April 2019 E-News

From Ashes to Light
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed
Eugene Peterson, The Message

“The first thing I did after the shaking stopped was to get online to family, to best friends, and tell my story—to get a nod, a wince, a gasp, and hear the promise of love where it already really is. I began to weave the net again.”

So began an email from a friend, describing the end of a long-term relationship. Surely this must be one of the most painful things in the world, whether you are a teenager or 60 years old.  As the poet John O’Donohue writes:

Certain small things
Touch nerve-lines to the heart
And bring back with color and force
All that is utterly lost.
(To Bless the Space Between Us)

Easy answers and platitudes generally do more harm than good. But as my friend says, reaching out to family or friends can make all the difference.  Its light in the darkness, resurrection after death, and small signs of spring after winter.  Telling the story, getting a wince, weaving the net again - all help us move forward.  

At least they do for me. I found myself there again just the other day. The relationship fracture was more of the parenting variety, but it left me shaken nonetheless. I called a friend, who probably heard the pain in my voice. I told my story and got the wince, the gasp. I knew he would be there for me as the story unfolded. Sometimes that is all we need when our relationships stress, strain, and sometimes break.  These are the moments that make genuine friendship holy and sacred. 

In this Spring and Easter season at Lumunos we are focusing on the changes and transitions we experience in our relationships. By now I hope you have seen our print newsletter with more on this topic. (Contact Alice in our office if you have not: alice@lumunos.org). 

I also hope you will consider supporting our spring appeal (by clicking the "donate now" button below) or responding to the letter in your mailbox. Your generosity helps us as we encourage people to weave the relational and spiritual net again, as we experience the ups and downs of life.  
Reflection Question
What good things have come to you as a result of relationships that have ended?

For the Sake of new Beginnings

Sometimes even good relationships between loving people end for the sake of new beginnings.

When I was 21, I broke up with my boyfriend of five years. He was kind, smart, introspective, and completely predictable. We’d met as sophomores in high school. I was a shy, mysterious new girl and he was an unassuming, yet popular guy.

Although he was an introvert who tried to extricate himself from the social tumult of high school, his genuine kindness and quiet humor were magnetic to kids from all rungs of the social ladder. I didn’t imagine that he had room for me in his circle, but for some reason he was drawn to me. Over the course of many months (an eternity in high school), he quietly courted me and finally asked me out on a date during our junior year.

I was lucky to have Chris as my first serious boyfriend. Together we navigated those tricky teenage years—the feelings of isolation and anxiety, walking the tightrope between rebellion and achievement, and figuring out who we wanted to be—all the while pondering life’s deepest mysteries (especially while listening to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin). We were best friends and loved each other deeply. And then I broke his heart (and mine).

We were coming to the end of college and had started planning our future together. Up until that point, we’d lived our lives in the present tense. Every big step we’d taken was basically predetermined by our parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and peer group. We were just kids after all. Now we were grownups (of a sort) and it was our turn to make the decisions. If I stayed with Chris, my path was straight, clear, and predictable. If I ventured out on my own, I could choose to go anywhere and do anything. But I would lose my best friend, the refuge of a loving partner, and the security of a man with a good job.

I chose to venture down a new path on my own. I found myself restoring habitat in the Mojave Desert, climbing mountains in the North Cascades, and working as a cook in the woods of New Hampshire. I made new friends, learned to take care of myself, met my future husband, and became immeasurably more courageous. It was the hardest and best decision I ever made—to follow my calling and become more the person I was meant to be. But sometimes I still miss my old friend.      

Becca Perry-Hill
Save the Date:
Crossing the River:
Finding Resiliency in Times of Change

A Co-ed Mini-Retreat
Denver, CO
June 15, 2019

Register here: www.lumunos.org/denver
Save the Date:
Denver Area Women's Retreat

Led by Marjory Bankson
YMCA of the Rockies
Estes Park, CO
September 20-21, 2019

Online registration coming soon.
Contact Doug@lumunos.org for more information.
Save the Date:
Denver Area Men's Retreat

Highlands Retreat Center
Allenspark, CO
October 4-6, 2019

Online registration will open in July.
Contact Doug@lumunos.org for more information.
April Blog
Prayer for Good Arranging

God has arranged all things in the world in consideration of everything else. -Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) Last week, with less than twenty minutes before my youngest granddaughter had to leave for her aerial silks class, she and I flopped in ...

Read more
"Cats in the Cradle"
Harry Chapin
"Opening Farewell"
Bonnie Raitt & Jackson Browne
Good News Corner
If you think a negative outcome is the end of the story. Think again.
Growth After Disaster: Going Beyond Resilience - Good...

It seems whenever we turn on the TV we witness disastrous scenes of flooding, fires, or typhoons forcing people from their homes. Yet, studying the trauma left in the wake of these disasters has provided researchers a way to discover how positive ...

Read more
Keep in Touch
It may not be appeal season, but your support is crucial no matter the time of year. Click below to make a donation or contact dan@lumunos.org  about planned giving options.

Have you considered a monthly donation?
Your generosity keeps us going,
sharing our message of spirituality and calling.
Please contact us. 
Let us know what we can do for you.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson   doug@lumunos.org     
Dan Quinlan   dan@lumunos.org  
Alice Barbera   alice@lumunos.org  
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org