"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He ha sent me to heal the brokenhearted.... to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. "
Sometimes life hits us with a blow so hard that it knocks us right off our feet. We are sucker-punched, and it is so unexpected, and so horrible, that we can't breathe. Pulling ourselves up from the abyss, just trying to catch a breath, can be incredibly difficult. This usually incurs with the loss of someone dear to our hearts, someone that we spent many cherished days with and was a huge part of our everyday life.
For some we get stuck in deeply troubled waters unable to steer our boat to safety. Each time there is a shred of shore in front of us a storm of memories approaches, and we are lost at sea again. It becomes impossible to get through the daily chores of life, and we sink deeper and deeper into an irrational state of constant questions. "Why did this happen to me?" "How could I have prevented it?" "Why did I allow this to happen?"
Grieving is a normal process. There are incidents, though, that may get us stuck in one of the five stages of the grief process. I once new a woman who was still in a state of depression 10 years after losing her husband to an unexpected accident. He was a wonderful man and father; her childhood sweetheart who swept her off her feet in their freshman year. They were inseparable. In fact, they often felt as a unit of one going about the daily nuances of life, tag-teaming unusual issues.
Once he passed, Carolyn couldn't move forward. Her job suffered, her children suffered as she aimlessly walked through life in survival mode. I tried to encourage her reminding her that there are good days ahead, that her children needed her. But, she was trapped in the past. She was constantly making excuses, blaming God, and blaming other people. She'd tell me, "You just don't know what its like to lose the love of your life. It's so unfair. I'm stuck with it all. I don't understand how God could punish me."
Carolyn did have many blessings in her life. I could see them, but she wasn't accepting God's beauty he was still trying to instill daily. I got to thinking (this may sound callous) that maybe Carolyn didn't want to get well again. She seemed to like wallowing in her own self pity. She may have liked the attention it gave her. I'm sure you have one or two friends on social media that consistently share their woes with everyone. If you follow those comments you'll see a whole lot of attention going on and stating things like, "Keep going!" "You can do it!" "Hang in there!" "We love you, prayers going out to you." It almost seems as though all those friends are enabling that sad, depressed mentality some people share.
Carolyn is still living in a depressed, defeated life today.
But you don't have to be that person living in their rear view mirror thinking about what could have been. Or, what should have been, always dwelling on the pains of yesterday. The scripture says that God wants to give us beauty for our ashes, joy for our mourning, rejoicing for our heaviness. But her's the key: You have to let go of the ashes before God can give you the beauty. Ashes represent what's left over after somethings' been taken away from you. In other words, they represent our broken dreams, our disappointments, our hurts, our failures. We all have our share of ashes, and God wants to give us beauty in exchange for them. But, you can not hold onto the ashes and have the beauty at the same time. You must let go and allow God to give you fresh new dreams.
So, now I'm sure you're waiting for some magic pearls of wisdom. After all, you've been searching the internet for some time now implementing "plans" that are suggested without much luck. There is only one plan and that is reconnecting with God and Jesus Christ. For it is written that God promises peace for those who trust in him. Get that peace now. It is your right! Begin constant prayer until you feel God's warming rays again. After all as Hemingway stated, "You're important, too!"
This Week's Meditation:
God, bring me peace so that I can enjoy life again.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. If you are especially upset state:
God, I can no longer bear this cross. I relinquish this and ask you to uplift me.
Remind yourself of healing each moment. God has you in his arms always.