Dear Reader: This is a letter for YOU *Without the postage*

I thought I should write to you today, Reader.

I woke up early this morning with it heavy on my heart–especially after my husband nudged me from sleep, his computer screen glowing on his lap, an excited smile on his face. 

“Babe–look at your stats!” he exclaimed. And there it was–even more than yesterday. So just like I did yesterday, I wiped the sleep from my eyes and read Every. Single. Comment.

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I wanted to respond to every single one, but instead, I thought I’d write a letter to you instead. Because you TOTALLY deserve it.

When I wrote the “God will give you more than you can handle” piece I wrote it through tears. I wrote it with open scriptures in my lap and an empty house around me. I wrote it with the thinking that this wouldn’t really be one of my “big” circulating posts because–well, it’s just a little personal. And after publishing it I even wondered for a second if I should have just kept that one in my journal so I would save face and not look like a lunatic.

But then–YOU happened. Yes, you. 

I don’t know you, and chances are, we live miles–states–maybe oceans apart. But your stories of loss. Of hardships. Of holding a newborn in a hospital room while hearing the news that she has a hole in her heart. Of sitting at the bedside of your mother who died the day before and mourning the emptiness of it and the folded sheets. Of searching for answers. Of hearing the news that a young daughter has been killed by a reckless driver. Of heartbreaking divorce. Of miscarriages and infertility. Of a doctor’s report of Stage 4 cancer. Of loneliness. Of redemption. Shall I go on?

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The stories, the encouragement to go on, the love for my father (whom I would bet a dollar you haven’t even met), the prayers, the way you reached out just to give a *virtual* hug–all of those things wrapped around me like one BIG group hug, and what kind of person would I be to not express my gratitude??

Yesterday was the first GREAT day in a few weeks since my Dad passed, I’ll be honest.

Tomorrow will mark one month since he died, and I thought, honestly, I’d feel a lot more despair. But while reading your stories and feeling of your love–from Scotland to Boston to California to Australia–I felt my Dad in a way I haven’t felt him in a long time. This time, I didn’t see him wrenching in pain or staring up at me with hollowed out eyes.

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I imagined him smiling. Playing with me in the backyard during the Summer or taking me for rides on his “cool lawnmower”. Laughing to Saturday morning cartoons. Completely pain-free.

And I think I owe a lot of that shift in thought to you.

A few readers expressed concern for me that I didn’t really have an ending to my last post–they wondered what the conclusion was after all that prayer and realization. The only thing I can answer is there isn’t an ending. Loss permeates your life. It’ll no doubt follow me until I pass through the veil and see Dad again. BUT I know that comfort is sent from the one and only comforter when I read His words or get on my knees. And love and hope and encouragement is sent through his angels–which undoubtedly includes you.

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There will always be suffering in this life. Whatever you’re going through currently will have an end because feelings change and hearts heal with time, but trials will still come…and then come some more.

But my hope is that you’ll rely on the comforter. And that you’ll have an angel too along the way, sent from a Father who cares–whether it be a spouse or a child or a friend or a complete stranger.

Because you, Reader, were mine–and I thought you should know.

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38 thoughts on “Dear Reader: This is a letter for YOU *Without the postage*

  1. Thank You!!!! I can not express enough how grateful I was to read your post yesterday about God giving us more than we can handle! It was exactly what I needed & more….I truly believe your post was meant for me to read in the time of need. I am so grateful for that, for you, & for this appreciation post. You are a wonderful daughter of God. He loves you! And so does you dad! They are both watching over you & comforting you with their love. Thank you so much!

    P.S. Don’t ever give up. You are so strong it amazes me. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!

    Sarah!

  2. Kayla, I said before and I will say it again, you put into words what I cannot. Thank YOU for being so talented and inspired and uplifting, to others.

  3. I just barely read and commented on your last blog and I had to say, this is beautiful. I’ve been on my journey of absolute heartache a bit longer than you, but the pain still throbs. You, with your wonderful spirit filled words, have been an angel to many – especially me. Thank you for sharing what I know was so incredibly hard to share. ❤

  4. Thanks for writing about this. I read the post about God giving us more than we can handle and thought, YES. Then I saw it shared by a friend on FaceBook and knew I wasn’t the only one it touched. I’m so glad lots of us are thanking you. It is nice to know we aren’t alone. And I agree heartily. God does give us more than we can handle because we need to know that truth. We just can’t handle it all. Only God can and He gives us what we need one moment at a time if we are willing.

