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Join me in warmly welcoming Anne to the blog! Anne has so much insight and wisdom! She has been on a journey, but her words proclaim God’s name. Her words will bless you whether you’re going through a hard time, or just need some reassurance of God’s presence in your life.

Singing Sad Songs at Christmas

#HeartBreak Holiday

By: Anne Brutsche

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).

 

Interesting, as the verse before states:

‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
    and will not throw you away (Isaiah 41:9b, NLT).

I know now that God absolutely has my back in the worst circumstances and leads me forward as long as I CHOOSE to listen to His voice and obey.

One of the hardest journey’s of my life began Sept 4, 2009. My husband and I were living in a small town in Central Oregon, just doing our usual thing. I was quilting upstairs and he was watching football downstairs. I thought I would take the dog out for a romp. As I passed the couch my husband looked like he was asleep, so I tiptoed out. About 20 min later, he found me outside but looked dazed, confused!

Singing Sad Songs at Christmas. #HeartBreakHoliday. Lonely hearts and loss of loved ones this Christmas. For many there is pain, grief and death. Memories, thoughts, and remembrance can make life hard during this time. Tips for getting through the pain and the season.

Life Changes in an Instant

From that day on, began the cancer journey that changed our lives and our family forever. Diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, grade 4 brain cancer, Howard was given 3 months to live. The neurosurgeon said he could probably take out 95% of the tumor, probably giving my husband 1-1 12 yrs of life. He believed Howard would be somewhat back to normal in 4 months. Unfortunately, Howard was never the same even with surgery, chemo and radiation. He struggled with memory loss, confusion, seizures. And, of course, I struggled too. It is so difficult to see your loving husband slowly deteriorating and yet, I needed to be strong to help him: Many days, crying in the shower, crying out to God to just HELP—be there with us.

                      The Only Guarantee

Nothing in life is a guarantee. Only our Creator knows our days which He ordained before time began. I began to see miracles from God every day to encourage and strengthen us in the huge cancer quagmire. AS Howard and I prayed, His Peace enveloped us.

Howard had daily seizures because the tumor was in the left temporal lobe. Constant appointments at the hospital 45 min. away were draining. But, God held us up. Howard loved the old hymns so one of our daughters gave him a hymn book. Howard couldn’t read but he could remember the hymns tunes. We would sing at the top of our lungs in the car, on the way to appts. We also ministered to others in the waiting room as others asked why he was carrying a hymnal. I believe God was preparing us for the inevitable departure, going Home for Howard, and God would be my All and All.

God’s Promises

In all of this, my husband and I relied on each other with God as our Head. If we had not been steeped in God’s Word and a great church of Believers surrounding us with their love and help, we would have fallen apart!! In it all, I had to cling to Is 41:10. God was there. He promised to strengthen and help me!! I believe that head, heart, and soul.

Howard passed away March 7, 2011. My Mom passed away March 11, 2010, so March is a heavy month for me. But, God has restored my joy because I know He is with me.

(Isaiah 40:31, NLT) is another great verse:

31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. (my Mom’s lifelong verse)

Walking Hand in Hand with God

Having fought the fight for 1 1/2 years, God took Howard Home, but Jesus did not leave me. I asked the Pastor, who prayed over my dear husband who was comatose if he would ask God to give me a clear direction of what to do without my partner in life and love of my life. God immediately comforted me and let me know that He would not abandon me, that He wasn’t’ finished with me yet.

I felt I was to lead a Bible study at my church but shared with a friend that I felt led to lead a Kay Arthur book: Lord I Want To Know You. Wow! I began with this book in a weekly Bible Study with my friend, as she had never been in a Bible study. Wow! God led me through the valley to His green pasture of rest and recuperation. Plus my friend and I grew in our faith together. I was then encouraged to lead at my church.

I don’t want anyone to think that it was an easy transition from happily married for 44 1/2 yrs. to a widow. On the contrary, it took an intentional choice to CHOOSE God: His Word, His Promises, His Love. My only other choice was to choose loneliness, depression, pain. I realized that not making the choice to choose God put me in a default mode of human sadness and hopelessness.

Singing Sad Songs at Christmas. #HeartBreakHoliday. Lonely hearts and loss of loved ones this Christmas. For many there is pain, grief and death. Memories, thoughts, and remembrance can make life hard during this time. Tips for getting through the pain and the season.

Choosing Jesus

And so, when that first Christmas came Dec 25, 2011, I had to choose Jesus’ power and strength to rely on when my weakness was huge! Yes, I sat in church on Christmas Eve and cried, but many arms encircled me. The Bible study ladies were always there to call, have coffee, and most of all pray. Christmas can be a very sad time for those of us who struggle with health and death especially living alone.

Tips for Dealing with Death Around Christmas

I want to encourage you to first: go to God in prayer. Remember, if you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, He is WITHIN you in the power and person of the Holy Spirit. He will handle all your sorrow and pain. He will also empower you to help others in similar circumstances. Secondly, remember to be thankful to God in and for all things. I have begun a journey of writing on Thankfulness as it is the key to having a rich, personal relationship with Jesus and the Father Himself.

One of the most difficult verses to understand is (Ephesians 5: 20, NLT):

20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No, I cannot thank God for taking my husband, but I can thank Him for being right there with me. Jesus comforted me in the worst pain in every moment and He showed me where to go, what to do. I truly believe God allows or causes circumstances in our lives for our ultimate good. I do not ask God why He took my Howard, but I trust Him to teach me and grow my faith, especially in devastating circumstances.

Another verse is (1Thessalonians 5:18, NLT):

18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

This means to me that my prayers, joy or thankfulness do not change in dire circumstances. Sadness lasts for a time, but God will also restore and hold me in these circumstances. He rejoices when I rejoice and feels my pain when I am hurt, confused, even in doubt. I can trust Him in everything. He is my Rock and Redeemer.

Let Friends Surround

The last thing I want to say, in how I navigated through the pain, is to allow friends and family to help. Many people hibernate when feeling sad, wallowing in self-pity, or counting everyone else’s blessings instead of coming to the throne of Grace.

One of the most difficult things for me is being in church and hearing the hymn: In Christ Alone. That happens to be Howard’s all-time favorite song and it was played and sung at his memorial service. Just this past Thanksgiving, I was at church with my youngest daughter and family and the worship team began that song. The Lord Himself touched me inside, giving me peace and joy because He is the ultimate fulfillment in life.” In Christ Alone my hope is found.” It was the first time that I did not break down when singing that song and it has been five years.

Abiding with God

So, if you are in the grieving stage, never give up looking up to the Father who loves you unconditionally! It is He who will bring you through your sorrow and deepest pain. He will draw you close. Now go and abide with Him. I pray my ideas have been helpful. I am just beginning my writing journey ‘out loud’ so I pray there is one lonely person that my words have touched.

In Christ Alone,

Anne

 

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My name is Anne Brutsche. I am a 72 yr old grandma and widow, have 3 grown daughters and 6 grandchildren. I accepted the Lord Jesus as my LORD and Savior when I was 12 yrs old at a Billy Graham crusade. God is my Rock. Married for 44 yrs., I lost my husband to Brain Cancer 5 yrs ago. My joy is in the Lord and He has given me a new zest for life and a mission to help others who are hurting