A few months ago, I was returning home from a speaking engagement. The church was in a rural community, located a couple hours from my home. As I looked at the beautiful, orange sun beginning to set, I suddenly panicked. I didn’t remember the road to get back home.
I pulled off onto the side of the road and reached for my GPS in the glove box. And then I remembered, my address doesn’t show up on the radar. I quickly dialed my husband’s cell and it rang once, going directly to voicemail I knew it was turned off. Oh my, I thought, time to pray.
But the sun was setting, and I began to fret. All of a sudden, the bleak miles without farms or any memorable landmarks began to make me feel a deep sense of panic, and a dark blanket of feeling completely alone surrounded me.
How long would I be lost? Should I just pull over again and try to make more calls? And if I did, how would I describe where I was.
With the last remains of the sun going down behind the trees and fields, I saw an elderly couple outside and did what any sensible woman in high heels and a cute jacket would do; I stopped for directions.
Oddly enough, I wasn’t that far from home after all. It was just a few miles down the road.
This morning, as I watched the sun coming up, I remembered that moment in time…. a few minutes where I seemed utterly and hopelessly lost, and it resonated so strongly with where I am today.
You see, about two weeks ago, I lost my dear friend, Mary, to cancer. My children so sweetly dubbed her Grandma Mary because she was just like a grandmother to them. She served in the role of cheerleader, companion, mentor, mother, cook, assistant, and our ministries’ Director of Prayer and Care Support for the past seven years of my life.
I have been on a journey of grief; I seem to have gotten lost. The more I wanted to stop on the side of the road and rest, the more that life kept me busy, and the more I wandered the farmlands of my life. I couldn’t seem to find my way through the sadness, through the emptiness, and through that dull ache that happens when a special person in your life is no longer on planet earth, operating in the role they were to you, in place that took up space in your world.
I have to be honest and tell you that yes, I did make a few calls. But they were calls that were dead ended, much like the forward to the message on a cell phone. No help. No comfort. I did stop for directions, but no one seemed to know the way back from grief. There was no GPS to take me from the aching of loss, to the l andof healing… or so I thought.
For those who expect us to get up and move on suddenly, after a loss, I only sympathize and wonder how they will manage when they get lost on this road called grief.
For those who didn’t have the ability to deliver comfort or know the way home, I believe some day they will experience this same road without a map.
But for me, here’s what I learned:
- Grief is part of life. It’s made up of the pieces of loss and sadness that are consistent with being born and dying.
- Grief is painful. It will hurt, and running from it, ignoring it, or not processing it, will never work. It continues to leave you stranded on the side of the road.
- Grief takes time. Each person deals with grief differently. What one person gets over in two weeks, another may not feel comfort for two years.
- Grief is a lesson. Each time I suffer loss, I learn more about loss. Each time I learn more about loss, I am able to bring comfort to someone because I know it, I get it, I have been lost before.
- God is the only true Healer. I wanted other people to show me the way home to the land of comfort. I wanted a GPS that would program my heart and mind there, and take me directly to feeling better. I wanted it to go away. But I learned that God, in His infinite wisdom, has given us His Word and His Spirit as Comforters to our soul. There really can’t be anything or anyone else that will fill that void; He wants to do that for us.
Today, if you’re grieving the loss of a parent, a child, a friend, a job, a house that you wanted and didn’t get, a child that you thought you were adopting and it didn’t go through, or whatever your circumstance, God understands.
You see, He’s the One who will get you from wherever you are lost, to wherever you need to go to get back. And the truth is, you really don’t go back. It’s different: never the same. But God is with us in the getting lost….and He’s always about the getting found.
For more information from Kathy A. Weckwerth & her ministry, Best Life Ministries, log onto www.bestlifeministries.com.