website for parents of murdered children. It is an online memorial, and I scrolled down the page to this entry on the murder wall:

http://www.pomc.com/2.cfm
Lisa Renee Triggs
August 6, 1970 - May 21, 1986

How like God to reveal this to me on the anniversary of such a painful loss. When I ask Him why I am struggling, He is always faithful to show me.

Lisa was my best friend. She was raped and murdered 17 years ago tonight during our sophomore year in high school. Frown She was my first and only true friend. Others used me for what they wanted, but Lisa loved me unconditionally and accepted me “as is.”

Grandpa was my other childhood friend. My father abandoned me when I was a baby, and my grandparents basically raised me until I was 9 years old. Mom quit work at that time and started keeping me at home with her. That is when she put me on my first diet. Grandma and Grandpa loved me unconditionally and fed me while Mom criticized me for my appearance and starved me. It is really no mystery how I came to develop all these emotional ties to food.

My beloved Grandma was called home on July 16, 1994. My beloved Grandpa was called home on January 31, 2003. I am missing Grandma and Grandpa right now. Frown I feel so empty and overwhelmed with the sense that I am all alone in this world. Frown I was laughing and having a great time with my sisters in the forum tonight until this tidal wave washed over me. My heart literally aches right now. Frown I know that Jesus is with me, but I am dying for human companionship right now. My primary love languages are physical touch and quality time. I need a hug tonight.

I am missing Lisa more than words can say after all these years. Frown It still hurts. I never grieved her death properly. My mother would not allow me to attend her funeral because I would cry and mess up my makeup and have to return to school looking like that. Anything less than a perfect appearance was unacceptable in my home. Frown I was 15 years old. I had never been to a funeral before. A beer truck ran over my kitten on the golf course 6 months earlier, but I had never before lost a human loved one. Frown We watched filthy movies as a family and talked about sex freely in our home, but we were not allowed to discuss death. My stepfather would freak out if we mentioned it. Now that I think about it, a lot of things went on behind closed doors that I was warned not to discuss with anyone outside our home. I learned to stuff my fears and feelings down with food. That became my love, my comfort, my best friend, and a powerful painkiller.

The last thing Lisa and I did together was take a driver’s education class at school. What a hoot! We retired the teacher. I am serious. He was the football coach, and he did not come back after teaching us to drive. Red Face Lisa ran into the chain-link fence around the driving range then put the car in reverse and backed into the concession stand. I was driving down the road during the on-road portion of my training when I saw a Christmas tree in the middle of the road. It was not really a Christmas tree because this was in May, but it looked like one. The coach was gazing intently at his clipboard. I asked the coach if that double-yellow line down the center of the road meant “no passing no matter what.” He told me that I was correct. Being a perfectionist who tried to keep the law, I swerved to the right and attempted to pass the Christmas tree by driving on the sidewalk. I did not quite make it, and I got the tree caught up underneath the front end of the car. The coach had a great sense of humor. He thought it was good for me that there were no police officers in the area; otherwise, I would have gotten my first ticket for attempting to pass a Christmas tree illegally to the right on a sidewalk. Big Grin (I had my first accident when I was 16 years old. I ran a red light and hit a cop driving through the intersection in a marked police car!)

Enough of the comic relief. The only “support” I received in the aftermath of Lisa’s murder was a lecture from my stepfather. He entered my bedroom while I was crying hysterically and warned me not to do something stupid like kill myself. He told me that Lisa was in a cold, dark place where she would be forever because he did not believe in heaven and wanted me to know that I would end up in a cold grave if I tried to join her. He was partially right because I would have spent eternity in hell, but he was wrong about Lisa and heaven. Lisa knew Jesus. I did not. I often wonder why God saved her from a suicide attempt only to allow her to die such a brutal death a year later and why He allowed me to live at all. (Please understand that I am grateful that He kept me alive until He saved my soul, and I do trust His sovereignty.) God gave Lisa a second chance after her suicide attempt. She turned her life around. She would be serving Him now and glorifying Him with her life. To the contrary, my life is a total mess. I blew it again tonight. I found myself at an all-you-can-eat buffet trying to stuff my empty places with food and drowning my sorrows in sweet tea. Why do I do the things I do? Why do I still hurt after all this time? I know that Jesus can fill these empty places, but will He? How do I let Him? Love can make me whole again. I believe. I want that. I am desperate for Him. I cannot change myself. I simply cannot. I am tired and weary from years of trying and failing. It seems easier to stay in the pit because I do not have the energy to get back up and fall down one more time. Frown

Love in Christ,
Heather B. * Beloved Heather * SonShine

[This message was edited by BelovedHeather on May 21, 2003 at 09:55 PM.]
 
