Posts Tagged With: healing

A Year of Healing

It was almost exactly one year ago today that I realized I really was going to be okay after my brother’s suicide. I remember I was on my way home from a store. The sun was shining on all the gorgeous fall leaves outside my car window, displaying in a small way God’s splendor and beauty to me. I was doing something that I know God has called me to do – helping lead a team of intercessors as we prayed for pastors in our community via email and text messages. And suddenly, I realized I was okay. My storm was passing.

The landscape of my life was forever altered;  I would always know the ache of losing a dearly loved one to suicide; I would always miss my brother, and I still went through really hard days after this realization that I would be okay. Yet, God had proven Himself faithful once again. I was back doing the things I was called to do, like singing on the praise team and helping lead prayer teams, and I was enjoying the beauty of the world around me.

It was such a significant moment for me – a moment where I could look back over the past 7+ months and see God’s presence that had been there all along. Not that I ever doubted it, but it’s one thing to trust it simply because it’s faith, and another thing to finally be able to see it. It made the truth of God’s presence, love, faithfulness, grace, and peace so much sweeter and more amazing after having to trust in it when I was too blinded by grief to see it. And what a tremendous blessing it was when I could see it again.

So one year ago today – I remember it because it was the day the local Pastors’ Prayer Summit started, which is what I was leading a team of intercessors to pray for – was a significant day for me. It was the day I realized I was healing; the day I once again clearly saw and felt all the things that I knew were true and had clung to in the dark, scary days after Rusty died. What a beautiful, glorious day.

Categories: fall, grief, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Face to Face With Grief

I’ve discovered that I tend to want to find an escape when faced with uncomfortable emotions like grief or frustration. Or maybe it goes so far as to be any time I feel completely out of control of what is going on around me. My means of escape are harmless in and of themselves: shopping (well, that may not be completely harmless….); going out with a friend; going out to do something – anything; meeting with my pastor; or even just our normal scheduled activities; and I even escape with comfort foods.

Why do I do that? I know it’s probably a pretty normal response to difficult situations and emotions, but I “know better”. I’m supposed to know that escaping won’t solve anything, and that the answer to my grief cannot be found in any person or thing or activity. I know Jesus is the only Person who completely understands, and He is the only One who is truly “acquainted with (my) sorrows”.

Perhaps I’m not so much escaping as I am simply looking for something to soften the harsh reality of my grief – a pillow on which to lay my broken heart until it feels better. My routines – especially the ones that involve church – can be a pseudo-comfort. I’ve been expecting my friends to assuage my sorrow to some extent, and part of me has been terrified that they would forget. I’ve been fighting to keep Rusty’s memory alive in everyone’s hearts – or was it just my heartache I wanted them to remember?

Last week, the anniversary of Rusty’s death, made me realize all this, because I didn’t have a way to escape. It was Spring Break, every midweek activity was cancelled at both of the churches I am involved with (I’ll explain how I came to be involved with 2 churches in a different post.) My worship pastor, who has been my grief counselor in many ways this past year, was out of town with his family. My pastor was out of commission due to an injury requiring surgery. My friends were busy enjoying their own Spring Break activities. Every means I would normally use to escape was unavailable to me last week.

So it was just me and God. I wish I could tell you what a wonderful week of sweet, comforting, healing communion I enjoyed with the Lord. But I can’t. For some reason, I was holding Him at arms’ length. I knew He was there, and I was even talking to Him some, but I did not throw myself into His arms like I could have. I didn’t spend my evenings, after everyone was in bed, pouring my heart out to Him. Why? Why do I do that? Am I afraid? If so, of what?? Am I angry? Yes, that’s very possible.

But the Lord is good. He is faithful and long-suffering. He still upheld me because of the prayers of my friends. He has been there in this whole, long, excruciating season of my soul. He met me at church on Sunday. First, while I was working in the nursery, He had a nice lady who only knew the gist of what had happened, asked me for all the details. I could  have politely declined to answer, but I didn’t. I think the Lord wanted my heart to be exposed, because every single song during the service met me right where I was. It was as if the whole service had been planned for me. I know it wasn’t, except for in God’s plan. It was hard, and I cried a lot, but it was healing.

So I learned that I need to put my arms down, and stop trying to find something or someone else to “fix me”. I need to not be afraid to come face to face with my grief. For when I do, I’ll probably find myself face to face with God, who alone can comfort and heal.

Categories: brothers, choices, church, grief, lessons, Uncategorized, worship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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