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Showing items filed under “May 2013”
in Grief

A Grace Disguised

A week ago I tried to recommend a great book on grief and loss - and royally messed up the title AND the author! The book that I'm reading is A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser - subtitle is How the Soul Grows through Loss.

Here's what I read tonight:
"Gifts of grace come to all of us. But we must be ready to see and willing to receive these gifts. It will require a kind of sacrifice, the sacrifice of believing that, however painful our losses, life can still be good - good in a different way than before, but nevertheless good. I will never recover from my loss and I will never get over missing the ones I lost. but I still cherish life... Moreover, I will always want the ones I lost back again. I long for them with all my soul. But I still celebrate the life I have found because they are gone. I have lost, but I have also gained. I lost the world I loved, but I gained a deeper awareness of grace. That grace has enabled me to clarify my purpose in life and rediscover the wonder of the present moment."

I can't say my soul echoes these sentiments completely, but the experience of the author who lost his wife, his mother, and his daughter in a terrible car accident - and the manner in which has sought to go through his loss - gives him credibility to speak to me in the tragic loss of my son. Much to chew on and process...

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in Grief

I May, If I Will, Accept

I've read a dozen books in the last six weeks - books on grieving a suicide, mental illness and how the church can offer support and help, a couple of Dick Francis novels when I just needed to escape and my favorites: These Strange Ashes and Secure in the Everlasting Arms by Elisabeth Elliot. Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband, Jim, was murdered by a savage tribe in Ecuador, has mentored me from afar for more than 40 years. I owe my deepest, most transformative lessons on trusting God to her steadfast, passionate pursuit of a God who often offers no explanations or answers - at least not the kind that easily satisfy my very human questions.

She writes: "Each separate experience of individual stripping we may learn to accept as a fragment of the suffering Christ bore when He took it all. 'Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.' This grief, this sorrow, this total loss that empties my hands and breaks my heart, I may, if I will, accept, and by accepting it, I find in my hands something to offer. And so I give it back to Him, who in mysterious exchange gives Himself to me."

Thanking God tonight for others like Elisabeth who have walked sorrows' path and left encouraging signposts for those of us following behind.

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