Posts: 534 | Location: Texas | Registered: September 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heather, my dear friend,

Honey, climb out of the pit and lay yourself at the foot of the cross and stay there. The pit is no place for a child of the KING!! God can heal all your hurting and empty places. He can because He is El Shaddai.

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run to it and are safe."

Run to Him, Heather, RUN TO HIMMMM!!!!! He understands your pain in ways that we cannot. He loves you so much and He is there with you right now. Hang on to Him for dear life and do not let go until you feel His peace surrounding you.

I, my friend, understand grieving loss of a loved one. The Lord called my earthy father home in February over 30 years ago. Still after 30 years, without any effort on my part, I am reminded of the events of that February 30 years ago. It still miss my dad.

Here's a big cyber hug for you........


I'm living under His umbrella of love and protection.
For a definition of HUPOMENO, see my webpage at http://www.geocities.com/hupoclo
 
Posts: 771 | Location: South Carolina, USA | Registered: September 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear Heather,

My heart is hurting for you tonite. You are in my prayers.

There are no easy answers. You've had alot of tough things to go through that no young child should have gone through. Have you ever been to counseling and been led through the grief process for all these things? (sorry, I'm not familiar with your history of things).

I know it has to be a constant filling of those empty places. If I don't continually fill them with Jesus, I tend to want to fill them with other things that aren't any better off than what left the empty place to begin with.

I'm praying for you my dear........

The Lord takes great delight in you and rejoices over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
 
Posts: 2190 | Location: FL | Registered: September 29, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heather, I just don't know what to say. I'm sorry you are hurting. It seems like you get into these pits of despair. Heather, your friend died 17 years ago and you seem to still be letting it grieve your heart. There is a difference between missing someone and grieving them. If you carry that grief for too long it will destroy you. I know what it is like to lose someone close to you to a tragic death, but there comes a time that you must let it go. You get into this pit and you let your flesh dictate what you are going to do. You don't just go buy a candy bar or something... you go to an all you can eat buffet!! Oh Heather, stop the insanity girl!! You need to learn discipline... yes discipline. You need to discipline your thought life. You are led by your thoughts and emotions.

We all go thru "bad days," but when they happen over and over again and the reaction to that bad day is self destructive there is something seriously wrong. Heather I am sad that you have chosen the path of self destruction. I am also sorry if I am not coming across as sympathetic to your needs, but to be honest, I think you need someone to speak truth into your life and let you see the destructive cycle you keep getting yourself into. You know it, but still you keep going around that same self-destructive mountain time and time again. What is it going to take to get you on the victorious path that Christ has offered you? Is this the way you are going to spend your life... by calendar events... by what someone has done to you... by what someone has said to you? Come on Heather, decide tonight that this is the night for change. You are NOT going to let your past dictate your future anymore!! You are going to rise above this and realize that YOU ARE STILL ALIVE for a purpose. The Lord found you, He did! He has brought you this far, but satan keeps pulling you back. Well, I say NO! he can't have you! So come on girl, ask Jesus to give you a new outlook on life. To open your eyes to His love and what all He is offering you. Heather, don't settle for less, Jesus paid too big of a price for less than your best.

~Blessings from the Bayou~

"The remarkable truth is that our choices matter, not just to us
and our own destiny but, amazingly, to God Himself and the universe He rules."
Philip Yancey
 
Posts: 6498 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: September 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Beloved Heather,
I am wondering... was the murderer ever caught and tried? The reason I ask is b/c I'm wondering if you had closure since you were not able to attend her funeral. Also wondering if it is a deep fear that you are experiencing??? The murder would have frightened you...and if the person was not caught, then the fear would have intensified.

I'm asking b/c it took me a while to discover the grief I felt over my dear murdered cousin was mixed with fear...and the root of a bad re-occuring dream. The dream kept the fear present or visa versa. Several of my close family members have been killed (6 of my 1st cousins on my mother's side) in accidents, but none affected me like the murder of my cousin.

