Thursday, May 03, 2012

A Special Friday Edition!

Hey, all! Today's Friday post is a bit different. My friend Katie Ganshert's Debut Novel, Wildflowers from Winter is only days away from release, and in an effort to spread the word, she's asked some of her friends to share their own Wildflowers from Winter posts. When bad things happen (winter) good things can come of them (wildflowers.) Be sure to click on the links at the end of the post to find out more about what's written here and about Katie's new book.



The truth is, I've had a wonderful and blessed life. The times of winter have been, for the most part, short, and the wildflowers abundant. 

When I read some of the posts on this blog hop, I thought, "I can't compete with that. Divorce, the loss of a child, the loss of your home." Then I realized, I don't have to compete. Everyone's story is different, everyone experiences loss.

My greatest loss and darkest time of winter came in 2008-2009. My much-loved mother-in-law was battling cancer, and she needed more and more care. My sister-in-law (also much loved!) and I were splitting the bulk of the duties. Those were the hardest weeks and months of my life, days where I felt stretched so thin, so afraid that I would do something wrong, or that I would forget medications, or that I wouldn't be there when she needed me. I worried about my kids, how were they taking all of this, how could I be there for them when I had to be at Grandma's side so much? And what about my husband? This was his mother.

But every time I thought I couldn't go on, or that God wasn't hearing my prayers, my sister-in-law or my husband or my kids or someone from my church would encourage me, lift me up, help me take a few more steps. 

In June of 2009, my mother-in-law, Lorraine Vetsch, lost her fight with cancer. Through that journey, my faith was strengthened every day, my relationship with my husband and children became stronger and took on new meaning, and my sister-in-law, Linda, became the sister of my heart. 

I'm still seeing wildflowers blooming from that time of winter in my life. God is good to give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. 

You can read more about Lorraine HERE (click on the obituary tab) and see a lovely picture of her, too. 



Wildflowers from Winter book page


10 comments:

  1. That's a lovely, lovely story, Erica. I'm so sorry for your loss but thankful for what came from it. *hugs*

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  2. Loss is loss, no matter what the story is. Loss of a loved one is probably one of the greatest of all. I'm so glad God redeemed your winter! Thanks so much for sharing your heart...it is beautiful!

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  3. I love that you are still seeing blooming from that time. I first heard the word cancer--it came to my family in such an in your face way when I was 13. It still hangs around, but has lost much of its power.
    ~ Wendy

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  4. MILs get such a bad rap. It's refreshing to hear you had such a loving and close relationship with Lorraine.

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  5. I was crying as I read this, because I understand that deep love for your mother-in-law and the desire to be with her in her pain. God has also blessed me with a sister-in-law who is truly my own sister now. So happy you could be with your mother-in-law to the end. God bless you!

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  6. Your post blessed me, Erica. So often mother-in-laws are portrayed as evil nowadays when many of us are blessed to have wonderful ones. I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm glad you were able to help her during her final days.

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  7. I remember when you were going through all of this, Erica. And I remember how tightly you clung to the Lord. I love that God gave you a heart-sister from the grief. Beautiful testimony, my friend.

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  8. I'm so sorry about your MIL. But it is wonderful to read about how God has used such a painful time to draw your family closer together. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Your post touched me. I took care of my mom when she was sick, and her strength always amazed me. I look back and clearly see how God upheld me at that time. It seems you've seen that in your own life as well. Blessings!

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  10. It is amazing that even in heartache we feel a need to compete. You are absolutely correct, Erica, everyone has there own story of loss, and it is always painful. Thanks for sharing yours.

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