I'm new here. But, I am certainly not new... that's for sure. Several months ago a friend suggested that I give blogging a try. It would be a great place to hold my writings and at least give them a voice.
When I got here and started looking into the particulars of blogging, the how, the what, the where and, OH MAN... did I mention the HOW? or WHY? ... I felt like I was the LAST ONE to arrive at a party that has been going on for quite some time. The Blogging Party. I never opened that invitation... must have gotten lost in a pile somewhere. Most of the blogs I've looked at have been up and running for a few years or more. Before I felt too out of the loop, it dawned on me why I haven't been at The Blogging Party.
Four years ago, I was helping to take care of my ailing, elderly parents. During that same period of time, my only brother was diagnosed with a terminal nuerological disease. Two years ago, my sister in law was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and last May my husband underwent brain surgery. Oddly, things seem to come in waves don't they... seasons, journeys, and changes. My mother passed away in 2008 at the age of 89. My brother passed away 10 months later at the age of 63. Nine months after that, my father passed away at the age of 91. Three months later, my husband underwent a successful brain surgery to remove a benign tumor on the auditory nerve, that left him deaf in his right ear... and four months later his sister passed away. I had become the Funeral Singer. When I look back, I know why I have not been at The Blogging Party. I've been busy at The Grieving Party. Of all the scripture verses there are to comfort those who mourn, it seemed odd to me that I kept having the same scripture verse come to mind. The same one, over and over again. Where O death is thy victory? Where O death is thy sting? (1Corinthians 15:55) I feeel strongly that I can answer that question. I know where the sting of death is... it's right here on earth... right here in the raw, gaping holes left in the hearts of those of us who lose our loved ones. Death stings all right... and the stinging makes its presence known. Yes, I know that the sting of death in scripture refers to sin and that Christ gives us victory over sin and death. I was truly able to fully rejoice knowing that my loved ones were no longer suffering and that they had received the ultimate healing in heaven. But still... the gaping holes. No Blogging Party for me... only invitations to The Grieving Party.
So now, as I have come up for air and looked around like the infamous groundhog, I can see the shadow of death is behind me, for now. I have passed through that valley of the shadow of death... and I know He was with me the whole time. Now, there is life and light... and beautiful God-given memories for which to be thankful. Over time, these memories heal and comfort the rawness of the wounded, gaping holes.
Dare I say, that I am happy to be joining The Blogging Party when there are already so many sophisticated blogs to read? Dare I reveal my blogging naivete? Blogs with music and beautiful graphics, blogs with great spiritual profundities, blogs with followers, blogs with videos and ads and RSS feeds and tweets, blogs that are making money, blogs that are selling blog info. Well, what was I to do but jump in? And so I have ventured forth, spending this week designing this blog. I am not totally convinced that this blogging thing is as easy as everyone says it is. I am not sure where it will take me ... not sure if I will enjoy it.... not sure if anyone will ever read it. I'll state right now, that this blog will be a much cheaper form of therapy for me than paying for a professional... though I reserve the right to hire one.
Last summer, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with the president of Multnomah Waterbrook Press. He is a wonderful man who counseled me wisely, and advised me to look into blogging. To me, it seemed a little like someone who really thought they were a good singer being encouraged to join the choir. But then, as my sister-in-law battled her brain cancer, she asked me one day to be sure and write my book. 'Well... we'll see,' I said. She said "people need to read what you write." Now, ordinarily, if someone compliments me, I do that little obvious false humility shrug of the shoulder thing that says 'I'm sure you say that to all your friends'. But, Marilyn was different. With no writing experience, publishing knowledge or clout, she spoke as one with dying experience. That was enough clout for me. She knew me and I knew she meant it. So it seems fitting, that 5 months after her death... on the very day we should be celebrating her 58th birthday, I am posting my very first blog entry. Happy Birthday Marilyn... and thanks.