  5. Thank you! This and the one you are referring to in this post along with a couple from friends on my own facebook page have really helped me with some things I was struggling with. I shared both and the one from yesterday was passed around quite a bit! Just posted this one and I am sure it will as well! I hope it helps others as much as it has helped me!

  6. You have a way with words that tends to ease heavy hearts. Like you said, we all have a story to tell. A story of trials, triumph, struggle, and heartbreak. All of which I wouldn’t change for anything, It is because of these “obstacles” my faith grows and becomes more alive everyday. My life would be nowhere without Christ. He pick me up from rockbottom and brings me up more and more everyday. I just happened to stumble upon your post last night why was taking a break from my Bible study actually. Your words really hit home and displayed feelings of hope and peace, so much so that I sent the link via text to my grandmother, who lost her mother to cancer on the 23rd of December. so I just wanted to thank you were saying the words that so many of us needed to hear. I want you to know that I will be praying for you and your family in this time of need and I pray that God keeps this spark of light in your words that provide comfort to us all.
    Yours truly,
    Brittany

  7. I read your post this morning. And it hit home. I lost my mother last October unexpectedly out of nowhere I’m 28 now and she was my only parent. She was quite a grandmother to my boys. When I found out she was gone my heart hurt like never before the questions rolled and I hit the lowest point in my entire life… How could I live without her. About 3 months later after the first holidays without her they all hit shortly after thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (her birthday) and then Christmas, I hit the lowest point of my life. I was in the bathroom crying out to god why and to please ease my pain and for the first time in months I felt peace. That was the first time I had asked for Gods help. I have read my bible ever since and of course I still have bad days but many more good than bad. I have learned to appreciate what I have and not focus on what I don’t. I may no longer have parents (my dad passed when I was 7) but I have an amazing father that watches over me and guides me every day. I will pray for you! I loved your post!

  8. This is something I am attempting to do this year as a photographer. I see so much life from behind my lens but this past year I also saw much pain and also death. It was all I could do to hold my composure when a family friend asked if I would photograph their whole family before her husband died. He had been sick for so long and the cancer was sucking the life out of him faster each day. When I finished their shoot I sat down beside him and said, “hey how about me and you have a picture together” he smiled and said something to me that reconfirmed God truly has a greater purpose for what He allows me to do. He told me, “You know Lisa, I just wish all those times my kids and wife wanted to have pictures made I would have stopped and did it. You doing this for our family today made me realize it really is important to leave behind a smile for them to hold on to. I just wish I was leaving more.”

  9. Kayla, your word’s are an inspiration to all who read them. May the Lord always direct your path to be sensitive to the concerns of others. You reach many people around the world with your blog and the love you have for the Lord will touch everyone who reads what you say! You, Matt, Ashley and mom (Kim) are in my prayer’s! I love you all! uncle Larry

  10. A friend of mine posted your article on facebook today. Thank you for being obedient and writing what God place on your heart. I have had two tragic deaths in one year. I have asked how, why, what? Searching the scriptures, He continues to be my comfort and He is using you as apart of it. He is our burden bearer, we just have to be willing to give it to Him. After the life celebration of my step-mom I realized what part of the burden bearing is, it is the people that he places in your life to help comfort you. Thank you!

  11. Thank you Kayla, Your loss touched me, you have a gift for putting into words the emotions that all of us feel after a life-changing loss. I too remember when the pain and shock of losing my 19 yr old son and 20 yr old nephew in a car accident because their best friend – my Godson -was driving while drinking and doing drugs. I wasn’t able to catch my breath. It was like my lungs could not expand. It has been ten years since that horrible night and while the pain and longing has somewhat subsided.. my life has forever changed. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. Sometimes it seems like I was recruited into this horrible club against my will and only the other members of the club truly understand. I want to leave you with this… there never was any question that I forgave my Godson. He just couldn’t forgive himself…. until about 3 years ago when he hit bottom so hard there was nowhere to go but up. He said that he was laying on a jail cell cement floor and my son’s voice spoke to him and asked him “what are you doing dude?” “Let it go… just let it go… and give it to Jesus” “That’s right, it’s me, we’re closer than brothers, and it’s time you start living our lives the way we need for you to live it”. My Godson said that a peace came over him like he had never felt before and has not felt since. He gave his heart to God right then and there on the concrete floor of a jail cell. I hope this little tidbit of a story will cut through your loss for just a minute and make you smile. God Bless you. Debbie

