Don’t be Sorry.

Read this all the way through before you start your inner dialogue please. It’s a much more complex concept than you can get at face value so read, consider and digest. Then we’ll talk.

So often over the last two weeks, I have heard, “I am so sorry!” and it is meant with all the good intention in the world. I understand that. But please don’t be sorry.

I LOVE to take a word and really try to figure out what it means. It’s a hangover from my days as a Christian Studies student and in particular my Hermeneutics class with the amazing Dr. Draper. So of course as I was sitting beside Momma’s bed last week I asked myself what “sorry” actually means.

Per Dictionary.com:
Sorry:
1. feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.
2. regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic
3. sorrowful, grieved, or sad
4. associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy;dismal.
5.wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful

Don’t be sorry. You have nothing to regret on our behalf. You didn’t cause Momma’s disease. Yes, it’s deplorable but tragic? If you could see all the letters and notes, hear the phone calls, and understand the love and outpouring we have experienced over the last week, you would never say we were in the midst of a tragedy. Yes, we are grieving but only for a time. Melancholy and dismal are so hopeless sounding, that I am avoiding those words at all costs. We’ll come back to #5 in a minute.
What is your alternative then? If I won’t allow you to be “sorry,” how should you feel?
Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is [c]near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all [d]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [e]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [f]dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I think we have confused people a little when we have chosen to make our peace with these circumstances. How can you rejoice? Because we know she will be healed. “I don’t understand any of this.” Neither do we but God’s peace is bigger than our understanding and I can absolutely assure you that there is a guard around my heart and mind right now that I can not explain.

That is why we are so encouraged and comforted by every thought and story that is shared about Mom and what she meant to people. We have heard story after story of how she sat with someone who was grieving and provided comfort. How she encouraged someone new in their faith or a new teacher and made all the difference in how they grew as a result. We have heard from all manner of people how Momma shared her gifts of cooking or sewing and made them feel loved, respected, and special.

We hear those stories. We share them with others. We cherish them. We let our minds dwell on the stunning beauty of Mom’s life and we have peace.

So back to definition #5. Don’t be sorry. You aren’t wretched, poor, useless or pitiful! You are loved, precious, purposeful and gorgeous! Look at verse 9 one more time.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Share the good thoughts, fun stories, precious moments with us. We love the encouragement. Think on those things! But more importantly, practice those same things. Love one another through service. Take time to sit quietly with those who are grieving and allow them to cry on your shoulders. Use my personal favorite and bake something for a neighbor! Walk with a new believer who may be a step or two behind you on the faith journey. Respect everyone.

And the God of peace will be with you.

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About Sarah

I hate when people ask me "who are you?" because it points out to me that I am about as average as you can get. I am an at home mom of four children- three schoolage, and a toddler. That said, my world consists of laundry, vacuuming, washing dishes and cooking meals just like every other mom on the planet. So what makes me different? Why should you read this blog? Because I'm a mom just like you who struggles daily to see, follow and live the life God intends for me. If my struggle, walk, attempts and failures can help you on your path and walk, then I am doing what the Father has asked me to do. Amen? Amen and pass the Lysol!
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3 Responses to Don’t be Sorry.

  1. Sandy Kosowski says:

    I remember my Mom passing on 9/24/09 as if it were yesterday. And I have to say that during the whole time, my brother and me (at her house in NJ) were praising the Lord for all HIS goodness to us during that time. And especially to my MOM for HIS goodness to her. And the fact that her work on this Earth was finished. The nurse told us the day before the Lord took her home, to say what ever we wanted to say to her that the hearing was the last to go. So I jumped up and leaned to her ear in her hospital bed in her living room, and whispered to her, that she finished her race and that the Lord will tell her that she did good, she was a good and faithful servant. My brother said that he saw her head move towards my face. Ever since that day, I look at death of one of Gods precious children in a different light then before that. That their service to HIM is finished on this earth and He has chosen to bring them home to Himself. That is where the rubber meets the road so to speak, for us who have given our lives to Him thru salvation. So now I feel strange saying I am sorry, like you said Sarah, because are we sorry that the Lord has chosen to bring one of his dear children home? Of course not. But it doesn’t mean that we won’t miss them! But it does mean that we will see them again!!!! And it will seem as if it was a day when we do compared to eternity. I had Paula as my first secret sister at South Juniatia Baptist church in Honey Grove and got to know her and Harry. Then they opened their house and hearts to us another time in my life when I needed it. I can’t thank them enough for that. So one day, I will see her again among the angels in Heaven with our Lord.

  2. mae1003 says:

    Very enlightening and thought provoking post. You sound like your mother. I said to a few friends yesterday, “Mrs. Diven would never stand for us sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves OR for her…she’s about to meet Jesus!” She would say you know what, it is what it is. I hate what it is .,for you girls, for your dad, for your children…but SHE gets to meet Jesus. Those of us who know Him, know that we will see her again. It takes everyone a different amount of time to get to the point of not being sorrowful. I wish your mom would not have to suffer one more day. Your mother made me laugh. She had the perfect sense of humor. I’ve got the emails to reread and I have been…laughing again when she told me my son was going to steal my teeth from me in the nursing home or “how could you possibly NOT have a sewing machine?” She gave me funny and loving advice that I cherish. She talked so much about Harry the Marvelous Man that I can’t think of him any other way. My son said “she really DOES have eyes in the back of her head because she knew so and so was running in the hall and she was way around the corner.” She loved hearing that! “keep them thinking that” she said. Her big thing to say to me was “I’ve GOT this.” Yeah this anxious parent heard that a lot and I believed it and was happy to GIVE it to her! I gave her a keychain saying “I’ve got this.” because she definitely did! She is the best. She will continue to make me smile and be a mentor to me even after she’s in heaven. Am I sorry? For myself because I love her…but for her, no. She is a legacy…she is amazing…I am better for having known her. Praise God for my one year with Mrs. Diven. 🙂

  3. Yes I am sorry- for me and my family but not for Paula- I won’t deny anyone the privilege of leaving this world to live in a place of no pain or tears. I have known her for almost my entire life. I’ve spent hours at her house with Sarah. I can remember her helping me as a young girl embroider pillow cases as surprise gift for my Mom. I have a Cabbage Patch doll that she made for me. At school she told my daughters stories of me- I always cringed when they came home from 3rd grade with the words “Mrs. Diven told us a story about you today!” Which tale would I hear this time? It often involved Sarah and I and the famous “ditch water cure”. Paula was a great teacher- her hands-on teaching style worked so well for my girls. I remember having concerns with one of my girls and her response was along the lines of “I got the first two (girls) through third grade, I think I can handle the last two!” And handle it, she did- the year went better than we could have imagined. We have many good memories of her JMS days- Little House events were some of the best times the girls talk about. I could go on with memories but I just wanted to add a few lines to show how she touched my life. My prayers are with your family- Harry Hoe Handle, Beth, Sarah and the rest of the family. Much love- Butch (Mashelle)

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