Tuesday, June 8, 2010

He Will Wipe all TEARS away......

For me, the last few months have been rough. For me? Well, for me and my friends. I can start out by saying that all my test results turned out normal. I'm normal.....such a relief!! I just have to go back one more time to have the polyp removed and then as long as it's clear, I am home free. Ahhhh...I can say now, God is so good. But what about when things don't go so good? Remember when I first moved to Ohio and would blog about not having any friends? Well I prayed and asked God for friends, and He blessed me with several in Ohio. One of the first friends HE blessed me with when I moved here was my friend Susie. Susie was a joy to know...she was one of those people that remembered more details about what was going on in your life then you remembered yourself and would ask you each time she saw you how things were, naming things in particular that you had talked about the last time you saw eachother. When I first moved here, I saw quite a bit of Susie but she and her sweet husband Scott got involved in some ministry at our church that kept them pretty busy and our lives kind of went in different directions. Every once in a while we still got together, and I just loved Susie so much. Well Susie had some clinical depression going on behind the scenes that she hid very well, and about two months ago, she could not face the pain anymore and she took her own life. HEARTBREAKER. Dear Susie, if you only knew what an encouragement you were to other people....if you only knew. She left behind the love of her life, who has only just begun to process the pain. Susie is so missed, and so loved, by so many. So God, why did that have to happen? Why didn't you heal sweet Susie??? Then
another friend I was blessed with was Mary Ann. Mary Ann was another one of those people who always, and I mean ALWAYS put others above herself.
She was one of the most selfless people I have ever known. We shared the worry factor and would pray for eachother to be strong in that area. I loved Mary Ann, so much. I looked up to her so much. I treasured every moment I had with her. A year ago Mary Ann was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer. She lived about a year and finally went to be with her Lord and Saviour a few weeks ago. Again, why Lord, why? She was so loved, so needed, such a laborer for HIS kingdom. So hard to understand. Why didn't you heal her Lord?? I am being blatantly honest here, I have spent many hours wrestling with that very question. Mary Ann left a loving husband, loving children and grandchildren and extended family and friends like me who loved her deeply. I cannot pretend to understand. Then another one of my friends will go un named. But circumstances of life sort of sabotaged our friendship. What was just a budding friendship could not withstand the storms of life, and so I find myself without that friendship as well- through no fault of my own. Life is so hard sometimes. I have also wrestled with this one, but you can't force things to heal or force people to feel better about the way things turn out sometimes. You have to trust God, and let go. Last weekend I got word that the husband of one of my very dear friends from New York/New Jersey died of a massive heart attack, way too soon. My dear friend is widowed at a young age, and her husband was her best friend. Why Lord? So it's been a few months of hard WHYS for me....and of course I come back to knowing I need to trust in a God who sees the right side of the tapestry HE is weaving, when I can only see the back side with all the knots and loose ends. None of this takes God by surprise. And I do take comfort in picturing Susie and Mary Ann and Roger all in the everlasting arms, out of pain and into peace. There's an old song that says something to the affect of "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin thru" - and that truth has been driven home to me in new ways in the last few months. We really need to hold on loosely to the things of this earth, and instead we need to be laying up for ourselves treasure in heaven, where our reward is real. It's been an exercise in faith for me to count it all joy....so hard to do. I remember when I first moved here Mary Ann was the first friend I brought with me to see my house before we bought it. She asked the realtor questions I never thought of. A while after that, we had dinner together and then we went over and sort of broke and entered into my daughter and son in laws house when it was still under construction. We were like little kids, climbing up into their house where we knew we didn't belong and checking it out. Then - both of us being directionally challenged we tried for over 1/2 an hour to find the house I live in now which we were buying - which is only 7 minutes and 2 turns or so away from Jon and Bekah's house, but it got so late we had to give up our mission because we had driven everywhere and all around, but never found it which seems so comical to me now. I remember thinking that Mary Ann would be my forever friend in Ohio....I just felt like we were instant kindred spirits. I have cried so many tears - feeling like that got snuffed out way, way, way too soon. One day, God will wipe away every tear. Isn't that a comforting thought? I will see Mary Ann again one day, and Susie and Roger too. What a day of rejoicing that will be!! We cannot hope to understand everything that happens this side of heaven, but one day we will understand. One day we will stand before HIM face to face and we can ask questions like the best 3 year old on earth. All the whys will make sense. The Bible promises, HE will wipe away every tear. That is a promise I hold on tight to. I hope you have enjoyed these cards, which were ones I made as tributes to these people I loved , and still love. Remember, when we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see JESUS, we'll sing and shout the victory!! Hang your hat on that one, HE WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR!!!!
Until next time,

39 comments:

maryr917 said...

