Have you ever lost something? Some of us may lose our keys or some money. Or perhaps we were in a wreck and our car was totaled or you lost someone you loved? How did you feel? What process did you go through for thoughts and feelings? What did you do next?
The last several years it seems that all I had dreamed of, all that I worked towards was swept away by a strong east wind! When a storm such as this sweeps in and yet you are left standing, there comes a time of grieving. We grieve the things, ideas and people that we were attached to. We could wish that none of it happened this way, but that is not the reality. Now that I've had to face this grief, the sorrow, the loneliness, I now recognize that I cannot regain what has been lost. Accepting this reality allows us to move forward.
Moving forward will look different for many of us. For those of us following the Lord, we find ourselves seeking the Lord and earnestly desiring His will for all of our decisions. The reality of the day to day living is one level of consideration. Daily doing the ordinary tasks of running a household and caring for my two beautiful little girls. At this level I appreciate that we have a stable living and a peaceful household. My girls love having all of Daddy's attention at this point. And I think it is God's grace for our healing.
On a second level, God never wastes experiences, but builds on the past. If we think about the cities and kingdoms in Israel, many of them were conquered time and time again. The next city, the next temple were built on the rubble from the past. What I believe God is doing now is building a totally new foundation for a new work in my life. But I had to accept that I cannot regain what was in the past. I will always treasure the gifts from that season of my life. I will always remember and recognize the contributions from those experiences and all that Laina gave to me. I stated in my last blog, that part of Laina lives in me and part of me died with her. What I didn't explain is what parts. Laina was tenacious, a deep thinker, fun and adventurous and loved the Lord! She sharpened me, challenged me and loved me well. I will always have more fun and enjoy each moment of life more because of her. Her deep prayer for me was that I would not fear anymore. Fear would keep me from taking risks or make me try to protect and keep safe those people and things I feared would be taken. My best effort at control was futile! I couldn't will Laina to be healed. Fear looked right into my face, and I am still standing with God's help! I believe when Laina died, she grasped at the fear within me and took it to Jesus! I too willingly submit and confess that sinful part of me. I give that fear up, because I trust the Lord so much more now! It was a refining fire, that testing and facing fear. Fear is an opportunity for God to reveal Himself and His power! He loves us so deeply how can we not trust Him? When I stood upon the hopes, dreams, desires and expectations of what I thought I possessed, I stood on shaky ground. After this great shaking, I recognized that as believers in Jesus, we cannot stand on a foundation of (Jesus + anything). The cornerstone and foundation is Jesus alone! I thought I was on solid ground, but I wasn't. But after the testing, the foundation can now be rebuilt to stand more secure.
I've written a lot over the past few years about the process of grieving. Many of my acquaintances and friends are experiencing and will soon experience grief. It's most certainly a roller coaster of emotions. But there is light ahead! There is hope, peace, joy and love in Christ ahead! The road signs are the day to day moments of gratitude that surround us. Yes, there may be a loss, let's remember, but not focus on the loss. Our focus is on Jesus - the author and perfecter of our faith. He desires to give us an abundant life that is truly free! Let's choose to live in the freedom that brings life! This is a strong foundation! This is freedom!
What's your experience with the process of grief? How do you see God's hand guiding you?
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