The New Tapestry: Grieving in God

tapestry-3I realize that many of my blog readers may not know a lot about me personally. For instance, you may not know that almost 20 years ago my husband of 13 years decided that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore.  We had made a lot of mistakes throughout our marriage, but this last stroke was his.  Never in my wildest nightmares did I ever imagine that I would end up a single mother with four children under the age or 12.

Just last night I pulled out some of my old journals. Not knowing what year the journal was from that I was grabbing, I opened the pages and was immediately transported back 18 years to those days as a single mother negotiating the pain and fear of post-divorce life.  I thought I would share one of those journal entries as I feel that I captured the emotions of grief, whether it be from divorce, death or any circumstance that brings a permanent end to a chapter in our lives. You can see how I processed the grief by bringing it to the Lord.  When grief hits our lives, we want so badly for the sadness and uncertainty to be over. But we have to go through the process or we won’t come through to the other side whole.

As I was reading my journal, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and awe at how beautifully and completely the Lord brought me though the hardest time of my life up to that point. The Lord is faithful and He is mighty.  If you are in a season of grief, don’t go it alone.  Call upon the Lord and He will comfort and counsel you as no one else can!

March 29th, 1999

Lord God, my loving Father, I offer up to You the unraveled cords of my life. I was working on such a lovely tapestry – bright and vibrant – and now it is all gone and I’ve had to start a new one.  But I still have all these kinked up strings lying around from the first one. Some of them I know I will need to incorporate in to new tapestry, but which ones? Will You come and clean up this mess with me? I can’t stop working on the new tapestry, but the mess and memories from the former one, now unraveled, keep me unfocused.  I want to move on and throw myself wholeheartedly into my new course, but this jumble of chaotic colors about my feet keeps tripping my up.  Jesus, help me to cut away the cords that are binding me. Show me how to gently roll up the threads of the former tapestry and put them away.  Guide my fingers to choose the proper yarn for this new tapestry and reveal to me how this new venture is a gift from You. I will offer to You my pain, my uncertainty, my shaken trust, my fears, my discomforts.  Only You can take those colors and make something rich and eternal.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51: 17

Now you:

Are you experiencing grief right now?  Are you struggling with depression, fear, loneliness or sadness? Are you struggling to see how you can get past this loss and how your life will ever have joy again?

You are not alone.  I have been there and so have many others.  I can attest that crying out to Jesus in those dark hours are what brought me through the pain and shame of the loss of my marriage.

  • Find peace in the Word: In Psalms you will find Scriptures that will bring tremendous comfort.  I also encourage you to find a Bible reading plan specifically for grief.  YouVersion, the Bible app, has many great Bible reading plans on every topic.  YouVersion Bible App
  • Don’t isolate: Don’t go it alone. Even though you may be tempted to isolate because it’s hard to socialize when you are so sad, it’s imperative that you get out and be around positive people.  Does your church have a small group that focuses on grief?  Are there other Bible studies that you can attend to get out of the house and be around people?
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal: When we’re grieving, it’s easy to see the loss because it’s the glaring hole that won’t seem to go away.  But the best thing to do with a hole is to fill it.  While nothing will replace the person or the relationship we have lost, God has an amazing way of creating new and beautiful things out of the ashes of our lives.  But we need to be aware of the beauty or it will pass us by and we will only see the loss.

I am praying for you, my dear friend.  You will make it through this season. But how well and how quickly you make it through depends on where you turn for healing.  Please turn to Jesus, who knows you inside and out and heals every wound and every broken place. God bless.

I am thinking of putting together a devotional from my journals from the time that I was a single mom.  Let me know if you think that would be a blessing to people.  God bless, cecily

No More Naomi: Don’t get stuck in Chapter 19

San and alone

If bitterness was collateral, then Naomi would have been a millionaire.  Naomi was a woman in the Bible who had seen her share of sad days, losing her husband and then both of her sons.  These losses and the accompanying grief were compounded by financial distress. Because of the culture she was living in, not having a male to provide for her, be it a husband, a son or a grandson, put Naomi in a very stressful and scary position.  Furthermore, she had two daughter-in-laws to worry about.  They were lovely girls, mind you, but they were more mouths to feed.  So she told her daughter-in-laws that they should return home to their families, something that was not in accordance with the custom of the day.  But Naomi didn’t know what else to do.  She planned on returning to her family in Israel and hoping for the best.  Maybe someone would have pity on her and take her in.  Otherwise, she would become a beggar on the street – as if life hadn’t been hard enough on this older woman who was just trying to get through each day under the intense weight of her sadness. Have you ever felt so sad that you no longer cared what happened to you? Naomi felt this way.  And I’m sure just trying to think about how to take care of her daughter-in-laws while struggling under the pressure of grief and financial strain was too much for her.

One of the daughters agreed to go home to her family but the other daughter-in-law, Ruth, begged to stay with Naomi.  So Naomi brought Ruth with her back to Israel, a land that Ruth had never seen before.  Now Ruth is following a grieving widow while trying to handle her own grief and adjusting to a new culture.  She had her own sadness and financial concerns pressing down on her, but her reaction to life’s stress was different than her mother-in-law’s.  Where Naomi saw her loss and grief as a box that contained her, Ruth looked around for the new beginning.  Where Naomi looked at the season she was in as the definition of who she was, Ruth looked forward with hope for what could transpire.

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