AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

I was at a loss for words.
Those who know me can appreciate the weight of that statement. I am a wordsmith by trade. As a writer and a public speaker, words are my medium of choice. Normally, putting words onto paper is like falling off a log for me. However, this past year was anything but normal for me. As a result, I have found myself struggling to string words together in a meaningful fashion – my last blog post was August 5, 2014. Some days, just writing a grocery list was a challenge.
Multiple layers of change and loss in 2014 caused major tectonic shifts in my life that left me feeling as if I’d been hit in the head with a baseball bat. If you’ve ever taken a significant blow to your head, you know what I’m talking about. It takes awhile to realize what just happened, and it will take time to regroup and carry on.
I’ve been here before: the inability to concentrate, restlessness, a lack of motivation, and forgetfulness. I would find these symptoms alarming if I didn’t recognize them for what they are – “just” grief. I say just grief, because grief comes with the package of loss and change: There is no way around it – you just have to go through it. With God’s grace and the help of friends, I have found my way through deeper grief in the past; I know that this too shall pass.
It helps to understand a couple of things about grief:
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Every person grieves in his or her own way. Your feelings are your feelings – don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t feel that way.
There is no timeline for grief. Grief is a process; it takes time. Be patient with the process, and be gentle on yourself as you make your way through it.
I have been doing everything I need to do to move me along in this process: I am taking time to read God’s Word and for prayer. I’m using my entire support network, getting rest and exercise, and making time for fun. I’ve kept my expectations for productivity at a lower level. It’s working – I am well on my way through this latest time of grief. The fog is lifting. I am finding my words once again – this blog is evidence of that.
If, like me, you are relieved to see 2014 in the rear-view mirror, let us enter this New Year together with hope – not believing that there will be no more loss or change in 2015, but believing these things:
Our lives are like shifting sand, but God never changes. People will continue to come and go, and situations will change, but God is the one constant we can rely on. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He is with us and for us.
God is faithful, sovereign and always good. Remembering His faithfulness in the past will help us to trust Him with today’s troubles and our fears for tomorrow. “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:21-23 ). Although we may not see it in our present circumstances, we can trust God’s plan is for our good (Jeremiah 29:11).
God will supply what we need, when we need it. God has never failed on one of His promises. He has promised: “…and your strength will equal your days…The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:25,27).
No matter what losses we may face in the coming year, with God’s grace and each other’s help, we will make it through to the other side. Believe that.
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: If you are in a time of grief, give yourself permission to be there, but also take what steps you can to move on. Talk to God and at least one trusted person about what you are going through; then do one thing that will help you to feel better, i.e. have lunch with a friend, go for a walk, read a good book, include some humor in your day, etc. Above all, hang on to the hope that things will get better, because they will!

4 Comments

  1. Kim Harves
    Jan 28, 2015

    Thank you, Kathy! It has been a time of grieving (in various ways) this year for us, as well. Thank you for your encouraging words and the scriptures you led us to. Here’s a verse that encouraged me today: Ps. 142:3a, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path.” I’m so glad the Lord has a path for us to go and keep going on even when we can’t see ahead and when we are in the midst of difficulties and grief.

  2. Sherrie
    Jan 28, 2015

    Thank you for sharing Kathy! I too have only recently begun to blog again after a very difficult past two years. So thankful for the continued encouragement and to know that I am not the only one who has walked through these waters.
    Blessings to you dear one!
    Sherrie

  3. Jolie
    Jan 28, 2015

    Kathy,
    You are an important part of why and how I can always have a reason to laugh, love, live, learn, and outlast. Grief is a very strange part of life and sneaks in and out and always will. I try to tell myself it is alright to feel this way, accepting the grief makes it less consuming. If I try to control it then it ends up dictating my life so I have learned to surf this tidal wave!
    Cawabunga!
    Jolie

  4. Mary S
    Jan 29, 2015

    Kathy,
    What a much needed message this is! It hits home more than I was/am willing to admit. The verses you shared will be ones that I write out and carry with me to read in those grief moments. Thankful for you and the gift of writing God has given you.

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