  12. Hi, A friend sent me a link to your blog today and through tears I read the post about God giving us more than we can/can’t handle. Thank you for sharing the rawness of losing someone to cancer. I experienced this six years ago and although it is better I sill find that I will sometimes burst out crying for very little reason…Anyway, the eloquence with which you write is beautiful. Thank you for your post it is what I needed to read today.

  13. I read your post a friend posted via Facebook. it brought me here, and now you have a new follower. the post you are talking about resonates well with me tonight. one day at a time. thank you.

  14. Just came across you blog through your last post on facebook, through tears I am reading your posts and I want you to know I am so sorry for your loss but am so thankful to you for reaching out and making a difference in the lives of people who are reading this. You are an angel to me. Thank you.

  15. I was so blessed by your post. I have lost babies and was told that very phrase so many times. I myself have said it to friends in an effort to bring comfort. I feel so silly now when I think about it. The real comfort comes from knowing no matter what trial comes my God will be there with me and I don’t have to try to handle it in my own. Thank you so much for your blog post, it changed me.

    A new follower

  16. A friend shared your blog with me this morning. What you wrote is currently where I am at. I lost my best friend, wife, and mother to our six year old son on 12/13/13. My wife was diagnosed two and half years ago. Anyone that battles any disease is a hero in my book. Your blog is truly moving and sets in on my heart. Words cannot express my feelings right now, but I assure you one thing. Our loved ones are with HIM. No more suffering. No more chemo. No more cancer.

  17. I read the post previous to this one and it rang so true with me. I learned a long time ago that God gives us much more than we can handle by ourselves. He gives us what we can handle WITH Him. I lost my son 7 years ago this coming March. He was 38. I truly learned about the comforter. I would get where I literally couldn’t take the pain anymore and was beyond weighed down by the grief. My prayer was simply make it stop for awhile Heavenly Father just for a little bit so I can rest or do the things I need to do for my family. And the comfort would come. It was a very tangible thing. Grief never leaves it just changes. How others get through life and their stories without the blessing of the restored Gospel is beyond me.

  18. I rely on the comforter completely. I NEED Him in my life. I am grateful for Him and to Him. I also have my son who has crossed over and is my angel helping me on my earthly journey. Thanks for your posts. They are very inspirational. God bless your day.

  19. Kayla, you are such a talented writer and a very courageous young lady to share from your heart and soul so soon after such a tremendous loss. At this moment, my family is experiencing the same life changing, heart-wrenching event that you did a month ago. I will be sure to see that my niece reads these two wonderfully written pieces. May God comfort you and your family in the same bountiful way that you have comforted others.

  20. I really appreciate you opening your heart and sharing. So many have suffered and will continue to suffer, but what a great reminder that we can turn to Christ for help. It really struck a cord for me that I needed to hear. Thank you! I’m sorry about your dad and hope you can feel peace. I know it is hard to find at times when you feel the sting of that lose, but know the peace will come.

  21. That scripture is taken out of context anyway. It is of no comfort. It refers to temptations. God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. The punch line is apparently some people are pretty resilient and can handle all kinds of temptations… Those well meaning people haven’t gone through what you have- I say to the ignorant hell they live in- They don’t appreciate the depth or strength you have. Move on from the well wishers. Trauma is traumatic. I am sorry you suffer fools. Don’t. You are so much better than that!

    There is a world of people that live with chronic suffering and worries and heartache. Those are my people. Those are the ones that deserve your attention, love and focus. “Weep with those that weep and laugh with those that laugh.” Our God is a God of grace and mercy-maybe you have been given a glimpse of the anguish He feels for us and does not turn away. Nor does He chide us with simple empty sayings to soothe us.