I can't say I understand the depth of the pain you are feeling or even pretend to have an answer to any of your questions but I am praying for you-may the peace that passes understanding over power your mind & spirit, Karen

Betty Wright said...

I am so glad all your test results came back okay! I am sorry for your losses lately, Karen! There really are no words. Beautiful suite of cards! I am really having a hard time getting my white gel to look...well..white. Yours is so crisp. Lovely designs! Keeping you in my prayers!

Peggy said...

They always say that it is hardest for those of us left behind. I am a firm believer in the saying about some people come into our lives for a short time, some for a longer time and some are our forever friends. Each has a purpose for passing through our lives and each have gifts and contributions to our life lessons.
I wish you peace and comfort in this difficult time. I am sure your faith will see you through.
Hugs!

Peggy said...

I meant to comment on your cards as well! They are absolutely beautiful as always!

Vicki Dutcher said...

Glad your tests were normal! So sad to read about the friends you have lost~~my prayers are with YOU to be able to get through these tough times~ my heart breaks for you.

Meanwhile, all of your cards were absolutely beautiful (as I expected they would be) I look forward to seeing that you have posted something on your blog..I jump right over to see the latest beauties!!

Hang in there my cyber friend and know I care! V

Karen W said...

Wow your summer has already been quite rough. Thankfully God is there with you. Your cards are amazing, I was gone last week and missed those but all of them are just gorgeous. Hang in there, you are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Edna Morrisedie said...

Sorry your times have been so challengeing Karen, seriously Heartbreak is an understatement!!!

I am sure it is your faith that has kept you together... here's to a hassle free forward months for you! Cards are lovely, glad you have that in your life, and rest assured many friends with it!!

Thanks for sharing!

Carol Dee said...

Dearet Karen.
Bless you so for sharing your heart and tears with us. Consider yourself hugged. A great Big hug. I am so sorry for all your loss and pain in the last months. Glad to hear your health is good. That you are "normal!" (Are any of us?) Your cards are Beautiful. You are beautiful. TFS. Hugs...

Michelle said...

Your cards are beautiful and words very powerful. Thnak you for sharing both.

Patti said...

Gorgeous cards as usual! You ask why your friends weren't healed... they were healed the day the Lord took them home! They have the final reward! Sometimes so hard to understand! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Karen
I feel some connection to you as my maiden name was Barber. I hear so much sadness in your last entry and want you to know that you are in my prayers. Karen, I have always found comfort in my belief that the Lord has a plan for everyone, when the Lord feels their job on earth is done He calls them home. Perhaps the purpose for your friends life was achieved and it was there time. For your good friend her job may have been to support and provide friendship, we can only guess. Please continue to trust God and hold strong to the knowledge that He IS in control.
Best wishes
Janette P

Kathy Braun and Lucky said...

Karen, Your friends sound awesome and I am so sorry for your loss.You have such hard "whys" to answer, but I have come to believe that we need to follow the path that God lays before us and some point it will be clear. They had you as a friend who touched their lives and what gift that is. Your cards are such beautiful tributes to them and I am sure they feel honored to have you as a friend.

Shari Winterstein said...

The Lord is SO good! He allows us to go through the valleys so He can lift us up. When we arrive on the other side of the valley we realize that He kept His very precious promise that He would NEVER leave us or forsake us. Thank you for sharing your heart and your beautiful cards. The Lord bless you and keep you in His tender care.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that timely reminder!

Victoria said...

