It’s been seven years since Samantha died. Seven years since I held my daughter in my arms, heard her voice, felt her breath. Seven years of grieving, and growing, and learning, and rebuilding. Seven years. How is that possible?
I wanted to write a book about our experiences, but I’ve found the process to be far too daunting emotionally. Instead, I’m going to attempt to blog about them. We’ve moved, and met a lot of new people, and formed new friendships in the past seven years. Most of the people I talk to regularly now were not even on my radar seven years ago. I never dreamed we’d be living in Fort Worth. I didn’t expect to have experienced PLI, or even have an expectation of what it would look like. I certainly didn’t think I would be coaching for them, or running our church’s website, or redecorating the youth room, or coordinating summer Sunday school for all ages. Everything that my life looks like now at age 40 is vastly different from what I expected at age 33 as we said goodbye to our daughter.
So instead of attempting a book, here’s my humble attempt at resurrecting this blog. I will either succeed at it and re-establish my writing habits, or finally quit this writing thing once and for all. Either way, I’m giving it my very best shot, because I would rather go all-in and find I hate it than just keep living in the limbo of “wishing” I had fully told our story.
I’m working ahead of time to publish posts, and my hope is to have a post every single day for a year. But I also know that realistically it may not happen. One of the things I repeat frequently with other pastors’ wives that I coach is the phrase, “give yourself grace.” I’m giving myself grace here. Guilt and shame never motivate me. What does motivate me is hearing from those who read, so please keep the comments coming and help me with encouragement! I need it, and I could use feedback to keep me going and help inspire me. If you have questions about our experiences, ask me! I want to tell our story as best I can, and knowing what you’d like to hear about will help.
For the moment, my plan is to structure this blog in the following ways:
- Liturgical year. While technically the church year begins at the end of November/beginning of December, I find it helpful to actually begin during this season of “ordinary time.”
- Samantha’s life story. I’m starting with the seventh anniversary of her death and ending on the eighth, Lord willing. So much of her life parallels the liturgical year, and there’s also a whole lot of other story for our family that fits in between all of the portions.
- Finally, when the above two areas don’t have significance for the day, the basic themes will be:
- Sunday – Love
- Monday – Joy
- Tuesday – Faith
- Wednesday – Hope
- Thursday – Grace
- Friday – Peace
- Saturday – Truth
I will explain more about each of these as we go through this journey. Sometimes I will fill you in on our current life stuff, too, and also some other pieces of the past seven years. There’s been a lot of good and bad, but the common thread that I see through all of it is God carrying us through. Sometimes He has given us the strength to stand; other times He drags us kicking and screaming into a new reality. But through it all, He has never once left us alone.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. I’m really thankful for you being in my life.
Next post coming tomorrow.
Camille Shingleton said:
Keep writing you do it well. You live life well also, with all of your story as well as Samantha’s. Thank you for sharing.
Elizabeth Finke said:
Thank you for taking us along on your journey. I look forward to living your story with you through your beautiful words. You are a wonderful writer!
Sharon Zehnder said:
Love to see you writing again, Stephanie!