Triumph in the Fallen Garden

'Child Hiding' photo (c) 2006, D. Sharon Pruitt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/My father died 11 days ago.

There are no words in any language to describe what it feels like when someone you love dies.  There are also no well-intended platitudes, spiritual rhetoric or flower bouquets to lessen your despair.  You suffer through it like a fly glued to sticky paper.  You writhe, groan, and spasm.

Have you felt true grief before?  If you have, you know exactly what I speak of.  It is life changing.  If you don’t believe me look at the before and after photos of soldiers’ faces from the Iraqi war.  Grief can literally etch itself upon your countenance and impact you at the cellular level.  The physical body screams out in agony.  When you take a breath, you fear you will explode. When you exhale, you wonder if it is the last.  It takes all the sufferings from your past and puts them in a box called Not Grief.  It suddenly casts you into an abyss of alienation from normalcy.

As Christian Soldiers we must find a way to cope with suffering, death, and the resulting grief.  If not, we will become emotionally and spiritually immobilized. Our desperate attempts to quell the pain via drugs, alcohol, sex, money, and food will be of no avail.  We will thrash about in a befuddled state and be of little use to the Remnant Army.  This is exactly what the devil desires.  Don’t let him win; you must embrace your grief.  I mean it.  There is no band-aid for human anguish.  You must honor it, feel it, and allow it to move through your being.  It will hurt like the dickens but you must walk through it.  And therein lies the good news.  You can walk though grief and journey to the other side.

God has a beautiful way of providing us with support during our trial of tears.  Don’t be surprised at how healing may manifest.  It may be predictable in the form of a close friend, pastor, priest, or grief counselor.  On the other hand, God may lead you into the unexpected.  You may find yourself suddenly writing poetry, endlessly sipping tea, stealing cat naps, or hiking alone in the woods.  Allow Jesus to offer you a very personal prescription for recovery.  You are a unique soul and the Lord knows exactly how you best be mended.

It is vital you be patient with your personal response to the loss of a cherished other.  There is no perfect way to grieve.  The moment I learned of my father’s passing, I felt completely cut off from God.  It was horrible.  My daily religious practice simply unraveled with the exception of robotic Church attendance.  I was the woman sobbing in the back pew.  The few words I could squeak out to Jesus were steeped in anger and despair.  Thankfully, my Christian friends immediately came to my aid, offering prayers up for my grief-striken family.  Don’t be shy about asking others to pray for you.  They are a precious gift from God for times such as these.  When you can talk to Jesus, do so.  Be honest with Him.  Jesus knows what you are going through and besides being a Just God, He is also a God of Mercy and Divine Love.

Time can take some of the sting out of death.  However, I have to wonder if the soul ever truly heals from the ravages of human decay and loss.  It is, after all, the gift that keeps on giving per the hands of our enemy.  Yet Jesus can heal even the deepest of wounds.  He provides us with Grace sufficient to rise us up so that we may engage in the battle once again.

My dad was a good man.  I want my remaining days here on earth to be a testimony to his spirit and his life.  His years of suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and final descent into death cannot be the end of the story.  Satan cannot have the final say.  It is in moments like this that we must choose.  We can retreat into misery, isolation, and inertia or pick up our spiritual weaponry and fight the prince of darkness who brought death and suffering to the human race.

Today, I choose to fight for the hour is at hand.

Please join me as the Remnant needs you.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

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Comments

  1. Your-Neighbor says:

    Sometimes I think growing up is when you begin to lose all the things in life that made your child hood secure. (People, places , buildings, houses..ect.) And I am not particularly fond of that, saying good bye for the last time has a permanent sting that still brings tears when I think of it. We have to take the bad and make them good for Christ. His strength supersedes anything that secured me in childhood, for that I am so grateful my friend. Praying for you. Txt ya soon 🙂 Have a good week. Tell your mom we’re thinking of her.

  2. Not sure how how you kept it together to write this; but cogent and good. Then again, I suppose I do know, (my strength is perfected in weakness…)

    Just a little hesitant to comment on this one, surely you understand. May I kindly point you to He who has wings to cover, but you know that too. It’s still good to know that others have passed the road you now travel, and that there is a beautiful sky yet to appear through the dark and ominous clouds.

    • Oh yes…I truly do know that I am loved and comforted by Our Lord! My gratitude to you for commenting on this post. It was oddly cathartic for me to write this. Somehow it allowed me to come back into myself. I am so grateful for you and your way with words and The Word. Love to you my Comrade in Christ~

      • Cindy-
        Suffering is good and necessary, and moulds into a fashion no other experience can. During times of grief, people have good intentions but say the wrong things.

        When a person says, ‘don’t cry,’ ‘everything’s all right,’ or ‘you’ll get over it,’ we want to report: ‘I MUST cry,’ ‘everything’s NOT all right,’ or ‘I CAN’T get over it,’ but do not let any body steal your suffering. It is YOUR’S. It takes you to a place no other vehicle is able to travel. Suffering is good, and it ends when it has served its’ purpose.

        Most folks want to rid themselves of such a thing, but do not be one of those folks. You wondered ‘if the soul ever truly heals…’ and I’m guessing you know it does not.

        As a side trip, I’m impressed that you find repose in my ‘painting,’ but please know, today’s accolade could be tomorrows failure, so when that happens, loan me some grace.
        j

        • Dear J,

          Yes indeed. Somehow though I don’t think you will be ‘tomorrows failure’. Namely as there is something uniquely soothing about your words. Methinks you would be a good therapist for you have that uncanny ability to send yourself over the page. No small feat. Thank you J. Truly.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss Cindy … yes, I know the grief you speak off … I love your determination to fight the enemy especially when your grief is so raw … your mention of ‘the gift that keeps on giving per the hands of our enemy’ certainly sheds new light upon the unrelenting, emotional turmoil on the loss of a loved one … Lord, please comfort her as only her heavenly Father can … and may You place this blog in the hands of many a hurting heart.

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