Brave Your Jungle

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Jungle – The Merriam Webster dictionary defines this as:

“a tropical forest where plants and trees grow very thickly; a harsh or dangerous place or situation in which people struggle for survival or success”

Here is a picture of my cat sitting among my houseplants. I imagine she likes to pretend this is her jungle where she is hidden from the world. In the center of all those branches and leafs she is hard to see. She manages to position herself so she can view out and make a quick escape if the need arises. I smile as I watch her. She certainly enjoys her jungle, which is an example of the first definition above. However what about the second definition addressing struggle and survival in harsh or dangerous situations?

The grief journey can certainly appear to be a jungle with its unknown twists and turns. Darkness obscures a clear path on which to walk. The denseness of the situation can cause you to become disoriented and isolated; feeling lost and alone. What do you do then to maneuver as you learn to brave your jungle?

The jungle associated with loss can vary and look different to people. Perhaps you are called to brave your jungle of fear. I know that in the past few years dealing with fear has been a common occurrence. What if something breaks? How is it possible to do life alone? People tell you there is nothing to fear because they will be there to help. While the reassurances are nice, they are not there in the middle of the night when you lie awake planning strategies to make it through the next day. Ultimately, the responsibility to learn to deal with the fear is yours and you must brave your jungle.

Saying good-bye is certainly a challenge. The farewell to your loved one is just the beginning of change and good-byes when you are on the grief journey. Life is no longer the same. Acquaintances you had as a couple sometimes tend to fade away. People are no longer comfortable being around you. They do not know what to say so they avoid associating with you. Friends that have been supportive when your grief was fresh and new now face challenges of their own. As time goes by, life happens. Jobs change, people move, families shift gears. You are called to brave your jungle as you watch people you love and have depended upon grow distant.

As you fight and make your way through the jungles of fear and good-byes, isolation can grow up around you forming yet another jungle to journey through. The thought of facing another week in your situation can be difficult, much less trying to picture where you will be a year from now. Looking too far into the future is frightening and unimaginable. How can you live well next year when you are not even sure how you will manage the next month?

When you face these times; when the path is dim and difficult to walk, you must choose to brave your jungle. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Be determined. Be….brave. Remember that your strength does not come from yourself; at least not a strength that will endure the long journey ahead. For that kind of stamina, you must count on Someone stronger than yourself. God desires to be your strength. He wants to provide, protect, and renew your strength so you can wake up each morning to brave your jungle through the grief journey. Bravery is within your grasp when you cling to Him.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

Until next time –

Karen

Choose to give hope to someone in your life today. Share Grief Letters with those you know walking through loss and sadness. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief.

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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.