"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Thursday, December 6, 2012

GRIEVING GOD'S WAY ~ The Path to Lasting Hope

GRIEVING GOD'S WAY
THE PATH TO LASTING HOPE
by
Margaret Brownley
and
Haiku by Diantha Ain

"Grieving God's Way" by Margaret Brownley with Haiku by Diantha Ain helps lead the reader to a path of hope and healing through a 90 day devotional that starts you on the process of grieving in a healthy way; God's ways. The book is divided into four parts of healing: I. the grieving body, II. the grieving soul, III. the grieving heart and IV. the grieving spirit along with a Bible verse and devotion for each day and an inspirational haiku by Diantha Ain. My favorite part however was what she shared from her heart and in the section "Healing Way" at the end of each day.

Through the author's own personal experience with grief after the loss of her oldest son, she showed me how to grieve God's way instead of how I have been dealing with my losses, mixing some of man's ways with God's ways and not being able to let go. Weeks, months and even years go by without visible signs of improvement or change on their special days, wondering about that person. "Then one day, it happens ... we are no longer consumed by our loss and our thoughts turn outward. These are the first signs of healing." "Grieving God's Way" offers and inspires a different course of action than our society tells us that says "get over it", stuff itforget it, suppress it, "shouldn't you be over this?", move on ...

I. Man's Way: Numb the pain 
God's Way: Heal the pain through healthy choices
II. Man's Way: Don't dwell on your loss. Keep busy
God's Way: Slow down. Take your time. Share your pain. Heal through Beauty, Art and Nature
III. Man's Way: Grieve alone *
God's Way: Grieve with the help of family &friends
IV. Man's Way: Time heals
God's Way: Faith heals
~Margaret Brownley~

Time definitely has not healed the loss of each person no longer here in my life. Each death is different and each of us deal differently with the death of a loved one. The pain is very real. But "out of the pain comes a gift of a deeper faith" (Day 87). I have experienced death from illnesses, sudden death and the traumatic death of a suicide. Not one is the same. I felt that Margaret walked honestly through her grief and how she shared it like she "gets it". I had done many of the same things that Margaret shares throughout her book but especially Part II. I love the opening introduction of each section but Part IV's spoke the most to me from this beginning part:

"When grieving God's Way,
peace of mind is the reward
we receive for faith ..." 

through her message to the very last words on that page

"Grief is a very dark cave with no visible way out. Hope and joy are distant memories. Faith deserts us ... We cry out to God ... We question His wisdom and purpose. This is how the spirit grieves."

"Fortunately, God doesn't hold a loss of faith against us; ... This is the wonder of God's aMazing Grace."

"The spirit heals when life becomes meaningful again and we face the future with hope, courage, and a more lasting and mature faith."
my spirit received the healing that flowed from these words  ... 
Thank you, Margaret!

I am now moving forward after reading this like a devotional for the past 90 days (finishing up on the exact day 3 years after my most recent devastating personal loss from suicide of a special significant friend of mine for the past 13 years here in Mexico ) with a new hope and hopefully a more healthy way to cope that will be lasting. In some ways, reading this at this point only surfaced the pain once again but this time I was able to take hold of God's truths and ways to cope and deal better. I'm learning how to embrace my grief with hope and promise, realizing that I don't have to 'let go' of the people but can express my grief in a healthier way by continuing to love them. Now I'm pressing on to learn and apply this in an entirely different kind of grief: the entire loss of our home and belongings to a fire.

The final author note of Margaret Brownley seemed to help me the most summing up her journey so beautifully and truthfully with these words: 

"Grief knows no end, but neither does God's healing." ~ Margaret Brownley ~

Grief is an inner journey and Margaret Brownley captures it and the healing necessary to start over, hold on to our memories and look forward with hope that is lasting through her words and God's Word, we can heal God's way finally through "Grieving God's Way". 

I have read only one other book that has helped me at all, although I'm noticing more and more available. I do recommend this book for those grieving and even for helping others you know or yourself to understand more completely grief, loss and a path to healing. I know I will go back often when I'm in that valley so I can lift up my eyes to the hills from where my help comes(Psalm 121)...

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher Thomas P. Nelson through the BookSneeze.com book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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* although I found, that there are now many sites and support groups to help us deal with our loss and our grief, I prefer to be surrounded by Christians with like beliefs.
 
My problem was that I am out of the country and do not feel comfortable enough to share in Spanish as I would back home. However, I was not able to talk with family and friends back home about these things, there are places you can. And for me to share with or even see the family here bought back painful memories and increased my heaviness. 

APOLOGY

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.
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always

Peggy