Rewind to August 2017... scene takes place in my kitchen.
Lord, you have taken two husbands from me both in the month of August, both very suddenly! I don’t understand why! I don’t like the pain of death, loss, and separation!”
Then, I screamed, “What do you want for me?
Fast forward... to August 2021
Slowly and ever so gently the Lord revealed His plan and purpose for my life beyond the loss of the two men in my life.
First, a blog, then a website, followed by a speaking engagement, teleseminars; little by little my points of pain were replaced by a deep well of passion and a bridge that spanned across the troubled water entitled, "loss is not a destination!"
Since 2004 August represented a time of loss. I began to prepare in July by planning to make new memories and pulling out old pictures of fun-filled times.
However, God had a plan; in July the book that I had written in 2009, was finally approved by Audible and was ready to promote. Look...
I sat down for a while,” as the old folks would say, and reflected on what I had accomplished since the middle of July. I had prayed about my next step, what I had always dreamed of doing; writing to supplement my retirement income. So, I stepped out in faith and signed up for a course that provided mentorship to “Getting and Keeping Clients!” I knew the coach and I knew he was very successful in his own copywriting business. I took the plunge and it was well worth my effort. His administrative assistant told me, “It was one of the best Information packets she had ever seen!” I felt enormous pride in my accomplishment, (then, remembering the adage, “Pride cometh before the fall”,) I uttered a prayer of thanks as I continued to do the marketing portion of the assignment.
A few days before Christmas I decided to take two weeks off to travel and spend time with family, and that’s when, in a quiet moment with God, I...
The humidity rolled in like a steam engine; it made my legs feel like I was walking through thick sludge! One step, sludge -second step, sludge,-take a breath. Whew! “Boy, it’s so hot I can hardly breathe!” Then a thought erupted in my brain. “This must have been how Wayne felt the summer of 2017 … it was so hot and humid!”
The next emotion I felt was the cool breeze of relief; Wayne was no longer struggling to breathe. WOW, not the customary flood of tears! Imagine that! A feeling of actual relief! One, that Wayne was not suffering through another summer praying to breathe, and, second, that he was not battling daily with the desire for his health to be better!
There is an old re-frame that comes to mind:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus…look full in His marvelous face … and the things of earth will grow strangely dim … in the light of His glory and grace!”
My grief process started with me saying...
Ora Jane Taylor Jones, my maternal grandmother, sits on the table filled with family photos. Regrettably, I never knew her, as she died when my mother was only six months old. Yet, I very much feel her presence and her spirit!
My face was” heart-shaped, just like hers in my younger years – now, my pointed chin has softened a little.
I was told she died of pneumonia in her early twenties, and, I dare say, that was a very significant loss for my mom! Heretofore, Mom was raised, loved, and cared for by a devoted aunt and uncle until she was nine years of age (another story, another time).
I stood at that table just a few days ago and prayed for every face reflected in a photo. I was not surprised to see pieces -parts of Ora Jane’s face in my grands; her almond-shaped eyes, her heart-shaped face, the radiance of her skin, and the smoothness of her complexion…WOW! Look at God’s handiwork in our family line. Strong DNA!
I often wonder what was she was really...
Christmastime always causes me to close my eyes and bow my head in reverence to all that the Baby Jesus has given me… life, love and the most exquisite gift of all, salvation! It was during one of those sacred moments that I began to think about the first time I totally trusted the Lord with my life; the absolute first time I remember coming to the end of myself! I had run full out and headfirst into a wall that was so high, so wide, that “I” could not get over, under, or around it! All I could do was look up! And that’s when my young eyes saw Christ as “the way, the truth, and the light!”
I was fifteen years old, pregnant, unmarried and unwilling to crawl up on an abortionist’s table. I knew full well, even at that tender age, that I could not live with myself if I had an abortion! I remember asking God to show me what to do, how to take care of my baby and then I promised I would teach my child all about Jesus. Now, I wasn’t the...
DID YOU KNOW?