Karen - I know you only from a fellow stamper on splitcoast, so as you may guess - So I can only go by what I gather from your posts and what I can tell you is that from your that you seem like a very dear and loving friend that anyone would be lucky to have. Life really can throw some nasty stuff our way and I just hope that you and your family are able to weather them as best you can. You're an inspiration to many of us "budding" stampers and I follow your blog. Just know that all though we may not be "friends", you do touch many peoples lives on a daily basis.
Thinking of you in your hard times.
Victoria

jdmommy said...

What a surprise...I LOVE every one of your cards!! However, I MUST tell you, the RED, black, and white is my fav!! LOL! So glad you are back to your blog!!!

Peggy Maier said...

You truly have been through so much pain... but it sounds as if you have the right attitude - hold on to God & His promises - they never fail...
Jesus promised we WILL have trouble in this world, but He has overcome it all & we can cling to Him during the dark times of life.
May He bless you with many more friends & happy times to come!

kshuffler said...

Karen please know that I will keep you in my prayers. God must have needed these people more than we did. He has a plan. God be with you.

Margie said...

I am so sorry for all your recent loss. We just can't comprehend when these things happen. I always find comfort in knowing that it makes us stronger to help others who may be struggling with similar losses, who do not have the faith we have. God is Good - All the Time! By the way, your cards are absolutely gorgeous. (I live near Cincinnati, Ohio. Are you anywhere nearby?)

Glenda said...

Many years ago, whenever I hit a bump, my Mom would say "God is making you strong....He has a plan for you". Little did I know he was making me strong for her. Sadly my Mom was so very sick for over a year before her passing and I spent many trips to emergency room, sleepless nights while she was in intensive care...and much pain because of her pain. But I was able to do everything I had to do for her and then some. I thank God he made me strong!! Maybe he has a bigger plan for you my sweet!

Cynthia said...

Dearest Karen
Wonderful news about your physical health. God truly is good. As for the rest? I have no answers, except the knowledge that, as you said, He has a plan. I don't always understand what it is. But I trust in Him. I wish I were closer to you (geographically) to be one of your friends there. But know that you have a multitude of blog-friends who love you and are praying for you.
Thank you for all your beautiful cards, and for sharing your talent with us. You inspire me.
God Bless,
Cynthia
<><

Bonnie McLain said...

Well glad to hear you are normal… I never really a normal YOU…!!!! You are totally out of the box GIRL… in all ways… so get some kind of other tests done.. as those were wrong… 100%...

(all kidding aside… glad to know you are normal.. And I am also so sorry to hear about all the ups and downs in your life.. but God never puts more on your plate than you can handle… so walk proud and get done what you can.. that is all we can do.)

Your CARDS… well again… normal???? Do you want to talk normal again???? Well these are outstandingly done Karen.. great work… love them all.. I with Betty these white pens are only good for just a little time.. .I go thru one in a couple of weeks… I do use it a lot… but they just don’t last.. we have to find some that really do work… and last longer…

Thanks for all the sharing.. and positive input Karen… You have a lovely DIL too… You are very lucky..

Barbara V said...

Oh dear Karen...first of all I am so happy to hear your test results were A-OK.

I am so sorry to hear about your friends. Just a few years ago we lost a dear friend who was indeed suffering from depression and took her own life. So hard to understand! Our pastor had such heartwarming words when he said there was no doubt that she was indeed in the arms of a loving
God and no longer in such torment. Sometimes life is just messy, isn't it?

Julia Aston said...

Beautiful cards Karen! - sorry for all the losses in your life - these are the times we really need God - not to question why - but to hold us up and give us comfort.

Gale said...

Karen - as always your cards are beautiful and inspiring. Love your work.
It is good to hear your own health is okay, but I am so saddened that you have had such losses lately. I think God has work for us all: here to help others and make us stronger for what will be our longer term work with Him and for Him in His house. When we have learned what we need to here and done what we need to do for Him here, He calls us to Him. It just is so darn hard for the rest of us left behind, but we need to know we still have work to do for Him and will see those we love when our work here is done. Prayers for you and your friends' love ones.

Joanne Travis said...

Hugs to you, sweet friend.
Words cannot express my sympathy for what you must be feeling, but please know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
It is good to keep busy and let your mind sort through everything and your cards are all so beautiful. What a talent you have Karen. I fully expect to see you as a Dirty Dozen gal, hopefully soon!!

