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Posts Tagged ‘surrender’

Taken from a facebook friend, Mary Kate Cranston, who has a blog “Cry Laugh Heal”:

How do you deal with change? Here’s a new post about when life pushes us in a new direction. It sounds funny to say but change is definitely a constant of life. As David Bowie wrote in his classic hit song, Changes, you not only have to turn and face the strange but you also have to turn and face the strain because life is making you move on by rewriting your script.

On a morning walk in my neighborhood yesterday, I came upon a middle-aged man standing inside a huge moving van parked on the street. He was calmly…
crylaughheal.com
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griefhealing%20homepage[1]Definition of “Grief”:

Intense emotional suffering caused by loss, disaster, misfortune, etc; acute sorrow; deep sadness

There are many reasons that people grieve.

There are many ways that people handle their grief.

So how can we say “Grief” is good?

Let’s think about some of the reasons why people grieve:

  • Death- such as when someone loses a loved one to death…the grieving widow.
  • Divorce- Or when there is a divorce, we understand that family members are separated which causes another form of grief….intense emotional suffering.
  • Natural disasters…when homes are destroyed by earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, etc. Even if individuals were blessed enough not to lose any family members, they have lost sometimes all their material possessions they’ve ever owned…pictures…sentimental things. These people have to grieve over their losses.
  • Pets- There’s grief over losing a pet that is someone’s family member.
  • Moving- And do we give much thought about individuals going through grief that have moved because of a job change to a new city, or a new state. Do we realize that all the family members in that particular family are going to have to grieve? They will have to leave behind their family and friends.
  • Illness- This can be chronic, new diagnosis (cancer), amputation, aging (loss of memory, vision, hearing, etc.) This list can go on and on, but you get the idea.

Sometimes because it isn’t a death or a divorce, we don’t think about it as grief. Do we?

So what are some of the ways people handle their grief?

There are healthy ways and unhealthy ways.

  • Unhealthy ways are when people resort to drugs or alcohol to numb their pain. Perhaps someone experiencing depression may need a short-term anti-depression medication to get them through the shock, which is common. But other individuals have a way of abusing prescription drugs.
  • Some people resort to instant gratifications such as gambling, shopping, or eating. These are gratifications that I resorted to when my first husband died. I drank my Margaritas until I felt no pain. I gambled the sympathy money away. I gained 20 lbs. in 2 months which caused me to have to go shopping for a new wardrobe. Once I got hooked into these instant gratifications to numb my pain, it was almost impossible to stop until I had my wake-up call from God and suffered consequences.
  • Other ways people fall into handling their grief may seem healthier. They may work more, maybe becoming workaholics, or even become obsessed with exercising and healthy eating. Usually it’s a matter of doing anything to get your mind off of your grief.

But is this really healthy? Probably not!

Everyone must work through their grief by working through the various stages of grief. The majority of us, work through stages of shock, emotions such as depression, anger, and/or guilt, physical symptoms of grief, we then resist going forward until we gradually find hope and affirm our new reality.

Grief is hard work. We can’t bury it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Nor can we continue to numb our pain. We have to face it and deal with it. It’s normal to be depressed for a while. It doesn’t mean we’re going crazy. All it means is that we are acknowledging that we are sad because things will never be the way they used to be. And that’s OK! As long as we can move on and not get stuck in a stage, we are moving forward.

When God gave me my wake-up call, I was going down a dangerous path. I surrendered to God to help me through my grief. I’m not sure I could have done it without His help. He provided me a healthy way to work through my grief. As I worked through the stages and transitioned into a new life, I can now help others walk through their valleys of grief. I can help them realize that what they feel is normal, and encourage them that they will find hope one day just as I did.

If we can handle grief in a healthy manner, we grow from the experience and it becomes a “Good Grief”.

 

 

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A_Widow's_Pursuit_Cover_for_KindlePurchase, “A Widow’s Pursuit”, here.

When Cindy suddenly became a 34 year old widow, with two young children, she was thrown into shock. Due to her Christian upbringing, she immediately found peace by clinging to her faith.  Once reality surfaced, she was overwhelmed with responsibilities and unfamiliar feelings. She had to figure out a way not to feel the pain. She overindulged in unhealthy and risky behaviors. Due to her negligence, a terrible accident happened to her daughter.  Embarrassed of how out of control she had been, she realized she needed God’s help. By no longer dodging her grief, she’d cry every night and trusted God to take away her pain and heal her broken heart.  She found herself moving forward and finding comforting moments. Then there were days she’d collapse in despair. Old memories could trigger panic attacks. Childhood memories revealed that her deceased husband was only part of her past. She then reached a point where she accepted her loss. Being a single mom brought about a lot of confusion with new relationships. She struggled with males over being just friends, going on dates, as well as getting in vulnerable situations.  Going through grief wasn’t easy, but Cindy realized that as long as she pursued God’s will for her life, she would reap more peace and comfort.  Once through her grief, she understood the meaning of her journey. She became more compassionate to others that had experienced losses. She was able to make new goals as she went back to school and obtained a LMSW degree in social work.  A WIDOW’S PURSUIT: Finding Out There’s More to Life Than Grief, is not only written from Cindy’s grief years, but beyond. Grief had become only a small part of her life. This book is a complete journey through Cindy’s grief and finding an amazing life after her loss.

REVIEWS:

 

By   Lori T   on September 21, 2013

  Not only is Cindy Adam’s one of my best friends, but she is an inspirational mentor in my life. Cindy’s journey through grief is a true testament of the faith and love that she has in her heavenly Father. Cindy has helped me in my life’s journey more times than she’ll ever know!  I highly recommend that you read Cindy Adam’s book:  A Widow’s Pursuit: Finding Out There’s More To Life Than Grief.

