Tuesday, October 11, 2011


January 26, 2009 was the day that my world came crashing down.  Everything in my life changed in one instant.  And that day began an uncontrollable roller coaster ride which was my life.  That roller coaster continued up to last fall and included losing my husband.  Life was so much more than I could ever bear on my own, and to be honest, I'm amazed that I made it through as well as I did.  People have told me time and time again that I'm such a strong woman.  And every time I hear it, it sounds so awkward.  I'm not strong.  But the God I serve, the one I trust in, He IS!

"You're there in my brokenness and my distress.  My rock when I'm strong or when I'm powerless.  You hold me in rushing tides, when waters rise. And I'll always find you are my lifeline!"

This is a quote from Lifeline, a song by Mandisa.  I hear it often on my iPod when I'm running.  I've found myself so able to relate to it lately.  God truly has been my lifeline.  He alone is the reason why I am still even standing after the numerous tragedies I have walked through.  He is the reason I can say I have joy and peace in one of the most challenging times of my life.  When my world came crashing down on me- He was my lifeline!

Because of the industry in which I work, I have a very real understanding of what a lifeline is.  Our business requires access to the outside of buildings to complete building maintenance.  Some buildings are reachable by ladders, but anything over 3 stories, we have to access using a rope descent system.  In simple terms a rope descent system is a chair (or a glorified piece of wood with a slight cushion), a descent controls device and ropes.  The men climb off the roof of the building, and repel down the side using their ropes. They are able to do descend buildings up to 300 feet (30 stories) tall.   To do this safely, they descend down the building with 2 ropes: their main line and their safety line.  Their main line is used to manipulate the speed at which they descend.  It is their active line in which they are in full control.  Their safety line however is only there for emergencies.  It is a lifeline.  If anything happens to the mainline, the lifeline is there to save them from falling down and crashing into the street below.  It is their rescue, the way in which they are able to survive a very dangerous and difficult situation. 

Last spring I was able to participate in our company rope descent training.   It is a very intimidating experience to step off the roof of a 4 story building, with nothing but ropes holding you up.  You place a lot of trust on those ropes, and especially the lifeline.  You are literally placing your life in the integrity of the ropes.  To help the men feel more confident in trusting the ropes- specifically the lifeline, we performed a rescue exercise.  About one story from the ground, we cut the main line.  When we did, the lifeline stepped in, stopped their fall and saved their life.  After doing this exercise the men felt completely safe in descending any height of building because they knew no matter what situation they may face, the lifeline will activate when its needed, keeping their life safe and protected.

God is our lifeline.  When we are descending down the building of life, and something unexpected happens to our main line, He is there.  He jumps in at the right time, and catches us.  He stops us from descending uncontrollably, and crashing into the sidewalk below.  He saves us!  Even though we don't always see or feel the lifeline, just knowing He's there gives us confidence to live life, and take risks. The times in the past, when our lifeline kicked in, only serves to increase our confidence in Him.  He's faithful.  He's never failed us.  He is our lifeline!

"You are my lifeline.  You are my rescue.
Strength in my weakness.  Light in my darkness.
You are my safety.  Lifter of my head.
The air that I need when
I can't seem to breathe in.
You are my lifeline.  You are my lifeline."
-Mandisa, Lifeline

Listen to the full song on the link below:


  1. Jennifer, I'd love to feature this post via a link next Wednesday on Widows Christian Place. Please let me know if that's OK with you. Blessings on you, hang on to that True Lifeline!

  2. Ferree, thank you so much for sharing this with your blog followers. My heart is that my journey will help others in leaning to God to get through whatever struggles they are facing.

    Diesel, thank you for reading and sharing. God has this way of giving me great analogies! Its all Him!

  3. Jennifer, Ferree recommended your blog and I want to thank you for sharing your heart with others. I so understand what you mean about your world crashing down and that awful roller coaster ride for that happened to me as well. My 1st roller coaster ride ended Nov. 10, 2009, when my husband of 36 years went to heaven. It immediately began again and stopped less than 2 months later when my Mom joined him. Then it started again and came crashing down in finality 2 months after that when my Dad joined them both on March 25, 2010.

    I have found blogging to be a way through my own grief journey - http://www.reflectionsfrommyporchswing.wordpress.com

    Thank you, again, for sharing your blog.

    Candy Feathers/TN

  4. Candy, I can totally relate. I lost my Dad in 2009, Husband in 2010, and 3 months later my mentally impaired sister to whom I was REALLY close. All those losses together seem to amplify the grief. And yet I'm still processing the loss of my husband that I feel like I haven't even grieved my sister. I'm looking forward to reading your blog and gaining strength from you! Thank you for sharing!

  5. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

    You are living proof that God is with us when we need Him most. Thank you for this powerful post and thank you for sharing the song from Mandisa. I am going to download it now.

  6. Jennifer, thank you for sharing. Feree directed us to your blog.

  7. Wow! Thanks Jennifer. That is a really good analogy... My roller coaster started when my husband was diagnosed in July of 2009, stopped, and started again when he went to be with his Lord exactly a year later - July of 2010. My roller coaster involves our 10 children, 7 still at home, finding a new school for them, and enrolling them within a month after their Daddy's death... a horrible, confusing time for all of us - and compounded by my 16 yr. old daughter running away from home.Stopped, and started again! But- God is my life line - however, He is there that last 'story' before hitting bottom. I heard a song that talked about a child jumping off a wall into his fathers arms - and likened to our Heavenly Father - yes, a powerful realization, and comfort zone. The best way to do it - is to just relax and let yourself go- peace. Thank-you.
    Sheri N.

  8. Jennifer, I found your blog through Widow's Christian Place. You are a gifted writer! I loved this post and the very meaningful song. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I only wish I would have known about this precious community much earlier in my own journey. I too am sharing my story at: tandemjourney.blogspot.com How blessed we all are to have this way to work through our grief! I will visit again.

  9. Anonymous, Kathy and Renee, Thank you for visiting and sharing in this walk with me. I am grateful to Feree from Widow's Christian Place, not only for her great posts but also for sending you amazingly strong women here! Unfortunately as widow's we so often feel alone- like no one relates. But you women are proof that God uses His body to encourage and support each other. I look forward to walking this journey with you!

  10. Jennifer, I too want to thank you for the heart felt story of your journey. Widow's Christian Place and your blog already mean so much to me. I was up late last week praying. I asked the Lord for a group of friends that would better understand the road that I am on. I feel that He has answered that plea through these blogs. My husband died, unexpectedly last May, at home. I brought my elderly parents home to live with me in April of this year. My father passed away here at home in May. There is much more to my story but suffice to say; your blog tonight has encouraged me and above all helped me take a tighter grip on my "Lifeline".

  11. Patty, I know how you feel... 3 major loses here as well. And 2 of them in my home too. That was quite an adjustment... almost didn't come back home. But once again God helped me overcome that too! I am so glad this blog helped you and I'm honored to be a "friend" to help you walk this road. Feel free to contact me anytime via my email: jennifergail2899@gmail.com.
    Praying for you, Jenn