Monday, August 20, 2007

Facing the Future with Hope

When loss comes into our lives, dreams are snatched away and we are left wondering how to face the future. We feel like we’ve been thrown into a deep, dark hole with no way out. Loneliness becomes our only companion, and we lose all interest in the daily routine of life. The very things that used to occupy our time and bring us pleasure no longer have any significance at all.

Grieving is hard work, and it takes lots of time to travel our journey of grief. There is no road map to follow, so we don’t know when the next bend or twist in the road is coming. We can’t tell where there are steep hills or flat terrain. When we seem to be traveling along okay, suddenly we find that we’ve hit a mountain that seems almost like it’s impossible to climb. Grief is new, unexplored territory.

There is some amazing about our grief journey, though. It’s hard to explain; yet it happens all of the time. A rainbow appears out of nowhere and gives us hope. A butterfly lights upon our windowsill and we find ourselves smiling. A meal appears on our table from a neighbor and we suddenly feel less alone. An invitation to dinner comes and we feel loved. The telephone rings and we have a much needed listening ear.

God never allows us to travel this journey of grief alone. He sees to it that we have help all along the way. He gives us rest when we are weary, and hope when we feel lost. Just knowing that we have this added inner strength keeps us going until one day we find that we are no longer in that lonely hole, but we are sitting among the flowers and we can once again see beauty in life! --Clara Hinton

“Hope is the friendly, unexpected voice pulling us back to a warmer world.” --Clara Hinton

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” --Psalm 23:1

Monday, August 6, 2007

Grief Makes Us Feel So Alone

Grief is such a universal experience, yet when it happens to us we feel so alone. Even when members of a family share the very same loss, each person feels the loss at a different level, and in a very personal way.

Our grief may be in common, but it is private as well. Our grief is our pain, and nobody experiences it in just the same way. It helps to remember that when we’re walking down the pathway of grief we are never alone even though it often feels that way.

There will be a time when we find solace and hope, but it will be different for everyone. Nobody experiences our loss the same, and nobody finds hope and comfort at the same time or in the same way.

What helps, though, is to remember that our day of peace will arrive, and when it does, it will be like having a big weight lifted off of our heart, and a new song placed in our heart for us to enjoy. No, we’ll never feel the same after a loss, but we will find relief, peace, and comfort. Hope will place a smile upon our heart as we continue on this journey we call life.

Hope allows us to look at today and enjoy the beauty of it, without worrying about the future. Hope gives us the strength for one day at a time, and slowly we find that the future has arrived and we are living it with a new strength and renewed sense of life that we didn’t have before. Hope gives us a reason to go on! --Clara Hinton

“It is comforting to know that God always provides hope as a companion to pain.” --Clara Hinton

“Faith is being…..certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1