Friday, April 25, 2014

This thing called grief

"I think I need more hugs" I confessed to Justin earlier this week. I recognized this need inside myself after being offered a hug at church. In response to the question "How are you doing?" I replied with my typical "Okay". I'm honest enough with myself and those around me to not lie. I'm not doing great, I'm doing okay. I'm making it through. After that response I was offered a hug, a hug that was much needed. Want to know my initial response to the offer of a hug?


Really Megan!?! For whatever reason the offer of a hug brought out emotions I was not prepared for in that moment and I felt if I received the hug I would lose it. Taking time to reflect on my unwillingness to visit my emotions at that particular moment I spent some time thinking it through on my own since then.

Grief is a completely new thing for me. My childhood never brought about chances to learn about it or experience it firsthand. When my grandfather died 5 years ago I experienced it a bit but not it the fullness I am experiencing it currently. As I consider the challenges that have come into my life in the last year and the loss of not just my mom, grandma and grandma-in-law but also the grief that accompanies the loss of close relationships in my life, I've come to recognize just how many emotions there are to sort through.

By deflecting the hug I was choosing to distract myself from what I was really feeling in that moment.That's not a great way to live. While distracting and deflecting emotions may be necessary in abusive and life threatening situations, it is not necessary in my grief process.

"When we do not process before God the very feelings that make us human, such as fear or sadness or anger, we leak. Our churches are filled with "leaking" Christians who have not treated their emotions as a discipleship issue." Peter Scazzero

I desire to live an authentic and honest life in all areas and right now, I am grieving. I am not going to deny my emotions or believe that they mean I don't have faith. That couldn't be further from the truth. The same author quoted above also says this, "Turning toward our pain is counter intuitive. But in fact, the heart of Christianity is that the way to life is through death, the pathway to resurrection is through crucifixion."

So this is what I am learning about the grieving process for me. I need more hugs. If you offer me a hug I will allow myself to cry if that emotion overcomes me. I will be attentive to the emotions as they come and I will present each one (sadness, fear, anger, doubt) to God as an act of worship. I will embrace my limits.  I will allow myself to process without feelings of guilt and I will come out of this season forever changed. 

Be blessed!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hope of Easter

"Some people believe Jesus came to do sweet, pleasant things, like turning bad people into nice people. Not so. As someone once said, our Lord and Savior came to turn dead people into living ones - and there's nothing sentimental about that." Joni Eareckson Tada

The hope of Easter lies in the fact that Jesus came to give life, to turn dead people into living ones. I myself am so grateful that death has been conquered, that it has no hold on me. I am also grateful that the offer of eternal life, true life, is available in the here and now.

Though not a completely typical verse for Easter, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 has always been a favorite of mine:

Death has been swallowed up in victory.
55 Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
56 Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Victory of sin and death belongs to those who place their faith in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ! That is the hope of Easter.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finding my voice

So yeah, things have been pretty silent on the blog for a long time. (Is it even possible to re-engage in a blog you've neglected for the better part of a year and a half?) In part that's because life is being lived. The other part is that the past year has brought a great deal of pain, trials and difficulties into my life. In some ways I feel like I just sort of lost my voice. 

I'm beginning to find my voice again. With the help of God's amazing presence and the support of many people who love me, I am beginning to share what God is teaching me. He is teaching me about Who He is, what He has done for me and how He wants to transform my life. I am being stretched in very uncomfortable ways, yet God is gentle with me during the transformation process.

As I look to God for strength and allow Him to work in whatever ways He sees fit, I know I am in the right place. I want to be where the Spirit of the Lord is, for in that place is freedom.

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17-18)

I desperately want to be transformed into the image of God, to live my life in cadence with Him. As I continue to learn and regain my voice, you can expect me to start posting more about what God is teaching me. So, thanks for reading, and if you like, stick along with me and maybe we can learn something together.