Walk on

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Coming home after a long day, I read an email from my mother telling me that the father of a family I had known from church back in my hometown had just passed away. That seemed to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I sat down and cried. Sometimes there is nothing we can do but to just walk on and keep doing life the best we know how. At times that may mean we stop and release our pain with a few tears.

In the past fifteen weeks, I have either experienced the death of a friend or family member or watched friends say good-bye to someone they loved eight times. That averages out to more than one every two weeks. Seeing and feeling that much fresh pain and sorrow again has a way of taking a toll on a person.

While you may want to escape the ache of death, this world does not afford that luxury. It is inevitable that everyone will leave this world at some point in time. Until Jesus comes again, that way of departure is through the body taking one final breath and the soul crossing over into eternity. Until then, we need to walk on and do life the best we know how.

As I cried my tears, I got busy doing my dishes and folding laundry,while listening to a new album by Josh Groban. The song You’ll Never Walk Alone from the 1945 musical Carousel began playing and I stopped what I was doing to really drink in the words. They are beautiful and I have placed them below hoping they may bless you too.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high                                                                                        And don’t be afraid of the dark                                                                                                                                      At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky                                                                                                             And the sweet, silver song of a lark                                                                                                                              Walk on through the wind                                                                                                                                          Walk on through the rain                                                                                                                                       Though your dreams be tossed and blown                                                                                                             Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart                                                                                                               And you’ll never walk alone                                                                                                                                        You’ll never walk alone

There are two lines of this song that really speak to me. The first is “You’ll never walk alone.” While your grief journey is yours – you do not have to travel it by yourself. Hopefully there is someone who is walking with you. Perhaps you have family members, friends, a pastor or church family, neighbors, or a support group like Grief Share who can encourage you as you walk on.

Even if you have trouble naming a person you feel can understand and come alongside you in your journey, there is One who is always there for you. God promises to never leave or forsake you. That leads to my next favorite line of the song.

“Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart.” Without hope you have very little. Believing that you will make it through your grief is vital to your journey. You will have hard days – just like today has been hard for me. Tears and hurt will remind you that life has drastically changed. Watching others experience loss will bring yours to light again, causing fresh pain to appear unexpectedly. However, do not let those times stop you from continuing your journey. Walk on with the knowledge that hope and healing can be yours.

Until next time –

Karen

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Carousel Never Stops

me with carousel horse

I received a phone call from my older brother Friday morning informing me that my mother had been taken to the hospital by ambulance the night before. My dad had just called him to say she could not catch her breath. Neighbors had come over in the middle of the night and ended up calling 911 to get them the help she needed. Upon hearing the craziness of the night they had endured, I realized that the carousel never stops.

Just when you think things are settling down and life is calm, you are thrown by a phone call, email, or surprise visit. You find that there really is no way to control the speed and direction of life’s circumstances. As much as you may want to slow down and get off, the carousel keeps turning and your horse of choice keeps bobbing up and down with you aboard.

How do you handle the sudden change of direction that those days take? Is there a way to keep from being thrown off as the spinning seems to accelerate and you experience more than your fair share of stress and responsibility?

Being prepared ahead of time for those occasions along your path is important. No matter how hard you try, there will be instances when you just wish the spinning would stop and you could get off the ride for a while. Since that is not a possibility, equipping yourself for the journey is vital.

One thing you can do for your health in coping with unexpected things is to realize from where your strength comes. I know that I am unable to do everything by myself. I have a network of friends and family who offer encouragement and help when I need it.

Knowing that you have a safety net in place, you can feel more comfortable trying new things and stretching the bounds of your abilities. On those days when the carousel never stops, look back and see that your foundation is still in place and a little spinning is not going to destroy you. While you may be shaken a bit, you can survive, pick yourself up, brush off, and continue forward on you journey.

While this network of support is important, the key to coping with life is knowing the One who gives life. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1, 2 (NIV) God wants to be your help – so let Him! Although life surprises us, it never surprises God. Take encouragement in that fact. God has your back. While you are riding the carousel that never stops, God has a harness upon you, holding you safely through the spinning and the dizziness that can follow. When you feel your grip loosen on Him, know that He will never let go of you.

Until next time –

Karen

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.