Wash Day Grief
Have you ever noticed the settings on your washing machine as they relate to grief? Consider these common washing machine settings:
NORMAL: Normal responses following a loss may include mood changes, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, feelings of anger, abandonment, despair, loss of concentration, loss of energy, and the loss of motivation. These responses can vary based upon previous loss experiences, our relationships, and even our personality.
SMALL LOAD: Each person’s grief is a major life event. However, there may be some days the grief pain is not as intense. These days offer the time to catch your breath. Regardless of the relationship…regardless of the circumstances surrounding the loss…it is a major loss.
LARGE LOAD: Grief can bring on very intense feelings. These feelings can be overwhelming, even to someone with a history of always being under control. We can be paralyzed emotionally because of the shock a loss brings.
SPIN CYCLE: Several events can throw a griever into a “spin cycle”. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, photos, music, food, and even fragrances can begin the “spin cycle” of emotions. These are normal twists and turns along the journey of grief.
RINSE CYCLE: The rinse cycle is a time of refreshing. Tears provide a natural rinsing, a cleansing of the soul. Grief encompasses all of the confusing and painful emotions felt after a loss. Mourning is the outward expression of these feelings...whether through tears, words, or actions.
COOL DOWN: No one can take grief away. Expressing grief to a safe person, or becoming part of a grief support group, can provide a “cool down” time. These steps can help soften the pain of grief, but the awareness of the loss will remain.
Give yourself permission to be a “NORMAL” griever. Some days will bring a “SMALL LOAD” of grief…other days will consist of a “LARGE LOAD”. The “SPIN CYCLE” may be intense at times…while the “RINSE CYCLE” of tears can cleanse the soul as we mourn the loss. Peace and acceptance can offer a “COOL DOWN” phase…a time of rest.
Jesus did NOT say “Blessed are those who GRIEVE”! But, He DID say “Blessed are those who MOURN, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4. Grief is the confusing tangle of emotions and feelings that are within following a loss. These may feel like loneliness, sadness, emptiness, anger, guilt and regrets. No one can see our grief, it is personal and private.
But, when we talk about these feelings the grief becomes mourning. A good definition of mourning is “grief gone public”. Mourning may be talking about the feelings, or even actions to honor the life of a loved one who died. Every one grieves, but not everyone mourns in a healthy manner.
Find a safe person who will let you talk about your feelings. As you talk about your grief you are mourning the loss…according to Jesus, that is when you find comfort.
Psalms 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted, He binds up their heart”.
Bob Willis has served as a Southern Baptist minister and hospice Bereavement Coordinator. He is a frequent speaker on grief, loss, and caregiver issues. His book “A Guide For Grievers” was released in June 2017, providing information on grief and supporting those who have experienced a loss. Bob has been a sculptor for over 25 years. In May of 2018, he became the Sculptor at The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Set your house in order because Christ could come today . . .
And some tasks may be unfinished if you are called away.
An angel may have told you at the early morning light . . .
“Your Lord will come this evening and you’ll be home with Him tonight.”
Our hearts may become clouded as we think of work undone . . .
Those seeds that weren’t scattered and the crowns that we might have won.
There were souls we meant to speak to and Bible verses we meant to share . . .
And there were a lot of wasted moments we could have spent in prayer.
Now there are a few short moments to set undone things right . . .
And feverishly we’d labor until we see the warning light.
We all have a slothful soul and a careless heart and some spiritual eyes that seem to have no sight . . .
We need to work, and not reap in vain regrets, because my Lord Jesus may come tonight.
“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)
Tom Kesting was born and raised in Bluefield, West Virginia, and attended West Virginia University on a football scholarship. He worked in the marketplace doing sales and marketing for 30 years and worked at In Touch Ministries for 26 years. Tom became a Christian when he was 41 years old. Three days a week he broadcasts a 15-minute inspiration program on Facebook and sends out daily encouraging emails to friends and to those interested in positive encouragement and inspiration. Tom lives in Lilburn, Georgia, and has been married for 20 years.
A precious gift we’ve been given as Christians seems to be under-appreciated.
It’s the gift of salvation.
We can easily fall into the trap of thinking of our salvation as a one-time event, and now that we’ve got that “nailed down,” we’re good, and we can think about other things. The truth is we need God operating in our lives to save us way more than we think. Here’s why:
The thief does not come, except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, I have come that they may have life - John 10:10 (NKJV)
Just because we have experienced the awesome moment where we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior by faith, and have started this great journey to eternity with God, doesn’t mean the enemy gives you a “bye” and stops seeking to steal, kill, and destroy in our lives.
If you have been walking with God for any time at all, surely you can think of a situation where God had to “save you” or you would have suffered loss in some way.
A good example is a car accident. I was involved in one last October and the only reason I’m still here is because God saved me. I didn’t even see it coming, but God did.
I was driving down a busy street in Waco, Texas, and traffic was heavy. I observed that the lane I was in had stopped, so I began slowing to a stop as well. As I halted, my vehicle was violently hit from behind, knocking me into the vehicle in front of me, and my whole world changed. I’m not sure if I lost consciousness, or how long it took for me to regain my senses, but once it “hit” me that I had been in an accident, I felt tremendous pain in my neck, and I noticed something else that alarmed me even more.
I smelled what I thought was smoke and thought my 2002 Tahoe had caught on fire. My next thought was If I can move I have to get out of this vehicle. I didn’t want to die in a car fire. I was able to move, and exited the vehicle, walking with great difficulty to the side of the road. EMS was notified, as well as the Police, and I knelt on the ground to wait for their arrival. I was transported to the ER where it was determined that I did not have anything broken, nor any other serious bodily injury. I was injured, but God protected me, and I was able to walk away from the accident.
My truck, however, was totaled, and now I had no transportation. Life was tough for a couple of weeks, but I still experienced the restoration of God both in healing, and with a replacement vehicle (much nicer than my Tahoe). Praise the Lord!
I found out that God still saves, even after my salvation experience, and I will never stop appreciating this incredible gift from my heavenly Father.
BIO: Darryl Horn is a writer, author, and speaker whose time has come. A writer of non-fictional resources for the Body of Christ, Darryl received a prophetic word from God in 2014 while living in Galveston, Texas. The work which began that year is expected to be published in 2018, along with two additional works. An enthusiastic communicator, Darryl loves to share relevant, impactful, life-changing truths from the Word of God, and especially those truths taught by Jesus.
Published on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 @ 7:58 PM CDT
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