TITLE: Grief - A New Normal (January 8, 2019)
By Lorraine Taylor
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While out walking, I viewed the crumbling plant life and stared at the leafless trees, barren bushes, and brown grass.
The pre-winter gloom took me back to that dark time in my life, and I reflected on the feelings and emotions that pummeled me after the death of my son, Lucas.
My journey through anguished grief challenged me in ways I had never imagined, let along experienced as a mother.
As I looked at the vegetation, I grabbed a dry leaf and decimated it with my fingers, furrowing my brow.
I fought back tears as I watched the wind carry the pieces away. My heart was as dull and barren as these dormant plants.
Recalling the many days, months and years following my son's death, stepping one foot in front of the other took mustering energies in maintaining daily tasks that had become suspended and disrupted in an oppressive grief.
My life had suddenly come to a halt from normal and I was stuck in this period of waiting.
I can vividly remember waiting for my new normal where I intimately craved the living waters of God’s Spirit to wash my stagnated heart, reviving my body, soul and spirit.
In continuing my walk, the Holy Spirit reminded me that just as these plants were being nourished by an unseen source of life, so was I being nourished by the hidden source of the Spirit’s power in that place of sorrow and death.
I encountered an experiential reality of what it meant to walk by faith in those times.
In finishing my walk, I reflected on how I am not to rely on what I can see, feel, taste, or touch with my human limited understanding.
My belief and trust in God as my source for all I need became the raw material aiding me to walk in the valley of the shadow of death.
There were days and months when I found it impossible to believe this cold season would ever end.
But one day, I woke up and realized my pain did not feel as intense. I discovered I could laugh without feeling guilty. A sense of peace settled my weary soul and gave me the energy to face a new day.
Breathing came in unrestricting movement as if I had suddenly awakened from a long slumber.
A revelation came in a deeper understanding that my faith is not determined through a tangible sensing of God’s presence; even when I feel isolated.
I’ve learned God is still with me, regardless of what my emotions are telling me. I can still have faith even when everything feels desolate, barren and dull.
During my anguish, God nurtured my faith and taught me to depend on the truth in Scriptures; His promised to be with at all times.
Although I will always treasure the honor of being Lucas’ mom, I had to learn how to continue my spiritual journey in this world without him.
Developing my new normal became possible due to the enduring faithfulness of God, my hidden source of ability.
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