Hold On Pain Ends

Since I was a child I always wrote poetry as a way to process my pain. I stopped for many years and in 2006 I started again as I processed my brother Toby’s sudden death with a piece called An Unfinished Life.

These days I write many things – but rarely do I write much poetry anymore although I have such a deep love for it.

Today, I again wrote poetry to help me process my pain.

Hold On Pain Ends

The enemy will convince you

there is no hope.

That the restoration process is pointless.

It’s taking too long …

It’s too hard…

When will it ever end?

The mundane seems meaningless.

But the mundane is where the

miraculous is birthed.

The day in… the day out…

The baby steps

The big steps

Acts of obedience

Uncomfortable

The small

The big

One next choice

Made moment by moment to

Live. Breathe. Love. Keep Going. Forgive

Surrender to the process

Surrender to His will

Surrender to His timing

Trust not Toil

Rest not Resist

Wait not wail

Remain in His presence

Amidst the pain

That is the only place

for the pain to subside

No more

Numb

Confused

Questioning

Why?

Abiding not Answers is where it all lies

Hope is alway there…

Hope is the choice we must make

Hope is the method not the means

Hope is relying on His Grace

Hope Is His Saving Grace

HOPE…

Hold

On

Pain

Ends

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Rest In Peace Beautiful Girl!

You will be greatly missed.

Restoration Stories – Heidi Krieghauser

March 12, 2015 began just like any other day. I woke up next to Bill, my husband of nearly 25 years. Bill, was my favorite person. He was everything to me. He was my rock and my comforter. Even after having raised 2 kids, and having seen one another through all of the challenges and victories in life, we still really liked each other.

Bill was one of those very rare men who you could count on always in all ways. He was big and strong and very, very dependable. That paled in comparison to his love for our family, his kindness, impeccable character and willingness to indulge me with a courtesy chuckle at my bad jokes and puns. If Bill was there, you just knew everything was going to be okay.

We were a very typical family who lived in the Suburbs of Northern Virginia. Bill worked for the Federal Government in a position he worked hard to attain. I had been in Real Estate for years and had a career that was considered to have been successful. Our two amazing children, 24 and 22 years old, were both out of the house pursuing their education and dreams of their own.

Both Bill and I were believers in and followers of Jesus. We had served in ministry our entire marriage and had a ministry years before this fateful day called, Christ Stalkers. It was a youth ministry and over the 10 years we were its overseers, there were more than 4,000 youth who came to know Christ as their savior. We had planted churches and raised our family in church. Ministry and a relationship with God was no stranger to our family.

But by the end of that day that had begun like so many of our more than 9,000 days together, my beloved had gone home to heaven. In an instant he was gone. In fifteen minutes Bill went from saying he, “didn’t feel quite right” to taking his last breath as I held him in my arms. He was gone. My everything was gone. He was 49 years old.

After the doctor told me they were unable to revive him and did, “everything they could”, my son, who was home on Spring break, went to call people and I was left alone in that ugly, little room. We all have seen that room on TV where they take the family to break “the news” that looks so Hollywood-inspired, for dramatic effect, but is quite real. I tried to process all of this.

He had ankle surgery and had been in the hospital but was given a clean bill of health. But an oversight by the doctors, who did not prescribe blood thinners, and he died of a blood clot, taking everything from me and our kids. Not Bill. Are you sure? MY Bill? Things like this just don’t happen to people like us!

Who was I now? Since I was 21 I had been his wife. It was painfully obvious to me that I no longer held that distinction when they handed me his ring. The ring that belonged on HIS finger, not in a little bag in MY hand.

He was everything to me! How can I get through this life without him?

For a quarter of a century it had been Bill and Heidi. When people thought of me, they thought of him and vice versa. We were fine on our own but we were much, much better together.

Now, without him, who was I?

And our kids! How can I be everything to them that they needed him to be to them?

The immediacy of the pain was overwhelming and took my breath away.

So, I sat alone, in that ugly little room. Or perhaps it was quite pretty, I don’t know. And THAT is when God, although already very real to me, simply invaded my life in a whole new way.

I opened my mouth and my own words surprised me. Through tears, I whispered, “God, I NEVER questioned you when you were blessing us. I will NOT question you in this.”

HE gave me the grace and the wisdom to speak those words. I am not that gracious or that wise. He is.

I was a Christian for over 30 years but it wasn’t until I was suddenly and unexpectedly widowed that I became a TRUE Christ Stalker. It was in that moment, God ran to me and I to Him.

I needed God for every breath. I had trusted Him before but I had never had to trust Him like I did now. And in the midst of my pain and the vast absence of my Husband I found what I had longed for all my life, the unconditional love of Christ. And God had finally gotten from me what He had put me on this planet for, the absolute reliance on and unencumbered relationship with Him.

