Recovering From Loss

Recovering from Loss

The image I chose for this blog shows the debris left by a tornado that passed thru Kentucky a few years ago. Recovering from loss is a painful process, on many levels. If you read my blog from last month, Empty Places Filled With God, I am going to share more reflections here as my life has been simply connecting the dots, day by day, week by week. It’s actually one month today, that we officially resigned from our ministry position of 17 years.

I woke up a few days ago with this thought. There is no “rapid closure” on grief or a “painless process” to spiritual growth. Recovering from loss requires that we pace ourselves for the journey. I’m grateful for resources God has provided to supply me with a road map. One of my favorite authors just released a book, as we were reeling from the recent storm.

 

The Gift of Limitations

Full title is The Gift of Limitations: Finding Beauty in Your Boundaries. I refer again to the image of the tornado aftermath. If we transfer that photo on to an emotional grid, we would be hard pressed to see any beauty or feel any hope. Allow me to share some of Sara Hagerty’s words, that have been a lifeline as I am recovering from loss.

We work so hard not to experience loss. We do all sorts of acrobatics in our minds and with our actions to ensure that loss isn’t the end of this part of our stories, but what if loss is also a beginning? In grief, you get the arms of God. You get His shared tears on your cheek. You feel His heartbeat against your head as you collapse into His chest. In the words of Jesus…

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt. 5:4 In the Message translation it reads: 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.

 

Mission “Paused”

I don’t think it’s desirable for anyone to have their story paused for any length of time. My life clock these days seems to be running on a weak battery, a slow tick, LONG days. As I mentioned earlier, I am one month removed from what I thought was my lifetime ministry assignment. This “pause” feels more like one year than one month. In Hagerty’s words…

It’s inconvenient to pause the “mission” of our lives to weep. There’s a good reason we don’t grieve. But the alternative is a life that evades grief at every turn rather than finding its gold, its power to change our perspective on God… A heart settling into peace with its limitations has found genuine trust in God.

 

New Mercies

Sometimes the backdrop makes the picture. And isn’t it amazing what you can do with green screen – digital, virtual backdrops with no limitations on your creativity?

Perhaps the mercies of God are best displayed against the backdrop of limitations. 

The prophet Jeremiah, a man well acquainted with sorrow, wrote these words: The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Lam. 3:19-20 Deep engravings on the soul do not erase easily. We’ve all tried the “copy & paste” method. I have accepted the fact that I will never forget this awful season I’m in, stacked upon the previous awful seasons I experienced. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. Lam. 3:21-23

Even the best genie couldn’t fulfill the wishes for “rapid closure” or “painless process.” The good news is that God has a new beginning, a fresh story idea, on His heart for me every day.

As I surrender to the process, His goodness and mercy outrank every other influence in my life.

I am, recovering from loss.

 

5 thoughts on “Recovering From Loss

  1. When all the wisdom of man finally failed to bring resolution for Job, Jesus did choose to speak to him through a tornado. I suppose God has to break down our signposts to build them up in His Spirit that they might stand in the Flood.

  2. I “retired” in December after almost 22 years, which I thought I would never do. Even being a Grief Chaplain for a number of those years, did not prepare me for such personal grief and loss, as the reality of where I had desired to pour out the rest of my days….really did not exist. Praying for your family still every day, simply continuing to say yes and amen to the prayers of Jesus! He really is Lord of ALL

  3. Thanks, Rizzos! Very well written. I hope you write more on this as time proceeds and additional thoughts and emotions unpack.

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