Wednesday, February 13, 2013



If only.

A little while ago...perhaps a month ago...

The girls and I were driving back from somewhere South, maybe IKEA.  (You all know how much we love IKEA.)  It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and we were flipping through radio stations, when the song Titanium came on.  Youtube it if you are unfamiliar with it and wish to listen.  If you've heard it, you know it has catchy beats and a repetitive, soaring chorus line:

"You shoot me down, but I won't fall...

The girls were singing this song very dramatically...imagine that.  When it got to the chorus, they sang at the top of their lungs, shouting almost, with fists in the air.  (You are all picturing Onnie doing this right now, if you know her, right? )  It was loud, hilarious, and full of you best not try to mess with me...


I had a very poignant moment, almost exactly one week ago today, remembering that memory...the sunshine joy laughter...invincibility...of us Lumsden girls.

All that beautiful strength being recalled

right as our family's hearts were getting gutted.   


I will not share details, as they are private.  But the past seven days have probably been the worst of my entire life...and that's quite a horrid achievement.

During those 5,040 minutes, lots of pithy sayings came to my mind...well, song lyrics, anyway:

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Only the strong survive.
Strength doesn't lie in numbers, strength doesn't lie in wealth...
(5 million points to the person who recognizes that last one without looking it up...)



So much cultural encouragement to be strong invincible bulletproof unassailable untouchable... 

I listened to those voices of cultural sway.  After all, my name actually means strength.  I honestly tried.  But in the end, I realized

I think it's all a bunch of crap.  

I do not posses the strength inside of me

just because I exist

to handle life-shattering events all on my own.  It is only arrogance and posturing which would make me even try in the first place.  

Truth...we need others.  We need listening ears, hugs, prayers, words of comfort and strength...someone to just be when life is tragic beyond words.  Sometimes we need space, too.


We need to mourn.

Donny Pauling shared this important truth with me years ago, and reminded me of it again last week.  Mourn, cry...feel what you are feeling.  Don't stuff your feelings or ignore them.  Feel them.

I know the last point seems very common sense, right?  But how many of us actually think it is okay to feel ugly scary bewildering crushing feelings?   For more than twelve seconds, anyway?

I think we all try to be strong, appear strong, believing it is the best and right thing to do.  But it is all backwards and doesn't accomplish what we hope.  Do we gather strength in the acting out of appearing to be so?  I don't think we do. 

I believe we also need strength from the One who holds time and space in His very capable hands... the Creator of the heavens. He gives comfort to our hearts beyond our understanding or fathoming.  Joy for mourning.

After the mourning.  Yes? 


I learned a lot this past week.  Some lessons and truths I honestly didn't want to learn...deep things I am still processing through...things that must change in the future.  

Above all,

 I learned I am not


I am okay with that.  More than okay, actually...

Instead, I will be real and pliable with grief, honesty, and clarity.  I will not be steel gray, but colored beautiful with brilliant hope.

Yes, please.


*My deepest THANK YOU to all of you who have been my strength and help this past all know who you are.  You have my humble gratitude and love.