My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.

Good Grief

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Whenever I hear the words good grief my mind immediately goes to Charlie Brown getting chided from his disgruntled friends for his bumbling ways; as he tried desperately to fit in and feel loved unconditionally. At times the Peanuts gang became quite the peanut gallery. However, as I write this today I think about the God of all comforts who is good even in our grief. Though grief is never good in and of its’ self in the midst of our grieving, God’s goodness and comfort is ever so close to those whose hearts are breaking. When we walk through the process of grief in all it’s sorrow and messiness… He is right there with us embracing our grieving hearts with His love for Isaiah 53:3″ reminds us He is  …a man(Jesus) of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (anguish, affliction)

 

Recently I was preparing for a Women’s Conference called Lavish put on by Her Voice Movement. They suggested before hand that the women would fast from something of our choosing; to put us on the fast track, removing distractions, which allows one’s heart to hearing God more clearly opening doors to receive deeper levels of healing. I accepted the challenge and removed something in my life that was an albatross around my neck for years.

The conference was life changing not just because of the amazing worship, wonderful teaching, or the thoughtful gifts meant to represent the lavish love of God. It was an atmosphere of praise, expectancy and a deep heart cry for intimacy with our creator. He was welcomed and His healing power flowed throughout the entire weekend gathering… setting women free all around the room. This freedom is available to all who seek His face whenever and wherever… He is no respecter of persons.

 

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On the first night of the conference it was a “white out night”… with prior encouragement to wear a white top if possible. Stepping onto the elevator from the 15th floor I felt a strong urge to tell anyone boarding on the way down or up they did not die and go to heaven .  What a beautiful sight with a elevator full of  women wearing white.
Upon arriving at the 7pm. meeting we stepped into a beautiful all white room, white Butterfly fur chairs circled the stage, white sections of fur rugs snugged tightly together blanketed the floors seamlessly.

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Days before the conference God was already beginning to stir something deep inside me. Little touches of His grace were gently becoming known to me. On one particular day a love nudge from Him drew my attention to see Scooby’s dog collar hanging on the rear view mirror… I had placed it there a couple of years ago after he had passed away. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t want it up there anymore, slowly I removed it to keep it in a memory box. It was a light airy feeling of freedom and forward movement. My time of holding on and looking back through a dark , heavy cloud of grief was slowly lifting. Having no idea this would be the beginning of a journey that would ultimately end my prolonged spirit of mourning.
Returning home from the conference I was brimming full of joy and a renewed sense of hope.. and in tow carrying my white fur butterfly chair, along with two sections of white rugs they graciously gave us. Now comes the dilemma, where can I put them where our dog Buddy won’t destroy these new treasures? He already pooped on my zebra print rug that had to be thrown away. Mind you that pretty much is the only rug in our house… Really!! This rug was the focal point of our black and white room with aqua walls. It was a room I put together when our oldest son moved out and my mom was dying. A shrine of sorts, a storage room and place where a dog can poop apparently.
The zebra rug’s demise was a mere prelude to the coming attraction of what God had in mind to transform that “room of mourning” into a “room of JOY”.  It was now going to be my new little sanctuary to soak in God’s love. The black curtains came down, black lamps, black chair and dark pillows.. I now replaced with my white chair, white rugs, renewed inspiration and a closed door policy for Buddy! The darkness of grief that had lingered under the radar far too long had now outworn it’s welcome. Now being replaced with light and a perspective that ushered out the mourning. That little haven of fresh hope, life and light now streams through it’s reclaimed space. It served it’s purpose for years, it honored my mom, brother and still does…. just differently. Honestly, I know that is what they would want for me. The cleverly disguised gloom (room) that entrenched my soul, has lifted, the grieving process has had adequate time to heal.
In this season I still grieve, however it is not the same, when a memory comes to mind tears will roll down my cheek and I feel the Heavenly Father’s love comfort me like never before. My soul is no longer in deep anguish and in a gloominess that lingers. Perhaps this is what grief feels like when you have completed your heart wrenching grief process. All I know is it feels so freeing, a natural rhythm of my emotions not worrying “Am I stuffing my grief ? am I grieving too little too much?  I just am, in His presence, in His peace being held by the great I AM … He has given me a deeper sense of His goodness even in the grief.
Perhaps your grief is so recent the pain so excruciating you cannot even relate to my story of being on the other side. I know that grief as well, it is so overwhelming that even simple daily tasks seem insurmountable . Do not despair God’s word promises us * “They will enter Zion with singing ; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away “. That soul crushing sorrow, that grief that is so weighty you have to sigh to get it off your chest will one day be no more. Joy will come in the morning and will break through your mourning. Take heart God is your burden bearer and hope of a brighter tomorrow bringing good to your grief.
“Because Yahweh has anointed me (Jesus), as a messenger to preach good news to the poor.
He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted, to tell captives, “You are free,”
and to tell prisoners, “Be free from your darkness.” I am sent to announce a new season of Yahweh’s grace
and a time of God’s recompense on his enemies, to comfort all who are in sorrow,
to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful bouquet in the place of
ashes, the oil of bliss instead of tears, and the mantle of joyous praise instead of the spirit of heaviness
Because of this, they will be known as Mighty Oaks of Righteousness, planted by Yahweh as a living display of his glory. Isaiah 61 -1:4 TPT
“A time to weep and a time to laugh a time to mourn and a time to dance “. Ecclesiastes 3:4
“Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning “. Psalms 30:5
“To experience God’s comfort while you’re suffering with grief, Try to focus on God’s goodness , and He’ll bring your heart relief ” O.D.B Devotional collection
* Isaiah 51:11

