July 22, 2010
God's Will for Me to Grieve
"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you." Matthew 5:4 (MSG)
The past year has been extremely difficult. My mother died March 25th. On that same day a part of me died, too.
The months leading up to her death were filled with purpose. While I was going through the motions dictated by my circumstances, one thing was crystal clear: I knew what my priorities were and I was confident in what I was doing. For that season, I was to care for Mom.
I think it's amazing as I did God's will for my life, everything fell into place. Co-workers and volunteers did my job in my absence. Speaker Team members took my place at speaking engagements. My husband and mother-in-law picked up the kids from school and helped around the house. Friends brought meals. The Lord worked every detail out and because of that I was filled with peace throughout one of the hardest times I've experienced.
The way I handled life during that time surprised me. My normal reaction would be to freak out, especially since I have a history of anxiety. If you had asked me before my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer how I would manage that trial, I would have responded, "I'll fall apart. I can't take that." However, I did take it and I did very well. Of course, I had my moments when I cried and days I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but I had a purpose and my mom needed me. I chose to trust the Lord and felt His peace the entire time.
Since Mom's passing, I haven't had quite that same presence of peace or purpose. I still trust the Lord and know peace is available, but I'm struggling some with this new reality of Mom being gone. When my mom died, a big part of who I was died too. I lost her and I lost my position as her caregiver. I often feel uncomfortable, shaken. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. Many times I have to tell myself that the same peace I had before is still available. God has not left me and despite how I feel, He still has a purpose for me.
Could it be that my purpose for now is to grieve? Grieving isn't easy and even though it's a natural part of life, it doesn't feel natural. It has required stillness and quiet, which is not simple to come by in my world. It's also required an understanding that my feelings are acceptable and it is okay to not have a clearly defined, tangible purpose for this season - other than grieving. I had to give myself permission to grieve and trust that through this God's will for me will prevail.
Life is filled with highs and lows, and God is there during them all. At times His will for our lives is very clear and at other times I think He wants us to seek Him and wait for Him to make it clear. It's during the seeking and waiting that we must hold on to our hope in Christ and claim the peace He offers us.
So for now, I grieve. The way I grieve may change daily, but one thing will not change: I am blessed, just as our key verse for today says. I'm blessed because of what I've lost. And I'm blessed because God is embracing me every step of the way (Matthew 5:4).
Dear Lord, I am so thankful for Your love. Please give me peace during the trials of my life. Help me be content where You have me today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Through a Season of Grief: Devotions for Your Journey From Mourning to Joy by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard
An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell
Visit Melissa's blog to catch up on how she's doing today and find out how you can receive her "Top 10 Ways I can Choose Hope and Claim Peace"
Don't worry if you aren't sure what your next step in God's will is. Instead, take time to "seek Him and wait." Carve out time to pray, process, reflect, and journal your thoughts and feelings. Post Scripture in places where you will see them as a reminder God is with you always.
Are you doing God's will in your life right now? How do you know?
Have you chosen hope in the midst of your trial?
If you've lost someone close to you, have you taken time to grieve?
Jeremiah 29:11b, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (MSG)
Psalm 16:8, "I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." (NLT)
John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV)
© 2010 by Melissa Taylor. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 22 July 2010.