It took realizing I was fearful for me to be able to deal with the grief. Fear is easier to handle than grief.... at least for me. Fear is straight from the roaring lion of satan. When I am fearful, I sing praises to the Lord and the fear is vanquished.

Being sad on the anniversary of a death can be turned around to be a healthy memorial to the person... like serving the Lord during the sad anniversary time will put things into perspective.

Serving, hiahcent <Wink))><<
 
Posts: 786 | Location: Bossier City, LA, USA | Registered: January 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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God Is Not Finished With Me Yet

Beloved Ones:

I apologize for posting this thread. Please forgive me. I got in the flesh again tonight. I realized as soon as I read Shari’s response that I should have gone straight to my Father, confessed it, and moved on instead of wallowing in it.

Cynthia, thank you for the words of encouragement and the cyber hug.

Grace, I went to a Christian counselor for 9 months in 1997-1998. That was before I was saved. I was really out of control back then (10 times worse than I am now if you can imagine that), and I was her first client. I was eating between 20,000 and 30,000 calories a day back then and sometimes ate until I passed out (even at work). I thought about an inpatient treatment center but decided to try this first. Being so young and inexperienced, she was overwhelmed by all my stuff. She never once shared the Gospel with me, and she told me that I would never find anything that filled me the way food does. She told me after 9 months of working with me that she had decided to give up her practice and go back to school. God used my case to help her see that she was on the wrong career path, and I met the Wonderful Counselor a few months later. I have had daily appointments with Him for almost 5 years now. If you think I am bad now, you would have freaked out if you had known me then. Wink

Hiahcent, I did not attend the trial and remember very little about it other than the fact that he had done this to many other girls. Because of that, he got off with an insanity defense. Frown I do not even remember his name, but I do remember reading a legal document several years after Lisa’s murder. He was asking the judge to grant him freedom to move to a less secure part of the mental hospital where he would be around other people (including women). I do not know what came of that.

It is interesting that you wrote about fear. I lived in constant fear after her murder. I was afraid to go out at night and became really fearful when I moved out on my own. I used to check in all the closets and under the bed before taking a bath or going to sleep at night and got out of bed several times each night to check the door locks. Eek The chains of fear fell away the moment Jesus saved me. He set me free from that stronghold. Smile I never had to actively fight it. There have been some isolated fears that have surfaced from time to time, but I have been able to combat them by praying the Word.

Shari, I do not know what to say either. I am so transparent, perhaps to a fault. Everyone tells me not to isolate myself and try to make it on my own, so I open up and share my failures even when I have to swallow my pride and confess habitual failures. Yes, I am caught in a cycle of sin and defeat. I am very compulsive and impulsive. I have not mastered this completely, but I am doing much better and learning to stop in the middle of a binge. I did not sit there for an hour tonight and eat until I was about to burst. I filled my plate with food, drank some tea, ate a few ounces of steak, half a baked potato, half a roll, a few other bites of food, and a few teaspoons of banana pudding. I realized what I was doing, sat there crying for a few minutes, pushed myself away from the table, and left the rest of the food on the plate. I ate nothing else the rest of the night. Not a bite. That is a huge victory for an all-or-nothing person like me. Six months ago, I would have said, “I have already blown it so I might as well eat everything in sight and start over in the morning.” Red Face

Running to food for comfort is a sin. I am not minimizing that. I am so frustrated because I cannot change my heart. I cannot conquer this “lust” for food. I was a straight-A student in school. I decided to quit drinking one summer morning 9 years ago. I just did it that day and never looked back! I was not even saved then. I did not even need the Lord’s help with that one. The Lord asked me to give up soft drinks a few years ago. No problem. The Lord asked me to give up chocolate (at least temporarily) last year. I gladly placed it on His altar. The Lord has called me to extended fasts in the past (as long as 40 days). I obeyed Him without a struggle. I joined a health club in January and started exercising an hour a day. I have counted calories and fat grams and been on all kinds of strict diets and started over 1,000 times with a fierce determination that this would be the last time. My attempts to “fix” this problem have only made me more focused on food and my body. Frown To be honest, I need deliverance because I have finally encountered a pit that I cannot “discipline” my way out of.