By  Carol K   on September 21, 2013

  This book is special to me because of my personal friendship with the author, but I truly believe this would be an encouraging and uplifting read for anyone who is/has gone through the painful, unimaginable loss of someone they love ~ whether through death or divorce. One thing that has stayed with me after reading this book is that while we will ALWAYS love the person we lost, we can also learn to remember that they were not the only part of who we were/are. We have a past and a future and God will be with us every baby step of the way. Enjoy this easy-to-read, don’t-want-to-put-it-down, wonderful book.”

By  Lynn   on August 13, 2013

  I really felt as though I were going along with Cindy and her family during the experience.  She expressed all the emotion as the reality set in, and didn’t spare any details regarding her grief process- which is one of the reasons I think this book will be such a help to people going through losses.  The honesty comes through, as does her walk towards recovering and dealing with what her life had been handed. It is an excellent example of encouragement and healing, and inspiration to those who need to find their own peace.
  Although the story is about Cindy’s personal journey as a young widow with two young children, her story is an inspiration for anyone who has gone through a loss.  Her faith in God shines throughout the book, and it is a must read for anyone dealing with grief. The message is clear – that there is hope and “more to life than grief”
  Not only do I want to share with you that Cindy is a remarkable writer, but she has taught me about life and how you never know what tomorrow will bring you. She is a mentor and friend to me and I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing mother! I thank God every night for the life I have. I give it all to him and thank him for blessing me with such a kind, compassionate mother.

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And by Grace you’ll receive God’s PEACE!

god-brings-peace[1]For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9 ESV)
There wasn’t anything I wanted more in my grief than feeling God’s PEACE. If I didn’t feel His peace, that meant I would feel the pain of loss.
The empty void I initially felt in my heart from losing my husband was very painful. I began to fill the void with the “flesh” by trying to get my needs met apart from God. When that didn’t work, I came to the point of surrendering to God. I had to learn to trust Him to take away the pain. As my prayer life increased, so did my faith in God. It’s rather a simple theory…it’s never going to work our way…so we might as well surrender to God’s plan.
Unfortunately, we have a hard time letting go of the flesh and abiding in the Holy Spirit. But by growing our faith in God, we begin to learn of His grace. No matter what we’ve done in our past it doesn’t matter. He’ll still fill our void with His grace and provide us with peace and forgiveness.
ONLY THROUGH FAITH, BY EMBRACING GRACE, WILL BRING PEACE!

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CrossOnHeart-300x225Some behaviors in grief are unhealthy which can cause serious consequences. To replace our unhealthy behaviors with new behaviors we have to change our belief system.

Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Faith has a starting point. Often it’s a wake-up call when we hit our bottom. For some it may be a D.U.I. or a trip to rehab. For others it may be a health issue over unhealthy eating habits. Or maybe what started out as a few dollars on a slot machine, turned into a larger gambling debt.

For me, I indulged in drinking, eating, and gambling until a serious consequence happened. It happened to my daughter because of my negligence. An accident that happened on the same day and time as my deceased husband’s death. On a Thursday evening at 8:00 pm. My wake-up call!

I reached a point where I had to surrender. God was waiting for me. I realized that I had to begin filling my void by trusting God. I had to begin to grow my faith. I gave up my destructive habits, surrendered all control over to God, and began to pray for peace and guidance.

What are some ways that you’re growing your faith?

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OpenToHopeLogoTransparent1251

#10 I didn’t care what anyone thought about how I grieved:

Grief made me go crazy for a while. I was selfish and self-centered. Thankfully, my family and friends supported me through and took care of my children until I came to my senses.

#9 I prayed:

I soon realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed God’s help. (Sounds like a 12 step program!)In my prayers, I not only talked to God, but I learned how to listen to Him and heed His advice.

#8 I had to rethink my priorities:

Grief taught me what was most important in my life. God became my number one priority. I then treasured my family and relationships that I still had here. My two daughters were my main concern.

#7 Time doesn’t heal all wounds:

It’s not about time. There are people who are still living in grief 17 years later. Unless you do the grief work, with God’s help, you’ll continue to grieve. God is our healer who helps to heal our wounds.

#6 My loved one was only part of my life, not my whole life:

Traveling to visit family and friends brought me my first moments of joy. Many I knew before I even knew my loved one. I realized there was a lot more to my life than just my married life.

#5 Joy and pain coexist:

As I found myself feeling more joyful, a special day would bring back the pain. A birthday, a holiday, an anniversary day, my daughters’ dance recitals, my daughters’ graduations. It’s OK. The pain makes me remember the beautiful memories.

#4 God uses suffering for good to help us grow:

God has used me as a witness to bring others to Christ through my grief.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

#3 Life is temporary here:

Some day, I will lose another loved one. I will grieve again. But I have faith that my eternal home will be in Heaven. It will be a permanent place to reunite with my loved ones that have gone before.

#2 God is in control:

I’ve surrendered my life over. God’s in control of everything anyway. There’s no “What ifs…?” My life and everyone else’s life is in His hands. I trust He knows best. He’ll always have the last word!

And the #1 lesson I’ve learned from grief is:

# 1 It’s time to serve others and pass on the comfort that I received:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

This is a favorite post of mine that I wrote awhile back. It’s also published on an on-line website, Open to Hope Foundation. The website is to inspire hope after any kind of loss.

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MP900442876[1]There was a time in my early widowhood, where I thought I was in control of my grief. I found ways not to feel the pain. I was successful for a short period of time. There was always that “instant gratification” of having a drink to numb the pain. This wasn’t a very good long term plan. Eventually, I found myself out of control.

My story can be read on-line at NOW WHAT? in the February issue. Find out what happened to my daughter that caused me to stop my destructive behavior and surrender to God.

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