Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Oct. 8, 2008

October 8, 2008
Grieving the Loss
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“See!  The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” Song of Songs 2:11-12 (NIV).

Friend to Friend
Beth is one of my dearest friends.  She had been married for 24 years when her husband walked away from their marriage.  Beth is a very strong Christian and for five years put on a happy face telling everyone, including herself, “Jesus is enough.”  She has two absolutely incredible children who love the Lord and serve in some facet of ministry.  And yet, I wondered if she had been the first person I had ever known who had skipped the grieving process that follows the devastation of divorce.

She was not.

Five years after the divorce, Beth and I were talking on the phone about the wonderful man that she had been dating for two years.

“Beth, what’s wrong with Randy?  Why is he dragging his heels?” I asked.  “I’m ready to hear some wedding bells.”

“Sharon,” she replied, “I don’t think the problem is Randy.  I think it’s me.  I was married for twenty-four-years and honestly, I am having trouble trusting again.  I know Randy is not anything like my first husband.  He loved his wife and they had an incredibly Christ-centered marriage before she died of cancer.  But there’s just something wrong with me!”

“Beth, I don’t think you ever allowed yourself to grieve over your loss.  I know your first husband betrayed you at the very core of what a marriage is supposed to be, and there is loss.  There is grieving the loss that your children do not have the father they deserve, the loss of investing twenty-four  years with a man who betrayed you, and the loss of the dream of what marriage could and should be like – what God intended from the beginning of time.”

Beth is just now beginning to grieve the many losses that accompanied her divorce and she and her two grown children are in the process of breaking free.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her book, On Death and Dying, notes five stages of grief:

  • Stage One:  Denial and Isolation
  • Stage Two: Anger
  • Stage Three:  Bargaining
  • Stage Four:  Depression
  • Stage Five: Acceptance

(Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., On Death and Dying (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1969).

But for us who have linked our lives with Jesus Christ, there is a Stage Six:

Grief is part of the healing process.  For me, I had to grieve the fact that I did not have the family I had always longed for.  I grieved that I did not grow up being the apple of my daddy’s eye, that I was not unconditionally loved, and that I did not get to hold my second child in my arms. Grieving the loss helped me to let it go, but after a time, I had to stop lamenting what was not, and rejoice in the blessings of what is.  Remember, you can’t change the past, but you can change what you choose to do with it.  Perhaps you need to grieve the losses in your life. Here are a few to consider:

  • Loss of innocence
  • Loss of a nurturing family
  • Loss of unconditional love
  • Loss of acceptance
  • Loss of security
  • Loss of virginity
  • Loss of a close relationship with your mother
  • Loss of a healthy relationship with your father
  • Loss of trust
  • Loss of education
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of a marriage
  • Loss of a spouse
  • Loss of a child
  • Loss of friendship

It is healthy to grieve a loss, but then there comes a time for the mourning to end and new life to begin.

“My lover spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.
See!  The winter is past;
The rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
The season of singing has come,
The cooing of doves
Is heard in our land.”
(Song of Songs 2:10-12)

Let’s Pray
Dear LORD, I have grieved the losses in my life, and I am so thankful You have brought me to a place of resurrection!  Jesus came that we might have life, and have it to the full!  Help me to always look to resurrection and never stop at simple acceptance of a broken dream.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
Go back up to the list of losses.  Are any of those losses part of your story?  If so, put a check by them.

Now ponder that loss for a moment.  Are you stuck there? Or have you allowed God to take you to the next level … to resurrection?  If not, consider giving the broken pieces of your dream to God and allowing Him to make them into a beautiful mosaic - lovelier than anything you could have ever imagined.  Resurrection!  It is God’s plan of redemption.  We see it in the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of our broken dreams.  He’s amazing.

More From The Girlfriends
Two of Sharon Jaynes’ resources speak to how God wants to move us past mourning and onto fulfilling His amazing plans for our lives.  To learn more, visit her resource page and read excerpts from Your Scars are Beautiful to God and Dreams of a Woman: God’s plan for fulfilling your dreams.

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