I do not always eat for emotional reasons. I am not constantly grieving. I did not even think about Lisa until tonight (at least not consciously). I asked the Lord why I was sitting in that place with a plate of food in front of me, and He brought her picture to mind. I ran to food last week because I was extremely stressed out. Many times, I catch myself stuffing food into my mouth and have no clue why I am doing that. I am very sensitive. I am very emotional. A lot of that is my personality. I love deeply with my heart and soul. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that causes me to be extremely vulnerable. There are many reasons why I started running to food in the first place. I am dealing with those as they surface. I do not need a “reason” to run to food now. My flesh defaults to self-destruct mode unless I am actively guarding against that. Red Face It is a stranglehold. Pure and simple. It is not the only one I have, but it seems to be the strongest one. I am sorry that you are disappointed in me for taking “the path of self-destruction.” Frown I cannot promise perfection, but I will try to do better (especially with my thought life).

It appears that God is making a way for me to start the Christlife Journey a week from Saturday. Cool This will be an interactive discipleship group that is designed to reinforce who I am in Christ and teach me how that applies to healing past wounds and overcoming habitual sins:

http://www.exchangedlife.org/Christlife%20Journey.htm

I cannot sleep more than a few hours each night, which does nothing to help my situation. I tend to make poor choices and battle mood swings when I am tired, but my body will not cooperate with me. If I go to bed early, I wake up several hours later. I do not want to get hooked on sleeping pills, so I am trying some “natural” remedies first.

I will try to post more encouraging messages. In the meantime, please be patient with me. I am still a work in process. God is not finished with me yet. Smile

Love in Christ,
Heather B. * Beloved Heather * SonShine

[This message was edited by BelovedHeather on May 22, 2003 at 03:00 AM.]
 
Posts: 534 | Location: Texas | Registered: September 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heather I love you! I am not disappointed, I am concerned! And you know I am not a mercy person... I have a tendency to come off as not understanding the situation, and that may be so. What I see is a never ending cycle of response in your life. I want to help you break that cycle. When you find yourself sinking into that self-destructive mode, whether by over eating or negative thinking, you have got to reach out to people that will help lift you up not keep you in your state of despair. DO NOT apologize for posting your feelings or your struggles... you are reaching out for help BUT realize that when you do reach out for help, some of what you are going to receive might hurt your feelings or rub you the wrong way. I feel part of your problem is that you have kept these feeling inside for to long. GET THEM OUT SISTER!!! We can handle it, but just don't be surprised by the responses from those that love you. WE LOVE YOU!!

You know I'm a lion, but that doesn't mean I don't have a heart, but I feel life is too short and Jesus sacrificed so much for me to live in freedom. As long as we wallow in our own misery and despair, we are not focused on Him. Encouragement is one of my gifts but when I am trying to encourage someone to move forward, I come off as hard hearted and not understanding the situation. Perhaps I am not the person to help you get throught this. You let me know when you want me to "back off." I won't be offended, but just remember, God is the one that connected us, you better make sure it is God that is separating us!!

~Blessings from the Bayou~

"The remarkable truth is that our choices matter, not just to us
and our own destiny but, amazingly, to God Himself and the universe He rules."
Philip Yancey
 
Posts: 6498 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: September 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heather, I love you and I care for you. I have thought of you many times over the last 6 mts. I know you had a bad experiance with counseling but it may be time to try again. THere are a few really good christian counselors out there that are strong in the word. IT sounds like you have many issues to work through from your childhood on. OUr God is more then sufficient to meet our needs but sometimes he meets our needs through other people, even professional help. YOU don't have to fight this battle alone, you have your heavenly father, you have all of us here on the forum and you need to surround yourself with others who are willing to support you and hold you to account. THink about exploring professional help. but be careful to find someone who will really be able to help you. Ask around to friends doctors you know and your church staff. I am sure there is someone with a good reputation in your area. I keep up with counselors in my area that think like I do , so I have some place safe to send my patients to. I Realize that because I am a medical professional that I tend to think in those terms but I have seen it work miracles in peoples lives. I hope you don't think I am preaching at you but I want you to be healthy and happy and serving the Lord.
ANd HEather IT does sound like you broke your cycle quicker this time. None of us will ever be perfect but God just keeps picking us up dusting us off and telling us to start again. GOod luck YOu are in my prayers. Patty
 
Posts: 758 | Location: Searcy,Arkansas ,USA | Registered: October 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Heather-

I just wanted you to know that I miss you and your little monkey! Big Grin


~~Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.~~

- James Bryant Conant
 
Posts: 3050 | Location: The Palmetto State | Registered: September 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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