Saturday, January 5, 2013

Another part of my journey...

So I decided that I really needed to change some things for me on this journey of faith that I am on.  I have done some pretty amazing transformations in the last 18 months and am loving who I am becoming and the way my mind works.  But I don't like what I am not doing.... reading the word and praying.  That is not to say that I don't do both...I do... just not often enough and not with the focus that needs to be there.
The other night I had a nice hot bath and was reading a book of some sort.. either a Christian fiction or a biography of sorts written by a mom who also buried one of her children.  I was laying thinking that I am just not enough.  Really, that is what I thought.  I am not enough...not enough of a Christian mom, not enough of a Christian wife, not enough of a Christian friend, not enough of a Christian role model.
Now I quickly was convicted of this negative thinking with a voice in the back of my head (and yes, I know whose voice that was) that it wasn't that I wasn't enough but that I wasn't doing enough.  Enough to grow as a Christian, enough to teach my kids, enough to understand what God really wants...just not enough.
And then it just came to me (and yes, once again, I know who planted those seeds) that I needed to find a way to tie passions together.  To read and to pray in ways that I already enjoy doing... and writing is the obvious choice for me.  And second to that is to do it with and for those who can understand where I am or have been.  I have a great many friends who are journeying thru grief in Christ and I decided that I would seek out a devotional series for grief and also find a good devotional site that I can pull from/post from too.  Something that would give me some encouragement to read, to pray, to write, to search  my heart and to maybe help others.
So here goes a sort of catch up of the first 4 day of the seasons of grief devotions I found... I found them here if you would like them emailed to you as well.  I will try to note with italics or different fonts what comes from other sources such as the Seasons of Grief devotions.  I encourage you to write comments and suggest things to me for readings I should do, sites I should check out.  I am eager to hear what others response to some of the questions that are asked in the devotions as well.

Day 1

Grief is not an enemy or a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being human. Grief is the cost of loving someone.

Since grief comes to everyone, why do some people seem to work through it better than others?

"Some people think that going through the losses or crises of life are the exceptional times," says Dr. H. Norman Wright.

"I see it differently. I see the times of calm as the exceptions. Life really is going through one loss after another, one crisis after another.

"Instead of avoiding talking about these times, let's do our homework. When you know what to expect, you're not thrown by them as much, and you're going to be better able to recover."

I certainly know that this is the case for me.  It seems I have crisis, stressful times and tragedy occur over and over again.  I sometimes wonder how much more I can take.  But then I remember that God never said that it was going to be easy, that life was a walk in the park.  Some people seem to have it that way but then when you look at their lives you often don't see the sense of character that you see in the eyes of others.  
 One of my favourite scriptures fits in nice here
James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The last line in that devotion really speaks to me...
 "Instead of avoiding talking about these times, let's do our homework. When you know what to expect, you're not thrown by them as much, and you're going to be better able to recover."

I wish that others could read this and understand why some of us grieve so vocally but even more so I wish people would realize that I don't talk about it just for me but for them, for others who might one day need this kind of support.

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

Isaiah is fast becoming one of my favourite books in the bible.  This is just so true of those who are able to reach hope out of grief.  When you have found that hope and feel less lost, less shattered and can see where your grief is leading you, where God is leading you then you will feel a renewed sense of strength, you will know you can get through this.  
Lord God, teach me to embrace my grief and not fight it, so that I may experience the true healing that comes from You. 

Lord help me to see my grief as a journey, as a gift and allow me to see the growth and incredible change that the gift has brought.  Open the eyes of my heart so that I may see clearly the truth about your love.  Remind me each day that I am loved by you, protected by you, guided by you.  


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