Tag Archive | Grief

Wood, Hay and Stubble

Husband and I returning home from errands in another town.

Quick, get a picture of that!

Storm Coming One

Oh my that looks really evil!

Then things began to rock!

 

Storm Coming Two

Behind us, our lovely church.

Right in the path.

 

Storm Coming Three

Reminded that our lovely church building,

is simply wood, hay and stubble.

Here today, and gone tomorrow.

Sanctuary One

Our people are safe.

One casualty in a business next door.

May his family find peace.

May we love his family and our community well.

These, our pastors words today as we paused to pray.

 

My daughters words follow;

May our hearts agree;

We are the church.
We are unharmed.
The church is in tact.
This is our meeting place.
It can be replaced.
It can be fixed.
We are the church.

We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made,

and God our Father never leaves our side.

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Grief Choices #3

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For the final installment on the topic of grief,

I want to share a Bible story with you.

You will find it in 1 Samuel Chapter 30.

 

David and his men lived in Ziklag.

Upon returning from one of their trips, they had found that the Amalekites had raided their town, burned it to the ground and  captured all of their women and children.

The story goes on to say that David and his men were quite distraught.

One can only imagine the grief that they felt when losing absolutely everything they cared about, lived for and fought for. Having it all destroyed in their absence. 

The Bible tells us the steps David took after his horrific findings;

1. He wept aloud.

                There was no place for holding in his emotions.

                They are God given. 

                Letting them out is indeed cathartic.

2. David then found strength in his God.

                When he was done weeping, his strength was gone, and he knew that his God would restore him.

3. David inquired of God.

                What could he possibly do to remedy the situation?

                God is always faithful to give truthful answers.

                David knew that God’s answers truly work, and that they would not be simply be a bandage for his wounds.

4. David pursued his enemy.

                God revealed the enemies position to David and in the end, David recovered all that had been  taken from  him.                        

And then some, enough to be share with everyone.

                When we find out who and where our enemy is, then we can take appropriate steps to stop him from doing

his evil deeds again.

 

I pray that we will be able to ask God how He might be able to use our process of grief to share encouragement with others who are not as far along in the process.

 

Scripture says that He holds our tears in a bottle.  Psalm 56:8

Oh that they would not be wasted.

 

We get to choose to be better and not bitter after grievous things happen in our lives.

 

Choose wisely.

 

And remember –

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Grief Choices #2

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My prayer is that your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations were calm, and shiny, and bright.

Where ever you physically found yourselves, and in whatever circumstances you found yourself in.

Some have had a particularly hard year, while others have found 2012 to be a year of more ease than they may be accustomed to.

But still, in either case, with Christ in us, the Hope of Glory, our hearts can be calm. And shiny. And bright.

 

My husband and I decided to run away from home.

Our run took us to three different states to see three different families.

Different cultures every one.

New Year’s Eve and New Years Day were spent together at home.

Quietly.

We are refreshed.

 

I want to share with you a few more choices to consider so that your grief process can continue to its completion.

That is if it is ever completed.

As with many things in our lives God heals us in levels, continuing to surprise us with His grace and love towards us.

Here goes;

*I CHOOSE to embrace the changes brought on by current losses, without grumbling. To learn from the bad, and to remember the good. I will tell a good story.

Philippians 4:7-9 (KJV) 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.    8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.      9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

I CHOOSE to look for the resurrection. New life is brought through crucifixion. Grief is a path to restoration. I choose to see and participate in the restoration process.   

John `2:23-25 (NIV1984) 23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

 

*I CHOOSE to allow the stripping of the “old way” of doing things. I choose to allow God to scrutinize me at my core, and to re-define His call on my life.

Note; This stripping will occur over time. In my own case, I was down to zero in the stripping down department. After current events, I found there was much more. So at his point I cannot say that I know exactly where zero is any more. What I DO know is that He is by my side. He is holding my hand over the rocky ground. He carries me when needed. I know I can trust Him, so “It Is Well With My Soul.”

This transition time is lengthy and exhausting, both mentally and physically, but as in the birthing of babies, transition is the most difficult time for the mom. She feels vulnerable and overwhelmed. She becomes frustrated, discouraged, irritable disoriented and restless.

YUCK!

However, the result is the ultimate in joy. The reward is great.

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

So it is with the new birth of myself, that is unencumbered by the stabbing pain and heavy load of grief. Though the process is lengthy and exhausting, both mentally and physically, I can trust in my Savior that the outcome will be ultimate joy.

Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

*I CHOOSE to remember that this time will end.

As time goes on my old mindsets will be dropped. They will go out kicking and screaming as any bad habit does, but if I stay on track and focus on Him, they WILL drop.

I will tend to want to go back to them because they are familiar, but the old mindsets will not work in the place God has for me, so I must resist looking back.

God alone knows what I can take to this new place, and what will fit. If I try to take too much, it will be back to the desert for me to unpack some more.

What I need to do is make a demand. Not on God, but on myself. A demand that requires me to spend more time inquiring of Him, meditating on His word and seeking to follow Him on this new path.

I am confident that adhering to this process will be as rewarding as it is difficult.

As time passes I will begin to feel in me what He has already started. A renewing and a refreshing and a restoring that will lead straight to whatever it is that God has planned for me.

Jeremiah 29:10-11 (NLT) 10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV1984) 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Then, when I look back, I will not only see how far I have come, but I will also notice that indeed, the desert is blooming.

As grief subsides, clarity will come. After taking a deep breath, I will look to my future with hope and a promise from God.

Peace and confidence will be my allies.

*I CHOOSE to allow it.

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Fearfully and wonderfully made