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My journal entry from 2 years ago (August 6th, 2014), a gentle reminder of what God calls you to, He will bring you through. This is kind of long, but I am not apologizing for it! Happy reading!

grief1Ecclesiastes 5:13-20 – I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:

wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14     or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands.

16 This too is a grievous evil:

As everyone comes, so they depart,
and what do they gain,
since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome laborunder the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions,and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Grief – A deep and poignant (painful feeling); distress caused by or as if by bereavement (loss).

grief2So, I’m starting a separate journal based solely on my losses, not to be morbid, but to see what God has done. For so long I grieved over my dad’s suicide that it even began to make the people in my own family uncomfortable. I truly thought it was the one and only reason I continued to use drugs and alcohol. I believed it was why I started using and once I became addicted, then that was an entirely different excuse. Everything else in life was meaningless under the sun. Nothing could compare to the one story that I kept returning to. I thought grief counseling was for the birds.

Mrs. Lisa Daughdrill offers grief counseling here at Jacob’s Well for the women and I see her counseling girls all the time, and my thought is this… “That’s great! For THEM! That is NOT for me.” I truly was blind in thinking I was finally past the hurt and confusion surrounding his passing. I could finally look at my mom and sister in the face and tell them that I had closure! FINALLY! But you see, God knows the things that REALLY broke my heart, one piece at a time. God remembers who I was before life changed completely. God remembers my vulnerability and my insecurities that led me to make the decisions that led to losses that I would bury deep in the recesses of my heart and mind for YEARS, stacking each one on top of another in a dark closet, one suitcase of regret on top of another, each one brimming full of disgust, sadness, fear, rejection, hopelessness, anger, self-loathing, and DENIAL.

grief5That’s exactly where Satan wanted those memories, on a shelf to where he could pull them down and use them to remind me so that I would stay in bondage to him. But don’t you see? Satan is a liar!

Lisa came to do devotion last night and she spoke on grief and through that, God spoke directly to me. He allowed me to see that I, too, am grieving. I, too, am broken. And I need to be mended through His love and His word and His process in His timing so He can inhabit ALL of me…even the dark closet. It’s time to clean out the suitcases. All this time I have been working out of human knowledge and ignoring the quiet reminders of God, so now my problems are highlighted so I can deal with them from HIS eternal perspective and solution. I remember my Bana (my dad’s mother). I loved her SO much but I did not love her sadness. I could not bear to see her grieve, one year after the other, one unbearable season after another. I made a commitment to myself that I would NEVER be like THAT. So grief counseling for me was OUT…stuffing in the closet was in.

grief4Everything for me was completely unsatisfying. Everything in life, before and after my dads suicide, was small in comparison. My life was just the hand I had been dealt…or so I thought. What was the point in bringing it all back to life when I had buried it long ago? I never put the word, “grief”, (or even the emotions of that word) alongside the loss of our family life, home, and security when dad had gone to prison, the events surrounding my late term abortion at the age of 16, the events surrounding the 2nd abortion after a date rape in college, or the one I had when the man I was in love with and would one day marry and have children with told me his career “and those ‘Christian people’ at that new Air Force Base would never understand him having a pregnant girlfriend.” By then I had become numb to the entire process.

I didn’t associate grief with the loss of my grandparents, my friends, or other family members. I didn’t grieve the loss of my marriage, the loss of my children, or the rejection. Each one, each moment, each passing, each move was another suitcase packed and ready to move with me. I moved all right. After each dark suitcase was packed, I RAN. Whether it be a physical move to another geographical location or a move to a different part of my mind, I moved far…FAR away.

grief6I was so moved by my Bible reading in Ecclesiastes yesterday that I pondered the words and spun them around and around all day. So many different things happened that were not coincidence. It’s time for me to heal. It’s time for me to be vulnerable again, for God. It’s time to pull the suitcases out, unpack them one by one, and stay for awhile. It’s time to rest. When Lisa came to do devotion and before I even knew her topic, I prayed that God would show me something to know that it was for me. As that brave woman at the front of the room quoted one scripture after another, I felt God cup my face and whisper, “The time has come, my daughter. It’s time to lay hold of the maker of the wind. Your name…is Victory.”

You can read Ecclesiastes 5-8 and the wisdom on the pages written by Solomon that stand up to the test of time at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Ecclesiastes

To further your reading, consider this from:

1 Peter 1:6-7 – In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

God isn’t sitting back wondering why all these things are happening to you. He ALREADY KNEW! Take comfort and count it all joy! He knows every decision, every mistake, every sin that you would commit. The question remains, are you still holding onto all if as if He can’t see it and didn’t ordain it? SURRENDER ALL!!

Related Scriptures: Psalm 10:14; James 1:2; Micah 4:6