Divorce, Grief, Retirement, Transitions, Widowhood

WE WILL ALL BE CHANGED

2019-01-09 14.22.23

Winter is a time for deep thoughts as we wait out the cold months to take up our lives again in Spring. I was inspired walking through the cold, snow covered graveyard in Pennsylvania looking at the headstones of people long gone from this life. I came across two headstones, marked just FATHER and MOTHER.  Whose Father and Mother? What were their names? Why had they been buried here? Many stories popped into my imagination at that time, of an adventurous couple coming to an untimely end and being found by strangers and buried in the nearest churchyard?  I left them sleeping there with their untold story.

Death changes us. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 “we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”. We are told we shall have new and glorious bodies at the resurrection. That gives us hope for our loved ones who have passed on.  But I thought that verse has a deeper meaning, we shall all be changed, those who are left behind also face major changes in their lives.

What happens when your spouse dies, or a child or your parents or beloved friend? Each of these encounters with loss, changes you. How you deal with the loss and how you walk through the grief process. When my late husband died, it left me with difficult choices to make.  Should I remain in Cape Town where I had plenty of friends and support?  Should I move to be nearer to one of my children living overseas? Did I want be left alone to grow old on the African continent when all my closest family lived in America?  How was I going to earn enough for my retirement?  There were a thousand questions I had to answer as a result of my husband’s death.

The answers to those questions led me to a career change, a move to the UK and finding my feet again at age 62, that experience certainly changed me, it stretched me in every direction. I was able to grow again, instead of being settled in the mundane existence that a married couple can fall into over time. I found myself excited about life again. We are so resistant to change and yet it is the very thing that proves our limitations and our character.  I found a new joy in being able to explore my new environment, I learned a whole new skillset, I made new friends and I was able to travel to places I would never have been able to had I remained in South Africa.

Was I afraid of the unknown? You bet I was!  Yet I knew deep down that things could not remain the same, and I would have to make changes whatever I did.  Have you been placed at a crossroads in your life by loss? Are you afraid of the giant leaps you may have to take on your own?  I have travelled this path and am happy to walk beside you as you make this transition to a new place in your life.  If you would like my map and let me guide you, please contact me via my webpage ww.crossingmybridges.com

Grief, Transitions, Widowhood

WE HAVE SERVED OUR GENERATION

I recently went on a trip to Pennsylvania. It was midwinter and there were thick snow drifts alongside the main road.  The magic of the winter wonderland was not lost on me and I wanted to take photographs.  Passing a cemetery, I looked at the rows of graves covered in snow, with the wind blowing snow across the desolate landscape.  Immediately I thought of the finality and coldness of death. People long gone planted beneath the frozen sod, covered in a blanket of snow.  And yet this picture gave me hope as well.

In Psalm 116, the psalmist says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is his loved ones, he does not let them lightly die.”  This has certainly been a comfort to me when beloved family and friends have died.  Paul also said in Acts 13:36 “For David, after he had served his generation according to the will of God, he died and was buried.” We all have a God given purpose to serve our generation, leaving our footprint in the hearts of our family and friends. When our time is done and our work is complete, we are called home to our eternal rest.

We certainly have questions when a loved one is called suddenly, but it is not why they are called we should question, but how can we use this suffering to be healed in our hearts and how can we help others to heal who have been through this experience?  My pastor told me Christ is unveiled in suffering when my fiancée took his own life. The suffering he went through with depression and the pain he left for his family to work through as he left this earth has enabled me to have compassion for those facing similar situations. The long journey through illness and dementia of my late husband taught me so much about having patience and the trauma caregivers have to work through, caring for their loved ones.

These experiences have certainly given me the insight and the compassion to walk with others through this rough patch on their journey of life.

