“Grief is Not Brief”

While I cook, I always wash dishes as I go. This was something my Aunt Tricia taught me as a child and it stuck with me. Tonight while I was cooking and washing dishes she came to mind and I started thinking about all the things I do or habits I have that came from her. Then I started thinking about how I wouldn’t have been raised by her if my mother hadn’t died. For a quick moment, I thought, “I still can’t believe she’s gone.” Mind you, my mother died when I was 10, and I’m now 35. But every now and then I still have those moments. I write about this in my post The Pain Of Losing A Mother.

My Bishop says, “grief is not brief”, and I can attest to that from experience. Grief is a lifelong process. There are 5 stages of grief- Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. It’s possible to find yourself going back and forth between 2 or 3 of the stages for a lifetime. You may have gone through all 5 stages and are good for a while, maybe even years. And then there are moments that you’ll experience or accomplish something that you’ll wish they were here to see and you may find yourself angry or depressed. And then you’ll find yourself back to Acceptance where you have made peace with the fact that none of us are meant to live forever. And if you’re a believer that they are in good hands with the Father and that you’ll see them again, you find yourself even more at peace. I know we’ve been told that time heals all wounds. It doesn’t. God will do that. But you have to let Him. When I have my moments of missing my mother or my Aunt Tricia or really anybody I’ve lost, I simply say, “Lord, help me. I need You.” I don’t try to act like I’m good like I used to. God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness so if I want to experience His power, His comfort, His love, I gotta give Him my pain, my sadness, my grief. And so do you. Give it to God. All of it. And then go to sleep

3 Ways We Put Band-Aids On Our Wounds

Have you ever got a scratch or a sore, slapped a Band-Aid on it, went on about your day, only to realize later that the wound was much deeper than you initially thought it was? Or… have you ever had a sore you knew was serious but didn’t have (or simply didn’t take) the time to properly treat it so you slapped a Band-Aid on it, went about your day, only to end up with a sore that was much worse than before? I can answer yes to both of those questions. And for both scenarios, I can’t help but think that if I had only taken the time to treat my wounds when they occurred, I could have avoided the unnecessary and painful process of now having to treat an infection.

As a Medical Assisting Instructor, one of the lessons I teach to my students is the process a wound has to go through before it is completely healed. There are 3 phases:

Phase 1 is what’s called the Lag Phase. This is the phase that begins immediately after the wound occurs. Whenever there’s a breaking of our skin, we have tiny blood vessels called ‘platelets’ that begin to form a plug to stop the bleeding. A scab may eventually form, which many people are tempted to pick. Please be careful picking it, though, as this may reopen the wound causing it to bleed out again, prolonging moving on to the next phase.

Phase 2 is referred to as Proliferation. This is the phase in which the tissue around the wound begins to repair itself. There may still be a scab or visible scar. Again, it may be tempting to pick. Although picking it during this phase may not cause the wound to bleed out, it can still prolong moving onto the next phase.

Phase 3 is Remodeling. This is the final phase in which collagen (the protein that provides structure to our skin) completely closes the wound. In most cases, there will be some kind of mark, a reminder that there was once a wound. And in some cases, the skin repairs itself so well that you’d never know there was a wound.

I share those phases only to give you insight about the process a wound has to go through before it is completely healed. In order to reach phase 3, it must first go through phases 1 and 2. Depending on the type of wound and how deep it is, phase 1 may last for days; phases 2 and 3 can last days, months, or even years. This same thing can be said for emotional wounds. The thing about emotional wounds, though, is that they are not visible like the physical wounds I described above. While the effects of emotional wounds can be visualized by a person’s actions, attitude, or demeanor, we cannot actually see emotional wounds with our eyes. In fact, for many people, it takes certain events to take place for them to realize they even have emotional wounds. This is why emotional wounds are so easy to cover up. Here are 3 ways we cover our emotional wounds with metaphoric “Band-Aids”:

We pretend it doesn’t hurt.

“I’m okay.” Sound familiar? You tell yourself you’re fine in hopes of eventually being fine. But, what has ever gone away simply because you pretended it wasn’t there? Please let me know below in the comments. This morning I swept up some dirt that was in my kitchen. Trust me, I wanted to pretend it wasn’t there. But every time I went into the kitchen, I was reminded the dirt was there. How was I reminded? I could see it. Whether it’s something you see, feel, or hear, there will always be something to remind you that that pain is still there. You may be saying, “I just want to move on.” And I get it. But moving on is going to involve addressing the pain. We can’t fix what we don’t address.

We avoid talking about what hurts.

Many people avoid talking about what hurts them. Some even hide behind being “nonconfrontational”. “I don’t like to argue.” This happens often in relationships. One may feel they’re helping their relationship by not “arguing”, not realizing that the building resentment is actually harming the relationship as they harbor negative feelings. Harboring negative feelings toward a person for too long can eventually cause you to emotionally detach from them. We must communicate and resist the temptation to sweep it under a rug, make up, and act like what they did or said did not hurt. 

We consciously avoid addressing the pain.

Many of us feel we can’t take the pain of addressing what hurts. I can relate to this all too well. For years, I put a traumatic experience in the back of my mind because every time I thought about it, it hurt.  What I didn’t realize was that that going through that pain was inevitable and necessary. It had to hurt before it felt better. The question I had to ask myself was if I wanted to address my wounds now or if I wanted to let them fester and address later? Just like with a physical wound, prolonging treatment will prolong healing.

Recently my friend told me how her son injured his toe and was in a lot of pain, but he was afraid of the pain that would come with getting it treated. She said she kept telling him that he needed to get it treated before it got worse. But because he avoided treatment for so long, his toe got worse and it became so infected that he had to get 3 different injections in that one toe. If he had sought treatment and allowed himself to FEEL the pain early on, he would not have had to go through the excruciating pain of getting all those needles later.

Every wound, whether physical or emotional, has to go through a PROCESS that does not always feel good. It hurts! But the only way to GET through the pain is to GO through the pain. A deep physical wound requires a proper cleansing of the inside of that wound. Failure to clean that wound will result in fragments of the object that caused the wound to remain in place and take residence inside of you. That object has no business being there and your body knows it, which is why pain occurs. Why fever occurs. Pain and fever is our body’s way of letting us know there is something inside of our bodies that should NOT be there. In the same way, anger, bitterness, resentment, and insecurities are signs that there are fragments of past hurts that are still inside of us, fragments that are NOT supposed to be there. Could there be fragments of what happened to you when you were a child left inside of you? Are there fragments of something that was said to you or about you left inside of you? Could there be fragments from your divorce left inside of you? Fragments from a painful loss left inside of you? 

I pray that this post has challenged you to search yourself for any evidence that there may be fragments left inside of you that need to GO. I pray that it has challenged you to search for any evidence that you may have wounds in which you’ve had a Band-Aid on for years but now realizing that what it really needed was air. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. Feel free to add more ways in which we cover up our wounds. As always please send any questions, suggestions, or prayer requests to love_mizzk@yahoo.com 

Until next time,

Love Mizz K


“Children Are Seasonal…”

“Children are seasonal…”. This statement hit me like a ton of bricks as I watched the interview of Gospel singer JJ Hairston and his wife, Trina, on Sister Circle Live.  They were on the show promoting their new book and was asked how they balance their marriage with parenthood. When Trina said she puts her marriage first because “children are seasonal,” I instantly thought of my daughter. I have been on an emotional roller coaster these past few days as the reality of my daughter now being a highschooler has set in. Monday I dropped her off at her new high school and I fought back tears as I watched her walk into this new stage of her life. So many thoughts went through my mind:

She’s entering into a whole new world.’

She’s going to be in the same vicinity as 17 and even 18-year-old boys.’

She’s still a baby at 13.’

Four more years and she’s gonna be going off to college.’

I’ve probably been praying more lately than I ever have before lol. But even in the midst of my worry, I’m trying to exercise my faith and trust that God has her. He’s been telling me in various ways that I need to begin to back off of her a little and allow her to grow. Hearing Trina Hairston make that statement about children being seasonal reminded me that our children are not meant to remain babies forever. While 18 years seems like a lot when your baby is only a year old, when that baby hits 9th grade the 4 more years that he/she has left in school feels like you only have a few months left with them. Hearing that statement made me think about the fact that I will be 38 years old when/if she goes off to college. At 38, I will still be young with a life to live and a purpose to fulfill. Now I understand why older married couples are often encouraging young married couples to date and have a life outside their children. Their reason is that once the nest is empty, the married couple will be strangers to each other if they neglected their own relationship so that their world would revolve around their children. Even as a single mom (prayerfully I will be married well before she goes off to college), I believe that that advice is relevant to me as well. If these past 13 years, soon to be 14, went as quickly as they did, these next 4 will be over before I know it. One day when I’m much older, her 18 years will have been but a fraction of my entire life. Thinking about it this way really puts things into perspective for me and helps me to make peace with the fact that my daughter’s childhood is ‘seasonal’. What’s most important now is ensuring that I am adequately preparing her for adulthood and being intentional about maximizing our time together. She’s going to grow up and eventually move out. And prayerfully she will one day get married and have children of her own.

If our own lives do not belong to us, what makes me think my child’s life belongs to me? This is hard truth to accept but it’s necessary. I would like to hear from other parents on this.

*If you are a parent and experiencing the same, please let me how it’s going for you.

*If you’re an empty nester, what advice do you have for me and other parents who are in this stage of realizing it’s time to cut the cord?


Until next time,
Love, Mizz K

P.S. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, Thinking Like a VIRTUOUS Woman, where I inspire women to think like the woman in Proverbs 31 both spiritually and financially.