This is My Story

Erika_Lenzi_My_Story

This is the first time I have attempted to tell the whole of my story in one sitting.

While I tell you bits and pieces on a regular basis, I have never attempted to structure it and make it fit into something less than a ten minute telling. I love narrative. I love details, understanding a character’s motivation, and a good story arc. I love the conflict and the triumph. I am also personally far more comfortable with thoughtfully chosen written words than grasping the right ones as they are rolling off my tongue.

Last fall I attended both the Storyline Conference and a church retreat for Dinner Group leaders where we walked through the basics of telling our story. Since then I have sensed an internal nudge that it was time to tell this particular thread of my story to my church community through the medium of video. I recently filmed it for the current series we are in at Hoboken Grace, Chemistry: The Elements of a Lasting Relationship.

It is always intimidating to share the innermost parts of yourself, but I hope that in hearing it, you are encouraged in some way. My story is proof that God can take the most painful heart breaks and use them for His beautiful purposes.

I would love to hear your story!

Walking Towards Hope: Love, Loss, and My Wedding Day

Being a bride, of course.
My wedding gown, of course.

Like many little girls, I grew up fascinated by the idea of one day being a bride.

While most girls’ daydreams are comprised of big white dresses, bridesmaids, and a mystery groom, I grew up wondering about what it would be like to walk down the aisle because I lost my father to cancer at the tender age of five.

When my Daddy died, I could sense my mother’s sadness. With youthful optimism and childlike faith, I told her not to worry – she could find another husband.

Continue reading Walking Towards Hope: Love, Loss, and My Wedding Day

What Lifelong Grieving Looks Like

Will Simmons Family 1985
My Daddy Will, Mom, and me in 1985

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.” 

― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Say what you will, but I loved the book-to-screen adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars.

I think I might love it more than the book. Some declare it nothing more than another sappy story about star-crossed teen lovers, but it is far more than that. The central characters, Gus and Hazel, hold opposing views on what it looks like to like to have lived and die well, and these arguments require readers to examine their own beliefs about the meaning of life. John Greene’s novel communicates universal truths about love and loss, regardless of age. I loved TFiOS for its beauty and truth, and perhaps most for the honest portrayal of what happens to the love ones left behind.

I am one of those left behind.

Continue reading What Lifelong Grieving Looks Like