Korin said...

Sweet Karen....my heart just aches for you...the wonderful friends you have lost these last few weeks were sent by God to be a blessing to you and it is evident that they were just that.

We can never understand the whys but we can stand firm knowing that God's way is best. He sees the big picture while we only see one day at a time. He love you so much and he will heal your broken heart. I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said. You will be in my prayers.

And by the way, your cards are STUNNING!!! Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and your precious heart!! May you feel the arms of Jesus holding you close today!

Hugs,
Korin

Marilyn (mlj-mlj) said...

I'm happy that your test results are normal. That whole medical process is so emotional plus the loss of several close friends. Time and your faith will help you heal. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Karen said...

I'm so sorry about your friends. I sometimes wonder if they've fulfilled whatever purpose God had for them and it's time for them to experience their heavenly home. My cousin took his own life at age 21 two years ago. He was in such incredible emotional pain, he hid it too. It's hard to watch our children in pain, why would God, when he had the power to end that pain, not take his children home? Perhaps the taking of a life is more about lessons for the survivors. It's sooooooo incredibly devastating. We won't know answers until we go Home, and then we won't care, will we? Hang in there, it gets better, not much, but some.
Karen

Francie G. said...

Karen, I can't imagine what you are dealing with at the loss of so many beautiful people in your life! Sending hugs and prayers to you and the other loved ones that were left behind. I am so happy your test came back okay!

Your cards are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

Amber (bambi64) said...

{{{hugs}}} Karen. Hope that in August I can give you a real one in person at Stampaway! sorry to hear about your losses, Wish you lived just a little closer to me, I'd be your friend for sure.

Dawn B. said...

I know what it is like to move to a new town and face the trials and tribulations.. Being shy and quiet I have really struggled too. I did so much praying and have learned to trust God with who he puts in my life..

I can feel your pain in this post and hope that he lays his hands upon your heart and gives you some peace. Your heart is in the right place and that is so important.. Have a wonderful weekend.. I LOVE your creations.. They are always beautiful...Hugs.

SO glad your test results were normal.. :)

Cindy Lawrence said...

Dear sweet Karen, My goodness, it has been WAY too long since I've been in touch with you! I am sooo sorry for the health issues and heart-aches that you have experienced over the last few months. I am SO glad that your test results came back okay. That is scary stuff, indeed!

Your cards are spectacular, as always, by the way! I miss my Karen Barber cards! :)

I will be praying for you, my friend. Love you always! ~Cindy

Dawn Mercedes said...

OH wow...that is sooo sad...

I'm glad that you can look to the future with confidence and trust.

Glad you results came back with good news!

Margie said...

I truly hope you are still stamping during this difficult time. I miss your posts. Your cards are truly amazing and I appreciate that you share your talent with us.

The Pursuit of Stampin'ess said...

Dear Karen. I was so thankful to see that there were so many people responding to your blog entry.. You are loved and prayed for by all these people. What a blessing. God is faithful. he knows how to care for what belongs to Him. I pray that He will take away the pain behind your questions, so it will be a bit easier to live with them. He did that for me. The questions are still there, but there is room in my soul for other thoughts and feelings.
Stay close to Him and take care, pauline.

http://thepursuitofstampiness.blogspot.com/

QueenPam said...

Weeping may endure for a night but I am a witness that Joy does come back!I'm praying for you and the families of those loved

bensarmom said...

Karen, your post brought tears to my eyes. You certainly have had a rough time lately. I am an Ohioan as well and a Christian. I am praying that you will heal and have peace in your life. That you will continue to lean on God and trust in Him. I don't pretend to know the depth of your grief,nor the will of God, but I am so thankful that you can write about your life so God can bring people into your life who can pray with and for you. Your cards are so gorgeous. You've truly been given a gift to use to glorify God. I pray that you will continue to do that and bring more people to His kingdom because of who you are.
Bless you,
Sue

kari leach said...

Karen,this is the first time I have visited your blog. If you ever read this...I hope you know how much your story touched me. I love your blog and hope you create new posts. I am confident that your friends are watching you from God's home. Sometimes our angels have to work from home too, it's the only way. They haven't forgotten you as you haven't them. God Bless!