eaping out of my car after hearing that someone had a heart attack in the gym where my husband David and son Andy were playing basketball launched my heels on a journey of heart healing amid the inevitable suffering that enters into our lives. Watching the medics make failed attempts to resuscitate David and trying to hold onto hope in their efforts for the sake of our two sons and the boys playing that day threatened to send me into a spiral of unshakeable despair. The intensity of our sadness was only heightened upon arrival to the nearest hospital. We were ushered into a small room called the “Trauma Room.” Sitting huddled together with friends and clergy, we heard the dreaded words from the attending doctor, “I’m so sorry, but he didn’t make it.” This tragedy cast shadows over me that seemed impossible to overcome.
The graciousness of family, friends, and complete strangers during the days, weeks, months, and now years helped me grow stronger and continue to help mend my brokenness. After much urging from those who have listened to my real life stories which can’t be made up, I am compelled to share them here as an encouragement for your heart no matter where your heels land. It has taken me more than thirteen years to take this leap of faith, and I hope that you will be able to unlock the power of healing love in your own journey of life.
Aside from writing, speaking, teaching, and sharing my heart felt journey, I love walking my dogs, listening to live music, gardening, singing bluegrass, traveling, reading, painting, learning new ideas, reaching out to others, hula hooping, swinging in hammocks, drinking coffee, watching the sunset, riding my green bike named Kermit, decorating, being with friends doing just about anything, and finding hearts in unusual places. It is a true blessing to give you glimpses of the places my heels have traveled and found healing along the way!
Being spiritual has different meanings for each individual. I’ve wrestled with my sense of spirituality all of my life. If spirituality is difficult for you, then I understand. One way of describing being spiritual is connecting with something that is beyond words. Knowing myself more fully and especially my inner self or soul and connecting to something that is much more powerful than me is spirituality. Some people refer to this power as their higher power or God. This powerful “other” is at work within all of humanity and the world. My understanding of spirituality is finding inner peace through practices such as meditation, reading sacred writings, hearing music, exercising, enjoying art, exploring nature, seeing hearts in unusual places, finding rainbows following the rain, and seeking to be in right relationship with my higher power, myself, others, and the world.
One of my favorite ways of describing my higher power is quoting the verse, “God is love.” (1 John 4:16 b) For me this brings comfort to my soul knowing that there is love more powerful than all of the darkness, suffering, and chaos of this world.
When bad things happen, I search for answers from God whom I know as love.
The “why” questions are hard to reconcile, but this doubting and questioning helps me come to new places of understanding. I’ve found that at times when I can’t feel this power in my life, others do and they lift me up. They are the people who show up the day after your husband dies and answer the phone, clean your house, take out your trash, make breakfast, bake you a cake, pray for you, pay your bills, send you flowers, or go with you to the funeral home to make arrangements. It’s these actions of love in the midst of living our messy lives that helps me feel this mysterious power greater than us. This sense of spirituality inspires me to share this journey of heart healing love through HeartHeels!