A Future And A Hope!

Hey, y’all!  I’ve been away awhile.  Frankly, I just haven’t felt like sharing anything.  Partly because there is so much going on inside and I just didn’t know how to process it, much less write about it in a public forum.  I found it difficult to even write in my private journal.  I’m somewhat back on my feet and ready to begin sharing again!

The past year has been a bit of a blur.  Not only do I continue to deal with the loss of my dear Brian, but I’ve been out of work for over a year now!  Job hunting takes up a good deal of my time, as well as  both physical and emotional energy.  Another reason I just didn’t have it in me to blog.  The job hunt continues, and I can tell you that’s it’s pretty discouraging.  As I write this, it’s downright dismal and I’m pretty down about it.  I’d appreciate your prayers and/or any leads you might have.

Many milestones, or anniversaries, have been met and I had intended to write about them as they came.  Such as the anniversary of when I drove up to Isleton, California last year to meet Brian in person (who at the time was my fiancée) for the very first time!  This occurred in late March.  I had planned to write of facing my very first wedding anniversary without Brian, which occurred in mid-April.  I had planned to write of the anniversary of Brian’s, ‘graduating to glory’, as a my friend, Lee Ann, has so aptly referred to his passing, which occurred in early May.  But I couldn’t.

To catch up, I must take you back to last year.  The holiday season was a VERY difficult time for me.  The hope and promise, love and happiness, that had permeated it the year before was sadly gone.  The holidays were simply painful, barren, and lonely days that brought me no joy or happiness.  They were grim reminders of what I had been blessed with and all too quickly lost.  How I longed for this season to come to a speedy end!  I remember thinking, “Can’t we just skip to January 2nd already?!  Dear Lord, couldn’t I just hibernate and wake up on January 2nd?!”  Even though I didn’t relish the thought of rushing into my birthday, which is on january 3, at least all this ‘happy-happy’ would be over!

The holidays are not a joyous time for many singles, even Christians. The season is all about couples and families.  Yet this is the time of year that all Christendom has chosen to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and HE should be our chief focus.  But whether right or wrong, spouse and family are a HUGE component of the holidays, and this season has a way of magnifying and intensifying one’s pain, loneliness, and loss.  We smile, we exchange gifts, we tell ourselves repeatedly that, ‘Jesus is the reason for the season.’  But it still stings…and stings badly.  When you have neither spouse nor family, or when your dreams of finally being a ‘couple’ are dashed to bits, or your spouse/family do not meet even the minimal expectation of the season, the holidays are excruciating.  I completely understand why the suicide rate goes up during this time of year.  Believe me, it did cross my mind!  But God be praised, He touched the hearts of friends to include me and my brother in their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.  Though I felt twinges of pain being with couples/families at these gatherings, it beat sitting home alone.  Thank You for your merciful love and goodness, Father!

Now up to this point, I thought that I’d been progressing in my journey and processing my grief in a healthy and Godly way.  But I began to feel dead inside.  So, I threw myself into more service at church, believing that this was the pathway to healing.  This is what I’ve always read and heard.  I joined in with the carolers and took part in our Christmas choir, as well as continuing to serve with the worship teams and traditional choir in our music ministry.  I helped out in the kitchen and with set-up and clean-up at funerals, memorials, potlucks, and other gatherings at church every chance I got.  I went begging for ways to help those in need within or without our church community.  I threw myself into trying to help Brian’s sister and her kids, whom I’d grown fond of…especially her eldest, Destiny.  But the deadness and the pain did not improve…they increased.  My service began to feel more like a tiring obligation.  I knew that something wasn’t right…something had happened that wasn’t good…but I didn’t know what it was.

I continued like this through the holidays, past my birthday, and into February.  I was working a seasonal temp job as an administrative assistant in Whittier, California.  But I was feeling alone, and more and more isolated.  Well-meaning folks had said things that made me feel like I should be further along in my journey…like I shouldn’t still be sad and hurting.  So, I tried to speed things up inside me.  But trying to do this made matters worse.

Finally, I came to a realization – I THINK I’M STUCK!  But how in the world did I get ‘stuck?’  I thought I was doing everything the right way.  I was serving and seeking to serve.  I was pushing past my pain to try to help others.  Isn’t this what I, as a follower of Christ, was supposed to do?  Wasn’t I supposed to ‘deny myself?’  Isn’t this message included within the gospel – do for others what you would have them do for you??  I was even being told by folks at church that what I was doing was healthy and that I was on the  right path!  But in spite of all my good works and best efforts, the fact remained  – I had become ‘stuck’ in my journey and I didn’t know what to do.  I was ‘stuck’ in quicksand and couldn’t get out…and I was goin’ under!

What happened next?  I hope you’ll come back for the next installment of,  “A Future And A Hope.”  😉

Together In Christ,

Diana Hogan


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