Marking time

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Do you remember a time when you just couldn’t wait for something to happen? Perhaps it was saving up for and planning a vacation. Maybe you were excited for opening day and the first game of the season. Others enjoy the anticipation of a visit from special guests coming to town. Whatever is it you recall, when waiting for something special, we tend to find ourselves just marking time.

As we face a loss, it may seem that we are marking time, just waiting for the pain to pass and the days to brighten. Each morning we wake up and go through the motions with a heavy heart and a dulled mind. Time seemingly stands still as we dread each day that is now so different. We are simply marking time, willing the clock to go faster and to put the horrible experiences far behind us, hoping that we might forget the painful journey we are living.

I look back on the first four months after my husband passed away and truly cannot tell you many details of my days or nights. There are times that I regret not remembering more. Yet I realize that the lapse of memories during that time is probably a result of the shock I had experienced.

As the confusion and dullness gave way to clarity, I realized a decision had to be made. Did I really want to live my days just marking time? In doing so I would fail to contribute to the world. I believe we are all here for a reason – a purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Marking time will not allow us to accomplish the purpose for which we are created. Certainly I believe there is a time to be still and grief our loss. Every one who has experienced grief needs time to process and be comforted by others. Eventually though, there comes a point when we should be willing to move forward and do our best to make a difference in the lives of others.

Where are you in your grief? Are you still in the marking time phase? Have you been there a while? Be encouraged to know that there will come a day when you can do more. Look for it and determine to continue moving forward on your journey.

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.

 

Waiting

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Waiting can be such a difficult task. We wait in line to be served next at the store. We wait for the light to change so we can get home to the kids or get to work on time. We wait to hear if we have received the job for which we interviewed. You fill in the next blank. What is it that you are waiting on?

What does waiting require of us? The first thing that comes to mind is patience. At times there is nothing we can do to hurry along that which we anticipate. Life happens on its own schedule and there are times we feel at the mercy of the clock. Nothing can speed along the results that are out of our control. The adverse is true as well – nothing can slow down the outcomes we dread.

Waiting also calls for trust. There are times when all we can do is believe that what is happening is for the best. When it is evident that life events are out of our control, the best thing we can do is have hope and believe that there is still Someone in charge. The little things we have been forced to wait upon all our lives, have been preparing us for the big things that creep up seemingly out of the blue. While we may be caught by surprise, God is not.

I studied 1 Thessalonians 3 today. Verse 4 states, “For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.” (ESV) We kept telling you. Life is going to have hard times, and some of those are moments of waiting. Waiting in lines, waiting for death to happen and waiting for healing. The good news is that we do not have to face those times alone. We can trust and know that God goes before us and is with us in any and every situation.

Tonight I await word that another loved one has passed into Glory. While I struggle with this, I try to imagine – and fail – what her husband is feeling. To try to relate to what he must be going through, I recall that God Himself waited for his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. We have and serve a God who knows pain, loss and who has perfected the art of waiting.

So as I struggle in waiting tonight, I find comfort in knowing that God has walked this road before us. He realizes the exact emotions we feel, even when we are unable to define them for ourselves. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14 ESV)

Until next time –

Karen