I listened intently to the message my Pastor spoke- that ties to something I have grown to know and embrace. And I quote: “The circumstances that you find yourself in are the very circumstances that will propel you to God and the direction He has for you.”
My take is not as eloquent but still hits home. “God will do whatever He has to, to get you where He needs you to be- to work out His plan, and purposes for your life.” In short, you did not get here by mistake or error. Your life matters and God wants you to know that!
The fact of the matter is, the sooner we realize our lives are not our own to do with what we darn well please, the sooner life begins to make some sense. Our simple surrender invites Him in; to move and shape us into His “original creation,” to what He had in mind when He created us!
I can hear what you are thinking. “Hold on Missy, are you telling me that God set me on this road of death,...
I don’t understand- but I know God is sovereign- became my “light in the darkness.”
“One moment at a time with Jesus” became my strength when I felt weakened by the overwhelming feelings of loss and loneliness!
The death of two of Wayne’s co-workers prompted us to have some hard discussions a few months before Wayne died.
“Do you want to be cremated or buried? “ I asked.
“I don’t really care,” he said.
“Oh, honey, you must have a preference,” I said.
“No,” he said. “You make the decision.”
Now, I’m mulling the conversation over in my head.
I was raised in a family where burial was what we did, so I never understood why my mom wanted to be cremated. “A hot fiery furnace, Mom, really?” But, that’s what she wanted and that’s what we did. Her service was a true celebration of her life. We had pictures of her and flowers- but...
I dreaded walking into my house. It was quiet. Devoid of the sight, sounds and smells of my new husband! The house that I so lovingly worked to create a space for the merging of our two lives, was now hopelessly silent… still… lifeless…. Except for me, and I felt extremely small and afraid. HELP ME LORD TO MOVE FROM HERE – my heart pleaded. Then, out of the depths of my spirit, poured: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” My mind raced on to – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for He is with me … His rod and His staff they comfort me.” And on to… “A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick He will not extinguish.” I pulled into the garage as I continued to recite the well known and loved scriptures. Gathering myself and my stuff, I opened the door. The lamp in the foyer warmly...
It was one of those rare, beautiful winter days. I had just come through the second anniversary of my marriage to Wayne, Valentine’s Day was right behind that. And it was ever so nice to be out in the sunshine! The sky was a gorgeous azure blue, and, if the trees were not bare and without any little buds, one might think it was Spring.
I was driving on I- 66, now under a much-needed reconstruction of exits (let me add- it’s a hot mess), that lane demarcations change suddenly and without warning! Just then, a car shot past me so fast – that my vehicle swayed with its passing! He was weaving in and out of traffic and moving too fast for the volume and flow of traffic. He was either late or he was just in a hurry! I slowed my speed (I’m always going a little too fast) in anticipation of “the flash” causing an accident ahead. My thoughts drifted to the hustle and bustle world we live in and how to affect the lives of those I love and who are in my...
And Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
As I read those words, my mind sped back to the vision I had after Wayne succumbed to his heart arrhythmia in the restaurant. Upon arriving at the ER, the physician had said, “He’s having seizures and It doesn’t look good!” Later, in the Intensive Care Unit, I watched Wayne. The seizures were mild and I closed my eyes to pray. I saw Jesus and Wayne walking around a lake. Jesus’s robe rustled softly in the breeze as they walked and talked. Wayne was pouring out his life’s story and shuddered as he spoke with the Lord. Hence, seizures.
I believed and held on to the fact that he was going to be fine. However, the illusion was a manifestation of denial. Denial, that...
Nora Neal-Daggett is the expert on overcoming heartache and disappointment.
Nora has a passion to help others navigate the thorny path of loss.
In spite of the deaths of not one, but, two husbands- she has persevered and has a passionate message to the world;
“Loss is a station in life, not a destination.”
With deep insight, empathy and compassion, Nora will construct the path that will move You, or some one who you have come alongside to move from mourning to joy..To step out of the wave of grief!
She incorporates the practice of prayer and trusting God.
She provides dynamic principles to move the participant from pain and heartache to acceptance and healing.
Take the hand of the Grief Navigator, begin healing today!