Job certainly had a lot of grief to process in his life. Job 24:19 He said, “Death consumes sinners as drought and heat consume snow.” Looking at the graveyard deeply covered in snow, I could imagine the time when the sun would melt the snow and the grass would grow green and plants and trees in the graveyard would start to send out shoots. Job also said ( Job 37:6 } For he directs the snow, the showers, and storms to fall upon the earth. and cause the grain to grow and to produce seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry”.  Yes, when the coldness of death and grief has been processed those green shoots of life begin to grow as we take up life again.  This is also a time for growing in new directions and being able to produce a crop of goodness that will feed others.

This journey of grief takes time and maybe you are starting to feel the green shoot stirring in your heart and would like to pick up the pieces of your life again.  if you would like me to walk with you through this stage of your life, please get in contact with me through my web page http://www.crossingmybridges.com, I would love to give you a map and guide posts to help you find your way.

Transitions

NEW EVERY MORNING

As January draws to a close, my vision is cast for the new year and plans are made to achieve my goals.  This is a relatively new practice for me. Maybe this is a new practice for you too.  It was only about five years ago when I realized that if you truly set your mind to achieve your goals by writing them down and formulating a plan to get there, you actually made progress. I had always made ‘resolutions’ or even a five year plan, but not actually set it down.

Any new practice takes time to learn and a dedication to yourself to achieve it, sometimes it is really hard, and you want to give up, at other times you press the pause button and let yourself catch up with life.  There are no rules, you are setting the pace.  But as I was meditating on the newness of this year and my plans, I realized that Scripture mentions new things that God is going to do, and that give me a lot of hope, have they happened yet? Some have and some I am still waiting for, so if God is not in a hurry, I can give myself some slack too!

His lovingkindness and faithfulness begin anew every day (Lam:23), so even if we messed up yesterday, today is a brand-new day in His love and faithfulness. We are a new creation (2 Cor 5:7) so our past does not define us.  We have an opportunity every day to move forward in our new life. He gave us a new heart (Ez 36:26). How many of us have had our hearts broken? Yes, that new creation brings healing to our broken hearts and makes them new and ready to beat strongly again. And we will be given a new name (Rev 2:17).  My name is Deryn and many times I have wished I could have a new name as my name is hard for people to grasp.  But when I found out it actually means little bird in Welsh, I embraced it as a little bird has freedom to fly where she will, not constrained by any encumbrances, God gives us freedom from the past and gives us a new song to sing (Ps 40:3) He then makes us into New Wine with the fruit of our labors (Is 36:17).

Life is a journey and it does take time to implement your plans and reach your goals, but the journey is where you are being given these new things and are learning new skills and practices that take you nearer to your destination.

I have a map  and questionnaire I created to help guide you through life’s transitions and I would be happy to walk with you on your journey.  Contact me if you would like me to be your guide.

Transitions

WRITE DOWN THE VISION

2019-01-20 16.34.19

January is the time for new beginnings, we often make New years Resolutions or set our goals for the year. There is something special about being able to say goodbye to the past year with all its trials and tribulations, its joys and celebrations.

I love to turn to the first page of my new planner, it is blank, I am the one who chooses to write down how I would like my year to proceed.  Sometimes we think we are controlled by our circumstances.  Circumstances certainly play their part, but if we have a vision and a plan for what we would like our life to be like , we can also use our circumstances to proceed down our chosen path, it may well be a detour, but from this vantage point you may have an even greater vision for what life could be like.

I love the words of Habakkuk the prophet “Write down the vision on tablets……For the vision is yet for an appointed time; it hastens towards the goal. It won’t happen right away”.  This is the purpose of writing the vision and goals down as they take a long time to mature and come to pass, if they are written down you won’t forget them, and you will have a plan and a map to where you need to go, regardless of the circumstances.  Habakkuk was between rock and hard place at the time he wrote that down, as the Lord had said there was going to be a time of great suffering and hardship before the vision came to pass. “even though the fig tree will not blossom and there be no fruit on the vine, yet will I rejoice in the God of my Salvation”.  Through the hard times Habakkuk kept his faith that God would bring it to pass.

January is a time of transitions for many as you face changed circumstances, changes in a career that results in moving to a new place.  It could be that you have just retired or are facing health problems that make it difficult to live independently. A divorce or death of a partner means taking up life again as a singleton and coming to terms with all that this loss involves.

