endless HOPE…

endless HOPE…

#14 – Angels in the Storm


If you’ve just started reading, you may want to read “Our Story”, then posts #1-13. Welcome, there’s endless HOPE…

Journal Entry Tues Dec 31, 2013 – Hmmm, interesting, finally making it to post #14, just as we’re about to ring in the New Year 2014!  Heading out to a late night movie after hubby gets home from late shift…that will be our family’s big excitement tonight. 2014 – so many possibilities, so much potential, so many options, so many things I could do, say, accomplish…or avoid, procrastinate from, or miss out on…in my laziness. I must get focused and “seize the year”! If I could do anything at all right now, I’d love to take a month off, stay home and battle through the ups and downs of writing this story out, to catch it up to current day.  Ya, probably not going to get to do that, so will just continue here by rattling off whatever random thoughts come out…a few things will come together…hopefully…

Even if I do somehow catch up by writing about the last 2 years, there will still be much to learn and much that will unfold every week – more triggers, more memories, but also more opportunities to help others, more chances to see the redemption that is coming from persevering through. It has been miraculous to me, and I’ve felt so honored to have been put in contact with several newly grieving parents, whether directly, or them being referred to my blog. I was relaying this to someone the other day and they brought to my attention that it is special – a ministry of sorts that is emerging maybe – that I’m able to relate to others with loss, to have a different level of compassion that has developed through my loss. There is a connection that comes, aside from our regular compassion we would have for any sad situation, when we can actually relate. Even though our circumstances are different and I can’t truly say “I understand how you feel”, there is credibility that seems to be formed in shared pain – or rather in the survival of it, the healing from it, and the increasing occurrences of thriving after it.

This is the mystery of good coming from bad – or “all things working together for good”. It seems baffling, mind-blowing, ridiculous at best, doesn’t it? How can it be that ALL things work for good? How can something horrific like loss, abuse, or crime work together for good? In the middle of the storm or nightmare we most often cannot see it. In that moment it’s not the regular human reaction to say, “wow, now I can help someone else survive or recover from this same kind of pain in the future”. If we are stuck in the middle of a huge and deadly tornado, we can’t see our way out, we can’t see how big it is, and we don’t know if we will survive. After making it through however, later in life when we see our neighbor just getting overtaken by the same type of tornado, we can be there for them when they come out from the worst of it, and reassure them that they can rebuild their life – we are credible, living proof, that it’s possible! Is the rotten circumstance or “storm of life” good in itself? Absolutely not! Would we wish it to happen if we could do it all over again? No, never! But…since it has happened, what can we find, take, learn, create?  What is that something – something positive that in turn is almost like taking revenge (if you feel the need for that) on tragedy, evil, disappointment itself?  There is always at least one thing to be gained, in spite of a loss.  Depending on whether the glass is looking half full or half empty at the moment may impact if we can see the thing to be gained…but it is there.  When I cannot see it, someone a few steps ahead of me in their journey often can.  Then, when it becomes clearer to me, I then can show that small speck of beauty to someone else…turns out there is a miniscule diamond hiding in the glass.

That reminds me of a remarkable interaction two years ago…just a month after our son Brandon passed.  I was speaking at a women’s conference, being interviewed in front of a few hundred people…it was about Life’s Journey…and I had the honor of telling a bit of our story so far at that time.  It had been the darkest month of my life to date, by a million miles, and yet even within minutes after the emergency personnel told us there was nothing more they could do, there were the tiniest little shimmers, fleeting maybe, but they felt like blessings nonetheless.  At that conference I told of those first recollections, things like the compassion and emotion I felt from those personnel, the personal connection, their sadness with us, their tears…it was so very precious to me in my greatest time of need to have these “angels” there and to not feel like our son was just a number, or that dealing with us was just business.  (Tears well up now thinking of it all).  At the end of the conference session, several people approached me to chat, hug, share briefly of their loss, and I was just there to connect and to encourage them, best I knew how so far, still in my numb state.  Later however another woman approached me, to this day I don’t really know who she is, but I think she said her name was Wendy.  She smiled at me knowingly, with genuine compassion, and recounted that she had been through something similar many, many years ago, when they lost a son just a bit older.  The part that impacted me so heavily from our very short conversation was her wonderous statement, after a disclaimer not to take this wrong or think she is minimizing the greatness of their loss.  She said something like “I want to let you know we have had such an exciting life”, and her eyes twinkled.  Wow, that blew my mind at that moment, but I have thought of it often and am seeing more and more how it could be true, I don’t think she was fibbing.  Thank you Wendy, whoever you are…I think it was in your eye’s twinkle that I saw a glimpse, assurance even, living proof that there really can be endless HOPE…and that I have lots of time ahead to make the most of.

Happy New Year – that might feel like a stretch from where you are sitting right now, but be encouraged that it is possible to survive, heal, begin to thrive again, and share the reflection off the gem you’ve found…to help light someone else’s way who’s following behind you in the journey.  We all have the ability to be an angel in someone else’s storm…it doesn’t take much light to glow in utter darkness, when we have even just a flicker of…endless HOPE…


Janine Kurtz

3 thoughts on “#14 – Angels in the Storm

  1. This is a good post. I have a friend that recently lost her husband. I am going to send her a link to your blog. She may not be ready yet, but maybe one day she will find some encouragement she can apply to her situation through your story. Thanks for sharing your endless hope!

  2. I have so enjoyed reading your blog, Janine. What courage you show in sharing your heart. I am forwarding your blog to my sister-in-law you lost her nephew this year in a tragic accident. Be blessed in the New Year

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