Tag: grief

Elvis vs. Christmas

I’ve never been a big Elvis fan. It’s not that I have anything against him, it’s just a matter of taste. However, there is one song I wish he had never recorded Blue Christmas.

IT’S A FACT THAT THERE ARE MANY AMONG US WHO DO FEEL “BLUE,” AND WITH A GOOD REASON.

We may find the holiday season intensifies our sadness over the loss of a spouse, parent or other loved one.  Or maybe the Christmas Season stirs up painful memories of family discord or even abuse. In fact, most people have a mixture of wonderfully positive feelings and painfully unpleasant feelings this time of year.

The world wants us to focus on our misfortunes and our hurts hence, the popularity of songs like Blue Christmas. But singing sad songs sure doesn’t make you very joyful!

God has a better idea!

IF WE’RE GRIEVING, HE WANTS US TO TURN TO HIM SO WE CAN BE COMFORTED.

If we know someone who is grieving, He wants to use us to bring joy and comfort to his or her life. Here are two of the MANY Scriptures which illustrate God’s desire to comfort us:

“A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families.” Psalm 68

“Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” 2 Corinthians 1:4


IN RESPONSE:

  • 1. Who is one person you know who is grieving, lonely or saddened by the Christmas Season?
  • 2. What are one or two ways you and your family or Lifegroup can bring encouragement and comfort to this person, (i.e., invite them to dinner, take your kids to visit them, buy or make them a present that is personalized with their name or initials, etc.)?
  • 3. Is this Christmas season particularly painful to you, personally?
    • Get connected to a Lifegroup. Just come to NEXT right after one of our Sunday services to get the connection process started.
    • Be honest with God and ask Him to comfort you and to meet every need you have.
    • Wait on the Lord and watch Him work!

By Danny Mulkey – Caleb Zone Pastor

 

 

I Lost My Grip: What I Learned Through Grief

Tubes and IV’s were removed, the curtain was pulled and a hand written “Do Not Disturb” sign was taped to the closed glass door. Inside the ICU room, my husband, Ron, and I slept on and off through the night as we never let go of one another’s hands. Occasionally, I would squeeze his hand and he would squeeze back. We were still in each other’s grip. The next morning we returned to Waco by ambulance and three days later, Ron moved to Heaven. I had lost the grip, both literally and emotionally, of the one person I could always count on, as much as anyone can count on another human being.

This began a journey for me of what a friend called “hard grief.” All loss is difficult, of course, but it permeated all of me. My emotions took over my physical body and I began having bouts with anxiety. I took medication for several weeks to be able to get through the days. I was crying multiple times a day and always dreaded going home in the evening. Loneliness took me to some dark places in my mind and emotions. Months turned into a year and then two. Things got better during that time, but it took much longer than I had imagined. Like every journey we go on with Jesus, we eventually come to the realization that He never loses His grip on us, whether we go to the depths of despair or the heights of joy.

He is there.

This is the first lesson I have re-learned in the last two and a half years. I have also learned that

we will go through grief and come out more whole if we let others in the Body of Christ come alongside.

They will be the hands of Jesus to grip us when the pain is overwhelming. Don’t isolate out of pride or fear. Press in to the community our Father has provided for us here on Earth.

Another lesson I have learned is that the Word of God is REAL medicine for the soul.

Quoting Scripture literally got me from point A to point B at times. This living Word changes perspectives and atmospheres and emotions. Let God’s Word grip you and hold you, wherever you are.

Finally, I have learned that sometimes we need to stop gripping some things.

I am a worrier — always have been. Yes, I know that it is sin and I have repented and relapsed hundreds of times. When I lost my physical grip on Ron, though, the Holy Spirit helped me to loosen my grip on worry, which I think, at least in my case, is a form of control. I could not control the outcome of Ron’s disease and God used that to show me that I really can’t be in control. Period.

So, despite the loss of Ron’s hand in mine, the Trinity has given me some new things to grip—a deeper sense of community, a more intimate appreciation of the Word of God, and a freedom to release my grip on things that I cannot control anyway in exchange for the Grip that never lets go.

 

In Response

We will all experience grief in this life. Take some time to sit with the Lord and bring your grief before Him. Let Him remind you that He is with you, speaking grace and mercy over you. Find a friend and let him or her know you are hurting. Open the Word of God and find Scriptures that will encourage and strengthen you. The Psalms are a great place to start.

By Penny Allison