We are not put on earth to do life alone, times can be hard and lonely. It helps to have a few guideposts and tips for the journey from someone who has travelled the road before you.  I have designed a map to help people moving through transitions and am happy to help you.

I have had to move countries and careers four times, I have been both divorced and widowed and have managed Retirement Housing and helped the elderly through to their end of life, this has given me a wealth of experience in managing Transitions and I would be happy to help you.

Download my free Map and Questionnaire. If you would like to have further help, the first module on the Transitions Process available.

Divorce, Grief, Retirement, Transitions, Widowhood

YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH TRANSITIONS

cropped-scanfinaltransmap2-e1534282544842.jpgHERO’S JOURNEY MAP

From the day we are born to the day we die we are on a journey called LIFE! We will experience many things on this journey both happy and sad, some things we had a choice in and others that were done to us.  We will have learned many things, intellectually, physically and spiritually which have left an emotional footprint in our hearts.

I have been through the University of Life and have experienced the trauma of divorce and widowhood, I have had to move countries and adapt to different culture four times and now I have retired am moving into the second half of life, I also managed an old age home and learned how the final years of your life’s journey need to be planned.

With all this in mind I have designed a map to chart the pathway through these difficult transitions.  Allow me to hold your hand and guide you through your difficult places. Download the Map and Questionnaire here and feel free to reach out to me.

Your adventurous guide and mentor

Deryn

Divorce, Grief, Uncategorized, Widowhood

You are the Hero of Your Life’s Journey

Thank you for joining me!

You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where where I am. Psalm 139:3 (NLV)

scanfinaltransmap

“YOU ARE THE HERO OF YOUR LIFE’S JOURNEY – no one else can do it for you, others can point out the best route, they can encourage you and feed you, but you are the one who has to do the work putting one foot in front of the other to reach your destination.”

Have you ever had your life suddenly disrupted?  Life was jogging along with its routines and ups and downs when an event or news disrupts your life and it changes for ever.  You were thrown into a great ocean of emotions swirling and crashing around you, they ebbed and flowed like a giant tidal wave and you struggled to surface again.  How do you get back on track with your life again?

Or did you wake up one morning and look in the mirror and see your wrinkles and the spectre of old age looking back at you?

Hi, my name is Deryn, I was thrown into this life changing moment when at the age of 38 my husband of 17 years wanted a divorce. I had to cope as a single parent, I moved countries, changed jobs and had to start my life over.  This was the first of many re-inventions of my life, I realised that through these transitions I had built up resilience to change and could help guide others through their transitions.

I would have loved for someone to have helped me finding my way, a friend who could have guided me and encouraged me.  I did have the help of some family and friends and my faith in God which helped me back on my feet again.

I worked as a Geological Cartographer as well as an artist and I came up with the idea of a map designed as a guide to help you navigate through these transitions.  There are so many metaphors in the mining world that helped me see beyond the present circumstances, and I hope they will help others too.

You are the Hero of your own life’s journey, no one else can do it for you, others can point out the best route, they can encourage you and feed you, but you are the one who has to do the work putting one foot in front of the other to reach your destination.

So if you are willing for me to be a guide and help you navigate through your transitions, we will cross those bridges not only when we get to them, but we will plan for them in advance, as preparation is key to remaining calm and having a plan of action. This doesn’t mean you wont have the swirling emotions that go with them, but that you will be anchored. You have a map to find your way.

My secure world was shattered the day my husband asked for a divorce, and again later when the man I was going to marry committed suicide.  I never expected to be the carer for my late husband who had vascular dementia and the road that would lead me along.  I prepared well in advance for retirement, but even with all the planning and foresight, wisdom and experience it was still a difficult process that had to be navigated.

I am still on this journey called life, I still have my faith in God as that is my final destination and have that inner joy of being contentment in all circumstances and am rich in experiences which I shall be happy to share with you to encourage you along your pathway through life’s transitions.