Over the last three years, there were times when the only movement forward I was able to muster was an army crawl, on my stomach, in the muck and the mire.

And times when I thought the pain on Bills loss was so overwhelming that I was surprised that I woke up because I thought the physical anguish alone would have killed me.

But in all of that, I pursued and consumed Jesus like never before. And He met me. He never left me. He was pursuing me as I was pursuing Him.

It has been, at times, a heart wrenching journey and I have cried more tears than I ever thought one person could create. But in all of the pain and uncertainty, Jesus has revealed Himself to me in a way I never thought possible!

My life now is a true fulfillment of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The love God has shown me in this journey is like no other. He carried me when I needed to be carried. He held me when I needed to be held. Gave me strength when needed and has become all things to me always, in all ways.

It is difficult to pick out just one scripture that got me through. God used every verse to speak to and comfort me. But Joshua 1:9 is probably my favorite: Have I not commanded you to be bold, strong and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you will go.

What a beautiful promise!!

There is one song that I put on loop whenever I felt like I could not even get through the next second. Some of the lyrics that gave me great hope were found in the song, It is well:

Through it all, through it all

My eyes are on You

Through it all, through it all

It is well

Through it all, through it all

My eyes are on You

It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe

Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me

Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all

My eyes are on You

Through it all, through it all

It is well

Through it all, through it all

My eyes are on You

It is well, it is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him

The waves and wind still know His name.

~ Heidi Krieghauser

Power Of The Tongue

WORTHY THOUGHT: The most powerful weapon in the universe is your tongue.

Death and Life are in the power of the tongue. Those who love it will eat its fruit.  -Proverbs 18-23

What is violence? In the first place, we think weapons, knives, killings. We never think of connecting violence with our tongues. But the first weapon, the most cruel weapon, is the tongue. Examine what part of your tongue has played in creating peace or violence. 

We can really wound a person, we can kill a person with your tongue.  -Mother Theresa 

Take ships as an example although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. -James 3:4-6, 10 

Gods Word that is conceived in your heart, then formed by the tongue, and spoken out of your mouth, becomes a spiritual force releasing the ability of God within you. ~ Charles Capp 

Meditate on scriptures to learn how to use your words wisely. Words we speak will either build you up or hold you in bondage. Many people have been taken captive by using their own words.

      ~Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Words Spoken Into Existence 


From the beginning of time, words were used to speak things into existence.

And God SAID, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3 ESV

There is a purpose for everything God created through His spoken word.

Words have power.  God chose His spoken word to connect His eternal spiritual reality to the physical world of our lives. Words release power over our lives and the people in it.

We often fail to understand how important words are. We are unaware of the power created by speaking them.

God’s full and good will was unleashed when he spoke his creation into existence, through His Holy Spirit. And it is that same Spirit that now also lives in us just waiting to apply that same power in our lives, according to the word of God.

Words have power, even negative ones.

I grew up believing the enemy’s lies. I wasn’t good enough. I was a failure. I was unworthy and unlovable. I would never be worthy of grace or love. On and on the enemy would ramble.

I believed every word. I was each and every negative defining experience I proclaimed into my life.

Little did I know, the words I heard, for my entire life, would dictate how I acted and how I responded. 

They defined who I was.

Negative self-talk becomes a negative life lived out, and the enemy would love to see nothing more than his lies alive in our heart.  

However, we have the opportunity to receive God’s Word into our life and change absolutely everything. Words create life and they also create death. They raise us up or tear us down. They guide and direct us into action. They define who we are and help us live life along the journey God lays before us.

The act of an all knowing, all loving God was spoken; love was formed into creation.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Genesis 1:26 ESV

God had a bigger plan. He had a purpose for you and for me. His Word creates a healthy connection, wisdom, and brings loving relationships into life. His Word establishes the truth and exposes the enemy’s lies. His Word creates new life through forgiveness and redemption. 

It creates love called into action. 

Jesus defines who we are by His words that are always in truth. Do you live by the defining nature of God?

Do you believe in God’s truth spoken about you?

Do you live life by the truth of His word?

Holy Spirit, come into our lives and empower us with the truth of Your Word. Allow our hearts to be open to the wisdom you have in each word spoken. Allow your word to protect and guide us with confidence. We want to live faithfully, in obedient reverence, glorifying you. Meet us right where we stand. Lead to the path you put before us. Remind us that your word is at the tip of our tongues. It is the spoken instruction you have laid upon our heart. Enlighten us with the power of Your Word.

