"Surely he hath borne our grieves, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4My father died two years ago yesterday....I knew the date was coming....and I tried my best to steel myself against it....but just when I thought I had it covered my friend Phil's dad died. Mr. Woody was close to my dad's age and had experienced suffering during his final days....just like my dad....and when I went to the funeral home to hug my friends....I found myself sinking deeply into a pit of grief. I cried myself to sleep on Thursday night...silently....so I would not wake up Frank. Friday, coming home from school I put in my Larry Gatlin Gospel CD and listened to "It Is Well With My Soul" about a gazillion times. After the gazillionth time I began to feel better and the blue funk passed. I am learning through this process of grief that grief hits and affects us in many forms. I have experienced it six times in the past two years each time I have lost a loved one to death. I have to admit....it is taking me some time to get through this because I have not had time to complete one process when I have found myself beginning another. I also have discovered that grief is something we experience when we have to say, "Good bye" to a child that is going to war(I have watched my friends and family members deal with this quite a bit since we have been involved in Iraq. Grief rears its ugly head and hits us again when a relationship is severed(losing a long time friend or spouse). I learned the hard way that divorce is as painful as death. It is a form of death....the death of a relationship....and it hurts just as bad. I have found myself experiencing it yet again when something I have so looked forward to eluded me. Then there is that grief we feel when our hopes and dreams have been shattered...and let me tell you, grief is something we can experience suddenly and without warning. It touches everyone's life- the young, the old, male, female, rich or poor, no matter where in the world we may live- I have found out that no one is exempt. If you are alive.....then it is a sure bet that it will touch your life one day if it hasn't already. Yet, through this process of grieving I have found that even though grief is something that will touch everyone's life at some point in time, it doesn't have to destroy me! It doesn't have to become my "master"! I DO NOT have to let grief control my life and become depressed and melanchoy. When I realized I was handling this....I began to question myself with how is this possible? I found myself wondering if I was weird, heartless, numb....what was it that made me have so many more better days than bad ones? I began reading all the grief passages in my Bible. I even found other translations and read them too. I found over and over that because Jesus bore my "grieves and carried [my] sorrows". Not only did Jesus die on the cross to save me, Karen, from my darkside of sins and give me eternal life, He also bore my grief. What a loving God I serve. This God I serve loves me so much that He cares about every single one of my hurts and pains. He knew from the very beginning that my life would be touched with heartaches that would be too great for me to bear, so He bore them for me so that the weight of them would not crush me when they came. I remember during all the illness and death days telling people that I knew God would only put on us what we could stand...but I thought He had put me on the back burner and forgotten about me. He hadn't....and over and over I found myself turning to Him in my times of grief and pain and having confidence that He would not just hear my cries but "understand" them as well and He would give me the peace that I so desperately needed at that moment....and the moments that followed. Yep, my life was touched....over and over with a peace that passes understanding (especially mine). It was an is a peace that has dried all my tears and mended my heart. God really does know what it's like. He knows what it means to hurt and suffer grief- because He has already been there and done that. What a mightly God I serve. Have a blessed Monday.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.