Monday, April 12, 2010

Be My Guest Monday - G is for Guest Posting

Hello and welcome again to Be My Guest Monday! I'm still looking for people to guest post on my blog every Monday for the rest of 2010, so please let me know if you are interested and haven't gotten a date from me yet!

I have to apologize to my guest blogger for today, I was out of town this weekend and completely failed on getting my computer turned on last night to post this. But please don't hold it against her, because this is one of the most intimate and open blog posts I've read, and I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to post it here for you. Today we've got Elle over at A for Effort (B for Blog). What a fabulous blog title, no? And each of her posts starts with a letter. So very fun! In honor of that, today we've got:

G is for Guest Posting

God and I have always had a different kind of relationship; one best defined as complex. I'm not involved in organized religion, but I do believe in a higher power. I think I'm a little too analytical at times to believe that something that I can't see or feel, such as God, really exists. There are times, when I've really needed to, that I've "felt" something—peace, calm, strength; it’s hard to put into words, but I've known in those moments that there was a higher power at play.

After suddenly and tragically losing my youngest sister to domestic violence murder, I found myself being very angry with God, even denying his existence. In my mind, there was no logic that could explain why she was taken so suddenly and in such a violent, horrible way. I'd always heard that God was loving and merciful, and that he decides when it's our time to go. I couldn't understand why a loving, merciful God would have her last moments be so extremely horrific. I didn't know why he'd decided he needed to take her early, and I didn't care. I wondered why it was his right to make that decision and why those of us that wanted and needed her here didn't get a say.

So many times after my sister's death, and after other "dominoes" in our life were falling or had fallen on top of that one, I heard that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. I thought that God must not know me too well, because he apparently did not understand that I couldn't handle all that he was giving me. His meaning of "enough is enough" and my meaning were apparently not the same; nowhere near it, in fact. I became increasingly angrier at him, and at times that made me feel good, because I needed to be angry and he gave me somewhere to direct that anger.

At the same time, I found myself needing more than anything to believe that God—or something—existed. I needed faith in something, and the comfort that was supplied by that faith. I had to believe that there was somewhere for my sister's bigger than life spirit to go. I had to believe that that place was good and that she had found peace there. I needed to believe that she felt, all at once, the overpowering love we all feel for her and that she understood that she was loved and that she would be missed terribly. I needed to picture her being greeted and excitedly welcomed by many of those who have gone before us—her paternal grandparents and our maternal grandpa. I believe that my maternal grandma’s youngest granddaughter and husband where there to greet her when she followed my sister a couple months later.

I believe that I will one day be reunited with all of them, and our reunion will be most joyful. I believe that we all, especially her son, now have a beautiful guardian angel watching over us. This gives me peace. Talking to her spirit helps me cope on some of the hardest days. I feel her around, and I know that she hears me. I've gotta believe, that with the continuation of time, my pain will lessen and the harder days will become fewer. Sometimes I find the need to remind myself that those moments of peace and happiness that I feel are what she would want, that I should not feel guilty for them, and that in no way am I tarnishing my memory of her, her meaning to me, or my love for her.

A few weeks after my sister’s death, I saw a quote: "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." I have absolutely no idea where this quote came from, or who it can be attributed too, but no better or truer words have ever been spoken. Looking back, God apparently knew me a lot better than I knew myself. I am way stronger than I ever knew or would've thought I was, and I learned a valuable lesson about trusting that "higher power."

To this day, people make comments about my strength. I'm asked how I got through it all—my sister’s death, interviews with the news media, the criminal trial of her murderer—and the answer is I don't know, but there's a lot to be said for FAITH and HOPE. Sometimes I felt they were all I had and that I had to hang onto them with all of my might. In a lot of ways I’m still going through “it.” It’s a process; one that’s made easier by my faith in a higher power and hope for a brighter future.

My life has been forever altered by the death of my sister, and I will always be a different person than I was before all of this; such is life. We are constantly bending and changing, and our path is constantly being altered. This is my path now, and I have no choice but to continue to follow it to see where it leads me. Giving up is never an option. We all have our paths, and we all will have our obstacles along the way. How we deal with those obstacles determines where the path leads us next.

As I proceed down my path, I will continue to live my life by my moral compass and ever-changing beliefs. I will continue to learn lessons about life and about myself; we must never stop learning. I will continue to make mistakes along the way—there’s no doubt about that—but I will persevere. The best way I can honor my sister is simply by living, facing head-on all that life has for me, because she cannot. I will, of course, hold on to my faith and hope; they will sustain me through the obstacles that will inevitably pop up along my path.


  1. Boy, life can be filled with so many challenges. For some fun faith reads try Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies and Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. Both will touch you and make you laugh. xo

  2. I'm one that believes God doesn't give you more than you can handle. You just have to look around for the way out and not give up.
    What a time you've been through! I'm praying that your life and trials get easier for you.

  3. Elle, that's beautifully expressed, as always. I hope I can be as strong, when the time comes that I need to be.

  4. What a great post!!!!!

    Like you once told me you don't know how strong you are until you have no choice but to be strong!

  5. WOW!!! very powerful. thanks for sharing!

  6. I love Elle and her blog and think she is wonderful. I skimmed this post because I started crying...and I am at work so I shouldn't be crying!


    I always question my faith. Sometimes I am a really strong believer and other times I want to punch God in his non-existent face. When I read of people like Elle who still believe, I can't help but believe myself. I know this faith journey of mine may never end, but reading stories like this one sure do help me to figure it all out just a little more.

  7. this must've been really difficult to write. thanks for sharing.

  8. thanks for sharing! i think it's important to question our faith. it can help us grow if we decided to search for answers to those questions.


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