    I feel your pain and anger. It is my story, too.

  22. Reblogged this on itreallyisjustthatsimple and commented:
    Yesterday I re-blogged a post from Kayla @ “All our Lemmony Things”. Today I’m sharing her heart-felt response. She was deeply touched by the world-wide outpouring of love and support from “US”.
    Yesterday’s re-blog was the first time I read any of her posts. Today I’m following her. Perhaps U should, too! I love her honesty and vulnerability.

  23. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  24. This was an amazing blog.. I am also battling stage 4 breast cancer that has Metastasized into my bones . I was diagnosed 28 months ago and my children were told at that time that I may have 3-6 months to live . DID YOU HEAR ME SAY 26 MONTHS AGO 🙂 !!!!Well, let me re- phrase that . I no longer do battle with cancer .I have given that heavy load to God ..And like you said ,I always tried to handle things myself and only ask God if it were something big …Why did it take me so long to learn 🙂 ??? When I had no other choice but to give it all to Him , it was then that I realized that He is all I need. He is so near and dear to me ..He is using this Journey I am on with cancer to touch so many lives . Amazing things happen in my life every day as I watch the Hand of God move all around me .I know that evil meant for this cancer to be something ugly but,My God had other plans and turned this into the most beautiful life a person could live .. I have peace like a river ,I wake each day with so much joy in my heart .I have so much love to give and so many people in my life to love me . I have prayer warriors all over the world praying for me .I know that when the flesh is wounded and beaten down ,the spirit rises up higher than ever before ..I consider Cancer to be a gift because of the life I live today .I would not trade one day of this journey ..I would not have wanted to miss one day of this ” pure wonderful”. I am doing so well, I still have cancer but all the tumors are visibly shrinking and blood work is staying steady and nothing is active. I am Praising God for blessing me so much… keep trusting Him..He WILL see you through Thank you for sharing your heart with me ..Betty

  25. I came across your blog through a Facebook friend sharing your link on her page. And, I am so very glad that I did.

    Sadly, we are connected in a category I hoped to never be in. See, on October 6th I lost my father, my hero and best friend to pancreatic cancer. The past 3.5 months have been a blur and a wave of emotions. When I read your letter to your father, I broke down in tears. Everything you wrote captured exactly how I felt. Thank you for sharing your story and please keep writing. I have plenty of supportive friends and a loving husband. But, I don’t feel like anybody truly understands because they didn’t have to say good-bye to their father way too early. But you do and your powerful words have come to be of great comfort to me. I am truly grateful for that.

    You will remain in my thoughts and prayers this week.

  26. Thank you for sharing your story, experience and pain on this blog. I read about your dad and I am sorry for your loss, my condolences and my heart goes out to you and yours. Also I read your open letter and took in the part where you mention that we’ll get more trials along the way because right now since last year I have going through my own trials. At times it got easier but not better and then it got worst. Although I find myself depressed I enjoyed reading this. Especially when I saw your name is Kayla. That is the name of my guardian angel. Her name is Kayla and I talk to her all the time even tho I don’t always hear her, but I think she spoke to me through you. God bless you always and thank you again.

  27. When I began reading I thought, right….good story…but as I continued to read my very soul was touched. Crying actually helps you process feelings…one thing I learned. But I have suffered many losses….Mom,Sister, Dad and all that came before. I have become to have the sense that nothing matters. Does God really only give you what you can handle? Well…..I haven’t cracked yet…although I have wanted it to. What does it really matter…..what you can handle? Is it that I didn’t die? Is it that I haven’t haven’t given up on the idea of God? Or that he will allow me to be to be with my family someday? I think I can handle many thing, but I don’t want anymore physical pain. I have been through enough of that and no one can convince me otherwise especially with words. And the Lord has not done it for me yet. But God bless you for spreading His word…..all of it helps!!!

  28. We are sitting beside my dads bed keeping him comfortable with metastasized stage 4 lung cancer. I just can’t tell you or thank you enough for the post I read and reread of yours just thank you. Thank you for allowing my eyes to open agin to what my Father’s plans are. Thank you

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