“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
I have one more week of GriefShare – next Wed night will be my last evening with people that I have been meeting with for about four months. I will miss them. I’m sure some of us will want to stay in touch but now that we have finished up the formal part of the program, it will be different for all of us on future Wed nights.
(By the way, new GriefShare sessions are beginning again in a month or so in the local area. GriefShare is for anyone who has lost a loved one – spouse, parent, sibling, child, friend. I recommend this for people who have lost a loved one and who need a safe place to grieve and talk with empathetic people about your loss. See here to find locations and times convenient for you to meet. The cost is free.)
We are better, generally, I think. Maybe it’s all the time that has passed since the ten of us started this walk together. Or what we have learned together. Or what we have heard from each other – we discovered that we aren’t alone walking down this path. Or maybe our confidence has been built up just a little bit by seeing each other get slightly better week to week. I don’t know exactly what it is that has brought us to where we are but I do know that we are now better equipped to deal with our losses, we are now better prepared for those occasions when we get ambushed by our emotions, and we have a better sense of who and where we are in life now that we are alone.
The final sessions have something to do with a review of what we have been talking about and experiencing since our losses and since we began meeting together months back. For our final sessions we are basically looking at twenty ‘lessons learned’ that we can carry with us for our own strength and resolve and, also, to help others when they find themselves in the same situations that we are currently in.
Let me know if you would like to discuss the twenty items – they are good and they can make you dig deep into who you are and what you believe.
What is kind of neat – and I assure you I didn’t look ahead and cheat – is that the #1 item to be considered when experiencing loss like we have experienced is that – wait for it – God is sovereign!
I was actually taken aback when we discovered and then discussed this #1 topic this evening. My meager writings this month were meant to have to do with my take on the mystery and sovereignty of God – something that people who have lost dear ones need to seriously consider and think deeply about. It doesn’t matter if we know exactly what happened to the one we lost, if we know what could have been done to prevent the loss, or if we were to somehow be able to replay the loss and start over – it doesn’t matter. Fact is – our loved one is gone and there is mystery to that and we can either be frustrated and angry over not having any answers or we can decide – it must be intentional – that there is a God of order who has a much bigger and broader view of existence than we will ever have as mere people.
I suppose it gets down pretty much to this – losing a loved one can make me feel belligerently angry or it can make me feel comfortably calm. Regardless of how I opt to react to my loss, , however, I am still subject to the mysterious and eternal order of God and his universe.
Psalms 31:14-15 reads, “But I trust in you, Lord. I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in your hands…’”
Yes, grief and joy can coexist – because I chose it and because God allows it.