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Fearfully and Wonderfully

Wow! It’s been awhile! I don’t write much anymore because I have a hard time knowing how or what to write about. This walk of grief is a bizarre road, often leading to nowhere:), though I know, after more than 8 years since my middle son passed away, that it is leading to a place of more healing and greater peace.

I have to share a cute exchange with my husband before I dive into my most recent thoughts. The grandkids were over yesterday, a day or so after we had quite a bit of rain, and it was nice out so they wanted to play outside, which of course is exactly what 9 years olds should be doing! And, as per usual for any 9-year-old, they were in and out of the house as their mom/aunt (my oldest child) and I visited (or tried to visit!). Consequently, a bit of mud was tracked through my house more than a few times. As I was cleaning this morning in preparation of our oldest daughter’s birthday dinner tonight, my hubby says, “I heard you yesterday say to the grandkids, ‘Oh, punkin, do you have a little mud on your shoes?’, in my sweet grandma voice.” “Why don’t I ever get that kind of treatment?!?!?”, he says. “I hear, ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re getting my clean floors dirty with your muddy shoes! You’d think at 60+ years old you’d know to check your shoes before you come through that door.'” Ha! I love him so much, and thankfully he loves me, too!

I read and follow a few blogs written by moms who are also child-loss moms, and I remember reading one a couple of years after our son died, and she started off saying that writing about the loss of her 18-year-old son no longer helped her, so she wasn’t going to write about it in her blog anymore. I thought, at the time, that that day may come for me, but I was nowhere near it at that time. I think I might be there, or near there, now. I’ve come to the conclusion that the grief I/we (myself, my hubby and our family) experience on a day-to-day basis isn’t ever really going to change much more. It is definitely much easier to carry than it was in the first 5 years or so. But it has changed me so profoundly and deeply that I am finally coming to a place of being okay with being so different. It brought about so many changes in my life, myself, my perspective on life, my faith, my values and my relationships, that I was for the most part debilitated by it for a very long time. But I am making peace with it and feel as though I understand it enough to go on with life without wrestling with the changes it has brought about, and instead relaxing into (and even embracing) those changes. I will probably still have to say “I’m so sad” on occasion, but I don’t think it will be the crux of my writing. Even after saying that, please allow me to say one more “explaining” thought on bearing the grief of losing a young adult child – I think most people think it is a one-time deal that a parent can grieve then let go and move on from, like “normal” losses. But it is not. It is a constant, on-going loss that we can never get over or move on from. It is our child. It is someone who should be here long after we are gone; not someone who lived their life fully and passed on at the appropriate time. This is something I wish people could at least try to understand. All the hints and instructive looks and dismissive glances cause even greater grief when a parent is trying to live after one of their children has gone to heaven ahead of them.

“When something is ripped out, there is always a hole. God is good enough to coat the raw and jagged edges in grace, if you will let him. The pain in your life will remain, but like an oyster that covers an unwelcome irritant, layer by layer, to protect itself, we can turn it into a pearl. In time, you will go from waves of sadness so severe that they require every ounce of your concentration just to survive to being able to carry the pain and smile at the same time.”

~Levi Lusko, Through the Eyes of a Lion

So, onto another topic! My favorite topic – my family, especially my kids and grandkids!

This past week our oldest granddaughter qualified to go to state by taking first place in impromptu speaking at her debate tournament. There were 36 speakers, and she took 1st place!!! I know I’m a little prejudice, but I think that she is awesome! And I’m so proud of her. She is an incredibly accomplished young person and is going to go far with her amazing personality, work ethic and drive to succeed. Here she is with her medal:

Isn’t she beautiful?

A couple of days later we attended Ellie’s younger sister’s cheer meet and watched her compete with other members of the Special Olympics. Our precious middle granddaughter, Addison, has been given special challenges and meets them with the grace and beauty I have come to expect from one of our oldest daughter’s daughters (she has 3). Addison is a gift to our family like no other. She has taught us all a level of compassion, love and patience I’m sure we would never have learned if she weren’t the special person she is. Here she is in her cheer uniform:

Isn’t she adorable?

And here she is with her mama, our oldest child, after receiving her medal:

There were several cheering teams from all around our area who participated in the meet, all with varying degrees of disability. But what struck me, and as my husband told me later, him, too, was the preciousness of each individual there. They varied in age (some looking like they were in their 60’s) as much as degree of challenge (some in wheelchairs), but each is fearfully and wonderfully created by God. Every single person (and there appeared to be about 75 participants from all around our area) are fearfully- meaning “creating life is a reverent, holy process” or “being in the presence of what is sacred” and wonderfully- meaning “in a way that inspires delight or admiration; extremely well” made. We all are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. And every single person, no matter their level of intelligence, their abilities, their outward appearance or gifts bestowed upon them by God, are precious in His sight and He loves us.

What an amazing thing.

I remember hearing a man talk about human beings being royalty once many years ago, and the one thing he said that has stuck with me and comes to mind occasionally was his comment to “respect the royalty in every person”. That one statement has many times caused me to stop, listen, consider and respect every person, no matter how my immediate reaction to them tells me they are. Because no one really knows how anyone really is except God, their Creator. And He calls us “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

“To be fearfully and wonderfully made includes every person from the womb to the tomb as human beings who bear the image of God. Each of us began with God, was uniquely designed by God, is made in His image, and is assigned to our times. His eye is on us.” Lori Stanley Roeleveld – contributing writer for

“You have searched me, Lord and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

You perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

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!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.”

Psalms 139:1-18

4 comments on “Fearfully and Wonderfully

  1. Rebecca Jesse says:

    Leanne, such timely words and encouraging. I love your family though I don’t know them. I said to myself “that’s so Dan” when he commented about the muddy tracks. Lol. Thinking about our journey some 48 years or so ago. I am living in Bradenton, Florida now retired after teaching in Alaska for what seemed like forever. Next time I come to Kansas let’s meet up. Lots of love! Rebecca Jesse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. I love that we have such long-ago history! Thank you for reading my blog post and for catching me up on your life a little bit. I look forward to the next time you are in KS! Lots of love to you, too!


  2. Joyce Records says:

    L, as always, your heart speaks volumes of wisdom and insight and encouragement! And each time I read your heart thoughts, I am so thankful God brought us together in friendship many years ago!! I’ve had the pleasure of watching your family grow and both their joys and struggles. God has blessed your family with such a rich heritage and legacy, and me with a dear, dear friend! Miss you fiercely! (And I can hear Dan say all that you shared…..What a great guy!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, my friend. I appreciate your kind words. I love that God brought us together all those many years ago. Your friendship has been a blessing in my life, and I hope someday to live closer again:)


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