As I continue to face a difficult circumstance with a loved one making bad choices with matters going from bad to worse, at times I feel overwhelmed by grief.
I find myself going through the different stages of grief as described by Helen Kubler Ross: denial, depression, guilt, anger, bargaining. I confess the step I have a hard time embracing is acceptance.
Today I feel depressed as I mourn the dire circumstances of this individual’s choices. Rejection of God and His ways contribute to this person’s rapid descent down a slippery slope. It seems nothing I say or pray makes any difference–at least not in her.
But prayer does help me in my battle against hopelessness. As I pray in regard to this individual, I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness in past seemingly hopeless situations. I also think of how far God brought me from the days when I too made many wrong choices.
When I keep my eyes on this wayward soul, grief increases, and I start to sink like Peter did when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused instead on the increasing winds. (See Matthew 14:29-31) Right this moment the Lord is whispering that if I keep my focus on Him, I will feel uplifted, grateful, and at peace. I’m doing just that, and this depression is subsiding.
Lately a song, “Oh, My Soul” repeatedly comes on the radio and lifts my spirit. One of the main themes of the song is “I’m not alone.” Some days I feel so alone–even as those going through this difficulty with me lash out at me because of their own anxiety and emotional issues in connection to the crisis.
God convinces me through His Word and in songs and His still small voice that He is with me to bring comfort, consolation, and clarity when people around me can’t or won’t.
At various moments I feel shocked by what’s happening. But this I know. God is not surprised about all of this. And He wants to help me through, as well as bring good from all this bad.
A little poem I wrote years ago comes to mind:
My soul see life through God’s eyes.
Give Him each sorrow and pain,
For He can transform bad to good
And every loss to gain.
Not long ago I heard someone say that when the enemy tries to torment us with taunts about difficult circumstances in our lives, we can counter that attack with a praise about all the good God will bring from it.
So right this moment, I choose to do that: Lord, you know how painful this circumstance is. I praise You that You are working in Your way and time to bring about so much good from this so much bad and that somehow You will receive glory from this. Thank You for being with me every moment of the day. Thank You for the comfort You bring. Please help me to turn my grief into gratitude. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I look forward to proclaiming the good God brings. One thing He’s already done is to draw me closer to Him and give me increased compassion for all those who make wrong choices. I feel so grateful for that.
My life verse also comes to mind and lifts me up: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10 NIV.
No matter what happens, God is here to help me through. I rejoice over this promise.
“Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns