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I’m currently studying the book of Job. Truthfully…it’s not my favorite.
What do you think the book of Job is about?
Most people, at least by the studies, commentaries, and posts I’ve found, believe Job is about why the righteous suffer.
I disagree. Wholeheartedly.
The book of Job is about relationship.
In the beginning, Job 1-3, Job knew of God. In the end, Job 38-42, Job KNEW God. That my friends is the point of Job’s story.
Are you going through hard times right now? Please save yourself the agony of the why that may never be answered (Job never found out why).
Instead focus on the who. Who is Jesus to you? Who do you want to be?
Use these hard times to grow and be a better person that you were before they happened.
I know it sucks. I’ve been there.
I’ve spent months battling a disease, having surgeries, and lying in a hospital bed. #notontodeath
I’ve lost a house, two cars, and had to depend on other people to help me financially. Literally living on less than $200 a month for over a year. Read more about how I felt going through it here. #pridekiller
I lost 3 of the most important people in the world to me in a 6 month time span. #deepdeepgrief
Sometimes seasons in your life just suck. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we suffer.
If you read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, many of them went through rough stuff too! BUT…just like with the 3 boys in the fiery furnace, they were not in it alone! And neither are you!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel…” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV
Point to ponder while you wander…
Life is not always easy, even if you are a believer!
BUT every season you go through can help you grow wiser, stronger, more compassionate, and closer to God.
Or you can choose to shrink into resentment, bitterness, and blame God.
The choice is yours.
Ecclesiastes is not necessarily one of my fave books of the Bible. It is said to have been written by King Solomon towards the end of his life…and it leans a tad cynical with a twinge of regret. I usually gravitate towards the creation in Genesis, the love of 1st John, or the smack down truth of Romans. But there are times when Ecclesiastes is exactly where I am at.
This past weekend was one of those times.
I wanted to know when it would stop making me sad to go to Aldi, when I could see strawberries and not well up, when sunshiny spring days wouldn’t make my heart hurt, and when Friday night would not seem so empty.
Sounds weird…yeah. But Nana used to call me and ask me to run her to Aldi. Sunshiny spring days we’d play Scrabble on the deck. Whenever strawberries were on sale at Kroger or Meijer I’d pick them up for Papa. Friday night for a really long time was Papa date night.
Saturday was the anniversary of Nana’s departure to heaven. Papa’s birthday is this Friday. And Papa left to join Nana in heaven on the 30th. March was rough last year…and even harder this year.
I’ve heard grief comes in waves. Well it’s quite the swell today.
When I was asking when those memories would make me smile instead of well up…I heard this…
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal.A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT
Today I’m sad…but thinking of her also made me smile. Same for Papa.
Nana started me on my family tree researching. I loved calling her with breakthroughs and showing her printouts of documents. I miss that.
I miss being called “Missy.”
I miss her dancing with us in the basement to the 8-Track of silly songs.
I miss Papa date night.
I miss mall walking with him and him tattling on me to Nana if I bought something while we were there.
I miss looking at the “fake” art, and leaning my head on his shoulder watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza.
I will always miss them.
Point to ponder while you wander… Enjoy today with your people! Embrace the ups and downs, and use them to cultivate a deeper relationship. It’s worth it.
PS..this is a musical Monday so…here’s The Byrds version of the scripture above…it’s a groovy tune. “Turn Turn Turn“
Last New Year’s Eve I was supposed to hang out with someone, they bailed on me last minute. I was irate.
New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday…so I did not want to stay home and mope.
But what was I going to do?
Find a party?
Call other friends?
Go celebrate with Nanny and Pops?
So I stopped at CVS and bought some party hats and sparkling grape juice and showed up to celebrate with them completely unannounced.
Here’s some of the fun we had…
I didn’t know it then, but this was their last time ringing in the new year. A few short weeks later Nanny went into the hospital and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Two months later I lost them both.
I am so glad I chose to interrupt their quiet evening and keep them up til midnight; singing and dancing around their house, and laughing with them.
Point to ponder while you wander… Please take time to celebrate milestones. Be silly! Enjoy the people in your life. Those memories of giggles and sillyness strengthen and buoy you in the sad times. Trust me on that.
Cheers to great memories! And Happy 80th Birthday, Nanny!
”This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24 NKJV
I’ll be honest, the past few months it has been a struggle to make it through the day without losing my temper, crying, or both. I’ve gone inward in my grief, and tried to shut out the world.
So far, in my darkened room this month, I’ve watched the first 4 seasons of Criminal Minds on Netflix.
When you are sad and depressed, Criminal Minds is probably not the show to binge watch, FYI.
I had just begun to process life without my Dad, when my Nana was diagnosed with lung cancer in January. Then I lost both her and my Papa in March. It sucks.
I love them. I enjoyed spending time with them. They were my people.
On top of that my grandparents were my security blanket in a lot of ways. Their home was always a safety zone for me. I lived there when I was a baby, spent summers there as a child, and lived there when I was unemployed.
It was my home base. I was there with my cousins for every holiday beginning with Papa Day (St. Patrick’s Day), ending with Christmas, and every random one in between. If life sucked I could go there and be safe. I went there on sunny summer days to play Scrabble with Nana on the Deck. I went there before blizzards to make sure they had what they needed. I went there just to hug them.
I not only lost my people, I lost my home.
Normally their house was where I went when life belted me, and now in the hardest loss I’ve ever faced, I can’t go where I’ve always gone for comfort.
I know I’m supposed to be comforted by Holy Spirit, and I am. If I didnt have Him, I wouldn’t have been capable of being there for them in their last days. I would have been weeping constantly and been of zero use to anyone. He is amazing. I still feel His presence and have the peace Jesus brings. But I still feel blah about life right now.
I don’t know how to move forward.
I don’t want to accept the new normal.
I want to sit in my darkened room and watch Criminal Minds.
I don’t want to miss them every day.
I don’t want to feel how much this hurts.
I don’t want to think about them not being at future events.
I don’t want my heart to hurt because it’s 4th of July weekend and there will be no cookout. There will not be hide and seek with my cousin’s kiddos in the back yard. The back yard is blooming with her flowers but she is not there. His yard has been mowed but not by him.
Death sucks. I’m so glad Jesus beat the crap out of death and was resurrected. I’m so glad Jesus is alive! Because it means I will see my people again…and they will be happy and healthy and free.
But it doesn’t change that I need to feel the feelings and deal with the waves of grief that are drowning me in sadness. Even though I don’t really know how to move forward, and I’m not sure I want to…I know I need to.
They loved me and would hate that I’m so sad that I’m wasting their favorite sunshine filled days in a darkened room.
I have no regrets. I was there with them when they left this world. That was a gift. I spent consistent time with them when I had them here. That was also a gift.
I could go on here about how sad I am right now and how many times I broke down crying while typing this…but that isn’t the point I want to make.
The point is that I will miss them forever at every event. That will not change.
I need to choose to feel those feelings and choose to deal with them. I need to choose continue to live my life, instead of choosing to hide out. I need to choose joy. Because the joy of the Lord is my strength. And I need that strength to get through this time.
Point to ponder while you wander…
“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24
I believe that each day is a gift. Living this belief is a choice. Being determined to declare that no matter what this day brings I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. #joyisstrength