Author: Lisa Thompson Jennings

Hello my name is Lisa,.it would be so delightful to sit down with you swapping life's stories..Reveling in God's goodness,sharing our battles won and those we still are fighting. Finding sacred ground together in heartbreak, redemption , forgiven and blessed hope that promises not to disappoint us. A little about me ... I love God with all my heart stumbling along the way as I do , I talk a lot but still covet listening, Laughter and being creative are not options for my soul would wither with the lack of them. My husband Kevin and I have been married for 27 years and blessed with two boys Derek 22 and Trent 19. It's been 22 years since I worked outside of the home some of those twenty-one years were spent homeschooling, coupon clipping and keeper of the Jennings household. Counting it pure joy to watch our amazing boys turn into outstanding young men.While this earthen vessel laden with cracks and flaws by God's intentional grace and renewed strength made it through. A touch of God's redemption from past misfortunes that included surviving sexual abuse, a failed first marriage, eating disorder, panic attacks, intense gripping fear and crushing low self esteem. Drawn to a God that can right wrongs, bring beauty where ashes once laid ,all the while lovingly speaking His worth and value into weary, parched souls. So that we can not only survive as victims but thrive as a people walking in glorious victory, blazing a trail of freedom for anyone held in chains of injustices, personal failure or loss. So thankful God is all about new beginnings, fresh starts and slates wiped clean.. our past misfortunes merely spring boards of new found hope and deep abounding joy ... it's a privilege to be a fellow sojourner in this path to greater wholeness and liberation. Charles Dickens writes "Reflect on your present blessings every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some". Celebrating present and future Heavenly blessings with you

2 thoughts on “Good Grief

  1. Response to Lisa’s post

    Oh, Lisa, your writing resonates —deep within.

    My grief, not from losing someone but from losing hopefulness, is more recent, from this past spring, as I recall the day we met with the obstetrician, along with our daughter and son-in-law. They (all of us) were being shown the ultrasound of their soon-to-be-born baby girl, our granddaughter. She was diagnosed with hydrocephalus just prior to her birth. The doctor’s words were dark and ominous, shredding our fragile hearts. The room was dark with the only light emanating from the ultrasound screen, showing the problem with our granddaughter’s head from the swelling in her brain. Each word the doctor spoke carried a weight of doom and gloom. We were each crushed; our inner lights were extinguished.

    A few minutes (seemed like hours) later, we were ushered into a room flooded with light from the outside window and the overhead room light, a sharp contrast from the room we had just left. Before long, a nurse waltzed into the room. She exuded encouragement and happiness. Her challenge to us, “Embrace hope.” What?! After we had just had hope ripped out of our hearts? She contradicted each of the statements we had just heard from the medical expert. “There’s always hope!” she insisted. She wasn’t unrealistic about the diagnosis. However, she spread joy in the midst of our tears. And, yes, she cried with us, too. But, she also gave us our laughter back and relit our heart lamps.

    Our darling baby was born with the affliction the next morning and underwent surgery at two days of age to remove the pressure on her brain. Months later, she continues to grow and prosper. We are looking at some other dark prognoses. However, God’s hope and light are still more powerful than the doom and gloom of medical predictions.

    Several days ago, I was reminded that He gives us the present, the gift of now. That is all we have. The present is flooded with His light, though the past and future may look dark and dim.

    Thank you, dear Lisa for your light reminder. “In Thy light, we shall see light.” The Psalm 36:9 verse was the theme from my alma mater. In the Passion Testament, the declaration is stronger, “In You light, we receive revelation.” Thank you for the reminder!

    I love your words…I need to start walking where I am talking.

    • My precious friend, I’m in tears of joy for the hope that arose in your hearts . The words that brought hope and laughter to overcome the bleakness 0f the appearance of little hope . I stand with you in the light and glory of God’s healing power over your precious granddaughter . His Shekinah Glory will flood your situation with His presence . Dwelling in the midst of it bringing new goods. I love you so and your writing is so inspiring to me . Thank you for your love , encouragement and faith that has been so instrumental in my walk with Jesus. Your priceless my friend.

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