In Jesus Name, Amen

~ Baring His Beauty,

Tiffany Thomas 

Love Overcomes Fear 

  

The need to be loved and validated as worthy of something better was undeniable. Somehow, I knew finding a safe place (like church) would be the answer.

Between the ages of 17-21, I had lost three immediate family members. My mother was murdered, my mother’s younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident and my Grandfather was killed while working under his truck. All three deaths were separate from each other, yet tragically unexpected.

And for a girl who had already lived life stripped and lost, the deaths of these closest loves ended up feeling like a confirmation of a generational curse bestowed upon me. The emotions this stirred up within me were chaotic and irrational. Nothing in life made sense.

Not only did the dysfunction of my childhood hinder me, so did the inability to understand the loss of my family members. It created a sense of powerlessness which controlled me with anxiety and fear.

For years, I couldn’t shake it. I lived in constant fear of a pending death of the next loved one. Who would be next was always a lingering question. 

It was a trigger that ignited a raging mess.

Eventually I was done feeling weak, being victimized by a fallen world. I was tired of living in the insanity of my emotions. Instinctively, I knew that finding a church, finding God, would ease the pain of my loss.

Anything had to be better than living numb and depleted. Though fear would go on trying to keep me captive, God started to reveal His goodness to my heart. The more I’ve learned about having a relationship with God, less fear controlled my circumstances.

Because I was bound by a misplaced loyalty to fear I hadn’t been able to trust or to learn about the freedom God desired for me. I was a prisoner of fear.  Ultimately, I had been led by the negative emotions instead of the loving heart of God. Fear had prevented me from moving forward into healing and the life He had created. It kept me from understanding God and the freedom he wanted to give me. And it stole much more. Years and relationships that were meant for His goodness were taken.
But God, with his gracious heart, pursued my broken heart. As my perception of who He was became my anchor, my heart softened. I began to believe and have faith in who He was and His word. I began seeing and experiencing new defining moments in life, ones not led by fear. They consisted of faith. At times, fear can still be my first reaction. But then I hear the whisper of God saying, “Fear not, I am with you.” My loyalty was once misplaced. Now, I lay it down at Jesus’s feet.

Whatever you may be facing today, rest knowing God is with you right now, waiting to walk with you through your circumstances. May you be blessed today.

        ~Baring His Beauty,

           Tiffany Thomas 

Happy Birthday Daddy

  
My daddy would be 70 years old today.  

I am sure he is celebrating Big if they celebrate birthdays in Heaven. If they celebrate homecomings, this November will be his 8th homecoming anniversary. 

 I miss hearing his voice and his great big hugs and kisses and even his sneaky mischievous bite of my nose. I miss all his silly rhymes and poems and his calls just to say nothing but “It’s Your Daddy & I love you

I miss the emails and the phone conversations that lasted for hours and hours never running out of things to say. I miss that he loved large and always tried to help someone even in the times he had not much to give. I miss sharing recipes and what new music we found. I love that he never ever made me wonder if I was loved or special or the apple of his eye. He always said or signed his pictures “My favorite daughter” which he also did that to my sisters too! 

He gave me a love for all sorts of music and taught me to never despise the hard times. I loved how he could tell a story and make you feel like you were right there. He always made sure I knew he was one of my biggest fans. 

Sometimes I imagine my dad and my brother Toby (whose 10th homecoming is in a few weeks) and the amazing mansions with elaborate gardens and koi ponds and all the amazing art Dad is now creating for Jesus and my brother Toby playing and loving on all the animals and babies in Heaven. 

I spent far too many years very sad on their birthdays and homecoming anniversaries. I grieved my brother’s death in 2006 without hope and was able to grieve my dad’s death in 2008 with much hope. 

I am comforted now that because of the sting of their deaths I have come to know Jesus on a much more personal and deeper level. Because of my trust and their trust in Jesus, we will all one day be reunited. The more time I spend in my Heavenly Father’s presence the closer I feel to my earthly Father and my brother Toby. 

I am thankful for the moments that I see my dad’s dimple and quirky smile, his funny and hilarious personality and of course his True Die Hard Dallas Cowboys fan in my son, And I see his amazing artistic talent and fix anything, so creative and kind loving spirit in my daughter.  

Happy Birthday Daddy! No sad tears today –

 I promise not to be a squall monkey.  
   XXOO ~ Your Favorite Daughter, 

                        Michelle Bollom 

Restoring Hope (even now) 

   
 
I loved this blog! I know you will enjoy.  

Every year is a year of Restoration!

               ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

I firmly believe this is a year of restoration… I may not understand everything (and probably won’t) but Papa is a restoring God. Those hopes that have been differed in my own life and yours have been heard. Those sleepless nights where it seems everyone else is having their desires met have not gone unnoticed. […]

https://gottaworship2005.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/restoring-hope-even-now/

Celebrate Each Other 

  
He was sent to us

He was in our care

He slipped through

The cracks

Of distraction…

The cares of this

World and despair 

Strangling us

To his plea

Oh

My

God

!!!

Help us to hear

To see

To listen

And 

Rush to

The rescue

Of 

The hurting

The Ian’s 

That need

Friendship

Acknowledgment 

Recognition

Validation

Visibility

Compassion 

Acceptance

Kindness

A “like”

A comment

A visitation 

Comrades 

We must

Celebrate 

Each other

Before

Eternity

Takes us away

❤️Krystal Lynne 

An Unfinished Life 

 

 
Like a project that never gets completed
Like a bad nightmare that keeps being repeated
A moment; A glimpse
A life taken too quick
The grief
 The tears 
The aching inside
Nothing to take it away and nowhere to hide
How do you go on after this?
How can anything ever make you feel bliss?
 
The tears they gather like a bad rain storm
The days, weeks, and months are anything but the norm
It floods your mind and captures your soul
The wrinkles and bags on your face are proof that the pain has taken its toll
Grief so great and loss so real
When you just pray each day not to feel
Why so quick, so final, so complete, the end?
How many more tears do we shed before our hearts begin to mend?
 
Why? is the questions with no answers in sight
Why that minute? that second? that night?
Didn’t we love you enough to make you want to stay?
Why did God need you and have to take you away? 
We need you We love you
 We just had you back
Why was your spirit sad and your willpower lacked?
Why and Who and When and How, in my mind play over and over
Like the endless search for a four leaf clover
 
How do we find the comfort in our hearts to know you are at peace?
When those of us left here on earth find nothing but sadness in the least
 
The unspoken words, the unfinished plans, the promising future, the smiles, hugs and kisses robbed forever
How do we pick up our broken hearts and begin the next endeavor?
Are you happy or are you sad?, do you miss us? or are you mad?
Why was 43 years all God said you could have?
Your life wasn’t finished -so much more you could have had………
 
XXOO~Michelle Bollom 

In Loving Memory of my beloved brother 
Toby Todd Fine
1.31.63 to 3.19.2006


Rescue

IMG_1032.JPG

Who remembers the moment…? You know, the moment BEFORE…the split-second before the doctor spoke the diagnosis and your world crumbled; before the divorce was announced, yours or your parents and it rocked your foundation; before the death of a loved one caused you to turn away from God in anger and grief; before that sexual sin, yours or someone else’s done to you, robbed you of that full measure of innocence? Before you decided that a particular sin, yours or someone else’s was the unforgiveable?
So the next moment DID happen and you felt betrayed. Betrayed by everything you knew to be good in your life. Betrayed by God himself. So you ran away into the wilderness, alone. You stepped down into a trench of bitterness and you waited…waited in silence, in anger, in grief, in pain…waited for God to notice that you were, in fact, off by yourself and utterly alone…that one lost sheep that everyone has heard about who slipped away from His flock, His hand, His care. Now you wait there in daily trepidation and trembling because the wolves and bears in your life are catching your scent – the scent of defiant anger that tries unsuccessfully to mask the hopelessness of your situation. You want nothing to do with God but deep inside you still think “Where is He? What is taking so long for Him to come find me?”
Praise God! He knit you together in the womb. He knows you backward and forward. He knows everything about you – your favorite things and all the quirks of your personality…and He even knows your hiding places. He knew before the beginning of time that you would need a rescuer…a rescue from someone else’s sin and your own. Even then, He was making a way for your release. Because of Who He is, He determined before you even came into being that you were going to be valuable enough to Him to send His son to come and get you…to be your rescue…to take your place. Beloved child of God: HE MADE A WAY FOR YOU TO COME HOME! As you sit in your trench and contemplate your options, I’d like for you to think about this:
• A plan has already been drafted for you to come home
• The Father is eagerly awaiting your return
• At a high cost to Himself, He has hand-picked the Rescuer who is guaranteed to save you
• He has not only promised restoration for you, but blessings double of that which you had before!

Could it be that as long as you determine to stay hidden, and wrap yourself in your circumstances, you are delaying the rescue…? Are you the reason for making it take so long?

Jesus, our Rescuer, is calling for you to come out from wherever it is that you are hiding right now. Gather your courage, stand up and wave your arms. Cry out to Him. Be saved. Come home. ~Debbie Bouckley

Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. Isaiah 43:1b (AMP)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! -Psalm 139:13, 16-17

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be liberated into God’s freedom and peace. Acts 2:21 (VOICE)

When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:3 (NLT)

For more encouragement, listen here: