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We have had a purposefully gentle summer.
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Healing a Broken Heart (September 2016)
Dear Friend,

We have had a purposefully gentle summer. There is no timeline for grief...
This longer section was written by Chrysti. It describes the extra care we as a couple (and specifically Chrysti) are needing as we continue the grieving process for Titus.

Every Sunday I walk into church and someone asks me a question as they greet me with a hug, “How are you doing?” How does one answer that question after suffering trauma and an indescribable loss? Should I be completely honest? Or should I give the solemn yet polite, “I’m alright” answer?

In truth, I’m not doing well right now. My recent miscarriage knocked me off my feet more than I expected. Just before my miscarriage, I was beginning to feel normal again, as if I made some progress in recovering from depression. Then the miscarriage and all that came with it happened. I needed to recover from a miscarriage and blood transfusion. I needed to grieve yet again—this time it was the loss of a baby that never was.

I haven’t been myself for the past couple of weeks. Depression follows me around like a black cloud. I battle anxiety most days. I had an anxiety attack last week as we were getting ready for our monthly prayer breakfast meeting we host in our home.

I'm abnormally emotional. God has used our journey with Titus to give me a softer heart, and I'm still learning how to live with that. Bad news can hit hard, and it causes my heart to hurt more than anticipated.

I experienced a flashback for the first time as I was falling asleep one evening. All of a sudden I was transported back to Newcastle, Crawford House and Titus’s cubicle at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. The fact that I’d had a flashback scared me more than the flashback itself.

All of these struggles seem dark and hopeless. But even in the darkest days, I find light in the hope God gives. He is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. He is so very near to me on those dark days. In the past week, God has brought the right people into my life to bring healing to my broken heart. Hope comes in the form of a friend encouraging me to phone my doctor about my current mental health. Another friend who understands grief gave me a hug. Another friend simply gave me a listening ear and told me it’s okay to have a hard time.

Eva Joy climbs into my lap on my hard days and tells me she likes to take care of me. She smiles and sings to me, and God uses her to bring healing to my heart in her sweet, two-year-old innocent way.

So do you want to know how I’m doing? These days are mostly cloudy with a few patches of sunshine. But I’m grateful God is the Physician who can, and will, heal my broken heart.

“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Prayer Points
Last Month's Highlights

July & August Highlights

  • The last weekend in August is a public holiday in the UK. We enjoyed having a long weekend to spend together and do outdoor maintenance.
  • Leon planned a BBQ at the office last week.
  • We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary in August!

Leon at Work

I was asked to take on additional leadership on our Carlisle team in addition to my existing role in IT. I am now a joint Team Leader for our team. The job description is heavier on pastoral and team life with the addition of some management. I am excited about the opportunity.

My boss, the CIO for OM, is moving into a new role within OM and is moving away. There is some level uncertainty on our IT team in Carlisle as we work through the implications of this. We have a couple of months to figure it out.

Life has been slow in July and August. This is good because I can care for Chrysti and watch the kids so that her stress levels can reduce. Saying that I have kept busy with projects that have been on the back burner for a while.
  • We running with newly upgraded and consolidated helpdesk software for many of our IT systems
  • Implementing stricter email controls to reduce email spoofing and spam
  • Beginning to roll out an upgrade anti-virus package to all of OM
  • Removing dependencies so that we can upgrade our on-prem hybrid mail server to Exchange 2016
Prayer Points
  • We're going on holiday from 7 September! It's something we're looking forward to. Please pray for a relaxing, refreshing, healing time as a family.
  • Pray for Chrysti as she continues to receive counsel, process grief and recover from depression.
  • I (Leon) need wisdom for my knew role and how to juggle it with my existing IT responsibilities.
God Bless,
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